Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

The taunt

August 8, 2017

Today’s One Big Happy has James reciting a piece of American childlore, the taunt “X is a friend of mine” (where X is a name, preferably a trochaic one, like Ruthie, to fit the trochaic tetrameter pattern of the verse):

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A cornucopia of pop culture references.

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Young love

August 7, 2017

The moment of complication:

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Young Sherwin — secretly, painfully, caught up in first love — is betrayed by his own heart, which, alarmingly, leaps from his body to pursue his beloved.

The crisis: the two tussle over the heart, leaving it, literally, broken.

And the resolution: in the end the halves of the heart are reunited, the now-healed heart returns to Sherwin’s body, and then two hearts beat as one.

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This way to the regress

August 5, 2017

xkcd #1872, Backup Batteries:

Like many instances of threatening infinite regress in real life, this one is cut off at some point for practical reasons. There are only so many batteries you can carry around in your bag.

Don’t put your cat in a hat

August 5, 2017

Today’s Bizarro:

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

You put the hat on the cat, he goes berserk.

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WaynoPOPs

August 4, 2017

In my e-mail, a nice note from cartoonist Wayno about a type of wordplay that he likes to indulge in, exemplified by this Waynovision cartoon:

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The title is a portmanteau combination of two overlapping phrases, Checkpoint Charlie and Charlie Parker. And the content of the cartoon involves combining Checkpoint Charlie the place in Berlin and Charlie Parker the jazz saxophonist.

Back in 2011, Wayno mused on his blog about such word play, suggesting the name streptonym for it. On this blog, I’ve used the descriptive label phrasal overlap portmanteau (POP, for short) for such expressions as denoting a hybrid of the referents of the two contributing expressions. So #1 is a Wayno POP.

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Cartoon comprehension on a hot August day

August 4, 2017

From Bob Eckstein:

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What do you need to know to understand this (wordless) cartoon and why people might find it funny?

Easy stuff: you need to recognize that the cartoon is set in a subway car, and (given the way the guy on the left is dressed) that it’s warm, probably summertime.

Hard thing: you need to recognize the green tree thing hanging on the middle guy’s neck.

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A stay in medical Antarctica

August 4, 2017

Yesterday’s medical adventure, set off by my shortness of breath during exertion, especially in hot weather (which we’ve been having a lot of; my symptoms became worrisome on a weekend in May when the temperature in Palo Alto reached 107 F). I was referred to a cardiologist; alarmed, she set up yesterday’s myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) test, specifically via single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Details to follow.

The test involved hours at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, much of it sitting around between its parts. The actual imaging parts of the test took place in astonishingly icy rooms — which I came to refer to as medical Antarctica — so that I was shivering with cold when I left after 5 hours.

In the sitting-around parts of the event, I read through most of the latest (August 7th and 14th) issue of the New Yorker. To leaven the stark medical details, I’ll report on one of the pieces (Lauren Collins’s “Identity crisis: Notes from a names obsessive”), one of the cartoons (by Joe Dator), and a set of “spots”, small illustrations by Nishant Choksi sprinkled throughout the issue.

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Adventures in compounding

August 2, 2017

xkcd strip #1681 Laser Products:

Two main axes of variation:

the parsing of the 3-part compound X Y Z as
[ X Y ] [ Z ] vs. [ X ] [ Y Z ]

and various possibilities for the semantic relation between Y and X in a 2-part compound X Y

Note: eye removal ‘removal of an eyeball’ is known technically as enucleation.

Capitulum in corpore magno

August 1, 2017

(Men’s underwear and bodies, taking off from a recent Daily Jocks ad for the Marcuse company. With a caption of mine. Somewhat racy, but not crude. And there will be cartoons.)

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Capitulum in corpore magno

A hard man —
An erection lasting more than four hours –
But fair —
Requires immediate medical attention –
A pinhead with
Broad shoulders

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Zippy and Griffy on the Hanna-Barbera diner tour

August 1, 2017

In two recent Zippy strips, Zippy and Griffy, raging over limited animation, visit a diner in Delaware and an abandoned diner in Kentucky:

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Three things: Hanna-Barbera; The Hollywood diner in Dover DE; and the Happy Days Diner in Cave City KY.

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