The perils of fronting

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.

Earlier postings on Yoda-speak, on Language Log (with an inventory of earlier postings), here, and on this blog, here and here.

I’ve posted a Hilburn strip (“A conjugational visit”) on this blog before, here. About Hilburn:

The Argyle Sweater is an American daily comic strip written by Scott Hilburn, a native of Garland, Texas. The strip has been syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate since April 2008.

The comic bears a strong resemblance to Gary Larson’s The Far Side comic, and Hilburn acknowledges this. In 2008, he told the Houston Chronicle, “There’s no doubt that I was heavily influenced by Larson. He’s one of the greats.” Hilburn also lists among his influences cartoons in The New Yorker and National Lampoon magazines as well as cartoonists Sam Gross, Tom Cheney, and Jack Ziegler. (link)

Another Hilburn, with neurosurgeons at play:

The joke depends on an old discovery of neurosurgery, that touching the surface of the brain can evoke all sorts of effects in the patient, including sense-percepts (like smells) and vocalizations. (And no, this form of brain surgery is not recommended in real life; what you see here is comic-strip brain surgery.)

And then a gag cartoon combining the evolution theme with the coming-out-as-gay theme, and throwing in a back-formed singular noun:

A Bizarro with back-formed homosapien, here, in a posting with other links on nouns back-formed from nouns in -s (there are many).

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