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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of  
Carolina Naturally
Today is also Valentine's Day  ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 210 countries around the world daily.   
The REAL Valentine's Day (before the catholics stole it) ... !
Today is - Lupercalia

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Today is also National Hippo Day.

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Today in History

The first serious fist fight occurs in Congress.
New Jersey becomes the last northern state to abolish slavery.
Union General Ulysses S. Grant launches a major assault on Fort Donelson, Tenn.
Charges of treason against Jefferson Davis are dropped.
The U.S. battleship Maine blows up in Havana Harbor, killing 268 sailors and bringing hordes of Western cowboys and gunfighters rushing to enlist in the Spanish-American War.
The British threaten to use natives in the Boer War fight.
The London Zoo announces it will install lights to cheer up fogged-in animals.
U.S. Congress passes the Civil Works Emergency Relief Act, allotting new funds for Federal Emergency Relief Administration.
Hitler orders that all British merchant ships will be considered warships.
British forces in Singapore surrender to Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita.
The Germans break the American Army’s lines at the Fanid-Sened Sector in Tunisia, North Africa.
American bombers attack the Abbey of Monte Cassino in an effort to neutralize it as a German observation post in central Italy.
Royal Canadian mounted police arrest 22 as Soviet spies.
Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung sign a mutual defense treaty in Moscow.
Andrei Gromyko replaces Dmitri T. Shepilov as the Soviet Foreign Minister.
Eighteen members of the U.S. figure skating team are lost in an airplane crash in Belgium.
Canada’s maple leaf flag is raised for the first time.
Thirteen U.S. helicopters are shot down in one day in Vietnam
U.S. gas stations threaten to close because of federal fuel policies.

The Most Romantic Islands on Earth

There's just something romantic about an island excursion, so when you compile a list of the most romantic islands on Earth, you can be pretty sure that they're some of the best couple's destinations around.
The list was based on reader votes from Travel and Leisure and features islands from across the globe that all have one thing in common -pristine waters that are perfect for skinny dip. The islands are great places to propose, rekindle romance and fall in love for the first time.
So don't miss the full list here.

How eating less can slow the aging process

How eating less can slow the aging processThere’s a multi-billion-dollar industry devoted to products that fight signs of aging, but moisturizers only go skin deep. Aging occurs deeper — at a cellular level — and scientists have found that eating less can … Read more

Spending All Day On Your Butt Ages You By 8 Years

unhealthy sitting at desk all daySpending All Day On Your Butt Ages You By 8 Years
​But here’s how to dodge the health risks of staying desk-bound

Trial date set in Slenderman attack

Sandusky's son charged with child sex abuse

Penn State coach Sandusky's son charged with child sex abuse

Price of drug for overdoses jumps more than 600 percent

Price of drug for overdoses jumps more than 600 percent

Can 'Handle Masking' Help Minimize Twitter Harassment?

Politics Has Made 29 Percent Of Us Worse At Our Jobs

election distractionPolitics Has Made 29 Percent Of Us Worse At Our Jobs
Survey says our productivity has waned since the election

‘Irresponsible’ women are just a ‘host’ for their fetuses

“I believe one of the breakdowns in our society is that we have excluded the man out of all of these types of decisions,” the wingnut insisted.
Pardon us but your stupidity is showing.

Linguists have been discussing "Shit Gibbon."

by Taylor Jones
Earlier this week a Pennsylvania state senator called Dumbass Trump a "fascist, loofa-faced shit-gibbon."
There was an excellent post on Strong Language, a blog about swearing, discussing what makes "shit gibbon" so arresting, so fantastic, so novel, and yet... so right (for English swearing. Whether you believe "shit gibbon" is "right" as a characterization of Dumbass Trump is a personal assessment each person must make for themselves).
The post, The Rise of the ShitGibbon can be found here. I highly recommend reading it.
Most of the post was dedicated to tracing the origins and rise of "shitgibbon." The end of the post, however, catalogues insults in the same vein:
wankpuffin, cockwomble, fucktrumpet, dickbiscuit, twatwaffle, turdweasel, bunglecunt, shitehawk
And some variants: cuntpuffin, spunkpuffin, shitpuffin; fuckwomble, twatwomble; jizztrumpet, spunktrumpet; shitbiscuit, arsebiscuits, douchebiscuit; douchewaffle, cockwaffle, fartwaffle, cuntwaffle, shitwaffle (lots of –waffles); crapweasel, fuckweasel, pissweasel, doucheweasel.
I've actually been thinking about insults like this a surprising amount. Ben Zimmer points out about "Shitgibbon" that "...Metrically speaking, these words are compounds consisting of one element with a single stressed syllable and a second disyllabic element with a trochaic pattern, i.e., stressed-unstressed. As a metrical foot in poetry, the whole stressed-stressed-unstressed pattern is known as antibacchius."
I argue that this is correct, but that (1) there's a little bit more to say about it, and (2) there are exceptions.
First: I argue that the rule for making a novel insult of this type is a single syllable expletive (e.g., dick, cock, douche, cunt, slut, fart, splunk, splooge, piss, jizz, vag, fuck, etc.) plus a trochee. A trochee, as a reminder, is a word that's two syllables with stress on the first. Examples are puffin, womble, trumpet, biscuit, waffle, weasel, and of course, gibbon. Tons of words in English are trochees (have a relevant XKCD! In fact, have two! Wait, no, three! No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!). Because so many words are trochees, you'll have to pick wisely --- something like ninja might not be as humorously insulting as waffle.
That said, in principle, monosyllable expletive + trochee seems to give really good results. Behold:
fart basket, shit whistle, turd helmet, cock bucket, douche blanket, vag weasel, (I'm gonna be so much fun when I get old and have dementia. Good luck grandkids!), shit mandrill, piss gopher, jizz weevil, etc. etc. I can do this all day.
So, it's not the fact of being a gibbon per se. Various other monkeys would work: vervet, mandrill, etc. However, crucially, baboons, macaques, black howlers, and pygmy marmosets are out.
Moreover, it's not completely unlimited. Some words fit but don't make much sense as an insult: cock bookshelf, fart saucepan (which I quite like, actually), dick pension, belch welder.
Others sound like the kind of thing a child would say: fart person! poop human! turd foreman!
Yet others are too Shakespearean: fart monger! piss weasel!
Clearly some words (waffle, weasel, gibbon, pimple, bucket) are better than others (bookshelf, doctor, ninja, icebox), and some just depend on delivery (e.g., ironic twat hero, turd ruler, spunk monarch, dick duchess).
For a while, I've been discussing vowels in insults with fellow linguist Lauren Spradlin. Note that when we talk about vowels, we mean sounds, not letters. Don't worry about the spelling, try saying the below aloud. Spradlin has brought my attention to the importance of repeating vowels increasing the viability of a new insult of this form: crap rabbit, jizz biscuit, shit piston, spunk puffin, cock waffle, etc.
I would argue that having the right vowels actually gives you some leeway, so you can get away with following the first word with --- gasp! ---- a non-trochee! Be it an iamb (remember iambic pentameter?) as in douche-canoe, spluge caboose, or the delightfully British bunglecunt (h/t Jeff Lidz), or even more syllables: Kobey Schwayder's charming mofo-bonobo.
As you can see, this is a hot topic in the hallowed halls of the ivory tower. If the above simple formulae have motivated even one person to go out and exercise their own creativity to make a novel contribution to the English language, then I've done my job here as a linguist. Different people get into linguistics for different reasons, but this, this is what I live for. Get out there and make a difference.

First Reported Massacre of Afghan Civilians Under Dumbass Trump

Remember this is the first reported massacre - The real question is ... how many have there been?

Wingnuts Disapprove Of Celebrities Getting Political Unless They're Pro-Dumbass Trump

Stepson shot KKK chief Ancona in the head

KKK leader Frank Ancona, who enjoyed a surge of media attention after pledging to bring the Ku Klux Klan to Ferguson, Missouri, was shot dead Thursday.

White supremacists brutally attack brothers

“I didn’t think something like this could happen. This is crazy,” one said. “I didn’t think they would be so brazen as to patronize a bar in Manhattan like that. I go there all the time and never felt a bad feeling.”

Prosecutors aren’t charging a white teabagger agitator with terrorism in violent anti-Muslim plot

Prosecutors won’t refer to a teabagger agitator as a “terrorist” during his trial on a variety of charges connected to a plot to attack a Muslim community hyped by lunatic fringe wingnut media as a terrorism training camp.
(He's white Nazi therefore he is not a terrorist at least according to the Nazis ... excuse us, prosecutors ... that is, he is one of their own - to the rest of us he IS a terrorist)

What is driving the universe’s accelerated expansion?

Scientists spotted a supernova just hours after it exploded

Animal Pictures