Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

Friday word play in the comics

April 28, 2017

Two cartoons to end the week: a Rhymes With Orange with a four-word play and a Bizarro with a POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau):

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The Cantonese American dish moo goo gai pan ‘chicken with button mushrooms and sliced vegetables’, with a pun on each word: onomatopoetic moo, onomatopoetic goo, the informal noun guy, the Greek god Pan.

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(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

Doctors Without Borders + Border Collie(s).

(Note that there are a lot of things you need to know to appreciate these comics.)

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The geological vocabulary bluff

April 26, 2017

A recent xkcd, 1829: Geochronology:

Not just the names of dog breeds. Dalmatian and Pomeranian are also place-name adjectives, and geological features are very often named after places.

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Alien signage and Arbus in Anaheim

April 24, 2017

Two cartoons for today: a Mother Goose and Grimm with alien signage; and a Zippy in the coffee shop of an Anaheim bowling alley, where Diane Arbus is evoked:

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Ruthie and Joe work with what they know

April 22, 2017

Two recent One Big Happy strips show Ruthie and Joe coping as best they can with unfamiliar words: thoroughfare and boycott:

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Seahorse on a stick, GBF, and the Describe-A-Muffin Task

April 21, 2017

All in the 4/24/17 New Yorker: Beijing street food on the cover, a William Haefeli cartoon, and a Tom Chitty cartoon.

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A pun with death, a dance on the beach

April 18, 2017

On Pinterest this morning, this Grim Reaper cartoon by Myke Ashley-Cooper (under the name Ashley Cooper):

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A pun on death/deaf or a mishearing, take your pick.

This cartoon led me to Ashley-Cooper’s site, which announces:

This Humor Website is about
Funny Cartoons and Funny Pictures as well as
Crazy Jokes and Animations

(many of them based on puns and wordplays).  And that led me to Ashley-Cooper’s take-off on a famous painting:

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New Yorker artwork 4/17/17

April 15, 2017

(Not primarily about language, but there is a bit in there.)

From this issue: a Flatiron Building cover by Harry Bliss; a Rob Leighton cartoon on the Dear John letter, nit-picking, and self-awareness; and a Will McPhail cartoon about duck hunters.

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A scent of man

April 15, 2017

On Dan Piraro’s Bizarro blog on the 9th, thoughts on cartoon memes, especially the Ascent of Man meme, with this wonderful new cartoon:

The Caveman meme, with the paleo guy lounging provocatively in a men’s fragrance ad (plus the pun, of course)

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The maiden, the monster, and the hero

April 15, 2017

In the LGBT precinct of Facebook recently, this Jim Benton cartoon (eventually this posting will be about Benton, but first the folktale scenarios):

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The basic scenario is Beauty and the Beast: a beautiful maiden (that is, a virgin), often a princess; and a monster, a grotesque creature, either literally an animal (a gigantic ape, a dinosaur, a mutant lizard, a dragon, whatever — but male) or a man animalistic in form, sometimes in nature as well. The monster desires the maiden: to devour her (literally), to despoil her (sexually), or merely to love her (romantically).

A third character, the Knight, figures in an extended scenario: a hero, a handsome and virile young man, often in armor, often a prince, whose role is to challenge the monster in battle and overcome him, thereby rescuing the maiden — for himself; she is his prize. In the extended scenario, two males are rivals for the maiden.

In Benton’s version, the hero challenges the monster, demanding that the monster deal with him rather than the maiden. And so the monster does. Sometimes in a love triangle, the rivals become lovers. (Combat between men is sometimes a route to mutual respect, male bonding, and friendship; in this case, the relationship goes one step further.)

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A cross-comic moment

April 14, 2017

Yesterday’s Mother Goose and Grimm goes meta, with a scene in the Dr. Seuss Cafe involving Dr. Seuss cartoon characters:

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The Cat in the Hat is spoiling for a fight with a Sneetch (on the left) and the Grinch (in the middle). while the table offers green eggs and ham.

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