Thursday 15 September 2022

HERPETOLOGIC VERSE: Still More REPTILES

A follow-up to blog-posts of June 2019 , and May, 2020.

previous poems posted (original collection)
amphisbaenians
autotomy
beneficial snakes
broad-headed skinks
brown anoles
Carolina anoles
crocodilians
(second collection)
Eastern glass lizards
eviction notice
fence lizards
five-lined skinks
geckos (on the ceiling)
gila monsters
going green

CURRENT CONTENTS:
Herpetophobes
Leaping lizards
Painted turtles
Red-eared sliders
Reptile fantasy
Skink-busting
More to follow


Authors' Note: 

ophidiophobia: an extreme or incapacitating fear of snakes

herpetophobia: a similar anxiety disorder extending to all reptiles

The reptilian suborder Serpentes was previously known as Ophidia, a term derived from ophis, Greek for 'snake'. 




Authors' Note:  'Leapin' Lizards' was a classic idiom used to express surprise, long before it was suspected that birds had evolved from reptiles! 




Authors' Note: With four regional subspecies, the painted turtle, Chrysemus picta, has a range covering almost the entire United States and a part of Canada; it is North America's most common turtle.

  The verse's tale, based on a recent experience by the author dealt with an attractive female belonging to the eastern subspecies, although her accent was definitely southern.


 midland painted turtle (in Ontario), scurrying home




Authors' Note: Most commonly, we think of asymptomatic carriers as humans who can transmit a microbial infection, but have no symptoms themselves; such diseases as typhoid and salmonellosis are well-known to be transmitted by carriers.

Similarly, pets may harbor organisms that cause human disease, although the animals themselves don't become ill. Salmonella bacteria are commonly found on the skins of certain lizards and most turtles. The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta), a reptile native to the US, has attained notoriety in this regard; as children's pets they are cute, easy to care for, and inexpensive. Combined with their penchant for taking over ponds from native turtles, these traits underlie their status as an invasive species whose sale is now banned in many countries around the globe.











DIRECTION FOR WEB-TRAVELLERS: 
To resume daily titillations on our related blog 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense', click HERE. Once you arrive, you can select your time frame of interest from the calendar-based listings in the righthand margin, and check the daily offerings for any month in the years 2020 to the present. (As of September 2023, there are over 1200 unique entries available on the Daily blog, and most of these are also presented here on 'Edifying Nonsense' in topic-based collections.) The 'Daily' format also has the advantage of including some videos and other material that are not shown here on this topic-based blog.

Saturday 10 September 2022

GUIDE to the CINEMA


CURRENT CONTENTS:
Gainless
Beaver Tales
Inspector Clouseau
When I'm cleaning windows
More to follow

 

Authors' Note: Director Robert Altman had initially requested music for a single scene in the 1970 movie M*A*S*H; in keeping with the plot, this was to be "the stupidest song ever written". Having difficulty in completing the lyricist's task himself, Altman called on his 14-year-old son, who presumably finished the job in a few minutes. The music for "Suicide is Painless" went on to become highly popular as the principal theme for the movie and the TV series; the lyrics are not widely known, but earned the junior Altman large sums in royalties.







Authors' Note: This verse is a fantasy derived from my favorite gag in the Pink Panther films, which highlight exploits from the career of Inspector Jacques Clouseau
  The bumbling Inspector has major troubles in checking into hotels wherever he goes. Many scenes are set in Paris, where everyone speaks perfect English except the protagonist. Beset by a thick French accent, he has difficulty making himself understood, as when he negotiates with a hotel clerk to rent a "r~rheume" (room).



Authors' Note: Perhaps the best-known song by British singer, actor, comedian and ukulele artist George Formby, Jr. (1904–1961) was "When I'm Cleaning Windows." The song appeared in the 1936 film Keep Your Seats, Please. Initially banned by the BBC, the song was later revealed to be a favorite of the royal family. 

online photo as displayed in "Ukulele Magazine"
In his films, Formby portrayed a good-natured but incompetent little man from rural county Lancaster, with songs interspersed throughout in which Formby (his character "laced with shy ordinariness") sings, accompanying himself on ukulele or banjo. Apparently, the Beatles, particularly George Harrison, were influenced by Formby and his ukulele performances. 


DIRECTION FOR WEB-TRAVELLERS: 
To resume daily titillations on our related blog 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense', click HERE. Once you arrive, you can select your time frame of interest from the calendar-based listings in the righthand margin, and check the daily offerings for any month in the years 2020 to the present. (As of September 2023, there are over 1200 unique entries available on the Daily blog, and most of these are also presented here on 'Edifying Nonsense' in topic-based collections.) The 'Daily' format has the advantage of including some videos and other material that are not shown here on this topic-based blog.


Monday 5 September 2022

Grandpa Greg's Advanced Grammar: PLURALIA TANTUM


CURRENT CONTENTS:
Ceremonial events
Eruptions (rashes)
Cooking ingredients
Condolences
Backwoods
High hopes
Moronics
Careers (3 verses, a 'brief saga')


Authors' Note: Plurale tantum, meaning plural only, is a Latin-derived term (with plural form pluralia tantum), for a noun that has no, or only a minimally used singular form, e.g. alms, auspices, and dregs. There are over one hundred of these in English. In other languages, such forms are commonly used to refer to ceremonial time-points on life's journey, but in English we have only the relatively archaic terms banns, nuptials, obsequies and remains, also last rites and final respects. Bryce's attempt to help his audience is incorrect, as these peculiarly plural nouns generally are paired with a plural verb-form.


nuptials by the lake





Authors' Note: Eruption is a venerable medical term for a skin rash, in use since an earlier era when practitioners paid careful attention to characteristic skin lesions and various symptoms, but knew little of disease causality such as viral infection and allergy. Traditional names for medical symptoms and diseases in general are often based on lay vernacular terms dating from a much earlier time. Shingles is also known as herpes zoster, the second term referring to the belt-like distribution of lesions.



Authors' Note: 

clunky: slang for 'awkward'

Our disappointed grammar-buff is right: a lot of grammar is not derived from logical principles. All languages face the problem of characterizing masses and groups of undistinguished small objects as singular or plural. This dilemma seems to reach its peak with items that are the basis of cooking. Despite an attempt to find rules, there is no dependency on particle size.

Nouns used only, or principally in the plural form are known as pluralia tantum; those used excusively in the singular form are known as singularia tantum. This usage varies from one language to another. We find some foreign uses 'incomprehensible', as in the general Hebrew plural form mayim for 'water', despite the fact that, on occasion, "Still waters run deep."

\

Authors' Note: The above verse provides several further examples of the grammatical phenomenon pluralia tantumAn idiom associated with providing condolences for the family and friends of a single deceased person is to 'pay one's final respects'.


Authors' Note:   

Urals: The Ural Mountains, a discrete range running north and south, separates old Russian from more sparsely populated Siberia, and is considered as the boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia.

 The above verses provide further examples of the grammatical phenomenon pluralia tantum









RELATED VERSE:


(Note that the three verses of this "brief saga" can be found in more readily legible format on the blog "Daily Illustrated Nonsense"; click HERE.) 


OVERLAPPING THEMES: 



DIRECTION FOR WEB-TRAVELLERS: 
To resume daily titillations on our related blog 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense', click HERE. Once you arrive, you can select your time frame of interest from the calendar-based listings in the righthand margin, and check the daily offerings for any month in the years 2020 to the present. (As of September 2023, there are over 1200 unique entries available on the Daily blog, and most of these are also presented here on 'Edifying Nonsense' in topic-based collections.) The 'Daily' format also has the advantage of including some videos and other material that are not shown here on this topic-based blog.