Archive for the ‘Taboo language and slurs’ Category

Chic peas and more

October 13, 2018

The fall special at Dan Gordon’s (on Emerson St. in Palo Alto), as it first appeared on the menu, about a month ago:

Summer Stew $16.95
smoked pork / cippolini onions / chic peas / prunes / red rice

(with the very notable spelling chic peas and with the misspelling cippolini for cipollini). But now the ingredients list reads:

smoked pork / cippolini onions / chickpeas / dehydrated plums / red rice

(with the notable dehydrated plums). Actually, all four ingredients have linguistic interest.

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I gotta go

September 11, 2018

The catch phrase of writer and performer Merle Kessler’s alter ego Ian Shoales, just a bit short of the more vernacular I’m outta here. That’s motion go. Then there’s elimination go, and an ambiguity between the two, as exploited by Calvin in this (recently re-cycled) Calvin and Hobbes strip:

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Brush away the blue-tailed skink

September 4, 2018

From Chris Zable on Facebook on August 3rd, a photo from her family’s holiday in Florida, with her comment:

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“Spotted this little lizard with a bright blue tail on a fence rail at the Tallahassee Museum. Much of their space is a zoo of local native species in generously-sized enclosures that are just fenced off bits of native habitat. We saw pumas, red wolves, and foxes among other critters.”

As good a photo of a blue-tailed skink as any you can find on the net. To come: on skinks; on the “Blue Tail Fly” song; and on my gay highjacking of the song, as “Blue Tailed Skink” (with skink as a portmanteau, skank + twink) — taking things far from Chris’s original child-friendly travel report.

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“The hell is that guy doing?”: predator-truncated QuEx

August 23, 2018

The word from predators, in this Jake Likes Onions cartoon (by Jake Thompson):


(#1) Title: “Maybe he’s running from the truth”

Predator 2 omits the what of what the hell (in a Wh, or constituent, question What is that guy doing? with the question word what emphatically extended by the expletive the hell).

About the syntax, and then about the strip and the artist…

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Book flash: New Work on Speech Acts

August 16, 2018

What looks to be an excellent report on work in semantics/pragmatics on speech acts, from OUP:

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Mud, shit, and chocolate

July 30, 2018

Caught on re-run tv yesterday, in the Law & Order S19 E10 episode “Pledge” (from 1/21/09):

Your entire case rests on this girl’s testimony. If her only impetus to cooperate is greed, you’re in trouble. Who dangled money in front of her in the first place?

The cops. They knew she was in debt, so they pressed her pretty hard.

It’s going to look like we bought her testimony. What a mud sandwich this is turning into.

And only a few months before that, in an emotional  9/29/08 speech on the floor of the U.S. Congress by Rep. John Boehner in support of the TARP bill bailing out big banks:

None of us came here to have to vote for this mud sandwich!

(You can watch it here.)

Yes, mud sandwich. A euphemism for shit sandwich.

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How to use the F-word

July 8, 2018

Yesterday’s Doonesbury:

Absurdly poor advice, but Trudeau knew that. (To start with, speech doesn’t have commas in it; commas are visual marks.) Still, lots of people think that using fuck is just a matter of plugging it in whenever the mood strikes you, while in fact in addition to its use as a copulatory verb (itself a topic of some complexity), fuck functions as a little grammatical word, with a syntax as complex as other little grammatical words — so, for, too, etc. Plus, of course, all sorts of sociocultural conditions on when it’s appropriate.

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punks

May 30, 2018

Or: new adventures in sexuality slurs. Brought to my attention by “Is Punk the New F Word?: The word has been used to bully gay black boys for decades” by Charles Stephens in The Advocate issue for June/July 2018:

… Of all the homophobic slurs thrown around, being called a punk is the one I recall the most vividly. It cut the deepest. I don’t remember the first time I was called a punk, but I do remember the faces of those who hurled the curse my way. I can still see how their mouths contorted as they pronounced the slur and the contagion that followed — poisonous words polluting the air, followed by the deafening silence of teachers and other adults watching passively. I learned two things from this: (1) adults don’t want to be punks either, and (2) you can fight back or run away, but no one will protect you.


(#1) Bikini boys: punks defiantly giving off “In yo’ face, bitch!”

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The cumless cake

May 22, 2018

(Semen is a theme, and, eventually, sexual practices involving semen, so some readers might want to exercise caution.)

Today’s taboo avoidance story, brought to my attention by Ben Zimmer, who provided a link to [UNN] (an unnamed national newspaper that lies behind a paywall for me, so I now lie behind a citewall for them; in this case, it seems to have broken the story), here as reported in today’s Daily Beast story “Publix Censors ‘Summa Cum Laude’ on Graduation Cake Order”:

(#1) The cumless cake
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For Mothers Day

May 12, 2018

(Talk about mansex in street language, so not for kids or the sexually modest — or, for that matter, Facebook the Prudish.)

From the TitanMen gay porn studio, for Mothers Day this year:

(#1) Cropped ad; the full ad can be viewed on AZBlogX, in the 5/12 posting “Mothers / Muthuhs Day 2018”

That’s Dirk Caber and Daymin Voss in New Rules: two hot muthas, and muthas — a variant of the vulgar slang mothers, a clipping of the vulgar slang motherfuckers, an epithet that can be either deprecatory or (as here) celebratory — is the link to Mothers Day.

So we end up with gay porn for Mothers Day — a holiday I’m now tickled to think of, alternatively, as Motherfuckers Day. Or, possibly, Samuel L. Jackson Day, for the great cinematic motherfucker-wielder.

As a bonus, half the men in the cast of New Rules are not only mothers / muthuhs, but also daddies, in one of the gay senses of daddy:attractive older gay man’. In fact, they’re muscle daddies.

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