Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

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:

(#1)

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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:

  (#1)

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dying

February 17, 2017

Today’s Zippy:

On Henny Youngman and his famous one-liner “Take my wife … please”, see the Youngman section of this 9/8/12 posting.

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Emoji are the hieroglyphs of the future

February 16, 2017

Today’s Bizarro:

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

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Flagrant figures

February 16, 2017

A recent Daily Jocks offer:

(#1)

Bob Beach

Lifelike PVC plastic figures from MaleBody®, life-size or miniature,
All anatomically correct (well-hung — but unlike gay action figures,
Not grotesquely huge) — life-size models come with the
WarmTouch® system, maintaining a natural skin temperature that’s
Pleasant to the touch — miniature models about a foot tall, no
WarmTouch, but they make attractive tabletop ornaments, can be
Engaged in imaginative play — all figures with factory-installed clothing,
Easily removable (for posing naked), additional costumes available —

Bob Beach smooth-shaven all over, including his pubes (his penis and
Testicles are marvels of detail) — each character with a back story:
Bob Beach, gay swimmer from Malibu, boyfriend Butch Beach (also
Available from MaleBody, not illustrated here), with Clone face (and
Mustache), more substantisl muscles, lightly furred body (chest, belly, forearms,
Buttocks, pubes, legs) —  they are a very hot couple — Bob found mostly in
Aquatic settings (at the beach, by a swimming pool, next to a hot tub, in a

Shower room; delightful
Standing by a koi pond)

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VDay pangolins

February 14, 2017

From Benita Bendon Campbell, Google Doodle news. Reported on in The Sun (UK) yesterday:

SCALING NEW HEIGHTS What is a pangolin and how do you play the Google Valentine’s Day 2017 doodle game? All you need to know. Monday’s Google Doodle is one of the most in-depth ones the site has ever created [by Becky Pemberton]

Adorable pangolins for VDay.

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The terror of Disney

February 11, 2017

Today’s Zippy has our Pinhead panicked by Donald, Goofy, and (especially, shudder) Mickey:

(#1)

Threatening and grotesque, indeed.

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Dwarfs for a new age

February 9, 2017

A Benjamin Schwartz cartoon in the latest (February 13th/20th) New Yorker:

The German folk tale of Snow White provides the basis for this name play, though the published version of the story by the Brothers Grimm didn’t name the dwarfs who help Snow White. The modern names entered pop culture with the 1937 Disney animated film. At which point they provided an inventory of names to play with (supplementing another source of pop culture names, the names of Santa’s eight reindeer from “A Visit From St. Nicholas”).

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toonmanteaus

February 9, 2017

Two cartoons about/with portmanteaus: a One Big Happy and a Zippy:

(#1)

(#2)

smad about having to dwipe. In #1, Ruthie invents portmanteaus to suit her condition: sad + mad, dust + wipe.

The Zippy is more complex. First, the Sharknado films (with the portmanteau sharknado = shark + tornado) are old stuff on this blog, though I don’t recall having seen the shark-headed surfer image (a hybrid being to accompany the portmanteau) before. But the title duditude = dude + attitude was new to me — though the word has a fair presence on the net.

The focus of the strip, however, isn’t on portmanteaus, but on shifts in slang fashions (in white middle-class American speakers, I’d guess): on the claimed spread of awesome (at the expense of great) and the claimed decline of cool. Google Ngram shows no such changes in books (though great has been declining overall for some time), but of course the claim is about informal speech and writing. I haven’t checked the relevant COCA material, but my subjective impression — and it is only that — is that the first claim is broadly accurate while the second is dubious. (On the other hand, the second claim might be broadly accurate for young speakers.)