From Joshua Tyra:
Archive for Humor
Sue Dunum, "Canadians Using 'Harper' as a Swear Word — 'Go Harper Yourself'", The Lapine 7/1/2014:
MONTREAL — The CBC is reporting today on a growing social media trend for Canadians to use Prime Minister Harper’s name as a cuss word.
“Harper is being used as the new F Bomb,” CBC analyst Claude Perrault told news anchor Peter Mansbridge this morning.
“‘Harper off’ is a big one we’re seeing used alot on Facebook and Twitter. Often in all caps when someone’s really angry…as in ‘HARPER OFF!’”
“Calling someone a ‘Harpering Harper’ to mean either ‘f****** b****’ or ‘f****** c***sucker’ is also trending big for new slang.”
From the last year's Foundational Questions Institute conference, a String Theory supporter (Raphael Bousso) is asked to argue against String Theory on behalf of Loop Quantum Gravity, while one of the founders of Loop Quantum Gravity theory (Carlo Rovelli) takes the String Theory side, in opposition to his own point of view:
This works out well, making me wonder about analogous opposite-day debates in linguistics and allied areas.
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The biggest news in South Korea these days is the macadamia nut tantrum that occurred on Korean Airlines last week. Heather Cho, the eldest daughter of Korean Air Lines chairman Cho Yang-ho and herself a high-ranking executive at the airline (though since resigned), threw a monumental hissy fit when she was served macadamia nuts in a manner that she thought was not suitably elegant. Amongst the usual media accounts of the incident, there was this statement from the UK Guardian:
Bloggers and the Korean press lambasted Cho for her arrogance, and took to social media to mock her for going “nuts”.
and reports of this tweet in Korean from an online shopping mall/auction site that makes a sort of punning reference to “that nut.”
Jeff Weinberg asks whether “nut” or “nuts” in Korean is used for “crazy person” or “crazy” as it’s used in English (and maybe primarily American English). Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Here's (some of) Google Street View for 7 Coulter Avenue in Ardmore PA:
Why am I showing this to you? Read on…
Even non-linguists and those who are not China watchers could hardly escape the momentous announcement of the Chinese government last week that casual punning was being outlawed:
- "Punning banned in China" (11/29/14)
- "No laughing matter: China's media regulators ban puns" (12/3/14)
- "Chinese Government Moves To Crack Down On Puns" (12/5/14)
- "Nowhere to Pun Amid China Crackdown" (11/28/14)
- "LIKE A PUN IN A CHINA SHOP: Chinese media regulators crack down on puns, wordplay amid apparent state fears. The United States is stronger than that." (12/3/14)
When the first headline arrived stating that China was going to ban punning, I thought that it must be something from The Onion. But when more and more reports came pouring in, I said to myself, "No, this is China. They're really going to do it."
Indeed, the latest directive from the Ministry of Truth (State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television [SAPPRFT]) shows that they are dead serious. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Poe's Law says that "it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism". But this difficulty extends far beyond expressions of (political or religious) extremism, and I got an email advertisement today that kept me guessing for quite a while.
The ostensible topic was the new issue of a periodical "Coldnoon: Travel Poetics", and the first paragraph of the email read:
Coldnoon seeks to objectively redefine travel and locate it as part of everyday discourses. It is therefore interested in smaller, local or ground travels which pay attention to the common, forsaken, details of everyday journeys – roads, vehicles, literature, discourses, politics, hence texts, that are otherwise thought to belong in another realm, but are constantly defined and described from within the vocabulary of travel. We are interested in works that grapple with texts and situations commonly associated with methods of study and practice – such as Marxism, Postcolonialism, Cybernetics, Education, Health, Identity, Politics, Romance, Religion or Revolution – other than travel, with a language and methodology of travel, and travelogy.
I walked into the 7th-floor common room in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences building at the University of Edinburgh yesterday and saw this message on the shared whiteboard:
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.
I used to live in Moscow, where everyone has long been amused that Ikea chose to name a line of wine glasses "svalka". свалка can either mean a garbage dump or a dumpster.
I was very amused when I saw the name of the official Ikea ginger cookies at the location in Red Hook, Brooklyn.They're called "pepparkaka". Everyone who saw them did a double-take, and several people (adults and children) were joking about how the last thing they wanted to eat was peppered caca. Is there a word for this kind of fail? Wikipedia calls them brand blunders.
"Scientist discovers puppy-sized spider in rain forest", ABC 11 Eyewitness News 10/20/2014:
For all readers with arachnophobia, take a moment to collect yourself before proceeding further, because this spider will haunt your dreams.
Harvard Etymologist Piotr Naskrecki recently posted on his blog about an encounter in Guyana's rainforest with a South American Goliath birdeater, a spider so large it's the size of a small dog or puppy. According to Naskreski, "Their leg span approaches 30 cm (nearly a foot) and they weigh up to 170 g."
"The true story of Stronzo Bestiale", Parolacce 10/5/2014:
Would you read a paper written by Stronzo Bestiale (Total Asshole)? A dose of mistrust would be justified: the name says it all. Yet, in 1987, professor Bestiale, supposedly a physicist in Palermo, Sicily, authored major papers in prestigious scientific peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of Statistical Physics, the Journal of Chemical Physics and the proceedings of a meeting of American Physical Society in Monterey.