Portmanteaus: Linguistic Venn Diagrams

Gary mentioned portmanteaus today. It got me thinking about why I love a good portmanteau.

Vennzel Washington

From Graphjam.

Ironic Venn Diagram

Having dangerously used the word irony in a post today – and fearing the horde of angry pedants who swarm onto any use of the word irony they deem inappropriate – I made this graph on graphjam.

Here is what wikipedia has to say on the matter – that may provide some clarity…

Modern theories of rhetoric distinguish between verbal, dramatic and situational irony.

  • Verbal irony is a disparity of expression and intention: when a speaker says one thing but means another, or when a literal meaning is contrary to its intended effect. An example of this is sarcasm.
  • Dramatic irony is a disparity of expression and awareness: when words and actions possess a significance that the listener or audience understands, but the speaker or character does not.
  • Situational irony is the disparity of intention and result: when the result of an action is contrary to the desired or expected effect. Likewise, cosmic irony is disparity between human desires and the harsh realities of the outside world (or the whims of the gods). By some definitions, situational irony and cosmic irony are not irony at all.

And in case you’re confused between sarcasm and verbal irony – because both have the same functional definition – here’s a helpful contrast.

Ridicule is an important aspect of sarcasm, but not verbal irony in general.

The problem with PETA

The problem with PETA – from a PR standpoint – is that they have no sense of scale. How can you sound credible when calling for the end of the fur trade or whale hunting – while on the other protesting about people throwing dead fish at a conference, or the shooting of dogs in computer games – or trying to rebrand fish as sea kittens

This graph sums it up nicely.

More graphically speaking

Graphjam is fun. More fun on PCs than Macs – for some reason I couldn’t save the ones I made yesterday to graphjam’s servers. Today, on the other hand, I’ve managed to put one there for the world to see.

This is what it looks like.

If the awesomely persuasive power of graphs isn’t enough to get you people commenting, I don’t know what is…

On the relationship between comments and effort

I made a graph. I used GraphJam. It sums up an extraordinary blogging phenomena.

Update: I made a second graph.

Graphical truth

GraphJam is awesome. And it appears that it has been overtaken by acerbic Christian wits and journalism graduates… such is the level of cynicism displayed by these posts…

Soul Music

This GraphJam assessment of Christian music (not church music the "commercial" part of Christian music that is an industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars per annum) reminded me of this classic South Park episode where Cartman starts a Christian band and writes songs by substituting "you" for "God" in classic songs… these may be offensive to Christian music fans…

Here’s John Safran’s classic segment on Christian music…

Grammar Nazis and homophones

Yeah. Take that you “your/you’re”, “its/it’s” and “there/their/they’re” grammar nazis.

Everybody makes mistakes. Especially with homophones. Maybe words that are homophones should have little pink triangles inserted into the spelling. That’d keep you Nazis happy. Wouldn’t it. Anyone who dares to write things online should be sent to “concentration” camp…

Musical maturity

I thought this piece of Graphjammy goodness was too good to pass up after last week’s music debate.

I put U2 on the right hand side.

Tickle rage

I have a confession. I have a dangerously low tickle threshold – lower than indicated by this graph. My wife likes to tickle. This is a shameless attempt to prevent any future tickling.

Kick out the jam

I’ve mentioned GraphJam before. It’s a fun site. It has funny graphs. Now it has a graph that I made. I’m unsure whether I think it’s funny or not. Making graphs for GraphJam proved to be particularly easy. You can do it here. If you do, and send me a copy, I’ll post it under mine. We’ll have a GraphJam jam. If you made a graph about jam we could have a jam GraphJam jam.