Squirrel Girl

From linguist friends on Facebook, this cartoon, of obvious linguistic interest:

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This is the strip Squirrel Girl, in the Marvel Comics universe.

From Wikipedia:

Squirrel Girl (Doreen Green) is a fictional superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Her first appearance was in Marvel Super-Heroes vol. 2, #8, a.k.a. Marvel Super-Heroes Winter Special (cover-dated Jan. 1992), in a story plotted and drawn by Steve Ditko and scripted by character conceptualizer Will Murray. Her ability to communicate with squirrels is surprisingly effective and has allowed her to defeat major supervillains. She joined the Great Lakes Avengers, and later began serving as nanny to Danielle Cage, the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.

Squirrel Girl’s creation arose from Murray wanting to write a lighthearted superhero story as opposed to the often heavily dramatic tales that were the norm in mainstream comics at the time.

… During Squirrel Girl’s first encounter with Iron Man, she provided a detailed demonstration of her powers and abilities: a furry, prehensile tail roughly 3–4 feet in length, sizable buck teeth, which are strong enough to chew through wood, and superhuman strength and agility, enabling her to jump between trees with ease. Her fingers have sharp claws on them, assisting her with climbing, and she possesses retractable “knuckle spikes” roughly 2-3 inches in length on each hand. Most importantly, she is capable of communicating with and understanding squirrels. Squirrel Girl does not communicate with squirrels telepathically, instead she has an understanding of their language, and the ability to speak it. Squirrels have also been depicted as understanding her when she speaks in English.

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On October 6, 2014, Marvel announced that Squirrel Girl would, for the first time, be starring in her own series, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, written by Ryan North [of Dinosaur Comics] and drawn by Erica Henderson. The series’ first issue was released on January 7, 2015.

Ah, the language of squirrels. Well, there is this:

Squirrel is a high level imperative, object-oriented programming language, designed to be a light-weight scripting language that fits in the size, memory bandwidth, and real-time requirements of applications like video games and hardware such as Electric Imp. (link)

One Response to “Squirrel Girl”

  1. Ben Zimmer Says:

    Worth mentioning that Ryan North has a master’s degree in computational linguistics from Univ. of Toronto. (I see it’s come up here before.)

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