Learning stuff

Passed on by John McIntyre, a Bloom County from some time ago about little kids and what they have to learn. And their mother and how she copes with their persistent inquiries:

(Note: until recently, all Bloom County strips were from some time ago; publication ended in 1989, and was only taken up again this July.
Added 9/22: Nick Fitch tells me that this is in fact a very recent strip. I was misled by the strip’s apparently being dated 5 3.)

The kids start with a lexical item, (the) funnies, which they could very easily not have experience of. That leads to strips in comic strips.– a specialized sense of strip that, again, they might not have experience of. Then we get to newspapers, and they probably live in a house without newspapers (news comes on tv or on-line*), but it’s increasingly hard to believe they haven’t seen the things or heard the word.

But then we get to paper, where we realize that the little girl is just persisting in asking questions about words and things — the way many kids go through a stage where they persist in asking why? questions, almost endlessly. At this point, their mother just stops being cooperative and goes into a mordant fugue on paper-making and its cultural context.

(Ah, the little girl does know the idiom to fry s.o.’s noodle.)

(* Note what the little boy is doing.)

2 Responses to “Learning stuff”

  1. John Baker Says:

    I don’t think this is supposed to be a kid mindlessly asking questions. I think this is supposed to be a case of a kid genuinely not knowing what all these things are, and concluding that the answers given are crazy. Admittedly, comic strips and even newspapers may be unfamiliar to some small children, but we are by no means in a post-paper society.

  2. Link love: language (64) | Sentence first Says:

    […] ‘The funnies.’ […]

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