Archive for the ‘Sociocultural conventions’ Category

wingman, winger

September 3, 2020

In a NYT Magazine piece on Grabpussy Jr., an arresting mid-page teaser quote:

I searched my mental banks for relevant senses of winger, working my way through wingman first, eventually discovering that the intended sense was the one I came to last. You really have to have the context: in particular, who is speaking, for what purposes.

(more…)

The three Ds: debased, degraded, and decadent

August 16, 2020

(Well, it’s about lexical semantics and the conventions of social life, but there will be, right at the outset, dips into references to mansex in very plain language, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

It started with my 12/29/19 posting “The time of mildly debasing oneself”, about one of Nathan W. Pyle’s weirdly quirky Strange Planet cartoons looking forward to New Year’s Day:


(#1)  “Until then I will mildly debase myself” — “To maximize contrast”

(more…)

Joe and the cucumber sandwiches

April 30, 2020

Today’s Rhymes With Orange cartoon, “Tea Time”:

(#1)

You are expected to recognize, from the title and from the drawing (showing a teapot, teacups, sugar bowl, and 3-tiered tray of fingerfood) that this depicts an afternoon tea — not tea plants in the afternoon, or merely the beverage tea taken in the afternoon, but (from NOAD):

noun tea: … 3 chiefly British a light afternoon meal consisting typically of tea to drink, sandwiches, and cakes.

But that won’t help you with the text, in which one tea sandwich asks of another (identified as female) why the latter brought Joe — Joe clearly referring to the one discordant element in the drawing, who appears to be a hamburger bun overstuffed with a meat filling, some of which has spilled out onto the table. Messy, messy Joe, who “just can’t pull himself together”.

Clearly, that one line, in conjunction with Joe’s appearance, is somehow the crux of the joke. But how?

For this, you have to know a bit about vernacular American foodstuffs, in particular the sandwich known as a sloppy joe. So it’s a pun on the name — and also, it turns out, a gender joke.

(more…)

NO PENGUINS

December 4, 2019

A generic penguin ban sign (sold on Amazon, a CD Visionary no-penguins button):


(#1) What’s banned? Spheniscid birds. Why? Who knows. (They smell. They steal fish. They get underfoot. Whatever.)

and a ban — in a list of prohibitions against public vice or indecency — on the door of Loretta’s Authentic Pralines on N. Rampart St. in New Orleans (photo from the TripAdvisor South Africa site):


(#2) What’s banned? Who knows. Why? Because they’re a vice (like drinking or smoking) or are indecent (like profanity or nudity), presumably the latter.

(more…)

Complimentary bread

October 17, 2019

In the 10/21 New Yorker, this sdf (Seth Fleishman) cartoon, hinging on an ambiguity in the adjective complimentary:


(#1) complimentary ‘praising, approving’ vs. ‘supplied free of charge’

It’s not just that it’s complimentary; it’s also that it’s complimentary bread.

(more…)

The trail mixer

April 6, 2019

Maggie Larson cartoon in the New Yorker‘s 4/8/19 issue:


(#1) (Dried) fruits and nuts meeting and greeting, under the disco ball

A POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau): trail mixer = trail mix + mixer. Combining two elements very much grounded in particular sociocultural worlds (plus that disco ball glittering overhead).

(more…)

Moon shorts 1: the Moons

March 31, 2019

(Hunky male models in very little; lots of lexicography to come in later postings, but here lots of plain talk about men’s bodies and mansex, so not advised for kids or the sexually modest.)

The 3/37 Daily Jocks ad in e-mail — with the header Bottomless Shorts 😳 — now with a caption of mine:

(#1)

He navigated the
Corridors of the Blue
Boy Bar, savoring its
Pygian gloom, signaled
Red in the smoky
Dusk of desire, whispered
Shoot me, please,
Shoot the Moon

(more…)

News for carnivorous penises

March 30, 2019

(No actual penises, but some decidedly peniform plants and lots of intimate anatomical references, sometimes in street language; urethras abound. So clearly not to everyone’s taste.)

It began with a Facebook posting by Jens Fiederer, with a photo of the Botanical Penis of Doom, from the Thailand-Secrets site:


(#1) Cheng Kam Wor: “This is a pitcher plant of the genus Nepenthes sp. The glans-like top is actually a lid for the bottom pitcher structure. A carnivorous plant like the Venus flytrap!”

(more…)

The dog therapist is IN

September 25, 2018

Today’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration (entitled “Recurring Dream”) is, from the point of view of this blog, quite timely:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.)

That’s a dog therapist ‘therapist for dogs’ (a Use N + N compound); see discussion in my 9/22 posting “therapist dog, dog therapist”. In this case, for a patient who’s had the canine equivalent of the common nightmare of being naked in public (especially in front of a class or while giving a speech).

(more…)

The cartoon milkman

September 11, 2018

… and a bad grandpa pun, in the One Big Happy from 8/14:

(#1)

(The characters, left to right in the first and last panels: the neighbor boy James; the son of the OBH family, Ruthie’s older brother Joe; and Joe’s grandfather.)

Grandpa reproduces a bit of culture lore, about liaisons between housewives and milkmen. The boys are no doubt somewhat vague about what would be involved in a woman’s running off with the milkman. But, more pressingly, they don’t know what a milkman is: the N +  N compound is scarcely transparent semantically, so unless you’ve actually had milkmen in your experience, tales of women and milkmen are just baffling.

(more…)