Archive for the ‘Semantics’ Category

Prosthetics on an anaphoric island

December 12, 2018

I posted yesterday on anaphoric islands — “Smoke from a island”, here — and then of course immediately came across a wonderful example, in a 12/1 Economist article on prosthetic limbs, where the anaphor is a bit of conspicuous language play. (The Economist is strongly inclined to language play in its heads and lead paragraphs.)

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Meaty faggots

December 12, 2018

My friend Aric was astonished yesterday to come across this food product:

Pork me: a classic presentation of faggots, in a brown gravy, accompanied by peas and mashed potatoes

No doubt he would find the following news bulletin (from Wikipedia) remarkable:

The “nose-to-tail eating” trend has resulted in greater demand for faggots in the 21st century.

Aric is American and gay, so of course pork faggots — being British and devoid of sexual associations (beyond those attending on any sort of meatball) —  are neither familiar nor salient to him.

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uncle-o-nym

December 5, 2018

In the 11/7 One Big Happy, Joe searches for an antonym, an opposite, and once again creatively “goes into” a word to supply the opposite:

Previously: in #2 in my 11/21 posting “OBH analyses”, Joe came up with yesbody as the opposite of nobody.

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Annals of error: name retrieval in the news

November 23, 2018

The error, as reported in HuffPo (among many other news sources) on the 13th: by Jenna Amatulli,

New Zealand Newspaper [the Gisborne Herald] Flubs Stan Lee’s Obituary, Writes ‘Spike Lee Dies’

(#1)

Inadvertent errors in retrieving words are common, especially in speech. Some are primarily motivated on phonological grounds, some primarily on semantic grounds, but typically both effects are relevant (some details in a moment). Inadvertent errors in retrieving proper names are particularly common, because everyone experiences a monumental number of proper names, with new ones popping up on a daily basis. In this context, Spike Lee for Stan Lee would be an entirely unsurprising error in name retrieval.

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OBH analyses

November 21, 2018

Two recent One Big Happy strips in which the analysis of words into parts plays a role: one from 10/14 with a Ruthian eggcorn (treating archive as ark + hive); and one from 10/23 in which Joe puzzles over the consequences of appreciating that nobody is no + body.

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Cartoon understanding in parallel worlds

November 10, 2018

Two cartoons that have come by me recently that work only if you have a fair amount of cultural knowledge in two dfferent domains, which are presented in the cartoon as parallel worlds equally present there. A Brevity strip by Dan Thompson from 4/27/18 (thanks to Joe Transue for help in identifying the strip); and a Wayno & Piraro Bizarro from yesterday:

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Arousing the beast

November 7, 2018

In today’s comics feed, a One Big Happy that requires a double dose of pop-cultural moon knowledge to understand:

(#1)

A defiant gesture, a bit of lycanthropic folklore.

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Revisiting 20: X Places

November 1, 2018

The Scenes From a Multiverse of 10/9, entitled #NOTALLPLACES:

A riff on Michael Schur’s sitcom The Good Place, with Kristen Bell (as Eleanor, apparently sent wrongly to the place after her deathGood Plae modality is harsh.) and Ted Danson (as Michael, the designer of the place). Also a comment on social media (Twitter vs. Facebook).  And of course on the nature of reality and our perceptions of it.

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Revisiting 18: hypallage in the garden

October 29, 2018

Photo from Andy Rogers on Facebook today, from a garden supply store:

(#1)

Andy quipped: “So, what is “AMATEUR MULCH”, Mulch you don’t have to pay for?” — playing on the N/Adj amateur as contrasted with the N/Adj professional.

But, I protested, professional here is hypallagous: professional mulch is mulch used professionally, i.e., used by or made for professional gardeners; it’s the gardener, not the mulch, that’s (a) professional.

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holibolups

October 28, 2018

From Jeff Shaumeyer on Facebook, this plush Xmas Peep (an XChick?):

(#1)

A holibolup, a holiday/symbol mashup.

Horrified reader: I find the idea of a Christmas peep offensive. Next we’ll have werewolves with Valentines, groundhogs with Easter baskets, and leprechauns with sparklers. Where does it end??

Jeff: It doesn’t! What great ideas!

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