Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

Childhood memories

August 4, 2015

Yesterday’s Bizarro, with a poignant reflection on the memories of childhood:

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cheesy pickup line

August 4, 2015

From George Takei on Facebook, this elaborate visual pun, presented like a captioned cartoon, with an entertaining disjuncture between the image and the caption:

The cheesiest pickup line ever

(Takei is scandously bad about crediting the sources of the things he posts — he just passes on things he comes across — so I have no idea who created this image or where it was originally posted.)

Three content words, each exhibiting crucial lexical ambiguity: the Adj cheesy, the N pickup, the N line.The whole thing is a N + N compound pickup line modified by the superlative of the Adj.

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green … egg … (ham)

August 4, 2015

It starts with a paper by Elizabeth Closs Traugott (with my assistance) at the recent International Pragmatics Conference in Antwerp, on metatext in the cartoon xkcd (full set of slides linked to here). After Elizabeth gave the paper, she got a comment from someone asking if she knew of a comic strip with mouse-over texts and further texts that emerge from inside those mouse-overs (another layer of cartoon complexity beyond those I have written about) — a daily or weekly strip with a name that Elizabeth thinks had green and egg in it, but of course wasn’t Green Eggs and Ham.

I’ve now been trying to track down this mystery strip, but without success, mostly because Dr. Seuss keeps getting in the way. But I’ve come up with seven interesting new cartoons for your entertainment.

Note: yes, Elizabeth should have written the name down, or gotten the name of the commenter (who was not someone familiar to her), but things tend to be rushed and chaotic at these giant conferences, so it’s easy to slip. Now I’m hoping that someone will recognize the strip from her description (which I’ve paraphrased above).

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Self-identification

August 3, 2015

An Emily Flake cartoon in the August 3rd New Yorker:

There reference here is to people with transgender self-identification, though in fact pluots are biological hybrids, parallel to intersex people. There might also be an allusion to white people who self-identify as black (posting on this blog here).

Jewtoons

August 3, 2015

On John Kron’s Facebook page:

(#1)

A little exercise in Yinglish.

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Search for the magic slogan

August 2, 2015

Today’s Dilbert, with a brainstorming session at the office:

b (#1)

All they need is a magic slogan, in three words, clearly explaining everything the new product does. Labels — names — aren’t good at doing this task, and slogans (which are primarily designed for conveying emotions) are even worse than labels.

And yes, Alice, “Keep Doing It” is in some sense already taken. Several times, probably.

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Clown time

August 2, 2015

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

(#1)

A fine pun for a Sunday. But you do have to know about this:

“The Tears of a Clown” is a song by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles for the Tamla Records label subsidiary of Motown, originally released on the 1967 album Make It Happen. It was re-released in the United Kingdom as a single in September 1970, where it became a #1 hit on the UK singles chart. Subsequently, Motown released “The Tears of a Clown” as a single in the United States as well, where it quickly became a #1 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B Singles charts. (Wikipedia link)

On YouTube:

Bizarro devolution

August 1, 2015

In today’s Comic Kingdom News, this Bizarro cartoon and a note:

Dan Piraro (“Bizarro”) launched a new T-shirt campaign that benefits the Jane Goodall Institute. Twenty percent of every sale goes to Jane Goodall Institute’s global youth-led community action program, Roots and Shoots! It’s a limited-time campaign that only runs until Aug 10.

(Follow the link above for the details.)

Another instance of the Ascent of Man cartoon meme we’re seen many times before.

Dingburg names

July 31, 2015

Today’s Zippy, with two sets of names to savor:

(#1)

First, there are the preposterous Dingburger names: Flexo Sodafiber, Glassine Bookpaper, Flemish Spindleplunger. Then there are the products, their mascots, and their names. Commerce and pop culture.

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A military-industrial complex

July 30, 2015

Yesterday’s political cartoon by Matt Wuerker:

A play on the ambiguity of the noun complex.

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