Archive for the ‘Spelling’ Category

Air spelling

May 14, 2018

Yesterday’s Doonesbury, Mark Slackmeyer interviewing an Oklahoma teacher on the radio:

Um… misspell?

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Sein Dopelgänger

April 19, 2018

Not a typo. The man in question is the elusive David Dennison, a pseudonym of the notorious American sociopath Helmet Grabpussy (who is generally referred to on this blog as [REDACTED]). And his Dopelgänger is the distinguished David Denison, Professor Emeritus of English Linguistics at the University of Manchester (on the other side of the Atlantic).

There’s the 2-n DD and the 1-n DD, and they are laughably, horribly, distinct. The 2-n DD is a creature, the 1-n DD is a teacher. (Apologies to Ogden Nash, llamas, and lamas.)

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Fun with spelling

February 17, 2018

Today’s Pearls Before Swine, passed on to me by Susan Fischer and Lise Menn, in which giggling letters put themselves in order:

Note: they could have spelled ENLIST, INLETS, TINSEL — or in fact SILENT.

 

Revisiting 16: pouch(ed) and scrumble(d) eggs

December 10, 2017

Follow-ups to my 12/9 posting on poach egg ‘poached egg’: from Tim Evanson on Google+, pouched egg for poached egg (which will, of course, take us to pouch egg); and from several Facebook friends, scrumbled egg for scrambled egg (and then scrumble egg). An egg party, with eggcorning and t/d-deletion.

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The silence of the H’s and the nastiness of the narg

November 9, 2017

Two recent One Big Happy strips on linguistic themes, one phonological / orthographic, the other semantic / pragmatic:

(#1)

(#2)

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The word came down on Pentecost

June 7, 2017

Four language-related strips in my comics feed on Sunday the 4th, which this year was Pentecost,

the Christian festival celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension, held on the seventh Sunday after Easter. (NOAD2)

KJV Acts 2:3: And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them

The word came down. In One Big Happy, Rhymes Wth Orange, Zits, and xkcd.

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In the neighborhood, with an O

May 28, 2017

I wander the streets of Palo Alto, on foot or in a car, with my helpers Kim and Juan, and they ask about the flowers that line the streets, especially, at eye level, showy shrubs and low-growing flowers. Many of them are entirely familiar, like roses and geraniums, but some are exotic, at least to Kim and Juan. Lots of the exotics are now in bloom, including two with names that begin with the letter O, two that are growing right out my back door: Nerium oleander, oleander; and Oenothera speciosa, Mexican primrose or pink evening primrose. (Spelling note: oleander begins with O, pronounced /o/; oenothera begins with OE, pronounced /i/.)

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Risible (faux-)commercial name

March 13, 2017

From a posting by Randy Murray to the Facebook page‎ “THE ERRORIST MOVEMENT – Correct grammar, with humour”, where he comments, “apostrophes mean so much”:

(#1)

At first glance, this ad would seem to fall into four big topic areas on this blog: dubious commercial names; It’s All Grammar; vulgar slang; and phallic play (in particular, word play). To which I add: the conventions on the form of hashtags, e-mail addresses, and web addresses (URLs). But first, I have to tell you that this particular Dick’s Pizza is a fabrication.

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Il gioco di parole è mobile

November 19, 2016

Somewhat out-of-kilter word play: the purely orthographic pun. On this blog on 1/27/14, a Bizarro with King George IV and playing on IV ‘the 4th’ vs. IV ‘intravenous’. And on 7/26/15, a Dave Blazek cartoon turning on the ambiguity of the orthographic noun mobile:  mobile ‘mobile phone’ vs. mobile ‘scupture that is suspended so as to turn freely in the air’. Cartoon in #2 there, an image of a mobile phone in #3, and an Alexander Calder mobile in #4. From that posting:

These two nouns are identical in spelling, but not pronunciation: the phone is a /móbǝl/ or /móbàjl/, the sculpture is a /móbìl/ (and Mobile AL is /mòbíl/).

Somewhat strained, but here it is again in yesterday’s Pearls Before Swine:

Well, it works on the page.

(Oh yes, Italian mobile ‘changeable, fickle’ is trisyllabic.)

(Hat tip to Andy Sleeper.)

Brew-ha-ha

April 26, 2016

Two separate reports from roughly the same time, both with people using the spelling brew-ha-ha for brouhaha. From Jon Lighter to ADS-L on the 21st:

The CNN crawl quotes one of the indicted Michigan officials [in the Flint drinking water crisis] as describing the criminal charges against him as one more of “those brew ha has” that develop now and then.

And then the NYT (and other papers, of course) quoted sports commentator and former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling’s use of “brew ha ha” in discussions of the use of bathrooms by transgender people, first in Facebook and then on his personal blog.

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