individuals, people, persons

February 13, 2019

From a mail pointer to a 1/30/19 article in the journal Psychological Science, “Similarity Grouping as Feature-Based Selection” by Dian Yu, Xiao Xiao, Douglas K. Bemis, & Steven L. Franconeri:

Individuals perceive objects with similar features (i.e., color, orientation, shape) as a group even when those objects are not grouped in space.

Point at issue: individuals rather than people, a mark of a consciously formal, “scientific” way of writing, appropriate (some believe) for reporting on research in psychology.

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In the diaspora

February 12, 2019

An announcement yesterday on the Linguistic Typology mailing list:

After three conferences in Bamberg [Germany] (2013), Mardin [southeastern Turkey, in Turkish Kurdistan] (2014) and Amsterdam [Netherlands] (2016), we are delighted to announce that the 4th International Conference on Kurdish Linguistics (ICKL-4) will take place at the University of Rouen (Université de Rouen) [France] on September 2-3, 2019.

Three meetings in the Kurdish diaspora, in the countries in Europe with the largest populations of displaced Kurds, plus one within Kurdistan itself.

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Annals of sweevory food: my Japanese Valentine

February 12, 2019

On the Japan Times site on February 9th, “Say ‘I love you’ a different way with Kourakuen’s chocolate ramen” by Patrick St. Michel”:

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Age cannot wither them

February 11, 2019

Today’s Zippy has Griffy and Zippy marveling, once again, that almost all cartoon characters, themselves included, never seem to age. In particular, Nancy and Sluggo are always and forever 8 years old — in Cartoonland, where age cannot wither them (nor custom stale their infinite variety). But in Ivan Albright’s art world, even Nancy, sturdy Nancy, grows old:

(#1)

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The thinking condom’s typeface

February 10, 2019

On Facebook recently, a plaintive scream from Tom Meadows (reproduced here exactly as in the original):

PLEASE LATEX LET ME BE FREE OF THIS PROBLEM WHY ARE YOU SO CRUEL

Typing the whole thing in ALL CAPS introduced an ambiguity that Meadows and his readers then exploited for playful purposes. The ambiguity:

reader EK: I feel like a latex problem is very different from a LaTeX problem

Tom Meadows: I have a latex/LaTeX merger – my condoms are now nicely typeset

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Gin and glassware

February 10, 2019

Back on the 7th, at Dan Gordon’s restaurant in Palo Alto: server explains they are out of Tanqueray gin, apologizes, offers me a taste of Junipero gin (not familiar to me, though it’s a San Francisco thing), which arrives in a glass of interesting shape, also not familiar to me. Being a linguist of inquisitive bent, I ask what that kind of glass is called. Server thinks it’s a Nick and Nora (unfamiliar to me as a glassware label, though I got the allusion and understood why the name would be used for drinkware). Bartender shouts out that, no, it’s a Glenn Caron (well, that’s what I thought he said, but I was puzzled about what the connection was between glassware and the tv writer / director / producer Glenn Gordon Caron or his most famous show, Moonlighting). Much later I discovered it was a Glencairn glass, designed for (Scotch) whisky.

Now, the replay, with more detail.

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French 2sg pronouns

February 10, 2019

On the Language Nerd Facebook page yesterday, this playfully framed, but seriously intended, flowchart, “Your guide to being polite in French”, for choosing between the 2sg pronouns tu (‘familiar’) and vous (‘polite’) in current French — a bow to the treatment of T and V pronouns in Brown & Gilman 1960:

(#1)

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Displaced icons of art

February 9, 2019

Prompted by Michael Palmer on Facebook, this Bizarro pun from 9/9/12:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 7 in the strip from which this panel is extracted — see this Page.)

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Three Pearls

February 6, 2019

… Before Swine(s), with language play. From 10/6/18, exploiting the ambiguity of /flu/ as flew or flu ‘influenza’; and two testicular cartoons, from 11/1/18 (nut sack) and (yesterday) 2/5/19 (go nads).

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Aquatic carpentry

February 5, 2019

A Wayno & Piraro Bizarro from the 4th, presenting an exercise in cartoon understanding and jogging some reflections on comics conventions:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

To understand the cartoon, you need to appreciate that it shows a situation from everyday life (the office of a carpentry business)  juxtaposed with, or translated into, another, more remarkable, world (an undersea, aquatic, world, populated by specific fish, which you need to recognize).

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