Archive for the ‘Implicature’ Category

Saluting the presidents

February 18, 2020

(A posting on gay porn for Presidents Day in the US (yesterday, February 17th, this year), so awash in male genitals and mansex, described in raunchy street language — so entirely unsuitable for kids and the sexually modest. The actual male genitals are vividly depicted in my posting yesterday on AZBlogX, “Hail to the chief”, but this posting is scarcely decorous.)

It starts with the main Falcon ad for its 2020 Presidents Day (#1 on AZBlogX), featuring a carefully composed image of pornstar Paddy O’Brian with his dick at full salute, that is, hard (O’Brian, meanwhile has his right hand over his heart, as during playings of the national anthem). A cropped version of this ad:

(#1)

In this case, unusually, the dick is actually important. O’Brian (Irish-born, but now saluting the symbols of America), billed as a versatile top with a PSD (Porn Standard Dick) of 7″, is looking earnest while performing what has gone beyond cock-tease to cock-reveal, with the hard dick neatly following the line of the waistband on his pulled-down briefs. It’s that bit of visual play that makes O’Brian’s dick in the ad not just your ordinary sturdy pornstar object of queer desire.

Ultimately, this posting is about O’Brian himself and two other pornstars, Sebastian Kross and Rex Cameron, and how they project (perhaps fictive) personas through displays of their naked bodies —  performances in which their cocks, however impressive, play surprising small roles.

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Unaccompanied

October 13, 2019

This touching Sara Lautman pun cartoon from the 10/14 New Yorker:


(#1) “You know, sooner or later we’re going to have to let her go out unaccompanied.”

It all depends on what you mean by unaccompanied.

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Trix is for kids

June 17, 2019

Going the social media rounds, this joke, an ostentatiously playful allusion (OPA) to a bit of popular culture, presented as a texty — a cartoon that’s primarily a printed text, though texties often come with a visual backdrop, which sometimes contributes crucially to an understanding of the joke, as here:


(#1) A texty that lives in two worlds: American political culture of recent years (a reference conveyed visually, through the photo of Paul Ryan); and an ad campaign for an American breakfast cereal marketed to children (a reference conveyed verbally, by the ostentatious play on the ad slogan “Silly rabbit / Trix is for kids!”)

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Ostentatiously playful allusions

May 18, 2019

(OPAs, for short.) The contrast is to inconspicuously playful allusions, what I’ve called Easter egg quotations on this blog. With three OPAs from the 4/20/19 Economist, illustrating three levels of closeness between the content of the OPA and the topic of the article: no substantive relationship between the two (the Nock, Nock case), tangential relationship (the Sunset brouhaha case), and tight relationship (the defecate in the woods case).

The three cases also illustrate three degrees of paronomasia: the Nock, Nock case involves a (phonologically) perfect pun; the Sunset brouhaha case an imperfect pun; and the defecate in the woods case no pun at all, but whole-word substitutions.

I’ll start in the middle, with Sunset brouhaha. But first, some background. Which will incorporate flaming saganaki; be prepared.

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Haiku Robot

March 25, 2018

An Instagram site that searches for posted material that can be treated as a haiku (a 3-line poetic form with 5, 7, and 5 syllables in the lines). Recently, the robot took on sex between men (not at all graphically).

An example of a found haiku, based on a posting that went:

I suppose ant-man’s boss could be considered a micromanager

— to which the robot responded with the 5-7-5 version:

i suppose ant-man’s
boss could be considered a
micromanager

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Revisiting 7: NL:W

September 17, 2017

Yesterday, a posting on the story of a joke (Not Lady: Wife, NL:W for short) whose canonical form is

A: Who was that lady I saw you with last night?
B: That was no lady; that was my wife.

The vector for the spread of the joke seems to have been the vaudeville team Weber & Fields, who allegedly used it in their stage routines over a century ago. But I found no first-hand reports, so I appealed to the hounds of ADS-L for attestations. This netted a clear occurrence from 1859, but embedded in a long and complex back story (though again with the stage German accent of W&F). And an earlier British antecedent.

Then Larry Horn chimed in with some astute observations on the semantics and pragmatics of NL:W.

All will be reproduced here.

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Reduced coordination, joke forms, and sociocultural categories

August 13, 2017

Two days ago, I set a competition for readers:

Compose a follow-up to the following lead-in to a joke:

Tom, Taylor, and Jonathan Swift walk into a bar…

Three matters, having to do with reduced coordination, joke forms, and sociocultural categories.

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Two Ztoons on language use

February 27, 2017

The Zippy and the Zits in my comics feed today:

(#1)

(#2)

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Ten language cartoons

February 25, 2017

On the Comic Kingdom site on the 21st, “Tuesday’s Top Ten Comics on Language” (where language is understood broadly), with comments from the site.

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Bring this upstairs for me

November 28, 2015

Today’s Zits, with Jeremy and his mother engaged in Grice War:

Jeremy’s mother assumes that Jeremy will use the literal content of what she says as the starting point in a chain of Gricean reasoning about what additional content might reasonably be inferred. The situations are different in different strips, but Jeremy reliably refuses to act like a cooperative conversationalist in these interactions, choosing instead to fix on whatever understanding would require the least action on his part — in this case, bringing his mother her note, rather than the rather large box to which the note is affixed.

The crucial part of the problem here is the interpretation of the demonstrative pronouns this and that, which require the hearer to seek out an appropriate referent in the real-world or linguistic context of utterance. Connie Duncan supposed that her son would work out that there would we no point in asking him to bring her the note, but that it would be reasonable of her to ask him to help her by carrying the box upstairs.

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