Archive for the ‘Trade names’ Category

Stravinsky’s 1970 Firebird and the Ghoulliard Quartet

May 20, 2019

Music, cartoons, and language play, plus Slavic folklore, Seiji Ozawa and his expressive hair, pony cars, symphony trumpeters, NPR, and Frankenstein’s monster. It starts with this wonderful cartoon by Jeffrey Curnow from the NPR site (hat tip to Virginia Transue):

(#1)

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Control your johnson

April 7, 2019

(Lexicographic news for penises, but nothing more alarming than that.)

From a friend in the lgbt precinct of Facebook on the 4th:

Passed a Johnson Controls van on the way home from work. I’ve always said if you have to hire a company to control your johnson you’re in real trouble.

Remarkably, the slang johnson ‘penis’ seems not to have appeared on this blog. But first, the Johnson Controls company (which does not concern itself with penises) and the movie Bad Johnson (which is all about them).

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Collagen days

March 6, 2019

News for penises. And fingers. And, possibly to come, buttocks.

The larger topic is the line between what counts as normal and what counts as abnormal, diseased, or morbid. Today, the discussion starts with some television commercials for the drug Xiaflex® (from Endo Pharmaceuticals), marketed as a treatment for Peyronie’s Disease.

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Gin and glassware

February 10, 2019

Back on the 7th, at Dan Gordon’s restaurant in Palo Alto: server explains they are out of Tanqueray gin, apologizes, offers me a taste of Junipero gin (not familiar to me, though it’s a San Francisco thing), which arrives in a glass of interesting shape, also not familiar to me. Being a linguist of inquisitive bent, I ask what that kind of glass is called. Server thinks it’s a Nick and Nora (unfamiliar to me as a glassware label, though I got the allusion and understood why the name would be used for drinkware). Bartender shouts out that, no, it’s a Glenn Caron (well, that’s what I thought he said, but I was puzzled about what the connection was between glassware and the tv writer / director / producer Glenn Gordon Caron or his most famous show, Moonlighting). Much later I discovered it was a Glencairn glass, designed for (Scotch) whisky.

Now, the replay, with more detail.

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Yoo-hoo, Aargau!

December 15, 2018

It started at the Peninsula Creamery in Palo Alto at breakfast (with Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky) this morning, quickly led to a chocolate beverage from northern New Jersey (and to manner-of-speaking verbs) and after a whirlwind worldwide beverage tour ended up with an echt-Swiss dairy soft drink from Canton Aargau, Switzerland (up north, on the flatlands near the Rhine).

The impetus for all this, a vintage advertising poster on the wall at the Creamery:


(#1) ASK FOR IT by NAME: Yoo-hoo

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PUMP!ing it up

October 17, 2018

(Homowear: male models in underwear, displaying their bodies homoerotically, with archly queer ad copy. Not X-rated, but not to everyone’s taste.)

The Daily Jocks ad for PUMP! underwear from the 15th:

(#1)

Underwear model as sculptural form. Mahogany Man.

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The crystal ball of cartoon understanding

August 17, 2018

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm takes us through the murky realms of cartoon understanding:

(#1)

At the surface level, the fortune teller offers a preposterous prediction about how Grimm will be reincarnated, and Grimm says he doesn’t believe in reincarnation. Entirely comprehensible (so long as you know about fortune tellers, and can recognize a stereotype of one —  woman in gypsy costume with crystal ball — and so long as you know what reincarnation is), but not funny, unless you also know about Carnation brand evaporated milk (sweetened powdered milk that comes in cans). It’s a joke, son.

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On the black cat patrol

July 15, 2018

Just mounted on the wall I face when I’m at my work table: a digital reproduction of the famous Zwicky Cat poster by Donald Brun (for the Zwicky silk thread company in Wallisellen, Canton Zürich), and a postcard Amanda Walker sent me because it reminded her of the cat Kurniau (what cats say in Estonian — it’s a purr and a meow) from the Zwicky household in Columbus OH many years ago:

(#1)

I’ve posted the Zwicky Cat image before, and about Brun. To come here: about the source of the framed poster (the Wee Blue Coo company in Edinburgh); about the fuller version of the poster, in which a cat may look at a cat icon (as Kurniau seems to be doing above); and about another entertaining Brun poster that I came across while searching for a copy of the two-cat version of the Zwicky silk thread poster.

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Swiss cheese isn’t Swiss

July 10, 2018

(And Swiss steak isn’t either, but that’s a topic for another posting.)


(#1) A wedge of American Swiss

But then the expression Swiss cheese is ambiguous. NOAD recognizes this, but not in the way you were probably expecting:

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50 shades of green

May 6, 2018

(from the annals of remarkable company names and the Index Paranomasiarum)

For Naked Gardening Day (today and every May 6th), this shot of a landscaping company in the Miami area:

If Christian Gray is out on call, Marquis De Sod will discipline you — work you over in raunchy verdure under the fierce Florida sun. They will bind you, edge you, train you, hold you back until tomorrow, when they will allow you the release of Masturbation Day.

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