Archive for the ‘Lexical semantics’ Category

Pretty in pink

February 26, 2017

Another little bulletin from my house: the third of the cymbidium orchids to bloom this season (they’re winter-blooming flowers):

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Objects in compounds

February 22, 2017

A recent One Big Happy:

Ruthie has heard her father use the N + N compound student loan but doesn’t know the conventional meaning of the compound (in which the first N functions as Indirect Object: ‘a loan (of money) to a student’), so she (erroneously) gets another possible reading for student loan (in which the first N functions as Direct Object: ‘a loan of a student (to someone)’.

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IN in the news

February 21, 2017

The lesson for the day begins with a news story. From yesterday in the Guardian:

British Muslim teacher denied entry to US on school trip: Juhel Miah from south Wales was removed from plane in Reykjavik despite suspension of president’s travel ban … A council spokesman said Miah was left feeling belittled at what it described as “an unjustified act of discrimination”. The council said the teacher is a British citizen and does not have dual nationality.

Then from Nadim Zaidi on Facebook, commenting on this:

These stories are becoming so commonplace that I don’t even bat an eye at them anymore. And that is how it starts, through normalization. More specifically, banality, the banality of evil, as Hannah Arendt wrote.

That’s normalization, the nominalization of innovative normalize (IN) — ‘render normal [‘acceptable’] that which was previously deemed beyond acceptable bounds’  used in a political context. From Emily Dreyfus in Wired 11/23/16:

Long before [[REDACTED]] became the president-elect, his detractors warned against “normalizing” his myriad violations of campaign decorum: the bigotry and misogyny, the Putin-philia and cavalier talk about nuclear weapons. Since [his] election …, “don’t normalize this” has become a liberal mantra, a reminder to stay vigilant in the face of aberrant presidential behavior that Americans may feel tempted — or emotionally bludgeoned — into excusing as just the way the country works now.

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ON in the comics

February 20, 2017

A Zippy I’ve been saving since it came out on 11/25:

Another piece of what’s turning into a very large project on the English words normal (Adj), normality (N), and normalize (V) — plus related vocabulary — and the conceptual (and sociocultural) categories associated with them. The Zippy involves only long-standing senses of normal and normality — what I’ll call O (for old (senses of)) N (for the three normal-related words) — plus the Adjs abnormal and deviant. (The contrast is between ON and what I’ve called IN, for innovative senses of the words.)

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They don’t get it

February 18, 2017

Short, very common words tend to have a great many senses — more exactly, in such cases there tend to be a great many homophonous lexical items from the same historical source (thanks to semantic shifts and syntactic changes). So, in its main entry for the verb get, NOAD2 has 32 subentries (and then there are lots of idiomatic phrases with get and phrasal verbs with get). And we, um, get things like this scene in a recent One Big Happy:

  (#1)

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Felix d’Eon: on normalizing gay

February 17, 2017

On Wednesday, in “The news for penguins and, oh yes, penises” on this blog, image #5 has a “Love Rocket” image by the artist Felix d’Eon. Now on AZBlogX I’ve posted seven of d’Eon’s gay gay gay works. Here’s an eighth, which is penisless:

“The Little Death 4”, in a series showing men’s O-faces, their faces at the moment of ejaculation, of le petit mort.

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re-up syntax

December 28, 2016

From Jon Lighter on ADS-L early in the month:

CNN advises us … to “get re-upped on” our MMR [measles / mumps / rubella] vaccinations. I.e., join the crusade against vaccine avoidance: get the kids their booster shots, you nut-case parents!

And W Brewer recalls the connection to

re-up ‘to re-enlist’ (U.S. military slang), with possibility of getting a re-enlistment bonus

The military usage we’ve looked at on this blog. It goes back over a hundred years, with early cites having especially simple syntax: no object, either direct or oblique, but interpreted as having an oblique object referring to a branch of the service: to re-up understood as ‘to re-enlist in/with (branch of service)’, with the specific branch understood from context. Call this the objectless re-enlistment use.

My earlier posting was primarily focused on the issue of external vs. internal inflection for this verb (PST re-upped vs. re’d-up). Here I’m interested in the syntax and semantics of the verb, getting from the objectless re-enlistment use to the oblique-object renewal use in get re-upped on.

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And venison is from Venus

December 19, 2016

Marsupials are from Mars, according to Ruthie in One Big Happy:

Faced with marsupial, which looks like it has Mars as its first element (and sounds pretty close to that), Ruthie chops out the Mars and comes up with a second element upial. So she’s treating the whole word as a N + N compound, which means that upial is the head N, and if the compound is as simple as possible, it’s subsective: a marsupial is then a kind of upial — a variety from Mars.

Ruthie has then given marsupial the demi-eggcorn treatment, analyzing Mars in it and flying with the possibility that upial is an English noun (with a meaning she doesn’t happen to know).

Calvin in chains

December 10, 2016

Today’s Calvin and Hobbes replay:

(#1)

Calvin gets a chain letter directed right at him.

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Domain-relative labeling

October 29, 2016

Halloween advances upon us, and there are sales of all kinds. As always, sales in the gayverse, including men’s underwearworld, where Daily Jocks made an offer today:

A bright orange C-IN2 strap jock (with that criss-cross effect), on a black body. Or at least what we describe as a black body, though outside the domain of skin color, the (absurdly fit) model’s body would be described as dark chocolate brown.

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