Archive for the ‘Silliness’ Category

Hidden symbols

October 16, 2014

After I posted a Bizarro in “No stinkin’ budgies” (here), Chris Hansen wrote in puzzlement over the stick of dynamite in the cartoon. I replied that this was just one of Dan Piraro’s “hidden symbols”, with no meaning in the context of the cartoon (or in the wider culture). I thought I’d posted the full inventory of these, but apparently not, so for reference here’s the list from the Wikipedia page on the strip:

Most Bizarro cartoons include one or more of these devices hidden somewhere in the cartoon:

an eyeball (the Eyeball of Observation)

a piece of pie (the Pie of Opportunity)

a rabbit (the Bunny of Exuberance)

an alien in a spaceship (the Flying Saucer of Possibility)

the abbreviation “K2″ (referring to his children Kermit and Krapuzar)

a crown (the Crown of Power)

a stick of dynamite (the Dynamite of Unintended Consequences)

a shoe (the Lost Loafer)

an arrow (The Arrow of Vulnerability)

a fish tail (The Fish of Humility)

an upside down bird (the Inverted Bird)

Piraro indicates how many symbols are hidden in each strip with a number above his signature.

The cartoon in “No stinkin’ budgies” has two symbols: the Dynamite of Unintended Consequences, and also the Eyeball of Observation. Over the years I’ve noted other hidden symbols from this list in Bizarro cartoons. (The Pie of Opportunity and the Bunny of Exuberance are especially common.)

Puns and their allies

September 23, 2014

It starts with today’s Zippy, with a punning title; continues with a Discover Card tv commercial for fraud protection (or frog protection); and ends with some bilingual play involving Nadia Boulanger. There will be digressions at each stage.

The Zippy:

(#1)

The title, “Getting a Bad Feline”, puns on feeling and (with reference to the actual theme of the strip, the cat-replacement phenomenon in Dingburg) feline. Feline survivalism in the last panel (which I won’t comment on here), and, throughout, an entertaining pattern of naming from trade names (which I will).

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Signage error (or not)

March 9, 2014

For Daylight Saving(s) Time, this photo has been making the rounds on Facebook:

(#1)

The Errington (Volunteer) Fire Department is real; the question is whether this sign was an inadvertent error or whether the image has been doctored. I don’t know which.

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Frivolity for Valentine’s

February 14, 2014

From Steven Levine, this remarkable advertising image:

Elsie the Cow, in a maid’s apron and nothing else — yielding a racy image — offering a very substantial breakfast. Smiling and dancing.

More on Elsie here.

Linguistic drones

January 14, 2014

From Ellen Seebacher on Facebook, on All Things Linguistic a little while back, “5 Linguistically Valuable Uses For Drones”. Ellen notes that

Someone has finally combined LingBuzz (the archive of linguistics articles) and BuzzFeed … into LingBuzzFeed, your source of linguistics listicles. There’s only one up at the moment, but it’s pretty great: 5 Linguistically Valuable Uses For Drones.

I think my favourite might be the Isogloss Enforcement Drone, especially because of the illustration.

Accompanying text:

Isoglosses are the neat lines on a map that divide dialects from one another according to their linguistic features. Unfortunately it’s long been known that isoglosses are an inadequate representation of dialect reality, since outliers can usually be found on both sides of the line.

With the Isogloss Enforcement Drone, we can finally do something about this lamentable situation! Equipped with an SMG and mini grenade launcher, this drone will patrol up and down the isogloss, punishing dialect offenders and occasionally launching seek-and-destroy missions for outlying deviant speakers. All while you bake a cake or watch a DVD of Downton Abbey.

Friday cartoons

December 13, 2013

Absurdity in the comics pages: a Pearls Before Swine, a Sunday Morning Breakfast Cereal, and a Mister Hayden Comic.

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Zippy: fun with names

October 15, 2013

Today’s Zippy, with preposterous names for pinheads and references to commercial products (plus a diner):

(#1)

Kindle Paperwhite, Mojito Rockaway, and Yahoo Supercomputer at the Polka Dot Diner. With the Esso Drop Girl in the last panel.

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Zippifixation

October 14, 2013

Today’s Zippy, on the origin of humor:

(#1)

Bill Griffith is fond of playful morphology: here, humorology ‘the study of humor’ and humorologist, plus humorosity ‘humorousness’.

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Model cats

October 11, 2013

(Not much about language.)

From Laura Staum Casasanto, a link to a site on “Cats that look like male models”. Pure silliness.

Not all the men can fairly be described as male models; some are just actors. Take Robert Downey Jr., in this pairing:

(#1)

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Colander song

August 31, 2013

From Frank McQuarry on Facebook this morning:

“I love, I love, I love my little colander tool….”

An allusion to the song “Calendar Girl” — and a lead-in to Pastafarianism and recent politics in Russia.

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