Archive for the ‘Tongue twisters’ Category

Metalinguistic tasks

August 12, 2017

In a recent One Big Happy, Ruthie’s father tries to get her to play with tongue twisters, but she treats the texts as stories about events in a real world:

Playing with tongue-twister texts is metalinguistic behavior, an activity in which bits of language are treated as objects in themselves, rather than being used to report, inquire, exclaim, instruct, etc. Small children (as above) and people in nonliterate societies are known for sometimes resisting metalinguistic talk of various kinds, instead confining themselves to concrete talk — what I’ll call planolinguistic talk (suggesting ‘flatly linguistic’, rather than ‘beyond and above’ language).

(more…)

Three more Reapings

April 13, 2017

The latest bulletin from Pinterest featured a Reaper Jokes board maintained by Kathy-Lynn Cross. More Grim Reaper cartoons, including one that especially caught my eye because of the two idioms in the text. A Mark Parisi showing one (angry) Reaper confronting another (disconsolate) Reaper: “I’ve had it with you! From now on, you’re alive to me!”. Nice reversal of the idiomatic you’re dead to me ‘I disown you, cut you off, will never see or speak to you again’. Spoken by Death to Death, you’re alive to me conveys the same.

More on this cartoon, then two more Grim Reapers, to add to the 14 already posted on this blog; it’s a very popular cartoon meme.

(more…)