Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

The Hollywood sign in a time of troubles

December 8, 2017

Among recent editorial cartoons on sexual harassment cases are three that use the Hollywood sign as a symbol of things gone wrong in la-la land.

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Monkey see, monkey fear

December 7, 2017

Today’s Bizarro brings us a talking monkey facing the news:

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

Funny enough as it stands, but much funnier if you recognize the monkey as the character Curious George and his companion The Man With the Yellow Hat. So: a cross-comic reference, and because of that, a challenge to understanding.

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The saguaro in bloom

December 7, 2017

Here in northern California, we’ve had some early rain — not very often and not a lot, but enough to turn the golden hillsides to bright new green. And enough to convince the cacti and succulents in Stanford’s Arizona Garden that Their Time Has Come, so they’re bursting with new growth and breaking out in flowers. Notably, a big ol’ saguaro cactus has thrown out huge creamy blossoms, much like these in this photo from the net:

(#1) The state flower of AZ; NM claims the yucca

Meanwhile, the saguaro serves as an anthromorphic symbol — a man with both arms in the air — and a phallic symbol (an interpretation encouraged by the fact that the cactus is, oh dear, prickly).

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100 years of independence

December 6, 2017

Though today is one of the dark days of early December alluded to in my recent posting — it’s Mozart’s death day, a sad occasion indeed — it’s also St. Nicholas’s day (gifts!), and Chris Waigl’s birthday (eggcorns, remote sensing of wildfires in the Arctic, Python, knitting, and more, in three languages!), and Independence Day in Finland. As Riitta Välimaa-Blum reminds me, this year’s Independence Day is something spectacular: the centenary of Finland’s declaration of independence from Russia.

(#1) The Finnish flag

So raise a glass of Lakka (Finnish cloudberry liqueur) or Finlandia vodka, neat, to honor that difficult moment in 1917 — the year should call to your mind both World War I (still underway then) and the Russian revolution, and these enormous upheavals were in fact crucial to Finland’s wresting its independence from Russia.

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Ruthie verbs

December 5, 2017

The One Big Happy in today’s comics feed:

(#1)

Ruthie’s taken the predicative idiom in cahoots (with) — Dad is in cahoots with Joe, Dad and Joe are in cahoots — and extracted from it (by back-formation) a noun cahoot, which she then verbs, to get an activity verb cahoot with rather than the stative be in cahoots with.

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I say it sounds yucky, and I say the hell with it

December 4, 2017

A Calvin and Hobbes re-run in today’s comics feed:

(#1)

Food aversions have many bases: appearance, taste, smell, texture, intensity of flavor, novelty, objections to ingredients (would you eat Bambi? Thumper? Fido? Fluffy? Porky? Sam the Clam?, Charlie the Tuna?), allergic reactions, unpleasant previous experiences — and aversion to the name, as with Calvin.

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Arnold Stang

December 3, 2017

Today’s Zippy reminisces affectionately about the character actor Arnold Stang:

Of special interest to me, since Stang and I are are both citizens of the great Land of Arnoldia.

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Two and a cover

December 2, 2017

From the December 4th New Yorker, two cartoons (by Jon Adams and Liana Finck) that make demands on your cultural knowledge, plus a seasonally atmospheric cover (by Kim DeMarco):

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Two memic moments

November 30, 2017

In today’s cartoon feed, a penguin Zits and a maze-rat Rhymes With Orange:

(#1) There’s cold, and then there’s penguin cold

(#2) Rats in a Japanese bento maze

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The pun within the pun

November 24, 2017

From a chain of Facebook friends, this Dan Thompson Brevity cartoon:

(#1)

The outside (perfect) pun: Gallos’ humor / gallows humor (which depends on your knowing about the Gallo brothers and also the concept of gallows humor). The inside, Ernest and Julio, (imperfect) pun: Bordeaux (wine) / border (collie) (which depends on your knowing about both the wines and the dogs).

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