Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

The family of Word Inclusion snowclones

December 27, 2018

Keep X In AXB, Put X (Back) In(to) AXB, Take X Out of AXB

(where X is a word included in a larger word AXB — included in pronunciation (exactly or approximately) or spelling or both)

I’ll start with one of the most complicated examples, the seasonally apropos slogan with KEEP:


(#1) An outdoor vinyl banner from ChurchSupplier.com

then go on to a seasonal example with TAKE, and end with the great mass of examples, with PUT.

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Penguin Claus

December 27, 2018

A bold proposal in Slate magazine on 12/10/13 by Aisha Harris, “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore: It’s time to give St. Nick his long overdue makeover”. No, she’s not proposing that Santa should be a black man; she’s saying Santa should be a black and white … penguin.


(#1) Mark Alan Stamaty’s vision of Penguin Claus

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Diminished with age

December 27, 2018

A Mike Shiells cartoon, passed on on Facebook by Karen Chung, for its entertainment value as a burst of puns:

But what caught my eye in this cartoon of a pencil funeral was the fact that the deceased had been so diminished with age, worn down to a nub by use. I’m being worn down myself. For decades, I was 5′10″, but in recent years I’ve lost over 3 inches in height, a tangible decline: I can no longer reach things on top shelves, in stores and in my own home. I was prepared for some of the physical ravages of age, but nobody told me about this one.

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Four presents

December 26, 2018

Small but entertaining little gifts for my Christmas, from Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, Opal Armstrong Zwicky, Kim Darnell, and Maggie Ainsworth-Darnell — plus an excellent dim sum lunch at Tai Pan in Palo Alto for all of us, from Paul Armstrong.

Then: an out@in rainbow t-shirt from LinkedIn (where Kim works); a little plush wooly (spelling by the Douglas Cuddle Toy Co.) mammoth; a tote bag with an otter drawing by the artist rubyetc; and a bit of nearly indescribable Japanese kawaii that involves a little self-watering ceramic penguin that grows wild strawberry plants (Fragaria vesca) on its back, as here:


(#1) Chuppon self-watering animals and their plants: the Sea Friends dolphin/clover, penguin/wild strawberry, seal/basil, polar bear/mint

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Beat Noel

December 25, 2018

Today’s Zippy, “Merry Whatever”, set in the Beatnik District of Dingburg, supplies (in the second panel) a burlesque of a beloved Christmas carol:

(#1)

So you can line up the burlesque with the model:

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright

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Worst year ever

December 25, 2018

(Warning: tons of dirty words for the holidays.)

The title of the Scenes From a Mutiverse cartoon on the 23rd (here), in which two (gender-marked) alien creatures reflect on the horrid year that is coming to an end and announce extraordinary resolutions for the new year: he resolves to stop storing personal possessions inside his body, she resolves to eat bees, that sort of thing. But my focus here is on his first two words: a foul oath, a compound expletive, interjection, or exclamation. Which will lead us to the excesses of punk rock in Scotland.

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Peppernut Day

December 24, 2018

Having tackled the Christmas season as a whole, Sandra Boynton examines one specific day: on FB yesterday, with “A helpful tip on National Pfeffernüsse Day” (December 23rd):

(#1)

On peppernuts. And on the recipe register (here: Recipe Object Omission in roll thoroughly in confectioners’ sugar).

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For the season: from fish to moose, penguin intervention

December 22, 2018

First, season’s greetings from the person responsible for “Hippo Birdie Two Ewe(s)!”. Then, a duplicitous stop-motion animation penguin bearing gifts.

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Sports commentary

December 20, 2018

Thanks to Facebook friends who provided a link to an xkcd cartoon from way back (5/27/11): #904 Sports:

The point is that sports color commenators treat essentially random day-to-day fluctuations as indicators of trends — because they have lots of time to fill and not a lot of substance to fill it with (play-by-play coverage is something else), and because like all of us they are narratophiles (lovers of story) and seek to find a coherent narrative in pretty much anything that happens. Meanwhile, color commentators can fall back on all that accumulated data, to wield fan statistics as another time-filler.

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Ask not for whom the reaper scythes

December 20, 2018

Two Grim Reaper memic cartoons: today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro collab, and a Harry Bliss cartoon in the current (12/24&31) New Yorker, both requiring signficant background information for understanding (beyond recognizing the figure of Death with his scythe):

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