Archive for the ‘Paralinguistics and kinesics’ Category

Striking an AW into the beholders

February 14, 2023


Today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro (Wayno’s title “Pupper Love”) shows a teacup chihuahua deployed in a routine medical checkup:

(#2) Doctors ask you to say ah / ahh / aah so that you’ll open your mouth fully and they can then examine the back of the mouth, including the soft palate and the tonsils (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

We will then be taken into the world of exclamations, lexical ones (like hi and yikes) and paralinguistic ones (like uh-huh and unh-unh), and the sociophonetics of ah – aw — which happens to be a familiar topic in English dialectology, thanks to the cot–caught merger, also known as the low back merger or the LOT–THOUGHT merger.


Blue roses

January 25, 2019

Today’s ad from Daily Jocks, with a sale on men’s high-end underwear from Australian firms, in recognition of Australia Day (tomorrow, the 26th):

(#1) The 2eros Midnight Rose pattern (blue roses on a deep purple background), in a swim slip (Speedo-style swimsuit, but Speedo is a trade name) on the left and swimshorts on the right

Ad copy:

Celebrate Australia Day with DailyJocks and get 15% off your favourite Australian brands including; 2eros, Teamm8, Marcuse, Supawear & many more!

My parody caption:

Ooh, baby, do you know what that’s worth?
Blue roses are my place on earth


Chast, Haefeli, Kaplan

July 6, 2017

Three cartoons from the latest issue (July 10th and 17th) of the New Yorker, by Roz Chast (heirloom hot dogs), William Haefeli (gay couple with dog and baby), and Bruce Eric Kaplan (a visit from Dr. Seuss).


Ten language cartoons

February 25, 2017

On the Comic Kingdom site on the 21st, “Tuesday’s Top Ten Comics on Language” (where language is understood broadly), with comments from the site.


The audible asterisk

December 1, 2016

Today’s Zits has Jeremy breaking out in asterisks, and they’re neither taboo avoidance characters nor stigmata of ungrammaticality:

What Jeremy’s mother perceives as a spoken asterisk is some complex of vocal quality, pitch. intensity, and timing that marks an expression as produced with some reservation, rather than whole-heartedly. Notably, in the last panel, Jeremy’s production of No corresponds to a Jeremy-mental Yes.

Monday: attention, language stereotypes

June 20, 2016

Among today’s cartoons: a Calvin and Hobbes on the paradoxes of attention, and a One Big Happy on Italians behaving stereotypically, and stereotypes of the Italian language:




Facework in gay porn

April 16, 2015

On AZBlogX, a piece on “Titan faces”, about facial expressions in gay porn, focusing on two new releases from TitanMen, Friends with Benefits and Men at Work, and on the pornstars featured on the front covers of the DVDs: Hunter Marx, George Ce, Eric Nero, and Nick Prescott. (Note: all this material is wildly X-rated, showing (in fact, celebrating) full frontal nudity and raw man-man sex.

Then we notice that the covers of the DVDs (cropped here) show the actors smiling broadly:


Friends with Benefits (Marx, Ce)


Hard at Work (Nero, Prescott)

But as is customary in this genre, there are virtually no smiles in the films, and of course the men shown having sex with one another are unsmiling; instead, they are either intensely and seriously focused (“men at work”) in their sex acts or ecstatically abandoned to them.


November 5, 2012

It’s in the eyes. And the mouth. Two companionable buddies, apparently caught in conversation:

But what’s going on?