Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

The wishing ill

March 26, 2017

The Rhymes With Orange from the 23rd:

Language play based on wishing well, understood either as a synthetic compound (with well understood as an N: ‘a well for wishing (for something)’, specifically ‘a well into which one drops a coin and makes a wish’ (NOAD2)) or as a nominal based on the V + Adv idiom wish s.o. well ‘feel or express a desire for someone’s well-being’ (Oxford dictionaries site). The cartoon then treats wishing ill as exactly parallel, to the point of positing an N ill, referring to a well-like object into which one drops a coin and makes a wish for misfortune.

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An outrageous but colorful pun

March 22, 2017

xkcd 1814 Color Pattern:

(#1)

As it turns out, “That’s Amore” has a history on this blog, but this is a new direction.

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They are revolting

March 22, 2017

On ADS-L on the 20th, Quote Investigator Garson O’Toole wrote:

This post was made in response to [Fred Shapiro’s] request for famous quotes from comic strips. This topic is complicated enough that I think a separate discussion thread will be helpful.

The double-meaning of the phrase “The peasants are revolting” was featured in the comic strip “The Wizard of Id”. Here is a [11/8/64] piece in “The Philadelphia Inquirer” that mentioned the joke within an introduction to the comic before its debut in syndication.

(#1)

The ambiguity became closely associated with The Wizard of Id, as in the collection in #1, but of course it didn’t originate there. In Garson’s ADS-L posting, his focus was on antedating the joke — antedating is a preoccupation of the hounds of ADS-L — but my interest here is on other things: the comic strip itself and some entertaining examples of the joke, regardless of when they appeared.

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It was correction killed the desire

March 19, 2017

Yesterday’s Bizarro:

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

First, the adverb bad in I want you so bad. Then some notes on correction as a social practice, especially in one-on-one interactions.

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elephantitis

March 18, 2017

The Bizarro from 1/6/16:

  (#1)

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

But elephantitis would refer to an inflammation of the elephant. And elephantiasis is an actual (dreadful) disease. Maybe elephantosis would cover the condition depicted in the cartoon.

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Cavenips

March 16, 2017

An Avi Steinberg cartoon in the March 20th New Yorker, combining cavemen, clothing, and nipples:

(#1)

Cavemen: a cartoon meme. Clothing: one-shoulder garments for men. And of course men’s nipples. And then there’s Avi Steinberg, who’s a cartoonist+.

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Quotative all lives!

March 15, 2017

Today’s Frazz, by Jef Mallett:

The substance of the strip is entertaining in itself, but here I’m interested in quotative (be) all, in

Mrs. Olsen was all, “I can’t …”

Research a few years back suggested that this quotative, which once was widespread among young speakers in the U.S., was receding fast, in favor of quotative (be) like. But here it is in the mouth of 8-year-old Caulfield (Frazz himself is 30). Well…

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Bizarro pi(e)

March 14, 2017

For Pi Day, 3/14, from Chris Hansen, this 2005 Bizarro:

Not only the pi connection, but also a Dan Piraro piece of pie.

Technical terms

March 13, 2017

A recent One Big Happy, in which Joe faces a test question on the term collective noun:

Joe hopes that he can use what he knows about the verb collect and its derivatives to guess at what the grammatical term collective might mean. Ah, a mail carrier collects the mail (from a mailbox) and delivers it (to a mailbox), so mailbox must be a collective noun. BZZT!

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hyperbaton, hypermasturbation

March 11, 2017

The Dinosaur Comics from the 3rd, in principle about hyperbaton:

But hypermasturbation (which sounds sort of like hyberbaton) intrudes in the conversation.

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