Archive for the ‘Switzerland and Swiss things’ Category

Switzerland at your service

August 1, 2020

Today, August 1st (rabbit rabbit rabbit), is Swiss National Day, which I will celebrate by observing that (female) prostitution has been legal — but of course regulated — in Switzerland since 1942, and male prostitution since 1992. I mention this not just because I observe and comment on sexual practices as social customs, but specifically because a few days ago (7/29), a new follower of mine on Twitter popped up: MenBodywork, a Swiss company offering sexual massage for men — and earnestly promoting sexualized gay male sociability. (Sign me up, Scotty.)

What follows is not at all suitable for kids or the sexually modest.

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Bark if you’re Swiss

June 28, 2020

Today is Sarajevo Day (1914), a dreadful occasion, and also Stonewall Day (1969), an astounding occasion, but this posting has nothing to do with either of them. Instead, it’s a little present for my grand-daughter Opal, to whom the paucity of dog postings on this blog must be absolutely scandalous.

So, from Pinterest this morning, this group photo of the four types of Swiss Mountain Dogs:


(#1) [from the National Purebred Dog Day [May 1] site (“celebrating the heritage, diversity and predictability of the purebred dog”) on 2/27/17:] “The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the largest, the Entlebucher is the shortest, the Bernese Mountain Dog has the longest hair, and the Appenzeller Sennenhunde has a tail that curls”

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Raw, firm, and tasty

June 22, 2020

Back in the early days of the lockdown, there were bizarre runs on things in grocery stores — fabled shortages of toilet paper, paper towels, bleach — all more or less explicable — but also in certain stores at certain times, eggs, all the chicken, bean thread, all the pasta, and one memorable friday, at the local Safeway (where Kim Darnell shops for me once a week), all the cheese, of any kind (plain commercial cheese but fancy cheeses as well), except for some commercial smoked cheese in blocks, which apparently is not highly favored locally.

For complex reasons you really don’t want to hear about, I’m on a high-cheese diet — a while ago I had some mid-morning sharp cheddar and Stone Ground Wheat Crackers — and luckily I’m happy with chunks of smoked gouda, but not as my only cheese, day in, day out. I complained on Facebook, and my cry was heard. Astonishingly, by my old friend the excellent linguist Stephen R. Anderson, who wrote with brotherly concern (from Asheville NC, where he and his wife Janine have retired):

No Swiss person should have to survive on smoked cheese from the Safeway

Steve then conspired with his cheese specialist at the Asheville Whole Foods to send me an emergency cheese relief package, of five raw milk cheeses, all firm to hard in texture, four from Switzerland, one a Swiss-style cheese from France.

They arrived on April 22nd. There would have been volleys of  sounding trumpets, but, well, we were in lockdown.

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Duolingo’s Latin cheese

June 20, 2020

From Mike Pope on Facebook yesterday, this Duolingo exercise:


(#1) Mike’s note: “Duolingo is really great for learning those phrases you need every day”; word by word: ‘Marcus cheese greatly smells’ (with verb-final syntax)

A little hymn to Marcus as a cheesy comestible:

Marcus smells greatly of cheese

ripe, redolent of cheddar, his
pubic bacteria broadcasting his
manscent to any intimate nose, a
deeply tasty hunk, serve him up
with a young cabernet

Well then: some Latin, and some reflections on cheese and male sweat.

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Urs on drums

May 14, 2020

So I’ve got a rock musician, a drummer, and his name is Urs. What else can you say about him? Well, he’s almost surely Swiss German, or of Swiss German descent; almost every guy named Urs is. If I tell you that his full name is Urs Zwicky, well, it’s pretty much a sure thing. And here he is, drumstick in hand, in a photo of the Swiss band he’s been in for years, Daytona (now, that’s a surprise):


(#1) A Zwicky who can rock you

Now in the music news because of a new mix of their old standard “We Stand Together” (apparently from 1993), reviewed a few days ago in World Front News.

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With spear, shield, robe, and wreath

May 6, 2020

… Helvetia stands guard over the Matterhorn, and by extension, all of her Swiss domain, in this excellent poster (source still untraced):


(#1) Not only the Matterhorn in the background, but also the shields of the 22 cantons of the time when the poster was published (I point to the Zwicky-Canton, Glarus, with its figure of Fridolin, the patron saint of the canton)

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Schwinger outet sich als schwul

March 11, 2020

The news from gay Switzerland, in headline form: ‘Swinger [Swiss swing wrestler] outs himself as gay’. From the Outsports site: “Swiss wrestler Curdin Orlik comes out as gay, first out active male athlete in nation: The Swiss wrestler competes in an [un]usual version of the sport, but his coming out as gay is universal”, by Jim Buzinski on 3/10/20:


(#1) Orlik in ceremonial regalia, wearing a victor’s wreath and a jacket with edelweiss embroidered on the lapels

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Revisiting 43: the Socka Hitsch nominal on the rural Swiss roadside

February 15, 2020

In my “Socka Hitsch” posting yesterday, Christian Zwicky / Socka Hitsch described by the nominal

old eccentric rural Swiss roadside sock vendor ‘old, eccentric sock vendor on the roadside of rural Switzerland’, ‘seller of socks along the road in the countryside of Switzerland who is of advanced age and exhibits unconventional behavior’

An unusually long nominal — I was showing off some — but not one with unusual components, put together in unusual ways. In the middle of it, rural Swiss roadside, with the complex adjectival rural Swiss, modifying the compound noun roadside — a perfectly routine and unremarkable expression    (compare rural Dutch in the attested rural Dutch landscape, urban English in the attested urban English roadworks, etc.), but one of some interest to people who fret about how the form — the morphology and syntax — of expressions (like rural Swiss) links to their meaning — their semantics and pragmatics.

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Socka Hitsch

February 14, 2020

… otherwise known as Christian Zwicky, which is why I note the death of an old eccentric rural Swiss roadside sock vendor. The big picture:


(#1) On the Archyde news website on 2/12

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The Dread Pirate Swisserhand

February 7, 2020

A Dale Coverly Speed Bump cartoon from 2012:


(#1) Not just the pirate captain of legend — Captain Hook from Peter Pan — with his hook, but one with a whole Swiss Army knife of tools as his (right) hand, in the spirit of Edward Scissorhands (this is where the prisoner says, “That’s funny, you don’t look Swiss”)

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