Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

The art class

May 23, 2018

Edward Steed cartoon in the May 21st New Yorker:

It’s about point of view (pov), especially as this reflects selective attention, an inclination to focus on certain things in the context over others.

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(I just) can’t stop (it)

May 22, 2018

From the May 21st New Yorker, this Harry Bliss cartoon:


(#1) “Get those things away from me–I can’t stop eating them.”

A translation of a scene (of snack-food addiction, in the universe of tv commercials) to a parallel metaphorical world (of rampaging Godzillas, in the universe of monster movies).

Some notes about such translations between worlds; about snack-food addiction in tv commercials; about people-eating in Japanese monster movies; and about some “can’t stop” music.

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Crowing

May 22, 2018

The One Big Happy from April 25th:

(Tick-Tocket’s Chicken Crew seems to be a children’s book invented for this cartoon. But the title is plausible.)

Library Lady asks abut the noun crew, Ruthie (who often marches to the beat of her own drummer) responds with crew, a PST form of the verb crow — and then goes on to conjugate

crow (BSE/PRS), crew (PST), crown (PSP)

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Everything under comptrol

May 21, 2018

The Zippy from the 17th, with some droll play on the occupational title comptroller:

(#1) The last panel brings us the N comptrol, back-formed from comptroller

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Two from Fairbanks

May 20, 2018

Two cartoons recently passed on to me by Chris Waigl in Fairbanks AK: a Cheer Up, Emo Kid (CUEK), about technical uses of words; and (actually from Alaska) a Tundra, about point of view in the interpretation of compound nouns.

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Charmed, I’m sure

May 20, 2018

The Bizarro/Wayno from the 18th, another exercise in understanding cartoons:

   (#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.)

Three things to recognize: the figure of Medusa, the figure of the (Indian) snake handler, and the politeness formula charmed. And then, of course, you need to know that such snake handlers are conventionally known as snake charmers in English and that  the politeness formula is part of the social ritual of introduction, where it serves as an alternative to Pleased / Pleasure / Nice to meet you, formal How do you do?, and the like.

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Rolling pin

May 19, 2018

Today’s morning name. I’m baffled as to what might have dredged this compound noun (for an ordinary kitchen utensil) out of my unconscious, but there it is.

(#1) A particularly handsome rolling pin (wooden roller style) from The Ceramic Shop

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Balls on the N + N compound watch

May 18, 2018

In today’s Dilbert, Catbert persecutes Dilbert (as Alice looks on):

(#1)

N + N compounds are notorious for the wide range of interpretations available for them: what’s the semantic relationship between head N2 and modifier N1? As above, where the choice is between ‘ref(N2) relieves, reduces ref(N1)’ (the reading for a conventionalized compound stress ball and many others, like headache pill) and ‘ref(N2) causes ref(N1)’ (as in death ray) — where for an expression X, ref(X) is the referent of X.

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Surreal beer

May 16, 2018

Today’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration goes to the neighborhood taproom:

(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

There’s the question of why Toper 3 can’t find his beer. That has a simple answer: the apple obscures his vision.

Then there’s the claim that Toper 3 is a surrealist — but actually he’s a surrealist character, not a surrealist (an exponent of surrealism). That does make the cartoon surreal, bizarre, because it juxtaposes two ordinary topers at a bar with a fictional character (one from surrealist art, to make the scene more delicious).

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Air spelling

May 14, 2018

Yesterday’s Doonesbury, Mark Slackmeyer interviewing an Oklahoma teacher on the radio:

Um… misspell?

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