Archive for the ‘Word attraction’ Category

Smockery

June 21, 2022

Today’s morning name came to me not as I emerged from sleep, but as the first thing I saw on my computer: today’s Calvin and Hobbes blast from the past (from 6/23/92, summer time 30 years ago) with Hobbes in the grip of onomatomanic fascination with the word smock (warning: it’s catching):


(#1) Smick, smock, sweaty old jock … Well how was I to know there was a party going on? (1958 apologies to Bobby Darin, Murray the K, and Murray’s mother Jean Kaufman; their version is much cleaner)

Zippy the Pinhead is celebrated for his onomatomania, but anyone can play, even stuffed tigers.

The modern smock is a plain functional garment, a kind of protective overshirt (functionally akin to aprons, coveralls, and the like), associated with artists, who work with messy substances. But its history is more complex.

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velour

February 26, 2022

Another too-cold day, no going outside, because it hurts too much for me to breathe (that’s been a problem for 40-50 years, it’s why I moved from Ohio to California, but now it’s much worse because I have some chronic respiratory thing, all sinus and bronchial distress, that might be long Covid, or just my body giving up), so I bundled up at 4 a.m. — breakfast time — in my excellent blue velour bathrobe, sweetly worn, smelling a bit like me, warming to my body, pleasing to the touch, bearing the satisfying luxurious name velour. A delicious word. Velvety amour.

I mused on the word. And its fabric family: velour, velvet, velveteen, plush.

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Zippo, the comic strip

March 25, 2021

The 3/14 Zippy strip shows Claude and Griffy (and eventually Zippy too) caught up in what seems to be affixoid attraction (similar to word attraction), an irrational appreciation of or enthusiasm for a particular word-part — in this case, the word-final element –o (whatever its source might be):


(#1) All of the panels except the fourth are framed as two-person exchanges, in which the second is a response to the first: offering a competing alternative (panel 1), trading insults (panels 2 and 3), or expressing appreciation (panel 5)

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The risonym

October 16, 2020

E-mail today from Gadi Niram:

I seem to recall you coining the term “risonym”. What I can’t remember was whether a risonym made a person laugh because of its meaning or because of the speaker’s perception of the sound as funny. Can you refresh my memory?

I had no recollection of such a coining (though Gadi eventually resurrected a single use by me on Usenet 20 years ago — see below), but I tried to respond to the idea of words that are funny because of their sound.

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More onomatomania

October 14, 2020

Today’s Zippy:

(#1)

From NOAD:

noun dodecahedron: a three-dimensional shape having twelve plane faces, in particular a regular solid figure with twelve equal pentagonal faces.

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goon squad goon squad goon squad

October 2, 2020

Somewhere in the first Presidential “debate”, or its immediate surrounding net discussion, the phrase goon squad appeared and seized my attention, so that I repeated it like a mantra. I was in the grip of onomatomania


Logo of the League of Legends South African esports team Goon Squad

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At the onomatomania dinette

November 27, 2019

Today’s Zippy is set in the Ghent neighborhood of Norfolk VA of a few years back, in a Do-Nut Dinette — whose name throws Zippy into a fit of onomatomania (aka repetitive phrase disorder) compounded with Spooner’s affliction (compulsive exchange of word elements in phrases):

(#1)

(Separately, there’s the use of dinette to refer to a diner, as a type of restaurant.)

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22-festoon!

December 21, 2018

Adrienne Shapiro and her husband Kit Transue (my stepson) festooned in lights in a wonderful tribute to the season (today being the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, a day to shine light against the dark):

(#1)

And here I get to explain that today, December 21st, is Festoonus Eve, aka PeneFestoonus (‘almost Festoonus’, with the prefix pen(e)- ‘almost’ of peninsula, penumbra, penultimate, and penecontemporaneous) or the Day Before Festoonus.

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Appearances

December 14, 2018

Two recent items about men trying to look attractive (to other men): on the Kitsch Bitsch Facebook page today, 1950s physique model Mel Fortune festooned for Christmas (the image is entertaining but just barely not X-rated, so if such images trouble you, leave this posting); and a William Haefeli cartoon from the latest (12/17/18) New Yorker, featuring a pair of his upscale urban gay men negotiating a date / trick.

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A grotesque word

November 29, 2018

Tuesday’s Zippy:

(#1)

Another chapter in word attraction: Zippy’s (and Griffy’s) enjoyment of “funny words”. Here, gargoyle, which Zippy, absurdly, analyzes as a compound of the nouns gar (referring to a kind of sharp-toothed fish) and goyle (a rare, mostly dialectal, term for a deep trench) — so, roughly ‘fish ravine’. Turns out the actual etymology of gargoyle is entertaining enough on its own.

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