Archive for the ‘Argument structure’ Category

All they will call you will be “escapees”

September 13, 2020

Well, maybe also “escapers”, or even “escapettes”, as in this One Big Happy cartoon from 8/17, which taps into a much-studied phenomenon in English morphology:

(#1)

From my 1/9/15 posting “-ee” (warning: this goes, unavoidably, pretty deep into the technical weeds of syntax and semantics):

The great resource on [the English derivational suffix] –ee is a 1998 paper by Chris Barker in Language (74.695-727), “Episodic -ee in English: A thematic role constraint on new word formation” (stable URL here), which uses a database of “fifteen hundred naturally occurring tokens of some five hundred word types” to analyze the semantics of the suffix; it also has a full bibliography of relevant literature on the subject.

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empathetic

August 14, 2020

Standardly, ‘exhibiting or expressing empathy’, but now also, in some contexts, ‘eliciting empathy’. A semantic development now prominent in the U.S. because of (former vice-president, now presidential candidate) Joe Biden, who is famously empathetic in the first sense (he appreciates our feelings) — subject-oriented EXHIBIT — but because of his life history is also empathetic in the second sense (we appreciate his feelings) — object-oriented ELICIT.


EXHIBIT empathetic (sense one), from cartoonist Baloo’s site

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Annals of ambiguity: I feel like making it rough for Schrödinger

June 24, 2020

Playing with ambiguity:

— a One Big Happy cartoon with: I feel like a tuna fish sandwich

— a domestic exchange about: I will make a dessert of my youth

— a Pearls Before Swine cartoon with: Tell me roughly

— a photograph, labeled Schrödinger’s Dumpster, of a dumpster with the signage: EMPTY WHEN FULL

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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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The wolves of Rome (and Venice)

April 23, 2020

I see from my calendar that Tuesday (4/21) was Wolf-Suckling Day, celebrated around the world: Romulus and Remus, their lupine foster mother, the founding of Rome, the year 753 (conventionally assigned to this event, and then sometimes used in reckoning dates: AUC ab urbe condita ‘from the founding of the city’), and the equally conventional date that is April 21st on the (Gregorian) calendar we currently use.

Then, right before the day itself, a stern warning from the World Wolf-Suckling Foundation site:

IMPORTANT BULLETIN: Because of COVID-19, all events for Wolf-Suckling Day must be virtual, NO EXCEPTIONS ALLOWED. There is a site matching up prospective wolves and suckling boys, but it’s run by the city government of Rome and is currently in some disorder. EXPECT LONG WAITS FOR SERVICE.

Meanwhile, could we suggest some excellent, well-produced WOLF-SUCKLING PORN sites, providing guides to satisfying wolf-suckling experiences in the privacy of your own homes.

Then, my mentioning this Italian wolf on Facebook naturally led Ned Deily to ask about Il Lupo di Venezia, the composer Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari: what about his day? As it happens, I have not disregarded this native of Venice on this blog. Details below.

Finally, the WWSF bulletin above moved me to reflect some on the syntax of the verb suckle, which I’m putting off to the very end because my discussion is heavy with explicit references to sexual acts in very plain language; kids and the sexually modest should bow out of the posting at that point.

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Buzz me, baby

March 19, 2020

Today’s Calvin and Hobbes re-run strip, on Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs (CFSBs), which offer “100% of the daily recommended allowance of caffeine”:


(#1) Just in case you had a fleeting moment of wondering about it, there is no caffeine RDA (recommended dietary allowance — recommended by the US National Research Council); the RDAs are for nutrients, and caffeine is not a nutrient

C&H Sugar Bomb strips. Hummingbird metabolism. The getting-high sense of the noun buzz and its verbing. The near-instant buzz of concentrated caffeine. Adalbert Stifter’s 1845 novella Bergkristall.

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The rose parade

February 9, 2020

… with figurative roses. Recent gifts to me of many kinds: symbolic roses for me, in accord with a 1/29/20 posting of mine on a line from the Sacred Harp: “Give me the roses while I live” (SH340 Odem (Second)). I’m an old man, currently writing things under the Python Queen of Scots cry “Not Dead Yet”. Meanwhile, I have been given some excellent roses.

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Unaccompanied

October 13, 2019

This touching Sara Lautman pun cartoon from the 10/14 New Yorker:


(#1) “You know, sooner or later we’re going to have to let her go out unaccompanied.”

It all depends on what you mean by unaccompanied.

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Pat-SU fuck: new visions

October 3, 2019

Yes, this posting is about fucking — specifically about the syntax, semantics, and sociolinguistics of the sexual verb fuck in English, especially with reference to male-male anal intercourse (that is, men fucking men), so despite the high amount of technical linguistic content (NERD FLAG), it is (RAUNCH FLAG) thoroughly unsuitable for kids or the sexually modest. I mean, I’m going to talk about a lot of fucking in this piece, and I’m going to start with a guy getting (quite movingly) fucked by another guy, so some of you are going to have to, or want to, get the fuck out of here.

The impetus for this posting is a line from a short gay porn video on the IceGay site, “Brad McGuire And His Piggy [Dawson]”; McGuire, a dominant top into barebacking, is unloading a line of dirty sex talk onto the sexpig Dawson, whose aching desire is to get a load of hot cum in his ass after being enthusiastically screwed, doggie-style:


(#1) McGuire and Dawson, moving close to climax

McGuire: Work that dick, man. C’mon. Fuck me with that ass. [Big spangly note: McGuire fucks Dawson with his dick; Dawson fucks McGuire with his ass.] Yeah, c’mon, hungry pig. Yeah? That’s it. That’s it. C’mon, work for it [the desired load of cum]. Yeah. … Yeah, you work for that load. C’mon, fuck me with that ass, man. Fuckin’ pig.

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You shouldn’t have done that

June 22, 2019

Today’s Zippy, with Mr. Toad’s chide … deride … upbraid — a one-line poem and an exercise in lexical semantics:


(#1) Mr. Toad condescends to the counterman at the Nameless Diner

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