Archive for the ‘Language disorders’ Category

Cartoony days

June 2, 2016

(This takes a turn to sexual politics that some — though not, I think, Bill Griffith — might find surprising.)

Today’s Zippy offers us some office soap opera between boss (Don) and employee (Ms. Carlisle), from the point of view of Ms. Carlisle:


The topic is a familiar one in Zippyland: cartoonishness or cartooniness, indicated by various physical characteristics — noses, eyes, eyebrows, ears, jawlines, and mouths. In Zippyland, of course, everyone’s a cartoon character and they’re all dressed like one, but some of them are “realistic”, normal, regular folks,, while others are flagrantly cartoony.


Trump’s incoherence?

August 6, 2015

Over on Language Log, Geoff Pullum has posted, under the heading “Trump’s aphasia”,  about a Donald Trump speech:

The following word-stream (it cannot be called a sentence) was uttered by Republican presidential contender Donald Trump on July 21 in Sun City, South Carolina. As far as I can detect it has no structure at all: the numerous conditional adjuncts never arrive at consequents, we never encounter a main verb or even an approximation to a claim. The topic seems to be related to nuclear engineering, Trump’s uncle, the Wharton School, Trump’s intelligence, politics, prisoners, women’s intelligence, and Iran. But it’s hard to be sure

In a follow-up, “Trump’s eloquence”, Mark Liberman offered explanations for Trump’s apparent incoherence. By that point, I had realized what sounded so familiar in Trump’s speech: it sounded an awful lot like what psychiatrists refer to as “the flight of ideas”, sometimes associated (somewhat inaccurately) with schizophrenia, but more characteristic of bipolar disorder.