OBH and xkcd

Two cartoons in my feed recently: a One Big Happy on Ruthie’s interpretation of an expression unfamiliar to her; and an xkcd with a new story of the Tower of Babel.

The OBH. From 1/15:


Ruthie hears the unfamiliar idiom to each his own (used to convey that different people like different things), produced in casual, connected speech, as a sequence of two words, the second of which is at least a word she knows, zone — leaving as the remainder tweetch /twič/. (I might have expected a third, unaccented, syllable — with one of the vowels [ ɪ  ɨ ǝ ] — but if her mother produced such a sylable it was too short for Ruthie to catch.)

So if you want to convey chacun à son goût, you just go into the Tweetch Zone.

The xkcd. #2421 Tower of Babel:

(#2) (The curly-haired linguist might be Gretchen McCulloch, as in #1 in my 1/12/21 posting “Two from xkcd”

The story of the Tower of Babel here — in which God rewards its builders for building such an excellent tower by catering to the linguist’s enthusiasm for linguistic diversity — diverges considerably from the biblical story. For which, see the Wikipedia summary:

(#3) Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Tower of Babel (Google Art Project)

The Tower of Babel … narrative in Genesis 11:1–9 is an origin myth meant to explain why the world’s peoples speak different languages.

According to the story, a united human race in the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating eastward, comes to the land of Shinar. There they agree to build a city and a tower tall enough to reach heaven. God, observing their city and tower, confounds their speech so that they can no longer understand each other, and scatters them around the world.

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