The roar of the reporter, the sound of the comics

Today’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration:

(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

Tintin, the reporter and adventurer in the comics, suffers from tinnitus. tintinnitus: portmanteau in form, hybrid in semantics.

Tintin on this blog. There’s now a Page on Tintin. And another Tintin portmanteau in Bizarro, Rin-Tin-Tintin, which has appeared here twice:

on 1/4/12 in “Rin Tin …”

on 8/4/17 in “WaynoPOPs”: #6

tinnitus. From Wikipedia:

Tinnitus is the hearing of sound when no external sound is present. While often described as a ringing, it may also sound like a clicking, hiss or roaring. Rarely, unclear voices or music are heard. The sound may be soft or loud, low pitched or high pitched and appear to be coming from one ear or both. Most of the time, it comes on gradually. In some people, the sound causes depression or anxiety and can interfere with concentration.

The pronunciation issue. Both Rin-Tin-Tintin and Tintinnitus work as orthographic portmanteaus, but their pronunciation is problematic.

For tinnitus, there are two attested pronunciations,

/ˈtɪnɪtəs/ and /tɪˈnaɪtəs/

(NOAD gives only the former) and both begin with /tɪn/. And Rin-Tin-Tin ends with /tɪn/. For either of them to fit phonologically with Tintin, the character’s name has to be pronounced /ˈtɪnˈtɪn/ in English. That’s certainly attested, for some BrE speakers, thanks to a tradition of British dubbing of Tintin tv cartoons.

But AmE speakers generally have /ˈtænˈtæn/ as their anglicization of the French pronunciation ​[tɛ̃tɛ̃]. Which is perilous for the portmanteaus in AmE. Maybe I’d opt for the discordant pronunciations

/ˈrɪnˈtɪnˈtænˈtæn/ and
/ˈtænˈtænɪtəs/ or /ˈtænˈtɪnɪtəs/

but I’m not sure. Better just to look at the orthographic portmanteaus.

The roar of the reporter, the sound of the comic. Tintin is the reporter (suffering from the roar of tinnitus), Tintin the comic. And the title is a play on:


The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd is a musical with a book, music, and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. The musical is best known for introducing the standards “A Wonderful Day Like Today”, “Who Can I Turn To?”, “Feeling Good”, and “The Joker” the last of which was covered most successfully by Bobby Rydell. The show title is a transposition of the phrase “the smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd,” referring to the experience of theatre performers. (Wikipedia link)


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