Two word confusion cartoons

The One Big Happy in today’s feed (from 9/16) and the Zippy for today: Nat the name (short for Nathaniel) vs. gnat the insect, both /næt/; and Superfund (‘ a US federal government program designed to fund the cleanup of toxic wastes’ (NOAD)) vs. superfun (‘great fun’, with the prefix super– ‘great, large’), with /fʌnd/ vs. /fʌn/, but usually leveled to the latter via final t/d-deletion before a word beginning with a consonant (here, before the word site):



In #1, Ruthie starts by confusing Old — or Ol’, with final t/d-deletion — King Cole, the nursery rhyme character, with the singer Nat King Cole, but when corrected by the library lady, takes /næt/ to be the word gnat, presumably because she’s unfamiliar wth the name Nat but has experience of gnats.

In #2, the 12-year-old Zippy  races exhuberantly past toxic waste dumps, somehow believing that it’s all superfun. (But what’s that smell?)


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