Archive for the ‘Silliness’ Category

Stay ware!

January 20, 2019

Sandra Boynton’s celebration of the day:

Be aware! Stay ware! Be constantly conscious of the significance of penguins. If that takes having a penguin shine a bright light in your eyes, so be it.

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Festoonists

December 22, 2018

(Warning: brief reference to sexual body parts in a caption.)

As I observed yesterday, in the posting “22-festoon!”, today (December 22nd) is the holiday of Festoonus, celebrating “the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”, with “elaborate light shows, decorating your bodies, sharing exotic food, dancing, and making public and communal art and music”. Inevitably, there are people who are intensely devoted to, identified with, the holiday. These are the Festoonists.

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22-festoon!

December 21, 2018

Adrienne Shapiro and her husband Kit Transue (my stepson) festooned in lights in a wonderful tribute to the season (today being the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, a day to shine light against the dark):

(#1)

And here I get to explain that today, December 21st, is Festoonus Eve, aka PeneFestoonus (‘almost Festoonus’, with the prefix pen(e)- ‘almost’ of peninsula, penumbra, penultimate, and penecontemporaneous) or the Day Before Festoonus.

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Mid-December celebrations

December 16, 2018

Sandra Boynton announces a holiday you might have missed:

You might choose to dip Ludwig van in chocolate today; it’s his birthday. Better, celebrate my excellent friend Ned Deily; everyone is better with chocolate on them, and it’s his birthday too.

#BadStockPhotosOfMyJob for linguists

October 1, 2018

A simple idea: take stock photos of people doing their jobs and exploit their potential for ridiculousness, especially by captioning. Surveyed on 5/19/18 by Dunja Djudjic in “People Are Sharing Hilariously Bad Stock Photos of the Jobs and They Will Make Your Day” (#BadStockPhotosOfMyJob). Here are some linguistics contributions.

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Central Shark

August 16, 2018

We’re in the middle of the SyFy Channel’s Sharknado Week (the 12th through the 19th), an event that continues to fly the banner of life-threatening sharp-toothed monster-fish even after the Discovery Channel has largely turned over its own SHARK WEEK offerings (July 22nd through 29th this year) to putatively informative feature stories. None of that wimpy speculative journalism for the staff at SyFy, who steadfastly maintain the tradition that has brought us SyFy-original gems like their 2010 Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda (which I watched again yesteday).

Each year some new movies (plus, of course, the classics of past years). Fresh meat this year:

Deep Blue Sea 2, Megalodon, Santa Jaws, Frenzy, Nightmare Shark, 6-Headed Shark Attack, with, as an extra attraction on Sunday, The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time!

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That bastard mongrel half-breed, the tromboon

July 25, 2018

To yesterday’s posting “Hybrid referent, portmanteau name” (mostly about the flumpet, with a bit on the fluba), Robert Coren added a comment about Peter Schickele / P.D.Q. Bach and his invention, the tromboon:

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The tromboon is a musical instrument made up of the reed and bocal of a bassoon, attached to the body of a trombone in place of the trombone’s mouthpiece. It combines the sound of double reeds and the slide for a distinctive and unusual instrument. The name of the instrument is a portmanteau of “trombone” and “bassoon”. The sound quality of the instrument is best described as comical and loud.

The tromboon was developed by Peter Schickele, a skilled bassoonist himself, and featured in some of his live concert and recorded performances. Schickele called it “a hybrid – that’s the nicer word – constructed from the parts of a bassoon and a trombone; it has all the disadvantages of both”. This instrument is called for in the scores of P. D. Q. Bach’s oratorio The Seasonings, as well as the Serenude (for devious instruments) and Shepherd on the Rocks, With a Twist. (Wikipedia link)

Here I’m focusing on that’s the nicer word: just what did Schickele think (in 2008) was a less nice, more offensive, way to refer to a hybrid (more specifically, to someone of mixed race, which is probably where the insult vocabulary for hybrids is going to come from)? Specifically, what does an old white guy addressing a mostly white audience think might be a more offensive way to refer to hybrids? (A young black guy would probably insult a half-black half-white guy by calling him white.)

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The possessed and the damned gather over cheese dip

June 8, 2018

A 1969 Velveeta ad:

Ingrid Superstar is obviously possessed, perhaps as a consequence of the entire company of the damned dipping into her chafing dish.

With a little lesson in pronouncing Spanish, and of course a celebration of the processed cheese product Velveeta, which has been beguiling the unwary with its silky smoothness since 1918.

Plus the inventively crude sexual slang dip into s.o.’s chafing dish.

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Alchemilla

May 29, 2018

Alchemilla mollis. A satisfying plant we grew in Columbus OH. Handsome ground cover. Photographer’s joy. Etymologist’s delight.

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50 shades of green

May 6, 2018

(from the annals of remarkable company names and the Index Paranomasiarum)

For Naked Gardening Day (today and every May 6th), this shot of a landscaping company in the Miami area:

If Christian Gray is out on call, Marquis De Sod will discipline you — work you over in raunchy verdure under the fierce Florida sun. They will bind you, edge you, train you, hold you back until tomorrow, when they will allow you the release of Masturbation Day.

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