Archive for the ‘Dialects’ Category

Learn to Drawl

July 2, 2020

The Wayno/Piraro Bizarro from 6/20:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

The two big things in #1: the stereotype of Southern charm (associated here with the 2pl pronoun y’all and the “drawl” of Southern speech, plus a characteristic Southern drink, sweet tea); and the Learn to Draw family of advertisements (which evoke social worlds in which most people smoked cigarettes and in which earnest young people sought to advance themselves by taking risks to learn a new skill).

These are lost worlds: very few people smoke, and then only in highly constrained circumstances; and the US now appears to be close to be bottom of the developed economies for advancement in social class (of the sort that moved my family from the farm and factory floor to a distinguished university professorship in two generations).

Plus, a personal Wayno bonus in #1, an homage to Sam Elliott in The Big Lebowski.

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Higashi Day cartoon 3: sentence-initial anymore

June 9, 2020

Background, from my 3/12/20 posting “Higashi Day cartoon 1: grim Bliss surprise” about the series of 6 cartoon postings (of which this is the 3rd)

to celebrate March 15th: Higashi Day, formerly known in these parts as (spring) Removal Day, marking the day when, for roughly 10 years in the fabled past, Jacques and I set off to car-trek east, from Palo Alto (and Stanford) to Columbus OH (and Ohio State).

The Frazz strip of March 8th:


(#1) School custodian Edwin “Frazz” Frazier and 8-year-old bored genius Caulfield take on “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”

In more or less reverse order: (a) the positive anymore of Caulfield’s

(ex1) Anymore, I just believe what rhymes

in the last panel; (b) the song and some of its most famous performances; and (c) the quote in the first panel,

(ex2) Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear

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Iscariot

October 23, 2019

In the 9/26 One Big Happy, Ruthie and Joe cope eggcornishly with the biblical name Iscariot (as in Judas Iscariot), attempting (as they so often do, quite reasonably) to make some sense of an unfamiliar and opaque name:

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Chocolate-covered amidst the statuary

September 21, 2019

Today’s Zippy takes us to the shore of Lake Erie, in the roadside realm of Dolly Dimples (but, startlingly, it will end with the minstrel-show character Rastus and the Cream of Wheat box; you never know where things will go these days):

(#1)

DD is actually selling chocolates, statuary, and tchotchkes, not hamburgers. Her head is indeed unrealistically gigantic, but even with this selling point she’s probably not going to leave Silver Lake NY to pursue a failed movie career in L.A. (note the whimsical tense-aspect-mood semantics of intending to pursue a failed career).

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The hollow

September 18, 2019

In a comment on my 9/14/19 posting “Clavicular knobs” (aka Ricardo’s acromia), Robert Coren writes about “the hollow space above the inner end of the collar-bone”, and I confess to not knowing a name for it. Roger Phillips (in England) fills in:

It’s not in Merriam-Webster, but all my British dictionaries have “saltcellar” for the collarbone pit. The first OED citation is:

[1870 O. Logan Before Footlights 26] I was a child of the most uninteresting age..a tall scraggy girl, with red elbows, and salt cellars at my collar-bones, which were always exposed, for fashion at that time made girls of this age uncover neck and arms.

The item has a complex social and cultural distribution, but knowing this much eventually led me to the technical term from anatomy: the suprasternal, or jugular, notch. Sometimes referred to in ordinary language as the hollow of the neck or the neck hollow.

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Gloating over them apples

August 6, 2019

In an advertising poster, for actual apples:

(#1)

and on a tongue-in-cheek sticker, reproducing a gloat:

(#2)

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Two cents, common sense, incense, and peppermints

March 27, 2019

The 2/26 One Big Happy, riffing on /sɛns/, in idioms with sense (common sense, horse sense, nonsense), in incense, and in cents (also in an idiom, two cents):

(#1)

Which, of course, leads us inevitably to the psychedelic days of 1967, with their whiff of incense and peppermints (plus some pot).

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You can’t get no ways…

March 23, 2019

… if you don’t know the phrase. An exercise in cartoon understanding that came to me from Facebook connections, but without any credit to the artist:

(#1)

If you don’t recognize It don’t mean a thing as part of a particular formulaic expression, you’re screwed; the cartoon is incomprehensible.

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Hard Tundra

March 4, 2019

Adventures in cross-dialect understanding in the One Big Happy strips of 2/1 and 2/2, both featuring Ruthie and Joe’s playmate James:

(#1)

(#2)

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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:

(#1)

“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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