Archive for the ‘Clipping’ Category

Two cat cartoons

July 9, 2016

Not quite what you think. Two cartoons: a Mother Goose and Grimm from yesterday, today’s Bizarro:



To appreciate #1, you need to know about the custom of putting out a cat for the night (V + Prt put out ‘put sth. outside (a house)’), and you need to recognize the piece of heavy earth-moving equipment in the room, with brand names Caterpilllar and (clipped) Cat.

To appreciate #2, you need to know that Zeus / Jupiter is the mythological hurler of thunderbolts, and you need to recognize Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat (with one of his accompanying Things) and to see that the figure in the cartoon is a hybrid of Zeus and Dr. Seuss’s Cat, a combination conveyed by the portmanteau name Dr. Zeuss.


Rainbows and b8r bait

June 13, 2016

It’s Pride month, time for rainbow everything (as symbols of solidarity and resistance to oppression) and also time for defiant celebrations of same-sex desire, same-sex sexual acts, and social and personal motss-identification. All especially important in the face of explicit attempts to exterminate our community, like the monstrous wickedness in Orlando the night before last. As usual, I’ve sequestered the images of sexual body parts on AZBlogX (“The dick days of summer”, here, with three stirring photos for gay men), but I won’t be shy about talking about men’s bodies and the excellent sexual practice of masturbation, so this isn’t for kids or the sexually modest.


The snail days of summer

May 28, 2016

On the Comics Kingdom blog on Tuesday, for National Escargot Day (May 24th), ten cartoons on snails, all of them new to this blog. Some turn on the snail cartoon meme (having to do with slowness), many have to do with the slowness of postal services (snail mail, in the rhyming retronym), the rest deal with other gastropodal matters.


The pronoun strip

February 22, 2016

Today’s Calvin and Hobbes is a replay of a strip from 2/24/86:

I remember this strip (with its play on two senses of pro) with great fondness, and I was sure it had been posted (possibly by me) on Language Log or this blog, but an hour’s searching found nothing, so I’m posting it here.


Muhly grass

September 30, 2015

From a recent visit to Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden, a glimpse of a very pretty ornamental grass. Photo from the web:


This is a white variant (White Cloud) of Muhlenbergia capillaris, Muhlenbergia being the genus of muhly grasses. (Note that the common name is derived by clipping from the botanical name.)

The botanical name will take us on an adventure in U.S. history, starting in the early 18th century.


The unflappable waitress

July 23, 2015

Today’s Bizarro:

Hun / hon.

The informal clipped form hon (for honey) as a term of address is stereotypically used, along with other pet names like the full honey, sweetie, dear(ie), and doll, by waitresses to their customers, in addition to the use of these as terms of endearment to genuine intimates. Many customers find the usage disrespectful and insulting, expressing intimacy in a situation where they see that deference to authority is called for.

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Don Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

Lab mix

March 22, 2015

Today’s One Big Happy:

If you don’t know the snowclonelet template X mix for dog hybrids (poodle mix, shepherd mix, etc.) and don’t know that Lab can be a clipping of Labrador Retriever, then you’re thrown back on things you do know  and have to treat lab mix as a compound meaning something like ‘something mixed up, created, in a lab’. Cue Frankenstein.

For short

December 12, 2014

In the NYT on the 10th, an op-ed piece by Jason Mark, “Climate Fiction Fantasy: What ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Snowpiercer’ Got Wrong”, with the observation that

end-of-the-world scenarios appear so regularly in books and films that they are now their own mini-genre — cli-fi.

Note the playful abbreviation cli-fi ‘climate fiction’ (parallel to the much older sci-fi ‘science fiction’), which was new to me but has apparently been around since 2008 or so.

(More recently, fiction has been abbreviated as fic rather than fi, in fan-fic and slash-fic: fic is the straightforward clipping, and there’s no rhyming motivation for fi, as there is in sci-fi and cli-fi.)



December 3, 2014

Today’s One Big Happy:

permanent record, with the most common, literal sense of permanent — well, most common for adult users, but things are likely to be different for kids like Ruthie.


Word errors

November 9, 2014

From Kristin Bergen on Facebook:

a wonderful eggcorn from a FB teaching discussion group: a colleague reports a senior seminar paper in which the student describes something happening “right from the gecko”

A delightful error (evoking an entertaining image), and surely a type of classical malapropism (CM) — a type I’ll label a Ruthie (after the character of that name in the comic strip One Big Happy) — but not an instance of the subtype of CM known in the error literature as an eggcorn, though to be fair to Kristin it’s significantly similar to eggcorns.