Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category

The wherewolf

March 3, 2019

Passed on by Joelle Stepian Bailard, this Cyanide and Happiness strip by Rob DenBleyker from 9/30/10:

A tour of the interrogative words of English.

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Displaced icons of art

February 9, 2019

Prompted by Michael Palmer on Facebook, this Bizarro pun from 9/9/12:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 7 in the strip from which this panel is extracted — see this Page.)

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The thread drifted in my direction

February 5, 2019

Conversations typically drift in topic, as one thing suggests another. (Occasionally, the conversation is reset when one of the participants introduces a new topic or external events intrude with fresh things to talk about.) On-line threads similarly drift, sometimes in unexpected directions.

Case in point. I posted enthusiastically on this blog (with links elsewhere) about John McIntyre’s book The Old Editor Says: Maxims for Writing and Editing (2/2/19, “The crusty old editor speaks”), and John then noted my review on Facebook. I expected the Facebook discussion to continue with more observations about John’s little book, but since my name had entered the thread, several commentators shifted the topic to me. Whoa!

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Pythonic curtain line in the Economist

January 25, 2019

In the 1/19/19 issue of The Economist, the story (on-line) “Vaccine researchers are preparing for Disease X”, (in print) “The X factor: Vaccine researchers are preparing for the unexpected”, which begins:

Last year the World Health Organisation published a plan to accelerate research into pathogens that could cause public-health emergencies. One priority was the bafflingly named “Disease x”. The x stands for unexpected, and represents concern that the next big epidemic might be caused by something currently unknown.

and concludes:

Success by either group promises to reduce the interval between identifying a virus and running the first clinical trial to a mere 16 weeks. Moreover, because both approaches synthesise the vaccines chemically rather than involving live viruses in the process, a vaccine that did emerge from one of them could then be manufactured rapidly. All this may then eliminate the fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency of unexpected viruses.

Ah, the curtain line (spoken as the curtain falls on the performance): fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency.

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Ruthie x 3

December 29, 2018

In my comics feed for One Big Happy: The Huskies play Oregon (11/23), Money is the root of boll weevil (11/28), ABC order (11/30):

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Deterrence, lessons, and examples: pour encourager les autres

June 26, 2018

A typical report on recent approaches to those seeking entrance to the U.S. at the Mexican border, “Here Are the Facts About [REDACTED]’s Family Separation Policy” by Maya Thodan in Time magazine on the 20th:

Administration officials have often characterized these policies [of interviews and hearings] as “loopholes” that are exploited by those seeking to enter the U.S. Some administration officials have suggested that the “zero tolerance” policy could serve as a deterrent for other migrants who are seeking to come to the U.S.

The idea is that applicants should all be rejected, and in a way so savage that others would be deterred from applying. The aim of the policy is, in Voltaire’s pointed phrasing, pour encourager les autres.

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Books and their covers

April 30, 2018

Today’s Zits:

  (#1)

Kids these days! Did Pierce never think to look at the Wikipedia entry for the book? I thought that’s what kids do first when assigned a book report.

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POP POP

April 24, 2018

Yesterday’s Zippy had a nutjob in a diner ranting:

Are you trying to lure me into a lexicographical, self-contradicting black hole of word play so heinous it defies logic?

And today, embedded within a thick matrix of allusions pointing in many directions:

a lexicographical, self-contradicting vortex so heinous, it defies Robert Mueller

(#1)

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Two from 9/8

September 23, 2017

… in the September 8th issue of the New Yorker. Both presenting the usual challenges to understanding — there’s a lot you have to know to make sense of them — and both playing on language.

(#1) by Jeremy Nguyen

(#2) by John McNamee

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Husbands and wives

September 22, 2017

Three veins of spousal humor, starting in the early 19th century and ending in an edgily close-to-life comic stereotype realized in cartoons, tv shows, and movies.

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