Archive for the ‘Parsing’ Category

Spanish fetish all over the guy

March 10, 2020

(Extraordinarily steamy ad, Mr. Fetish Spain in nothing but a pageant banner, and raunchy mansexual talk, so dubious for kids and the sexually modest.)

Today’s Daily Jocks ad re-uses an earlier flagrantly NSFW image in an offer of “Spanish fetish brand Locker Gear” underwear. Well, besides the hot guys in the ad, there’s the parsing of the nominal expression Spanish fetish brand (as a modifier of the brand name Locker Gear).

And the text of the ad, with another significant bit boldfaced:

The DailyJocks Backroom hand picks the best fetish-wear brands from around the world & brings them directly to your inbox. [directly to your inbox was probably carefully chosen, but let that pass]

Check out our hottest new addition, Spanish fetish brand Locker Gear. Featuring a rugged, classic look on all of their products.

From jockstraps with an open pouch to chest harnesses or unlock your addiction with the zipper pouch jockstrap.

Then these two expressions triggered a chain of associations that led ultimately to the romantic comedy movie All Over the Guy.

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Science, charity, and adverbial ambiguity

April 5, 2019

Through a chain of people on Facebook, who passed it from one hand to another, this painting (captioned by an unknown wag):

(#1)

Ah, in a different genre of art, a version of this joke that I’ve posted on a couple of times:


(#2) A One Big Happy strip

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Attaching an 8-page essay at Wheaton College

September 30, 2018

Reported back on the 19th, a stunner of a 2017 headline about Wheaton College (IL) events dating back to 2016. First, the story from a source other than the one that produced the remarkable headline: from the Daily Mail (UK) by Jennifer Smith on 2/14/18: “Christian college ‘punished’ football players who ‘kidnapped, beat and sexually assaulted’ freshman in brutal hazing ritual by asking them to write an eight-page essay and complete community service”:

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Further adventures with Low Attachment

September 1, 2018

Bonnie Taylor-Blake to ADS-L on 8/10 under the heading “Another zoological crash blossom”:

The headline for a blog post hosted by the Smithsonian:

“Scientists track a mysterious songbird using tiny backpack locators

This reminded me of a favorite from a few years ago, “Public urged to keep track of squirrels with mobiles.” (See Ben Zimmer’s column about this and other crash blossoms [here].)

Two ambiguous headlines that might be understood in an unintended way because of how modifying phrases (underlined above) are attached to preceding material:

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A Brokavian crash blossom

May 2, 2018

… committed by The Onion recently (hat tip to Jerry Zee):

(#1)

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scratch and sniff card

March 10, 2018

The One Big Happy from February 10th:

The sign says (but with reduced and):

SCRATCH AND SNIFF CARDS

Is that to be parsed as conjoined imperatives — you are to scratch and to sniff cards — or as an NP describing some cards — these are cards you can scratch and sniff, cards for scratching and sniffing?

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Runner ducks, runner beans, rubber ducks

September 9, 2017

Back on the 6th, in “Birthday notes”:

From Benita Bendon Campbell (and Ed Campbell) a Jacquie Lawson animated card of Indian runner ducks in the rain, ending with a duck and a rainbow. In medias res: [image #1]
To come, in a separate posting, on Indian runner ducks and Indian (or scarlet) runner beans, which are not at all the same thing.

And then to add to those, India(n) rubber ducks, which aren’t ducks, though they are duck-simulacra (runner ducks are ducks, and runner beans are beans — that is, bean plants).

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Adventures in compounding

August 2, 2017

xkcd strip #1681 Laser Products:

Two main axes of variation:

the parsing of the 3-part compound X Y Z as
[ X Y ] [ Z ] vs. [ X ] [ Y Z ]

and various possibilities for the semantic relation between Y and X in a 2-part compound X Y

Note: eye removal ‘removal of an eyeball’ is known technically as enucleation.

Memorial Saturday 4

May 27, 2017

Four recent cartoons in my feed that have to do with language: Mother Goose and Grimm (attachment ambiguity), Zits (greetings), Bizarro (labeling a bat(h)room), xkcd (knowledge about the referents of names).

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Gay Porn Portal

December 6, 2015

(Mostly about gay porn resources, with some plain language but no actually X-rated images (though the images flirt with the rating). And there are several linguistic points.)

Yesterday I stumbled across a Gay Porn Site (as it labels itself) called “cocksuckers guide” (how crude is that?). The name cocksucker here is not used more or less literally, as ‘fellator’ (esp. a male fellator), and it certainly is not used as in this NOAD2 entry for the word:

vulgar slang, chiefly N. Amer.  a contemptible person (used as a generalized term of abuse)

Instead, it’s used in a sense that’s historically intermediate between those two senses, as ‘gay man, queer’: though what gay men actually share is a sexual attraction to other men, fellating other men is the characteristic sexual act of a gay man, so it was natural to extend cocksucker to refer to gay men in general; but then distaste for gay men and their sexual activities contaminated the term cocksucker, and it became a slur, a term of abuse, at first used of gay men and then generalized, ultimately even to inanimate objects: (said of a recalcitrant corkscrew) This cocksucker [or: this cocksucking corkscrew] doesn’t work!

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