A Savage Chickens with Yoda:
A cartoon on George Takei’s website, passed on by Susan Fischer and Asya Pereltsvaig:
The cartoon is from German cartoonist and illustrator Miguel Fernandez (German Wikipedia entry here). This one works because the initials on the tombstone can be taken to represent Latin words from a familiar Latin expression; it’s I P R in English as well, but would be I F R in German.
A recent Scott Hilburn cartoon, from George Takei on Facebook (via Betsy Herrington):
For Yoda, with his penchant for fronting material in sentences, that was in the form of a question — just not a question in standard English.
Today’s Rhymes With Orange:
An earlier Rhymes on Yoda’s syntax, complete with links to Language Log postings on the subject, is here. Here we see the early days.
Louis W. Thompson had an op-ed piece in the NYT on Christmas Eve (“The Finest Gifts It Brings”) on “The Little Drummer Boy” (“Yes, torture can be set to music”, Thompson wrote). It’s a little masterpiece of annoying Christmas music.
There’s the relentless drumbeat of “rum pum pum pum”, 21 repetitions per play. There’s the overall tone — in Thompson’s words, “exalted …, pompous, candied, reverential.” And then there’s the syntax. Thompson quoted:
Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A newborn king to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
Backwards run sentences until reels the mind.
More on this sentence later. First, some comments on the syntax of the sentences from the song.