Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘mockingbird’

mockingbirdhedgewinter I remember back in graduate school reading rec.arts.comics and seeing bizzare tag lines [attributed to the adventures of someone named Marc Lynx, or somesuch] like:

“Wait a minute — those aren’t blender wounds!”

In more official graduate school reading there was the concept of ‘collocation’: words that tended to appear in the company of other words, and not in the company of others.  Researchers can use those patterns in stylistic analyses — last year I heard a fascinating paper about how some lawyers wanted opthalmologists to stop using certain words in their reports because they were becoming ‘code’ for detecting “signs of child abuse”.

Sometimes, though, it’s the unusual word patterns that are most telling.  I get a remarkable # of searches on this site having to do with the raising of chinchillas, even though I was simply joking at the time [and quoting someone else, at that!].

Here’s a fine sentence of that ilk, from today’s NY Times:

For forensic ornithologists, it just doesn’t get any better than this. [link]

Here’s an example of words that don’t go together, but have unfortunately been strung together by someone whose eagerness to sell a desk greatly exceeded his or her understanding of American furniture forms:

Tiger Oak Role Tope Desk In great Condition

Advertisements

Read Full Post »