Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

Ten language cartoons

February 25, 2017

On the Comic Kingdom site on the 21st, “Tuesday’s Top Ten Comics on Language” (where language is understood broadly), with comments from the site.

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Arbitrary donuts

February 24, 2017

Today’s Zippy:

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Zippy’s Arbitrary Donuts, spreading clarity through surrealism in today’s sociopolitical landscape. Alarmingly, the truck grows smaller with each panel. (No, I don’t know why.)

The allusion in the last panel is to “Without vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18 in KJV), which continues “but he that keepeth the law, happy is he”.

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The beautiful immortal

February 23, 2017

Yes, another man in underwear… There will be plain sex talk, too.

The Daily Jocks ad from 2/10:

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They looked upon him, found him
Wonderful, fabulous, a mighty man —
Unanimously accepted him as their
Prince everlasting — and
Had him bronzed.

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Two from the 2/27 NYer

February 22, 2017

Not only both about language, but both about portmanteaus. A Drew Dernavich with the verb podlisten formed on analogy with the portmanteau verb podcast; and an Alice Cheng with the POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) Brownstonehenge (brownstone + Stongehenge):

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“I feel like everybody’s podcasting and nobody’s podlistening.”

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Meathead

February 22, 2017

First brought to my attention by Ken Rudolph on Facebook, this reproduction of a political meathead collage, which has recently been widely disseminated on-line (without attribution):

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Baloney face, banana hair

I put out a request for attribution on Facebook, and after some churning there, archarchivist Michael Palmer nailed it as the work of the very playful Spanish artist Asier Sanz (who uses the name Asier for his artwork):

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Understanding the comics

February 22, 2017

Once again, I return to the question of what you have to know to understand a comic strip or a cartoon, with two recent cartoons in my comics feed, a Rhymes With Orange and a Bizarro; in both, understanding requires that you supply a word that isn’t in the text of the cartoon:

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Objects in compounds

February 22, 2017

A recent One Big Happy:

Ruthie has heard her father use the N + N compound student loan but doesn’t know the conventional meaning of the compound (in which the first N functions as Indirect Object: ‘a loan (of money) to a student’), so she (erroneously) gets another possible reading for student loan (in which the first N functions as Direct Object: ‘a loan of a student (to someone)’.

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ON in the comics

February 20, 2017

A Zippy I’ve been saving since it came out on 11/25:

Another piece of what’s turning into a very large project on the English words normal (Adj), normality (N), and normalize (V) — plus related vocabulary — and the conceptual (and sociocultural) categories associated with them. The Zippy involves only long-standing senses of normal and normality — what I’ll call O (for old (senses of)) N (for the three normal-related words) — plus the Adjs abnormal and deviant. (The contrast is between ON and what I’ve called IN, for innovative senses of the words.)

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Playlinguist

February 19, 2017

Playlinguist, “The Magazine of Full-Frontal Grammar”, has now been revamped as Parts of Speech, a lifestyle magazine for trendy metrolinguals, as you can see in today’s Bizarro:

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They don’t get it

February 18, 2017

Short, very common words tend to have a great many senses — more exactly, in such cases there tend to be a great many homophonous lexical items from the same historical source (thanks to semantic shifts and syntactic changes). So, in its main entry for the verb get, NOAD2 has 32 subentries (and then there are lots of idiomatic phrases with get and phrasal verbs with get). And we, um, get things like this scene in a recent One Big Happy:

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