The Dimwits Dictionary, 3rd Edition

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The investigation in this paper is corpus-based dealing with three different corpora — animated films, a native language corpus, and contemporary dictionaries. The following animated films, the source of examples of blends, have been used for the research — Antz, Aristocats, Felix the Cat, Madagascar, The Incredibles, and The Simpsons. All of these animated films were obtained on DVD, making it possible to pause whenever it was needed.

Some parts of the films were played several times in order to provide an accurate analysis. Since one of the aims of the study is to determine the frequency and distribution of the blends in native discourse, the question remains as to which corpora may provide an adequate source for comparison. Corpus linguistics, as the study of language as expressed in corpora, is becoming one of the dominant methods used to analyse language today. Gries 4 , on the other hand, claims that corpus-based study interlaces the dictionary meaning of the words with real, authentic and natural language real English since corpora are based on naturally-occurring language samples.

Thus, because of the unsynchronised standpoints of linguists in this matter, the authors of this paper included an additional highly significant corpus — the Corpus of Contemporary American English COCA , along with selected dictionaries. The reason for using this language corpus in this paper is because it is empirical, analysing patterns of language used in natural texts; it is also representative since it utilizes a large and principled collection of natural texts, with its million words equally divided into categories — spoken, newspapers, fiction, magazines and academic — as the basis for the analysis.

It relies on computer software to count linguistic patterns as part of the analysis and it depends on both quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques to interpret the findings Biber et al. Besides their role to enhance vocabulary and language, dictionaries, both general and specialised thesauruses , can be used in various types of research. Identification and analysis of animated film lexical blends The words which give the fragments from which a blend is built are usually termed as source words or base words Bat-El and Cohen, see in Renner et al.

According to the research methodology in this paper, the first step assumed the identification of specific lexical blends in the animated films and their analysis from a sociological and linguistic point of view. They are presented in Table 1; the first and the second column contain their constituent parts, splinters 1 and 2, the third column contains the blend itself, and the fourth column is the source of the blend, the name of animated film it was taken from. What follows is the analysis of the examples in Table 1. In this particular case blending is combined with a metonymic shift.

His name is a blend consisted of the words bomb and bon voyage, which means safe trip in French. This coinage leaves a comic effect in the way that it has symbolic meaning for saying goodbye for good after an explosion. Incrediboy, Incrediboy is a boy who would like to be Mr. Incredible is the main character and the hero in this animated film, and many boys dream about being a hero, or, at the very least his sidekick.

His nickname, or alias, is made of two lexemes incredible and boy. Incredible means something extraordinary, something unbelievable Oxford Dictionary or of extra quality. Since heroes have incredible powers, Incrediboy thought this nickname was completely suitable for him. He has the ability to create ice and freeze surfaces with his hands.

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Consequently, the constituent words of this blend are Frost and o zone. Stratogale, Stratogale is a super heroine gifted with the superpowers of flight, super strength and the ability to communicate with birds. Incredible worked for, but ultimately got fired from. Insuricare contains two constituents — insurance and care. The funny thing here is that in spite of the name of the company which implies that they take good care of their clients, they do not allow Bob to aid insured customers.

Cartoon: The Simpsons After switching test papers with Martin, who is the smartest boy in the class, Bart gets the best score — IQ Loren Pryor advises Homer and Marge to send Bart to another school where he can employ his potential intelligence. Bart: Maybe so, but from now on this dimwit is on easy street. A dimwit is a stupid or mentally slow person. Investigation of Animated Film Blends in English Discourse 31 After attending a special school for gifted pupils, Burt gets back to his old friends, but he faces enmity: Bart: Hi, guys.

Great to see ya. Milhouse: Get lost, Poindexter. In this short dialogue two interesting blends may be found. The first one — poindexter — one who looks and acts like a nerd but does not possess the intelligence of a nerd. This blend consists of words point to show, to display, purpose and dexter skilful, right, proper, favourable, etc. Besides blending, here, in this particular dialogue, we can also find the process of metonymy.

Poindexter is a character in the fictional Felix the Cat Universe. He is the young nephew of the Professor, the arch-nemesis of Felix. Poindexter is depicted as a stereotypical scientist; he is very intelligent and always wears thick glasses, a lab coat, and a mortarboard. The term Poindexter is applied to people who are overly nerdy, geeky or bookish. She dubs her discovery poindextrose poindexter and dextrose. In the last line there is another blend — brainiac.

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Brainiac, which means a highly intelligent person, contains words brain and maniac. Boy 1: Hey, what are you talking to her for? Lisa: Not me.

The Dimwit's Dictionary, 3rd Edition

The last example — brainiac - actually shows the negative background of the term, which means that it is used when one wants to be ironic or sarcastic. It seems to be very hard for Lisa to live in a mediocre environment. Miracle on Evergreen Terrace , tomacco, which represents crossbreeds of two plants tomato and tobacco ep. Bart Carny , traumedies, Dr. Homer vs. The following examples are found in different animated films. Straight up the ground. Tasting fresh. Zip lock fresh! Freshelicious is a blend made of fresh and delicious. It means something new that is really good or cool.

Have you? Insectopia is a blend made of words insect and utopia. It should represent an imaginary place for insects in which everything is perfect. Sometimes simple words may be interpreted as blends: Cartoon: The Simpsons Lisa wants to know the meaning of the word Muppet. Homer suggests that a word Muppet maybe a blend, a mixture of two other words — mop and puppet. His explanation is not valid, but is humorous and shows ingenuity.

It is suggested by the Online Etymology Dictionary that the blend contains source words marionette and puppet. Two of the major problems of blends are the morphological transparency and the transparency of meaning. Transparency means that a complex word can be semantically interpreted by its constituents and the way these are put together. A transparent word is a modification of the blended items Ronneberger-Sibold, see in Renner et al.

But even if this is not the case, i. Both elements in the blend must be recognizable if the blend is to be successful Bauer, see in Renner et al. Thus we cannot be sure whether a word counts as a blend or not and there is no way of guaranteeing that the description is an accurate one. It is generally accepted in the psycholinguistic literature that recognisability is easier for word beginnings than for word ends. Investigation of animated film lexical blends in the COCA As already stated, the reasons for using the COCA lie in its practicality, since it utilises a large and principled collection of natural texts as the basis for this analysis, it explores how speakers and writers exploit the resources of the language, it studies the actual language used in naturally occurring texts in language corpus, and so on.

There are five text categories or sections within the corpus — spoken, newspapers, magazines, academic, and fiction, as seen in Table 2. The corpus is evenly divided between five genres: spoken, fiction, popular magazines, newspapers, and academic journals. The texts come from a variety of sources.

These were selected to cover the entire range of the Library of Congress classification system philosophy, psychology, religion, world history, education, technology, etc. It can be concluded that the blend poindexter is the most widely distributed one. The reason for this may be in that the blend poindexter was used for the first time in the animated film Felix the Cat back in and it has been used ever since. Muppet is a specific blend whose etymology, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, goes back to The name was coined by creator Jim Henson, who said, despite the resemblance to marionette and puppet, it has no earlier etymology.

He just liked the sound. Jim Henson was an American puppeteer, artist, cartoonist, film director and producer who achieved international fame as the creator of The Muppets. This blend is most frequent in the newspapers section — 80, and the least in the academic section — 3.

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Brainiac was the superintelligent villain in the Action Comics series and its spin-offs. It is most frequent in the magazine section — 19, and least in the academic section — 3. The first known use of dimwit was in This word may be problematic for the analysis in the sense that it can easily be a blend or a compound word depending on the source and context it was taken from. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, dimwit or dim- wit is a compound word consisting of dim adjective and wit noun , which defines a stupid or mentally slow person.

Dimwit is a fully assimilated word in English lexicon which has derivatives such as dim-witted adjective , dimwittedly adverb , dim-wittedness noun and so on. This blend is most frequent in fiction — 37, and least in spoken — 1. All forms of insectopia can be found in fiction — 24, except for one example in spoken. Frozone has 2 hits, both found in magazines. The blends Aristocats and sacrilicious only occur once respectively in fiction and magazines. The other blends cannot be found in the COCA.

Figure 1 presents data for poindexter, only from the COCA itself. It contains sufficient data for detailed qualitative and quantitative analysis of the sections this blend is taken from, the frequency of distribution of the blend, the total size of each section shown in millions of words, the frequency of the blend per million words normalized frequencies , and the tabular frequencies.

An investigation of animated film blends in selected dictionaries of contemporary English Table 3 shows the distribution of blends used in animated films in various selected dictionaries. Table 3 Distribution of animated film blends in dictionaries Longman dictionary of Contemporary English Cambridge dictionary McMillan dictionary Oxford d.

The blends insectopia, frozone, sacrilicious, and aristocats, which occur in the COCA, do not appear in any of the dictionaries. Whereas in the previous part of the research, some of the animated lexical blends are found in the COCA, here, in the contemporary dictionaries, very few of them can be found.


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Frequency of lexical blends in different corpora Figure 10 shows the frequency of lexical blends in different corpora. Twenty lexical blends found in animated films were cross-checked against the COCA and selected dictionaries of contemporary English in order to find out to what extent they are represented in these corpora. The COCA recognizes 8 blends, and the dictionaries only 4.

Figure 10 shows the usage of the lexical blends presented in this study in animated films, but it also reveals that some of those animated film lexical blends are used in English native discourse. The semantic analysis in the first part of the research showed that they were used in animated cartoons with informal and colloquial language such as The Simpsons or The Incredibles with their illustrations of a broad range of linguistic concepts including blends. Lexical creativity, however, is a matter of degree and the newly formed words differ as to the degree of their acceptability craptacular, freshalicious, and spooktacles are highly creative, but hardly acceptable in daily use, which can be seen in Tables 2 and 3.

According to the results of the research, through both the COCA and the dictionaries, the following can be concluded.

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The general hypothesis was confirmed in the sense that the English language used in animated films contains lexical blends. In Aristocats, Antz, Felix the Cat, Madagascar, The Incredibles, and The Simpsons, animated films in which modern language is used, twenty of these linguistic units were found, thus confirming their presence. Of all the boys, the teacher likes Dave the least. She takes a dim view of him. I take a dim view of that law. See also: dim , of , take , view. Regard disapprovingly, as in I take a dim view of meeting every single week.

This idiom, which uses dim in the sense of "unfavorable," was first recorded in The French take a dim view of anyone who only has a snack at lunchtime. Fellow critics took a poor view of a critic who reviewed Paramount films and accepted a fee from the studio. See also: dim , of , something , take , view. See also: dim , of , poor , somebody , something , take , view.

Also a rude term of address. Oh, Dave, you can be such a dimwit! To disapprove. This metaphor dates from the mid-twentieth century. Everard took a dim view of his youngest niece. See also: dim , take , view. References in periodicals archive? Varitrol switches are somewhat more expensive than dimmers , but they are the safe and correct type of hardware for controlling the speed of a ceiling fan. Dimwitted way to wire a ceiling fan. Read the fine print on the packaging to understand each bulb's performance characteristics including whether it is a dimmable bulb or not and look to manufacturers' websites to understand what bulbs are compatible with what dimmers.

In hospitality retrofits, LEDs get closer to incandescents: with a billion incandescent bulbs primed for replacement in the hospitality market alone, LED dimming must satisfy a demanding demographic. In addition, since background noise at a party tends to be lower-pitched than speech sounds, the dimmer switch probably can block out that distracting noise more than it does the speech, Frisina said. Hard to hear at holiday parties? Blame your brain. Caption s : Above: Three views of the Anigmo hands-free dimmer switch. Make sure to use a dimmer that is rated to handle the total amount of wattage.

Illuminating choices. Gordon Dimmer , who was dismissed from the Scout Association, is believed to be in Germany. Riddle of sex probe Scout.

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Consumers now have the option of buying CFLs with dimmer switches, portable dimmer rings, and harp extenders for oddly-shaped bulbs. The eternal flame. Contract notice: Renovation of the dimmer systems at the tv studios in cologne. LEDs themselves are inherently dimmable, but not necessarily with every driver, and not with every dimmer. Phase-cut dimming and the compatibility conundrum.

Cree says the LED works with any standard or low-voltage dimmer. A dimmable LED bulb that's even more affordable. Examples include the shift from thyratron tube dimmers to SCR dimmers , and, within SCR dimmers themselves, the shift to high-density dimmer racks. LED source lighting in theatrical production.