Archive for the ‘Language play’ Category

More Family Circus parodies

April 15, 2014

On tumblr, the comic Time is a Flat Circus, with recaptioned Family Circus comics — most not deeply linguistic, but rather dark and pointed. Two examples, from 12 and 14 April, respectively:



Earlier parodies in this posting of 2/2/14: Nietzsche Family Circus and Dysfunctional Family Circus. The cuteness of the originals invitex this sort of reworking.

On the lam at Lim’s

April 13, 2014

Today’s Zippy:


Word play in lam / Lim’s.

Then there’s the slang idiom on the lam and the diner in the strip.


Spiders and flies

April 12, 2014

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm:

A transposition of the parts of a familiar saying.

Time flies when you’re having fun came up recently in a somewhat different kind of language play, a simple pun in a Dilbert, here

Food fraud

April 10, 2014

In the March 15th Economist, a story about food crime, “A la cartel: Organised gangs have a growing appetite for food crime”, beginning:

Gangsters used to send their enemies to sleep with the fishes. Today they are more likely to mislabel the fishes and sell them at a profit. Organised criminals who have long trafficked drugs are diversifying into humdrum areas of commerce — particularly food, booze and cheap consumer goods.

Two things here: the title of the story, with its play on à la carte and cartel; and a final linguistic flourish in the story itself:

Meanwhile, other controls weaken. In December another parliamentary group, the public accounts committee, noted that border police had given priority to passenger checks over other duties, including examining freight for illicit goods. Cuts to local government mean that the number of trading-standards officers is dropping. Worcester County Council proposes to slash spending on trading standards by 80% over the next three years. Britons can expect more corn fakes for breakfast.

Yes, the excellent corn fakes (echoing corn flakes).


Two cartoon puns

April 9, 2014

In my mail recently, a Dilbert (with a pun, unusual for this strip) and a Rhymes With Orange (which specializes in puns):


Time flies when you’re having fun / funds.


Basic cable / fable.


Zippy on figures of speech

April 7, 2014

Today’s Zippy:



Zippy runs through an inventory of figures of speech. Then there’s the language play: oxymoron / moron, and (in the title) idiomatic pressing ‘urgent’ of the literal senses of pressing (Zippy is ironing clothes).

Cheap pun

April 6, 2014

Just in: a Mother Goose and Grimm with a cheap (but enjoyable) pun:


Justin Bieber / Beaver. The pun is straightforward, but this is another case where you need a lot of sociocultural knowledge, in particular about Justin Bieber.

Another Pearls elaborate pun

April 6, 2014

Today’s Pearls Before Swine:


Pig sets up an elaborate pun (on “Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light?”) and Rat confronts the cartoonist.

Surreal Zippy

April 5, 2014

Zippy is routinely surreal, but today’s alludes more directly to surrealistic art than most of the strips:


This has the feel of a Magritte (and includes a recurrent Zippy theme, bowling and bowling balls). Plus, you get the pun in the title, “Saxual identity”.


Monday quartet

March 31, 2014

Four cartoons today: a Dilbert, a Bizarro, a Mother Goose and Grimm, and a Scenes from the Multiverse:



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