3 for 15

Three recent cartoons, on different themes: a One Big Happy in which Ruthie misparses an expression; a Rhymes With Orange that requires considerable cultural knowledge for understanding; and a Prickly City that takes us once more into the territory of pumpkin spice ‘high quality’, now in a political context:

(#1) hair remover / hairy mover

The misparsing is more likely if the kids have been worrying about the possibility of moving, as the strip suggests. But a fair number of mishearings are extraordinarily unlikely in context (a manual brush misheard as Emanuel Brush, in an ad for electric toothbrushes).


Two pieces of cultural background needed here: that (less classy) wine is sometimes sold in cardboard boxes rather than glass bottles; and that building ship models in bottles is a hobbyist thing — often referenced in pop culture, though most people have probably never seen an actual ship in a bottle.

(#3) (Hat tip to Steve Anderson)

As detailed in a series of recent postings (most recently, on 10/26/17, in “Three more pumpkin-spicy bits”), the expression pumpkin spice has developed from senses in the domain of food into new more abstract senses, notably ‘high-quality, top-grade’ (with an accompanying connotation of attractiveness or pleasantness, as in the cartoon).

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