Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

Let’s get Mexican

September 2, 2014

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:


Nouning by truncation, with the nominal Adj + food abbreviated to Adj, but still functioning as a nominal: Mexican ‘Mexican food’.


Everything changes after Labor Day

September 1, 2014

A Leo Cullum cartoon from the 9/9/02 New Yorker:


The idea that men shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day has been much disputed, but here’s another Labor Day stricture, recognizing that (US) Labor Day is conventionally the end of summer.

(Hat tip to Michael Palmer.)

Cullum (who died in 2010) drew a great many gag cartoons that have been posted on this blog.

The ice-bucket challenge

September 1, 2014

A Shannon Wheeler cartoon in the latest (9/1/14) New Yorker:


An exquisitely topical cartoon, of the sort that the magazine has published since its early days. It’s hard to believe the cartoon will make much sense to people in a few years, when the news story has faded from public memory. But at the moment…




More Bizarro followup

August 30, 2014

After I posted a Bizarro Batman cartoon and a followup analysis of it, Billy Green has posted on Facebook:

On his blog today, [Dan] Piraro [the Bizarro cartoonist] mentions that this was suggested by another cartoonist, Dan McConnell:


In this one, a pun on Holy See ‘the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome’.


The accent in Polish

August 30, 2014

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

Ah, Watérski.

I did spend some time trying to find out if Waterski was an attested Polish name, but the enormous number of sites on waterskiing frustrated my search.

Ruthie and Joe again

August 29, 2014

In today’s One Big Happy, the kids do their best to cope with rare English vocabulary:


I’m not at all inclined to use eschew in speech, and I seem to have used it only once in writing on the net. It’s awkwardly formal in style/register.

Bizarro followup

August 29, 2014

Posting yesterday on that day’s Bizarro, with only minimal commentary on it. Now a follow-up on two topics: what you have to know to make sense of what’s going on in the cartoon; and what makes it funny.

The cartoon repeated here:



While Robin’s off duty …

August 28, 2014

Today’s very silly Bizarro:

While Robin’s off-duty, Batman calls in Cardinal. Stick to the birds.

Ruthie and Joe meet French

August 27, 2014

Today’s One Big Happy has Ruthie and her brother trying to understand French as English:

Sea view play.

The kids do their best to make sense of what they hear in terms of what they know.


August 21, 2014

The Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip of 8/18/14:


(Hat tip to Paul Armstrong.)

Background from NOAD2:



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