Tends to be amusing for English speakers


Enjoyed reading this article from Vanity Fair.  The jist of the article is that Ermahgerd Girl was intentionally making comedy when she took this picture.  Does that change the funniness of this?

According to Ari Spool, a New York–based reporter and self-described meme scientist for Know Your Meme, rhotacized speech—that is, speech in which the “R” sound is somehow disfigured—tends to be amusing for English speakers.

But it’s not just about the imagined voice. “[It’s] also the absurdity, rhythm, and timbre of the words,” Spool said. “We call this type of voice-heavy meme writing ‘interior monologue captioning,’ and it’s a common ingredient in a successful image.”


People who look kind of alike

Phil Rosenthal

Phil Rosenthal and
David Remnick

David Remnick


Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.53.47 PMWent through NASA’s new Flickr of the Apollo missions looking for good ones I hadn’t seen before.  Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.53.58 PM

Some very great shades of blue.
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Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.46.36 PMEarf

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.53.13 PMNASA’s foil game is so on pointScreen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.56.53 PMGoodbye spaceman!Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.57.16 PM  Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.56.45 PM

Making movies
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Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.57.34 PMWish traffic in LA were like this. Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.57.25 PM


Kuncho is alive!

A humorous email from my high school:IMG_0289

The word “spa” in Massachusetts

Massachusetts local dialect is all over the Web these days*.  This is a favorite topic of mine.


A discussion of placemats caused my sister to send the above photo, and sent me looking into the Massachusetts use of the word “spa.”

Best (first) source I found was (of course?) at Village 14, “Newton’s Virtual Village”:

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The word spa comes to us from Spa, Belgium:


The greatest Belgian in fiction?  Some people say its Poirot but I say it’s Remy from “Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.”


For Massachusetts dialect, let me give a shoutout to David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways In America.


This guy is a boss.  He tells us that what we think of as the “Boston accent” might have its origin in the dialect of East Anglia:

Also he suggests how Scots-Irish people brought us pig-ribs and fighting and gun-love.

Andrew Jackson

  • see previous Helytimes coverage of the ocean sunfish here