« previous post | next post »

Today's Rhymes with Orange:


  1. Benjamin Zimmer said,

    July 9, 2009 @ 8:33 am

    I know it's just a playful blend, but I want homophonicide to mean "the killing of a homophone," not "killing by means of a homophone." I guess this puts it in the same class as genericide ("killing a trademark by means of genericization") and various suicide-related coinages (autocide = "suicide by crashing the vehicle one is driving," copicide = "suicide by provoking a police officer to shoot," medicide = "suicide assisted by a physician"). Further discussion here.

  2. Dougal Stanton said,

    July 9, 2009 @ 9:10 am

    @Benjamin Zimmer:

    I love the way auto- has become the prefix to mean "motor vehicle". So much so that I only recently realised that it didn't mean that. Makes signs like "Auto Repair While You Wait" all the more amusing. :-)

  3. Sili said,

    July 9, 2009 @ 10:46 am

    Pullum might like the 'votey' for today's Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

    I hope "linguistics in the comics" is close enough to be on topic.

  4. Robert Morris said,

    July 9, 2009 @ 10:46 am

    I don't know if anyone else noticed, but Mark must have set the title attribute (tooltip text) of the comic strip image to "Click to embiggen".

    That alone made my day.

  5. Sili said,

    July 9, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

    Sounds like he's taken a page from Phil Plait's book then.

    Next, look out for "Brobdinnagify".

  6. Ryan said,

    July 9, 2009 @ 1:33 pm

    It seems to me like the words genocide and genericide follow the same pattern. Perhaps that's what the analogy was when the term was coined?

  7. Neal Goldfarb said,

    July 9, 2009 @ 3:14 pm

    Hey, Mark, don't you read Arnold's blog?

  8. Benjamin Zimmer said,

    July 9, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

    Ryan: In what way do genocide and genericide "follow the same pattern"? Unlike genericide, genocide follows the traditional model of "X-cide" = "killing of X" (where X is Greek genos 'race'). Or are you simply referring to the phonetic similarity between the two words?

  9. Ran Ari-Gur said,

    July 9, 2009 @ 7:23 pm

    @Sili: Sadly, according to the traditional prescriptivist rule, "whom" actually would be wrong there (since "who" is an extracted subject: "Whoi do you think [that] [trace]i is gonna […]"). Like many prescriptivist dogmata, it's feared more than taught, and people often fear they're breaking it even when they're not. For similar cases, see the many Language Log posts on supposedly passive voice, split verbs, P-stranded adverbial particles, etc.

  10. Ran Ari-Gur said,

    July 9, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

    … wait, the commenting software doesn't allow subscripts? I imagine that as soon as NLP is a solved problem, the software here will be updated to block all co-reference, too?

    [(myl) There's lots of DWIM-ish code in WordPress, which works about as well as such things usually do. But I just edited your comment to use e.g.


    and it seemed to do the right thing.

    Is that also what you tried? If so, then apparently which html tags commenters get to use depends on their level of authorization.]

  11. 4ndyman said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 12:24 am

    Shouldn't the vampire be a bloodsucking deer? Making it a steak to the hart?

  12. JJM said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

    And just what's wrong with "embiggen"?

    It's a perfectly cromulent word.

  13. Sili said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 1:41 pm

    Thanks, Ran,

    I realised as much on a second reading, but it still leaves the fact that the artist worried about getting it right.

  14. Ryan said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

    I actually have no idea what I was thinking with that.

  15. Ran Ari-Gur said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 5:37 pm

    @myl: Yup, I typed <sub>i</sub>, and it worked fine in the JS preview, but then when I actually clicked "Submit Comment", those tags were stripped out. I don't understand it; surely, when writing software to filter out potentially-unsafe HTML, any sane developer would start by going through http://www.w3.org/TR/html40/index/elements.html and determining which ones were safe? (And just as surely, no sane developer would decide that "sub" might not be?)

    [(myl) There's a lot of weird stuff in the WordPress code. Ask me about the treatment of spaces some time… well, really, don't. My impression is that most of the manifold annoyances are unintended consequences of some simple-minded hack that someone once thought would be a clever way to accomplish something with no obvious relationship to the damage done.]

RSS feed for comments on this post