Archive for the ‘Opposition’ Category

But what does his chest hair MEAN?

August 22, 2021

On 8/19, a posting about the novelty song “Harry’s Jockstrap” from 50+ years ago — a jock that’s pale blue, suggesting that Harry is a fairy:

Harry’s jockstrap, Harry’s jockstrap
It’s pale blue, it’s pale blue
They say that he’s a fairy. But Harry is so hairy
So are you, so are you

… [The verse] suggests that Harry’s hairiness shows that he couldn’t be queer, presumably because, the singer believes, significant body hair is a sign of masculinity, and that’s incompatible with homosexuality. The whole thing is silly beyond belief; the world is rich in hairy fairies … Though I do understand that hairiness as a litmus for straightness is a widely held folk belief, a consequence of the powerful folk theory that homosexuality is literally sexual inversion, so that gay men are, by definition, feminine, in fact a species of female.

So far, some folk associations; there will be more:

— 1 a man’s wearing pale blue clothing (or, more generally, pastel clothing), especially underwear, especially a jockstrap, INDICATES homosexuality

— 2 heavy body hair on a man, especially on the chest, INDICATES high masculinity, which in turn INDICATES heterosexuality

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The Raw and the Cooked

May 30, 2021

The title of the first book of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s monumental 4-volume work Mythologiques — a title that served as the model for the title of my posting yesterday, “The hairy and the smooth” (referring to male body types) — one of three conceptual oppositions treated in that posting, the other two being raw – refined (referring to crudeness, naturalness, or simplicity vs. artfulness, in the presentation of these bodies in underwear ads) and authentic – synthetic (referring to natural materials, like leather, vs. various imitations, mostly based on plastics, in the garments the models are wearing).


(#1) A cover for a French edition

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The hairy and the smooth

May 29, 2021

(Much attention to men’s bodies, wearing nothing but what’s billed as fetishwear / kinkwear. Not over the raunch line, but possibly not to some readers’ tastes.)

It starts with some photos of ensembles of bulldog harness plus jockstrap, all in high-macho black, but differing in significant details — of the model’s body, the way his body is displayed in the photos, and the garments he is wearing. With respect to the oppositions

hairy – smooth
raw – refined
authentic – synthetic

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Film blanc

September 27, 2020

From my posting backlog, this Wayno/Piraro Bizarro from 1/17/20:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

If there’s a film noir, there must be a film blanc, right? If there’s black comedy, there must be white comedy, right? If there’s an X, there must be a ~X, the opposite of X.

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Exception-triggered alternation

August 25, 2019

Exhibit A: the joke routine That’s Good / That’s Bad from an Archie Campbell comedy sketch — discussed in my 7/22/19 posting “Oh that’s good”.

Exhibit B: the principles that predict when a N + N compound in English has primary accent on the first (modifier) N (front stress, or forestress) and when that accent falls on the second (head) N (back stress, or afterstress) — discussed in my old paper “Forestress and afterstress”, (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1986, viewable on-line here).

From a sufficiently abstract point of view, these two phenomena can be seen to be manifestations of a single scheme, which I’ll refer to as exception-triggered alternation.

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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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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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Revisiting 18: hypallage in the garden

October 29, 2018

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

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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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