Circularity at the dawn of language

Today’s Bizarro takes us back to the early days of language:

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

But then there’s the circularity. Caveman A announces that he has thought of a word W with a novel property. But then he characterizes this property by using W. How can Caveman B understand this characterization if he’s unfamiliar with W?

(Meanwhile, of course, Caveman A talks in Cavemanese.)

One Response to “Circularity at the dawn of language”

  1. Mike Jankulak Says:

    This one bothered me a little, I’ll admit. The last bubble should have read “syllables” with an s. Otherwise Caveman A is shown to be using *two* three-syllable words.

    Whether “syllables” and “syllable” are different words, I suppose, could be argued either way. But I can’t help feeling the joke would have landed more solidly if it had contained only one three-syllable word.

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