Archive for the ‘Adverbs’ Category

On foot patrol, part 1

August 31, 2016

(Foot patrol, also food patrol.)

Yesterday morning, two expeditions involving my feet: first getting a second pair of shoes (I was edgy having only one; a backup seemed like a good idea) and a replacement pair of slippers (the previous excellent UGGs having disintegrated), and then getting a pedicure (foot care being something I can’t manage on my own).

Part 1 took me to the Palo Alto Footwear etc. store, more or less across the street from two relatively recently opened places to eat, both with remarkable names: Sushirrito (at 448 University Ave.) and Umami Burger (at 452, next door)

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Gang of five

June 28, 2016

Comics and cartoons pile up. Here are four recent ones from my regular feeds, plus a Perry Bible Fellowship (“The Offenders”) sent to me by Jason Parker-Burlingham. Before that, a Bizarro with the slow-snail cartoon meme; a One Big Happy with an attachment ambiguity; a Rhymes With Orange on reduplicated names (like mahi-mahi); and a massively alliterative Zippy.

(#1)

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbol in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there’s just one in this strip — see this Page.)

The usual meme is about snails (with shells), but it works equally well for slugs (without shells).

(#2)

Simplifying the example, it’s I sketched a model in the nude. There are two scopes for the modifier in the nude — as a sentential (or VP) adverbial (the scoping for clauses with intransitive verbs, like I sunbathed in the nude), attributing nudity to the referent of the subject; or as a modifier within the direct object NP (note the passive A model in the nude was painstakingly sketched by the life drawing class). The first speaker intends the second, narrower scope, but Ruthie understands the first, wider scope, in which the artist is nude.

(#3)

English has a considerable number of names that are reduplicative in form, like the place name Bora Bora. Some of these are food names, like mahi-mahi and couscous. The diner is taking the reduplicative form to denote multiplicity (or extent), giving rise to a kind of back-formed noun, mahi or cous.

(#4)

Bill Griffith loves to play with the sounds of words. Having started with Fairchild Semiconductor (the company name) used as a personal name, the first panel explodes with F alliteration, which continues in the other two panels — pared with T alliteration in the second panel, S alliteration in the third.

And then to cartoon sound words in Perry Bible Fellowship, which range from conventional to inventive:

(#5)

Added later: More important, as commenter RF notes:

Note that Slur’s “problematic” fighting style results in sound effects that are racial slurs directed at his opponents.

This was clearly telegraphed by the name of the strip (“The Offenders”) and by the name of the central character (Slur). Somehow I missed this on a first reading. Many thanks to RF.

 

Tom Toro

June 9, 2016

Caught in the May 9th New Yorker, this Tom Toro cartoon:

(#1)

A little slideshow on time adverbials and the times they refer to, understood figuratively.

Toro hasn’t appeared on this blog before, but he’s a prolific cartoonist with an ear for language and an inclination to play with classic cartoon memes (like the desert island or, as below, penguins and their discriminability).

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Where?

March 8, 2016

Yesterday’s One Big Happy has Ruthie confronting an ambiguity that gives rise to misunderstandings (and jokes):

Anthony’s place adverbial in two places can have either of two interpretations: as referring to two locations on his arm, or as referring to two locations where the arm-breaking event took place. Anthony intends the first (the body-location interpretation), Ruthie gets the second (the event-location interpretation).

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eggs over easily

April 3, 2013

Today’s Bizarro:

The expression needs an adverb, right? Easy is an adjective, right? So eggs over easy is wrong-wrong-wrong; it has to be eggs over easily.

Well easy is indeed an adjective, a lot of the time; but it’s also an adverb. And in any case over easy (as a postmodifier of eggs) is an idiom, one of many involving easy used as an adverb; idioms are as they are, even if (like, say, by and large) they violate otherwise general principles of English syntax.

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