Posts Tagged ‘Language’

More Plays on Words

March 5, 2011

Loss of Magnet Schools Makes H.I.S.D. Less Attractive.

In this case, the play on words for lexiphilic (new word) satisfaction only sounds funny. The loss of our magnet schools to  help balance the local budget on public spending for education is arguably a tough bad choice. To help balance things out for all of you true lexiphiles (lovers of language and the art of crisp idea expression), here are some wonderful new phrase turns I received yesterday from Larry Joe Miggins. Many of you know Larry better as either a re-enactor of the Battle of San Jacinto or as the hard-swinging first baseman of our Houston Babies vintage baseball team. Thanks, Larry, for a nice prosaic slide into the weekend.

Here they are:

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

The batteries were given out free of charge.

A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

A will is a dead giveaway.

If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I’ll show you A-flat miner.

You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.

If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.

In a democracy it’s your vote that counts; in feudalism, it’s your Count that votes.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d dye.

Acupuncture: a jab well done.


Reference List of Baseball Metaphors.

March 8, 2010

Webster Never Did It. It's Up to Us.

Done right, this one will take some time. How about us trying to build the best list of baseball metaphors we can produce?

Our American culture is steeped in baseball references to various life situations. In fact, it’s almost impossible to conceive of a day ever going by, even in the off-season, when somebody somewhere  in America is not using some now cliche’ reference to baseball to make a point or describe a life predicament. It also is not too hard to figure why that’s true.

Baseball is a game that simply oozes with the melodrama of how life works on a daily basis. Like the long tough run of the regular season, life flows by seemingly all roses for some people and pure grade A hell for so many others. As with the games, some days we can’t do anything wrong. Others we can’t do anything right. Other days just get rained out, but even the wet ones fail to alter the ultimate goal of winning the World Series at the Pearly Gates. It’s our human striving, in one form or another, to try to find a way to earn survival from here to eternity. Like in baseball, there is no clock on the personal salvation game, but this whole thing called life may be cancelled for all time without notice, at any time, and often when we least expect it. Or we may fall too far behind and despair of ever catching up while we still have a few innings to play.

We can’t do that. We can’t ever give up. As Moses once said, “It ain’t over til it’s over!” We may be forced to wander through the desert of rebuilding for forty figurative days and nights sometimes, but we have to keep heart in the belief that we shall ultimately find our way again.

Why don’t we try to pull together all the most popular baseball-as-life metaphor statements we can call to mind? I’ll start us off with some that come easily to consciousness and invite each of you to help build the list by adding others as reply comments to this article. I have a hunch that this list doesn’t have a real closing lid on all the possibilities. Each of these statements shares one quality in common with all others for those of us who grew up in our American culture. That is, their meanings shall need no explanation. For people who are new to America, and foreign to baseball, they will each be as confusing as gobbildy-gook. Don’t know what the latter is? I’m sorry. Gobbildy-gook is covered in a wholly separate class.

Here’s the starter list of baseball metaphor statements:

1. I’ve got two strikes against me going into the interview, but I will make the most of it.

2. How did the interview go, you ask? Super. I knocked it out of the park.

3. As I was explaining our vacation itinerary to my wife, she threw me a curve. She said that her mother was coming with us on the cruise.

4. Let me lay this one right down the middle of the plate for you, son. If you don’t do your chores, you don’t go out this weekend.

5. All of a sudden, Johnny made a comment that came straight out of left field.

6. Don’t crowd the plate on me in this business deal, Sammy. I’ve got some chin music for you, if you do.

7. How’s Barbara? Forget it. I can’t get to first base with her.

8. Oh, they under-cut our prices, did they? Looks like its time to play a little hardball.

9. Students who cram to pass final exams are like ball clubs that expect to win with a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

10. “Two three the count. Nobody on. He hit a high fly into the stands. Rounded third. He was headed for home. It was a brown-eyed handsome man.” – Chuck Berry.

OK. That’s enough from me. Let’s hear it from you guys too. Please post away in the space below.