Archive for the ‘Variation’ Category

whom can be pardoned

June 9, 2018

It’s CruzISOC Day on AZBlog! Time to report on Ted Cruz‘s Twitter adventures with the non-standard case-marking of the lexical item WHO (Nom who, Acc whom) as an in-situ subject of an object complement. As here (marked up mockingly by Oliver Roeder on Twitter):

(#1)

(#2)

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Merer, merer

May 29, 2018

The One Big Happy from the 2nd, with Ruthie dealing, once again, with a word she’s at best vaguely acquainted with:

The word Ruthie and Joe’s father is aiming at — readers of the strip know this, because the word is spelled for us in his speech balloon, but Ruthie and Joe don’t — is the Adj mere, a relatively infrequent item, certainly much less frequent in the kids’ experience than the N mirror. Then we stumble into a gigantic rat’s nest of massive variation on a large assortment of phonetic details.

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Spoiling

May 8, 2018

An AMZ poetry moment.

From the New York Times Magazine, Terrance Hayes’s Poem column: “Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth” (in print 5/6, on-line 5/4), by Aimee Nezhukumatathil:

Too many needles spoil the cloth.
Too many parrots spoil the talk.
Too many chapped lips spoil the gloss.
Too many teasel burs spoil the paw.
Too many bubbles spoil the froth.
Too many doorbells spoil the knock.
Too many seeds spoil the floss.
Too many feathers spoil the claw.
Too many lightbulbs spoil the moth.
Too many holes spoil the sock.
Too many sunbeams spoil the moss.
Too many kisses spoil the jaw.
Too many wolves spoil the flock.
Too many necks spoil the block.

All edgy domesticity until the end, when ravening wolves and beheadings erupt.

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CAKE-PIE II

May 3, 2018

I turn now from deserts (the plants at Stanford’s cactus garden, in a series of recent postings) to desserts.

This is the first in a series of follow-ups to my 4/29 posting “All the dessert world is not either cake or pie”, about the categorization and name of a strawberry dish made by Stephanie Shih’s friend Darya Kavitskaya. Darya called it a pie, but Steph insisted it was better labeled as cake. On looking at a picture of the dish (#2 in that posting), I identified it as a strawberry clafoutis, a crustless dessert of strawberries baked in a thick custardy flan-like batter (#3 in that posting) — something distant from both canonical cake and canonical pie. Hence the title of that posting.

But now Darya has sent me the recipe, and I see that it’s not a clafoutis at all, but in fact a fruit pizza, with a sweet base crust and a strawberry topping.

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The Prodigal Tongue

April 13, 2018

Lynne Murphy’s new book, recently released (my own copy is to arrive today). I’m getting the red edition rather than the blue; both are for sale in both the US and the UK, but they’re not quite the same, as you’ll see from looking at their subtitles:

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Bits of culture

March 29, 2018

… and truncated expressions. From Sam Anderson’s “New Sentences” column in the NYT Magazine on the 20th (on-line) and 25th (in print), “From Morgan Parker’s ‘There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé’”, about ‘Summertime and the living is extraordinarily difficult’:

Every culture is a vast carpet of interwoven references: clichés, fables, jingles, lullabies, warnings, jokes, memes. To be a part of that culture means that it only takes a few words, the tiniest head fake, to set your mind racing along a familiar track. You can lead a horse to. There once was a man from. When the moon hits your eye. If you liked it then you shoulda.

One trick of art is to constantly invoke — and then manipulate and complicate — these familiar mental scripts. The artist sets your mind on a well-worn road, and then, just as you settle into that automatic groove, yanks you suddenly in another direction. It’s the same trick as a crossover dribble. Great art is always, if you will, breaking your mind’s ankles.

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Haiku Robot

March 25, 2018

An Instagram site that searches for posted material that can be treated as a haiku (a 3-line poetic form with 5, 7, and 5 syllables in the lines). Recently, the robot took on sex between men (not at all graphically).

An example of a found haiku, based on a posting that went:

I suppose ant-man’s boss could be considered a micromanager

— to which the robot responded with the 5-7-5 version:

i suppose ant-man’s
boss could be considered a
micromanager

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Affective style: chill vs. loud

March 15, 2018

An abstract for a Stanford linguistics dissertation to be defended this coming Monday (March 19th): Teresa Pratt, Affective sociolinguistic style: an ethnography of embodied linguistic variation in an arts high school:

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yoozed

February 15, 2018

The One Big Happy from January 13th, with a widespread nonstandard pronoun:

Freestanding youse /yuz/ (= you /yu/ + pl /z/) and modifying youse in youse guys ‘you guys’. In any case, a 2pl form distinct from 2sg you. The form is complexly distributed according to geography, social class, and other factors — in a way that suggests it has been invented several times in different contexts.

And then there’s the pun on used /yuzd/.

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Two cute guys with accents

February 4, 2018

From the annals of tv watching: Eddie Cahill as Tag Jones in season 7 of the sitcom Friends (and then as Det. Don Flack in CSI: New York); and Lucas Black as Special Agent Christopher LaSalle on NCIS: New Orleans. Both men are strongly physical actors with mobile expressive faces and both smile amiably a lot — they are really cute guys — and both do notable local accents: EC white working-class NYC in CSI: New York and LB white NOLA in NCIS: New Orleans. Both accents build on the actors’ native varieties — EC’s NYC and LB’s Alabamian — but with crafting (quite considerable on LB’s part) to fit their characters.

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