DJ is chaired at Stanford!

June 16, 2018

Yesteday’s hot news from my little corner of academia, a message from my Stanford linguistics colleague Beth Levin announcing that

Dan Jurafsky … has just been appointed to an endowed chair, the Jackson Eli Reynolds Professorship in the Humanities.

Margaret Jacks Hall was thronged with well-endowed celebrants bearing chairs and singing paeans to the law and the American banking system, bringing to conclusion not only the month of Ramadan but also an extraordinarily crowded season of doctoral debuts (some of which I will report on in other postings).

In the midst of this, excited buzz — like the murmuring of innumerable bees — over the verbing of chair in the sense (roughly) ‘to award a named professorship to’.

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Proper nouns

June 16, 2018

In the One Big Happy of May 30th, Ruthie falls into the pit of use and mention:

There’s an adjective proper as defined by Ruthie’s mother. Then there’s the adjective proper in the idiomatic nominals proper noun / name. And that’s just the beginning of the problem.

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Background foods and food discoveries

June 15, 2018

The spur: this brief moment from the NYT obit for chef, author, tv personality, and social critic Anthony Bourdain, by Kim Severson, Matthew Haag, and Julia Moskin, on-line on the 8th as “Anthony Bourdain, Renegade Chef Who Reported From the World’s Tables, Is Dead at 61”, in print on the 9th as “Anthony Bourdain, Renegade Chef, Dies at 61; Showed the World How to ‘Eat Without Fear'”:

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He first became conscious of food in fourth grade, he wrote in “Kitchen Confidential.” Aboard the Queen Mary on one of the family’s frequent trips to France, he sat in the cabin-class dining room and ate a bowl of vichyssoise, a basic potato-leek soup that held the delightful surprise of being cold. “It was the first food I enjoyed and, more important, remembered enjoying,” he wrote.

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Midnight in Cuba

June 14, 2018

From Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown: “Miami” (S5 E2, 5/3/15), as quoted in the Eater.com site‘s “19 best quotes” from the episode:

4. [Bourdain] On the medianoche sandwich: “Many of you watching who are dimly aware of Miami and this sandwich thing they call a Cubano that you may or may not have had before, you’re thinking, ‘Yes, a Cubano sandwich.’ But you’d be wrong. This, is not a Cubano sandwich, strictly speaking. This, my friends, is a medianoche. Close. A cousin. Like a Cubano, it’s got roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and a little mustard. And like a Cubano it’s pressed until hot and runny inside. But:”

5. [Miami chef Michelle] Bernstein, interrupting, on the medianoche sandwich: “You see the bread? It’s darker and it’s sweeter, so you have a real contrast with the salty pickles and the pork, and the bread.”

Una medianoche, uno Cubano. Not the same, because the bread is different (and maybe the kind of pork or the kind of ham or the pickles or the mustard). I can get uno Cubano at my local Whole Foods (and often do) — “slow roasted pork, Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard” — and it seems to be pretty authentic, except that it’s on a French roll. Best not to argue names and ingredients and authenticity.

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Drunk Cartoons

June 14, 2018

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A new series by cartoonist Bob Eckstein (who’s been around on this blog for three years now; see his Page). From the 6th, on the Weekly Humorist site, “Drunk Cartoon: Pants”:

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Pride space flags

June 13, 2018

More Pride flags, all transformed versions of existing X Pride flags, for various values of X having to do with gender or sexuality. Transformed by Laurie Raye by superimposing images of the starry sky on them. So the now-standard six-stripe Pride flag becomes:

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24 Hours, 24 Kisses and 24 Magazine Covers

June 13, 2018

(Not much about language in this one.)

The title of the cover story in the NYT Magazine on the 10th, with this illustration:

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Las Vegas claims the title “Sin City”; this is New York’s bid to  be “Love City” — challenging Paris, Rome, and (in the U.S.) San Francisco, where Tony Bennett famously left his heart:

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The Calvin Klein pentachromatic neon rainbow

June 13, 2018

CK special for Pride Month:

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(#2) Pride Trunks

In five neon colors: pink, yellow, lime green, aquamarine, dark blue.

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A classic word confusion

June 12, 2018

On the 9th, from reader Timothy Young, this screen shot from the Los Angeles Times:


(#1) The original, with the verb enervated

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Another moment between Parody and Pastiche with Raymond Zippandler

June 12, 2018

Today’s Zippy takes us again to a hard-boiled noir-tinged land of allusion:

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Very much, as the title says, the wrong goodbye; none of the Raymond Chandler allusions are to The Long Goodbye — mostly from “Red Wind” and The Big Sleep.

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