Archive for the ‘Taboo language and slurs’ Category

Let’s have a kiki … in me

April 21, 2019

(Men’s bodies, clicks, mansex, dactyls, homowear, eggcorns, street talk, and more. Not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

The Daily Jocks mailing of the 15th, with a studiedly homo-smouldering ad for crop tops from the fetish-wear company Barcode Berlin. Plus a foul derangement of (heavily enjambed) dactyls as a caption.

(#1)

Kiko the crop-top kid,
Impudent pussy boy,
Butch faggy target for
Amorous arrows — a

mazing for festivals,
Parties with gangbangers,
Mid-drifting kikis with
Quatrains of dactyls

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Annals of cultural cluelessness

April 8, 2019

The grand old city of Baltimore has been suffering mightily in recent times, and now there’s an old-school scandal to add to the roster of municipal woes. Mayor Catherine Pugh has published a set of “Healthy Holly” children’s books, ostensibly to show kids the way to a better life through exercise and diet. From the Washington Post story “Critical Carlos reads ‘Healthy Holly’: Inside the children’s book that has landed Baltimore’s mayor in a political scandal” by Carlos Lozada on the 5th:


(#1) “Copies of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s self-published “Healthy Holly” illustrated paperbacks for children. On April 1 Pugh announced an indefinite leave of absence, just as a scandal intensifies over what critics call a “self-dealing” book-sales arrangement. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)”

There’s the political story, which appears to involve an elaborate influence-trading scheme. There’s the books themselves, which “Critical Carlos” and his three critical children savage in Lozada’s Sun book review as examples of the very worst sort of stilted writing for children. And there’s the title Fruits Come in Colors Like the Rainbow, which, with a stunningly tin ear for English in its various sociocultural contexts, disregards alternative understandings of the noun fruits, the verb come, and the rainbow as a cultural symbol.

I’m mostly after the title here. But it’s all connected.

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News for carnivorous penises

March 30, 2019

(No actual penises, but some decidedly peniform plants and lots of intimate anatomical references, sometimes in street language; urethras abound. So clearly not to everyone’s taste.)

It began with a Facebook posting by Jens Fiederer, with a photo of the Botanical Penis of Doom, from the Thailand-Secrets site:


(#1) Cheng Kam Wor: “This is a pitcher plant of the genus Nepenthes sp. The glans-like top is actually a lid for the bottom pitcher structure. A carnivorous plant like the Venus flytrap!”

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Pushing the boulder up the hill

March 24, 2019

This week’s inspiring words on the social progress front, from Gloria Ladson-Billings, circulated on Facebook by H. Sami Alim on the 22nd:

I know that I am 4 generations out of chattel slavery, 3 generations out of sharecropping, 2 out of legalized apartheid, and I’m an endowed university professor. Not because I’m great, but because people kept on pushing the boulder up the hill.

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Low back issues

March 20, 2019

… in a One Big Happy cartoon (in auditorium) and in the title of a 1998 movie (the nickname Paulie): in American English, unrounded [ɑ] for rounded [ɔ], collapsing the distinction between the phonemes /a/ in cot and /ɔ/ in caught.


(#1) Discomfort in the low back region: Polly on the left, Paulie on the right

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The cable gremlins

March 7, 2019

(A version of things I posted on Facebook earlier today about my life, with glancing allusions to various phenomena of social life. Posted here to have a more permanent and accessible record, on WordPress. There will be a little bit of linguistics.)


(#1) (Not an accurate portrayal of Xfinity/Comcast staff)

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Another hybrid food, no portmanteau name

March 3, 2019

Today’s mailing from bon appétit magazine leads with a hybrid food:

(#1)

(#2) Normally, you’d expect the hybrid food to come with a corresponding cute portmanteau name, but not this time

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For gay penguins, science and Canada!

February 21, 2019

A few days ago, this full-page magazine display made the rounds of Facebook:


(#1) Deriding the “Libtard Agenda” while imitating the Johnson Smith Co.’s ads for novelty items in the back pages of comic books and other publications aimed at children

The first copies I saw didn’t identify the creator or the publication the page came from, and there was some question whether it was (as George V. Reilly, invoking Poe’s Law, put it) “a right-wing parody of progressive views, or a left-wing parody of right-wing opinions of progressive views”. Parody, certainly, but from what viewpoint?

So in its form it’s a parody of a genre of advertising hucksterism. And then in its specific content it’s a parody of a style of political talk (either mocking what’s framed as a preoccuption with kale, gun control, facts, and the like, or mocking those who engage in such mockery).

Much has now become clear. To start with, the copy of the page in #1 identifies the creator as Mary Trainor, and that provides enough context to eventually sort things out.

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On the euphemism watch

January 22, 2019

The Daddy’s Home cartoon (by Anthony Rubino Jr. and Gary Markstein) for January 20th:

Doubly peculiar euphemisms heck and gosh: they’re replacing straightforward religious uses of hell and God, rather than transferred uses in cursing; and in any case the taboo associated with these cursing uses has ebbed to such a degree that euphemizing them has a decidedly quaint feel.

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Worst year ever

December 25, 2018

(Warning: tons of dirty words for the holidays.)

The title of the Scenes From a Mutiverse cartoon on the 23rd (here), in which two (gender-marked) alien creatures reflect on the horrid year that is coming to an end and announce extraordinary resolutions for the new year: he resolves to stop storing personal possessions inside his body, she resolves to eat bees, that sort of thing. But my focus here is on his first two words: a foul oath, a compound expletive, interjection, or exclamation. Which will lead us to the excesses of punk rock in Scotland.

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