Archive for the ‘Play’ Category

bunny ears

May 21, 2018

It started with a candid photo of people at a social gathering, with one person making a V hand gesture behind the head of the person next to them, much as in this photo of pro tennis players:

(#1) Swiss jock jokery:  Stan Wawrinka doing the ‘bunny ears’ gesture behind Roger Federer

Bunny-earing someone is a prank (NOAD on the noun prank: ‘a practical joke or mischievous act’), pranks being a very culture-specific form of play + humor that deserve analytic attention that I’m not able to provide, but will just take as a cultural given here.

To come: a bit of the history of bunny-earing; senses of the expression bunny ears (illustrating (mostly metaphorical) sense developments in many directions); and uses of the V hand gesture (illustrating symbolic functions of many different kinds; the gesture itself is “just stuff”, without intrinsic meaning, which can be exploited for many different symbolic purposes). The act, the meanings of the linguistic expression for the act, the cultural significances (or “social meanings”) of the act.

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Naked came the mammoth

September 25, 2017

Because mammoths, today’s Rhymes With Orange:

(#1) Advances in Mammoth Science: early scientists encountering Mammuthus primigenius var. nudus

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Roly(-)Polies

May 5, 2015

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm, featuring roly polies:

(#1)

Roly polies the fascinating creatures. Then there’s Jam Roly-Poly, the British sweet; the roly-poly toy; Roly Poly, the chain of sandwich shops; and the adjective roly-poly ‘having a round, plump appearance’, which leads us to the Australian film The Roly Poly Man. All are rooted in the verb roll, in various uses.

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Construction toys

March 25, 2015

Chatted yesterday with Ned Deily about Erector sets and Meccano, and he mentioned Girder and Panel construction toys, which I hadn’t heard of but which he had enjoyed as a kid; they came along a bit late for me, though I had played with earlier construction toys: Meccano, Tinkertoy, Erector, and Lego.

I’ll start with Girder and Panel and then go back to the beginning.

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