Archive for Humor

They love him


Annotated lyrics here; more on the Black Trump site.

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Say what?

Mike Miller received the text below via WeChat recently, where it seems to be making the rounds:

Gěi dàjiā jiǎng yīgè gǎnrén de gùshì: Yīgè qiāng kōng hé jī shè jī cǎn chǐ dú ē, túrán, chài yī líng diàn máo bīn qǐ, lí yuè miè chán…ránhòu jiù sǐle. Tài gǎnrénle…! Zhè gùshì jiào “yīgè wénmáng de bēi'āi”. Dàjiā wǎn'ān, míngtiān jiàn!

给大家讲一个感人的故事: 一个戗箜翮齑歙畿黪褫髑屙 ,突然,虿黟囹簟蟊豳綮,蠡瀹蠛躔…然后就死了。 太感人了…! 这故事叫《一个文盲的悲哀》。大家晚安,明天见!

Let me tell everybody a touching story:  A blah blah blah blah.  Suddenly, blah blah blah, blah blah….  After that he died.  This is so touching.  This story is called "The sorrow of an illiterate".  Good night, everybody.  See you tomorrow.

VHM:  Pinyin transcription and translation added by me.

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Papi Jiang: PRC internet sensation

Tom Mazanec wrote in to call Papi醬 (jiàng means "thick sauce; jam-like or paste-like food") to my attention.  Tom explains:

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"Movie stars broken down by age and sex"

Here's some quick follow-up to "Data journalism and film dialogue" — Peter Weinberger sent a link to Thomas Lumley's blog post, "Movie stars broken down by age and sex", StatsChat 4/9/2016, and commented "I've always thought of that as their fate, but no, it's some graphs".


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Jerman, Perancis, Jepang, …

I recently got a "Call for Papers" from an international organization whose next annual meeting will be held in Indonesia, and it's clear that part of the production of the flier was in the hands of an Indonesian person, because the affiliations of members of various listed committees included these:

Bielefeld University, Jerman
I2R, Singapura
LIMSI-CNRS, Perancis
Trinity College Dublin, Irlandia
Wonkwang University, Korea Selatan
Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Jepang

I have a great deal of respect for the organization in question, and I would doubtless do much worse if required to create a flier in Indonesian. And clearly much if not all of this is the standard Indonesian spelling of the country names in question. But still…

Update — I should add that this is related to the complicated discussions about Burma/Myanmar, Bombay/Mumbai, Milan/Milano, and so forth.

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ASSoL at GMU — Really?

As suspicious as the dateline is, this is apparently for real — Susan Svrluga, "George Mason law school to be renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law", Washington Post 4/1/2016:

The George Mason School of Law will be renamed in honor of the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this year.

The university announced Thursday that it has received $30 million in combined gifts to the George Mason Foundation to support the law school, the largest gift in the university’s history. The donations make possible three new scholarship programs. Twenty million dollars came from an anonymous donor, and $10 million came from the Charles Koch Foundation, which has given millions of dollars to colleges in the United States. The family is well known for its support of conservative political groups, sometimes stirring controversy.

The Board of Visitors approved the renaming of the school to the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University. “This is a milestone moment for the university,” Ángel Cabrera, the university’s president, said in a statement. “These gifts will create opportunities to attract and retain the best and brightest students, deliver on our mission of inclusive excellence, and continue our goal to make Mason one of the preeminent law schools in the country.”

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Political one-liners

Yesterday I linked to a couple of Lindsey Graham's jokes at celebratory dinner ("Fecal compounds", 3/5/2016). But the journalists and politicians who spoke at last night's annual Gridiron Club dinner outdid him.

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Super Tuesday bug time

Typo of the week:

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Tell the truth!

It was a linguistic maneuver that had possibly never been tried before in the history of real estate: tell the straight truth about the property, no varnishing, no slathering with adjectives like "stunning". Just tell it like it is. One brave firm of real estate agents, Scott & Stapleton in England, tried it as a way of getting rid of a run-down apartment in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. The manager, Rob Kahl, wrote the copy:

Not for the faint hearted this first floor flat is being sold as seen, rubbish and all!

Having recently just had to evict some charming (not) tenants the vendors of this property have had enough and can't even face setting foot in what used to be their sweet and charming home.

I can't flower this one up or use my normal estate agent jargon to make this sound any better.

The property is full of rubbish, there is mould on the walls and I think there may even be some fleas there to keep me company when I carry out the viewings.

To conclude, the advertisement advised those viewing the property to "wipe your feet on the way out".

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Love transformed

With the title "Yeah… that totally translates to 'love'", imgur presents the following image:

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The entertainment potential of regional varieties of American English has apparently hit the late-night TV zeitgeist. Here's a brilliant trailer, for the imaginary movie Boston Accent (posted on YouTube 1/21/2016):

And a new kind of competition, the Accent-Off (also posted on 1/21/2016):

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Malheur militia snark

The internet has responded with a wave of snarky hashtags to the self-appointed militia occupying the  visitors' center at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Many are inappropriately anti-rural (#YokelHaram, #YeeHawdists), or irrelevantly anti-southern (#YallQaeda), but in a case like this, snarky stereotype-based ridicule is a better weapon than gun battles, I guess.

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Notable corrections

Noted by Geoff Nunberg, some linguistically relevant examples in Robert Rector collection of "The best (or worst) news media corrections of 2015", Pasadena Star-News 12/28/2015:

“Norma Adams-Wade’s June 15 column incorrectly called Mary Ann Thompson Frenk a socialist. She is a socialite.” — The Dallas Morning News.

“This post originally quoted photographer Tom Sanders as saying it takes him five years to get on the dance floor. It takes him five beers.” Slate magazine.

“Our panel listing the expected highlights at Glastonbury this summer catapulted into the festival’s headliners a band not so much obscure as unknown, even to those expert in Judaic contributions to rock. The group Frightened Rabbi should have been the Scottish band Frightened Rabbit.” — The Guardian.

And one that illustrates the potentially calamitous consequences of denasalization:

"Reporter Amanda Hess, in a story published Monday, acknowledges she wrongly wrote that ‘one in three black men who have sex with me is HIV positive.’ In fact, the statistic applies to black men ‘who have sex with men.’"— Washington Citypaper.

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