Archive for the ‘Spelling’ Category

Acronymic mnemonics

October 18, 2020

Yesterday, in “One Big Happy mnemonics”, the distinction between expression mnenomics and name, or acronymic mnemonics, providing three spectacular examples of the former for spelling English words: among them, for ARITHMETIC:

 rat iTom’s house might eat Tom’s ice cream.

Now, a revisit to my 9/8/10 posting “NICE ‘n’ RICE”, with examples of the latter type.

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One Big Happy mnemonics

October 17, 2020

The One Big Happy of 9/13, in which Ruthie and Joe exhibit their prowess in spelling though mnemonics:

Spectacular examples of expression mnemonics, in which

The first letter of each word is combined to form a phrase or sentence — e.g. “Richard of York gave battle in vain” for the colours of the rainbow. (Wikipedia link)

… versus name, or acronymic, mnemonics, in which

The first letter of each word is combined into a new word. For example: VIBGYOR (or ROY G BIV) for the colours of the rainbow or HOMES (Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Superior) the Great Lakes. (also from Wikipedia)

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Hola Queridx

August 28, 2020

Back on 3/4 on Facebook, from Peruvian linguist Ernesto Cuba, with a photo of him

[Cuba phrase] con mi queridx Iván Villanueva Jordán, traductor queer … lingüistica marica


(#1) Ernesto (right) with his Peruvian student Iván (who’s studied drag queens in Lima)

(Google at the time didn’t try to translate queridx but translated lingüistica marica as ‘faggot linguistics’)

Cuba’s queridx posting led me to discover Dario Cocimano’s song “Hola Queridx” from his 2018 Digno album —

(#2)

— and so to query Cuba about the linguistic usages involved.

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On Vadim Temkin’s surname

March 24, 2020

(A guest posting from Vadim Temkin, reproducing (without editing, so I can hear Vadim’s actual voice in all of this) a note in his Facebook notes yesterday about a section in my posting “Mourning Son” on  that same day)


Portrait of a thoughtful Vadim, by Sergey Zhupanov

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Mourning Son

March 23, 2020

… or Social Distancing. More art of the pandemic: a CGI homage to Edward Hopper’s Morning Sun (1952) by Vadim Temkin:

(#1)

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Two old cartoon friends

October 9, 2019

… in recent mail: border-collie-bereft medicos (from Scott Hilburn on 8/12/14) and Egyptian spelling contests (from Rhymes With Orange today), bringing the return of two familiar cartoon themes:


(#1) The POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) from Doctors Without Borders + border collies


(#2) A spelling bee done with hieroglyphs

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Musclemen from Mars

September 29, 2019

(There will be rampant male shirtlessness. Just a friendly warning, or an invitation, depending on your tastes.)

It’s a Zippy strip (today’s!). It’s another gender note (about masculinity). It’s yet another shirtless posting (shirtlessness as a prime masculinity display, in fact.) It’s about umliterature (physique magazines, in particular). And about camp (Flash Gordon). And of course, since the arousing shirtless campy musclemen are from Mars (or possibly Mongo), about SF. And finally, tucked in there inconspicuously in the last panel is an antique Griffithian self-referential surprise (from 1973):

(#1)

Male superheroes are extravagant embodiments of masculinity: they are, to start with, embodiments of great human power (conventionally associated with men), and then they have superhuman powers beyond that; their costumes are designed to encase their bodies, but tightly, so as to suggest, reveal, or exaggerate every bit of gendered anatomy (the broad shoulders, the musculature of the arms, torso, and thighs, and the genital package). (Beyond the powers and the costumes, there are the conventionally hyper-masculine faces.)

The strip begins with superheroes on this planet, but it ends, in the lower right corner, with (hunky) superheroes in space — “Musclemen from Mars” is what the Dingburgers are reading — and it turns out that space-traveling superheroes (as exemplified by Flash Gordon) are given to frequent bouts of shirtlessness (mostly while performing their feats of manly derring-do, but sometimes during the virtually obligatory shirtless torture scenes).

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Annals of error: water canons

September 1, 2019

In recent tweets from Hong Kong about protests and the governments attempts to put them down, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof repeatedly writes water canon instead of water cannon (both with /kǽnǝn/) — not an uncommon sort of spelling error, but somewhat surprising from an experienced journalist, and one that introduces an unintended misinterpretation, since it happens that CANON is the spelling of an English word (a number of different English words, in fact) distinct from CANNON. And that opens things up for little jokes about what a water canon might be. On Facebook I was responsible for one such joke, a bit of musical foolishness:

The reference is of course to the round “By the Waters of Babylon”. Though I doubt it’s effective against throngs of protesters.

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Ultimate spelling bee

May 31, 2019

A Bob Eckstein cartoon circulated today, on the occasion of an unprecedented event in the world of English spelling competitions:


(#1) FB note from Bob: “Can you use it in a sentence?”

Story in the New York Times today,  “National Spelling Bee, at a Loss for Words, Crowns 8 Co-Champions” (octo-champs, as one of them said) by Daniel Victor.

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Le retour des hiéroglyphes

March 19, 2019

From a recent chain of postings on Facebook, a 1/9/14 Bizarro strip rendered en français:


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

Il faut mettre l’œil avant le scarabée, sauf si le participe passé est placé devant le serpent. (more or less literally) ‘It is necessary to put the eye before the beetle, except if the past participle is placed in front of the snake.’

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