Archive for the ‘Spelling’ Category

Barthropods seeking silverfish

August 8, 2023

Today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro, a complex composition in which two centipedes look for bar snacks:

(#1) First bit of language play: the portmanteau barthropod = bar + arthropod, centipedes being arthropods, creatures in the gigantic phylum Arthropoda — also encompassing insects (including silverfish and springtails as well as flies, butterflies and moths, beetles, and more), spiders. crustaceans (among them, shrimp, crabs, lobsters, and barnacles), and millipedes (if you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page)

Then there’s a more subtle bit of language play in silverfish serving as bar snacks in a world in which centipedes drink in bars — given that Goldfish crackers (gold fish, silver fish, bring out the bronze) are often served as bar snacks in the real world.


The peapod pendant

August 5, 2023

Georgia Morgan (now retired from linguistics in Brattleboro VT, where she creates and sells amazing jewelry) on Facebook on 8/3:

— GM: I will be at the Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market this Saturday in the Rosie’s Wonders booth. Bringing these, and lots more …

(#1) Including this peapod pendant

— AZ: Love the peapod. I would wear that (except that I can no longer manage any kind of jewelry with my poor disabled hands)

— GM > AZ: If you ever want one, I do make pendants with an adjustable sliding closure that just go on over your head

— AZ > GM: Georgia, if you can do that for the peapod, I want one.

And it has been done. Georgia is working on the pendant; the check is in the mail. It’s my birthday present to myself; I have a prime birthday, my 83rd (I still can’t quite believe that I have somehow managed to live this long) in a month from now, 9/6.


16 will get you 3

May 16, 2023

In my comics feed for today, May 16th, three excellent strips: a Zits on learning how to use a computer (and coping with explanations for how to use it from the deeply tech-embedded, like the 17-year-old Jeremy Duncan in this strip); a Rhymes With Orange with a truly bizarre way for spelling your name when ordering drinks at the neighborhood cafe; and a Bizarro with a high-groan pun.


Droit du Chili

December 29, 2022

From Ryan Tamares on Facebook on 12/19:

In this morning’s work queue:

(Ryan is Head of Collection Services at Stanford Law School, overseeing the cataloging, processing, and preservation of the Law Library’s collection, so things like this come to him for cataloguing)

Then a FB exchange:

Jackie Koerber Magagnosc: Not law of the food, rats

AZ > JKM: I too was hoping for an authority on the law governing hot peppers, or perhaps the law governing spicy meat stews, but it was not to be.


Pronouncing my name

December 13, 2022

A little posting, something I can get done in the time I have. I should explain that since 7 pm yesterday, I have slept 14 hours (and it’s not yet 2 pm). I don’t feel feverish, don’t have a fever, do have periodic crippling joint pain and muscle cramps in my hands and arms, but mostly narcolepsy rules; as the days roll on, it is, however, becoming less ferocious and more bearable.

Meanwhile, in my waking moments, while I practice muscle relaxation, I’ve had time to think about stuff. Thoughts that have expanded today’s intended Big Posting, on name mockery and Benedict Cumberbatch, into something even more ambitious. And random thoughts inspired by stuff that’s come in my mail, including an old topic: what (American) English speakers do with the somewhat challenging pronunciation of my family name, especially that word-initial consonant cluster [zw].



November 24, 2022

On the spelling of this word with the letter E (rather than I) and its pronunciation with [ɛ] (rather than [ɪ]), both recently noticeable in my country because of the great increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions here: worth systematic investigation.


Outrageous POP

September 30, 2022

🐅 🐅 🐅 tiger tiger tiger for ultimate September; tomorrow the inaugural rabbits of October will bound in

In today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro, set in the Schmancy auction house — think Christie’s or Sotheby’s — a Mötley Crüe cruet POPped (phrasal overlap portmanteaued) to  Motley Crüet (somehow the first röck döt got lost in the compression process):

(#1) Wayno’s title: “Tinny Aftertaste”, combining the metal of heavy metal with the taste of a cruet’s contents (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

To understand this, you need to know about fancy-schmancy auction houses and how they operate; about cruets and their function in dining; and about heavy metal music and the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe and their reputation for vulgarly outrageous behavior, which clashes with the civility of oil-and-vinegar dressings for salads, so yielding the humor of anomalous juxtaposition.


Mi okapi es su okapi

August 12, 2022

From Bert Vaux on Facebook on 8/10, one in a series of digitally altered artworks:

(#1) [BV caption:] “renaissance portrait of herd of okapis with king’s college cambridge in background, digital art”

My FB response: I’m just fond of okapis. We need more okapi art.


Thing sliced ham

June 25, 2022

On Facebook yesterday, Stewart Kramer reported from Grandma’s Restaurant in Oceanside CA (way down south, between L.A. and San Diego):

(#1) [SK:] Thing sliced ham? Thing as in Addams family, Fantastic Four, or Cat in the Hat? None of those seem likely ham slicers, except Green Eggs and Ham. The food was good, anyway.

For entertainment, SK jumps right in with a few fictional characters named Thing, knowing full well that they’re entirely, preposterously, irrelevant. Then, commenters chose to lump thing sliced together with “spelling mistakes” that are misapprehensions about how some words are conventionally spelled, surely not what’s going on when a writer is aiming for thin sliced. Instead, thing sliced looks like a nice example of a pure typo, an error in hitting the right keys on a keyboard.


The Z of death

March 12, 2022

From Andras Kornai on Facebook today:

AK: As they say on Sesame Street: brought to you by the letter Z!

(#1) A tank (Andras says it’s a Pantsir missile system) with the glyph Z on it — not a letter in the Cyrillic alphabet (in which both Ukrainian and Russian are written) and now symbolizing the Russian iron fist of death

Livia Polanyi [pursuing the Sesame Street theme]: Zombie zombie zombie starts with Z

AZ > LP: The letter Z long ago became part of my identity, a symbol of who I was. Now it’s become the equivalent of a swastika, and I feel that I have personally been assaulted, dirtied, and shamed. (I manage to surmount Z is for Zombie as just a piece of cultural silliness. But the Z on the tanks is, literally, dead serious.)