Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category

The Monster and the Minotaureador

September 21, 2022

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with an instance of one of the house specialties — the Psychiatrist cartoon meme — rich in mythic resonances, and incorporating a bovine Nietzschean pun:


Not just any old ruminant on the couch, but the chimeric monster the Minotaur, reflecting guiltily on, oh, the young people sacrificed to him in the Labyrinth, and now confronted with a Theseus figure, in the form of his therapist (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

Wayno’s title, another pun, but a perfect one this time: “Bull Session”.

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Panjandrumery

July 19, 2022

My morning name of 6/5, which came to me, not in my head on awakening (the way morning names usually do), but on Facebook upon my firing up my computer, from John Wells, who was exclaiming with surprised delight: “I’m now a panjandrum“.

JW had just come across a 1/29/19 piece on Tony Thorne’s language and innovation site, “Mockney, Estuary — and the Queen’s English”, in which Thorne referred to “the Linguistics and Phonetics department at UCL [University College London] under the panjandrum of phonology Professor John Wells”.


(#1) Not JW, but the Great Panjandrum of Randolph Caldecott’s 1885 picture book, on its cover (on the book, see below)

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The second-greatest of these is monosyllabicity

July 8, 2022

Zippy’s guide to food-buying in today’s strip: packaging, monosyllabicity (hereafter 1-icity), and collectibility, in that order:


(#1) As ever, thoroughly steeped in pop / mass culture: in the 3rd panel, not just the orange-flavored drink mix Tang, but also the astronaut allusion (“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”); it then turns out that the panel also takes us to orangutans (which are neither orange in color — ok, some reddish tones, but not orange, see #3 below — nor have a tang in their name, but but …)

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The SIN and GUILT of a LINGUIST

February 6, 2022

The admirable John Wells has made my Sunday morning by informing us on Facebook that the Sunday Times (of London) cryptic crossword contains the anagram

LINGUIST = GUILT + SIN

Secretly, linguists have known all along that each of us bears the stain of sin and guilt. Now that hard truth has been made bare via the lit(t)eral magic of anagramming.

We cry out to be shriven, to present ourselves for confession, penance, and absolution. Give us peace.

In the words of a hymn text by Charles Cole (1791), set to the tune Gospel Trumpet in the 1991 revision of the Denson Sacred Harp:

Thy blood, dear Jesus, once was spilt
To save our souls from sin and guilt,
And sinners now may come to God
And find salvation through Thy blood

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Donut alliteration

July 30, 2020

Today’s Zippy takes us to a perished donut shop (in Niceville FL), which gives him play for his well-known fascination with the sheer sounds of words:

(#1)

In panel 1, it’s alliteration with /d/: defunct donut dispensary with dismay. In the other two panels, with /ɛks/ (or with a more reduced vowel): examined the extent of extinguished excretions … not exasperated but exuberant. (In the latter case, the choice of vocabuary items is seriously strained, to get alliterative words.)

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Higashi Day cartoon 3: sentence-initial anymore

June 9, 2020

Background, from my 3/12/20 posting “Higashi Day cartoon 1: grim Bliss surprise” about the series of 6 cartoon postings (of which this is the 3rd)

to celebrate March 15th: Higashi Day, formerly known in these parts as (spring) Removal Day, marking the day when, for roughly 10 years in the fabled past, Jacques and I set off to car-trek east, from Palo Alto (and Stanford) to Columbus OH (and Ohio State).

The Frazz strip of March 8th:


(#1) School custodian Edwin “Frazz” Frazier and 8-year-old bored genius Caulfield take on “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”

In more or less reverse order: (a) the positive anymore of Caulfield’s

(ex1) Anymore, I just believe what rhymes

in the last panel; (b) the song and some of its most famous performances; and (c) the quote in the first panel,

(ex2) Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear

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Clouds of glory

April 4, 2020

On Facebook, Bob Richmond reported returning to his mother’s copy of Page’s British Poets of the Nineteenth Century, to muse on a favorite passage of hers from William Wordsworth’s “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”. In the passage he posted about on Facebook, this excerpt:

Not in entire forgetfulness
And not in utter nakedness
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home

Ah, immediate clang for me: the Sacred Harp (1991 Denson revision), 480, Redemption (words and setting by John T. Hocutt, 1959), with the chorus:

Oh, His blood was shed that we might live
With Him when life is o’er,
And upon the clouds of glory ride
Safe to that peaceful shore.

I’ve long been moved by the idea of riding upon those clouds of glory, and now it seems that Wordsworth is the source of the phrase — here, and in other places as well.

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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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