Yesterday’s morning name was chub (the name of a fish), which led me to the rest of the bilabial-final family: chum, chump, and chup. (And that led to the velar-final family chug, Chung, chunk, chuck, but I won’t pursue that one here.) As it is, the bilabials will lead us into many surprising places, including the Hardy Boys books, eyewear retainers, Australian dog food, gay slurs, and hunky underwear models.
Archive for the ‘Variation’ Category
… the male model, in body-display, rather than fashion-display, mode — so only a little about language. On the other hand, this posting is, in word and image, at least technically SFW (though homo-steamy).
It begins with a Facebook comment from Ken Rudolph about image #1 in my “Hitchhiking” posting of yesterday:
Who is #1? And where did that still come from…it looks more like a regular movie than a porn.
Not any kind of movie, but a posed still done by a professional photographer (as are, I think, #2-7 in my hitchhiking posting, and the three photos in the accompanying AZBlogX posting). Meanwhile, a Google Images search led me to Saucier.
Noted by Wilson Gray on ADS-L on Monday, from his reading on Facebook. Wilson commented:
Remember the days of yore when people wrote: “depriving millions of health-care”?
The implicit analysis here is that the ordinary argument structure (hereafter, argstr) for the verb deprive has a Direct Object referring to a POSSESSOR in an act of deprivation, and an Oblique Object (marked by the P of) referring to a POSSESSION in this act. In abbreviated form: deprive has the argstr:
(1) SU: AGENT, DO: POSSESSOR, OO(of): POSSESSION
with the semantics that AGENT causes POSSESSOR to come to no longer have POSSESSION.
But the Facebook sentence has an argstr with a Direct Object referring to a POSSESSION and an Oblique Object (marked by the P for) referring to a POSSESSOR:
(2) SU: AGENT, DO: POSSESSION, OO(for): POSSESSOR
with the same semantics as in (1).
Now, alternative argstrs for the same verb are very common; the question is which verbs have which structures. Wilson’s judgment (which I share) is that deprive is fine in structure (1) — deprive millions of health-care — but not in structure (2) — deprive health-care for millions. (Divest is similar to deprive here.)
Two recent One Big Happy strips: one with an outrageous pun from Ruthie and Joe’s father, one with Ruthie once again attempting to engage the neighbor boy James on his grammar:
If you’re a bit puzzled by James’s “Ain’t nobody going!” in #2, you have a right to be.
.. and Halloween, though, pleasingly, neither has anything to do with All Hallows’ / All Souls’ / All Saints’. A One Big Happy that’s a study in American (and Antipodal) phonology; and a Zippy with a fallen roadside fiberglass hero, the Green Giant of Pahrump NV:
… in two recent strips, first at Dippin’ Donuts and then at the Sugar Shack. Looks like sweet tooth days for our Pinhead. Both strips are strewed with allusions of all kinds, of course.
From S4 E4 (“Masonic Mysteries”) of the ITV detective procedural tv show Inspector Morse, an exchange between Morse and his sergeant, Lewis:
(1) Morse: It’s me he wants, it’s me he’s going to get, or rather, it’s me that’s going to get him…
(2) Lewis: Shouldn’t that be: “It’s I who am going to get him”?
It’s all about pronoun case (Acc me vs. Nom I) in it-clefts: roughly, identifying clauses with
subject it, a main verb BE, a predicative NP, and a relative clause missing an NP (the relative clause can have relativizer ∅, that, or a WH-pronoun like who)
— in these instances, clauses supplying the answer to the questions “Who does he want? Who is he going to get? Who’s going to get him?”
And, this being Britain, it’s also all about social class.
(This takes a turn to sexual politics that some — though not, I think, Bill Griffith — might find surprising.)
Today’s Zippy offers us some office soap opera between boss (Don) and employee (Ms. Carlisle), from the point of view of Ms. Carlisle:
The topic is a familiar one in Zippyland: cartoonishness or cartooniness, indicated by various physical characteristics — noses, eyes, eyebrows, ears, jawlines, and mouths. In Zippyland, of course, everyone’s a cartoon character and they’re all dressed like one, but some of them are “realistic”, normal, regular folks,, while others are flagrantly cartoony.
In today’s feed, this One Big Happy from 3/7:
The linguistic point: Ruthie’s mother’s “Ain’t it the truth?” — ain’t in the speech of someone who almost surely isn’t otherwise a user of this word. Instead, she’s playfully quoting a very widespread non-standardism, much as if she’d said “C’est vrai!” or “Veritable!”, in French, in the middle of an English conversation, conveying the equivalent of informal “That’s for sure!” or “You said it!”
The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs (2002) has an entry for “Ain’t it the truth” as a conventionalized expression, both in non-standard varieties and as an importation into informal standard speech:
Rur. or Jocular That is true.; Isn’t that true? (Used to agree with a statement someone has made.) Jane: I swear, life can be a trial sometimes. Bill: Yes, Lordy. Ain’t it the truth?