xkcd cartoons

Postings on Language Log (with initials of poster plus date of posting) and on AZBlog (with a date but no initials), plus some linguistically relevant xkcd postings not yet blogged on. xkcd postings are identified by their number plus their title on xkcd; an xkcd posting with number N can be viewed at http//xkcd.org/N/ .

Comments in square brackets are from me or Dave Sayers (from an 11/14/14 posting of his on the variationists’ mailing list, VAR-L) (Note: a few of the postings from Language Log Classic are missing images, but these can be seen by using the number of the posting.)


ML, 7/20/06: Getting on the map:
114: Computational Linguists [computational linguistics]
26: Fourier
37: Hyphen [syntax]

145: Parody Week: Dinosaur Comics [standard language ideologies]

148: Mispronouncing [standard language ideologies]

166: Misusing Slang [language change]

ML, 2/3/07: Charm school (and battling logicians):
207: What xkcd Means

ML, 2/14/07: Choice and meaning:
222: Small Talk

ML, 4/10/07: The labyrinth guards:
246: Labyrinth Puzzle

ML, 8/5/07: Emotional code:
297: Lisp Cycles

AZ, 9/26/07: Hyphen migration, cartoon style:
37: Hyphen [image missing]

ML, 10/8/07: Shooting down ‘amateur grammar nazis’:
326: Effect an Effect [grammar / standard language ideologies]

AZ, 11/13/07: Like a ring in a bell:
342: 1337: Part 2 [image missing]

ML, 10/20/07: To what after shampooing?:
329: Turing Test

☛ EB, 12/6/07: Speak xkcd or die:
84: National Language [national language ideology, US specifically]

EB, 12/31/07: Proxy debates:
[about “Speak xkcd or die”]

ML, 1/11/08: In the funny papers:
369: Dangers

BPo, 2/07/08: Unicode humor:
380: Emoticon [image missing]

ML, 2/22/08: Just in case…:
386: Duty Calls

ML, 3/3/08: Someone’s word order is wrong on the internet:
[more on 386]

ML, 3/14/08: Cognitive therapy for word rage:
385: How It Works

AZ, 3/22/08: Something wiki this way comes:
285: Wikipedian Protester [image missing]

ML, 4/25/08: Closer, my ex, of you:

Closer, my ex, of you

415: Restraining Order

ML, 6/13/08: Linguistic purity?:

Linguistic purity?

435: Purity

ML, 7/18/10: Ranking fields by the difficulty of imposter detection:

Ranking fields by the difficulty of imposter detection

451: Impostor

ML, 9/3/08: Lists, comprehensive and otherwise:

Lists, comprehensive and otherwise

468: Fetishes

ML, 9/11/08: Supercollider? I hardly know her:

Supercollider? I hardly know her.

474: Turn-On

AZ, 9/25/08: Return to the dwarf planet Pluto:

Return to the dwarf planet Pluto

473: Still Raw

ML, 9/27/08: No comment:

No comment

481: Listen to Yourself

ML, 10/9/08: Munroe’s Law:

Munroe’s Law

483: Fiction Rule of Thumb

ML, 11/12/08: Eastward is as eastward does:

Eastward is as eastward does

503: Terminology

ML, 12/4/08: I’m rich!:

I’m rich!

512: Alternate Currency

ML, 12/19/08: Messing around:

Messing around

519: 11th Grade

529: Sledding Discussion [language acquisition]

ML, 1/13/09: Too many communication modalities:

Too many communication modalities

530: I’m An Idiot

ML, 2/4/09: Statistically significant other:

Statistically Significant Other

539: Boyfriend

ML, 5/5/09: Wait, what?:

Wait, what?

508: Drapes
163: Donald Knuth
437: SUV
108: M.C. Hammer Slide
518: Flow Charts

AZ, 7/17/09: Erdős?:


599: Apocalypse

AZ, 7/21/09: Cross-modal interference:

Cross-modal interference

604: Qwertial Aphasia

ML, 7/23/09: Conversational incongruence:

Conversational incongruence

611: Disaster Voyeurism

ML, 8/20/09: Levels of misunderstanding:

Levels of misunderstanding

625: Collections

ML, 9/2/09: Illustrating the maxim of quantity…:

Illustrating the maxim of quantity…

630: Time Travel

ML, 10/4/09: God speed the plow:

God speed the plow

643: Ohm

ML, 10/9/09: Time and the river:

Time and the river

647: Scary

BZ, 4/9/10: Revenge, literally speaking:

Revenge, literally speaking

725: Literally

ML, 4/22/10: Hypothesis-driven research:

Hypothesis-driven research

54: Science

ML, 5/5/10: Sex and color language:

Sex and color language

Color Survey Results
on xkcd blog: results of online color survey

ML, 5/12/10: 22 arguments:

22 arguments

739: Malamanteau [portmanteaus]

ML, 5/22/10: Unce:


740: The Tell-Tale Beat

ML, 5/26/10: I kept doingn it wrongn:

I kept doingn it wrongn

745: Dyslexics

762: Analogies [rhetoric]

DB, 7/11/10: Count on xkcd:

Count on xkcd

764: One Two

ML, 7/23/10: “Context is everything” again:

“Context is everything” again

770: All the Girls

ML, 8/15/10: Period speech:

Period speech

771: Period Speech [language change / historical linguistics]

GP, 9/27/10: Obscene intensificatory adverb frequencies:

Obscene intensificatory adverb frequencies

798: Adjectives [corpus linguistics]

ML, 10/26/10: Just add “intelligent” and “informed” …:

Just add “intelligent” and “informed” …

810: Constructive

ML, 11/6/10: Once more into the malamanteau:

Once more into the malamanteau

more discussion on malamanteau

ML, 1/20/11: Getting real:

Getting real

849: Complex Conjugate

ML, 2/4/11: Digitoneurolinguistic hacking:

Digitoneurolinguistic hacking

856: Trochee Fixation

ML, 2/8/11: What does “even” even mean?:

What does “even” even mean?

156: Commented

ML, 2/21/11: Collegiate learning:

Collegiate Learning

863: Major in the Universe

ML, 3/6/11: They almost non-metaphorically never complain about this!:

They almost non-metaphorically never complain about this!

725: Literally

ML, 3/10/11: Adspeak:


870: Advertising

ML, 3/15/11: Eigenfeet, eigenfaces, eigenlinguistics, …:

Eigenfeet, eigenfaces, eigenlinguistics, …

872: Fairy Tales

5/5/11: Idiocracy:


603: Idiocracy

ML, 5/6/11: Bonferroni rules:

Bonferroni rules

882: Significant

ML, 5/20/11: No word for Rapture:

No word for Rapture

900: Religions

BZ, 6/28/11: The pleasures of recursive acronymy:

The pleasures of recursive acronymy

917: Hofstadter

ML, 7/1/11: Hated words:

Hated words

919: Tween Bromance [word rage, word aversion]

ML, 7/11/11: Important editorial advice:

Important editorial advice

923: Strunk and White

GP, 8/12/11: Password strength:

Password strength

926: Password Strength

ML, 9/28/11: Integration of knowledge:

Integration of knowledge

957: Development

ML, 11/6/11: Kids today yesterday:

Kids today yesterday

973: MTV Generation

GP, 12/3/11: Grayton support down by 19%:

Grayton support down by 19%

985: Percentage Points

ML, 1/23/12: The sustainability bubble:

The sustainability bubble

1007: Sustainable [corpus linguistics]

1/23/12: Fucking ambiguity:

Fucking ambiguity

90: Jacket

1/23/14: Fiction rule of thumb:

Fiction rule of thumb

483: Fiction Rule of Thumb

1/30/12: Etymology-Man:


1010: Eymology-Man [etymology]

ML, 3/19/12: A non-mathematical theory of communication:

A non-mathematical theory of communication

1028: Communication

3/30/12: Formal logic:

Formal logic

1033: Formal Logic

5/7/12: xkcd back-formation:

xkcd back-formation

1052: Every Major’s Terrible

ML, 6/13/12: Your typical sentence:

Your typical sentence

1068: Swiftkey

7/13/12: Person or robot?:

Person or robot?

773: University Website

☛ 7/29/12: Amazing app:

Amazing app

1085: ContextBot

BZ, 9/14/12: A cautionary vision of things to come:

A cautionary vision of things to come

1108: Cautionary Ghost [on literally: semantics / language change / standard language ideologies]

ML, 11/21/12: It’s worse than you thought:

It’s worse than you thought

1137: RTL

ML, 12/14/12: Hydrated and delicious:

Hydrated and delicious

replay of 919: Tween Bromance [word rage, word aversion]

4/10/13: Ups and downs:

Ups and downs

1197: All Adobe Updates

5/2/13: The 12-inch pianist:

The 12-inch pianist

532: Piano

7/16/13: Internet enlightenment:

Internet enlightenment

1238: Enlightenment

8/23/13: Means of communication:

Means of communication

1254: Preferred Chat System

ML, 11/14/13: xkc-infix-d:


1290: Syllable Planning

BZ, 11/18/13: Can “[adjective]-ass” occur predicatively?:

Can “[adjective]-ass” occur predicatively?

37: Hyphen

1/18/14: Academic purity:

Academic purity

435: Purity

ML, 1/27/14: A stick tower by any other name:

A stick tower by any other name

1322: Winter

1/28/14: xkcd vocabulary:

xkcd vocabulary

another posting of 1322

2/11/14: Messing with my mind:

Messing with my mind

559: No Pun Intended

3/24/14: My Hobby Comics:

My Hobby Comics

559 again
326: Effect an Effect
174: That’s What SHE Said
259: Clichéd Exchange
1340: Unique Date
75: Curse Levels

ML, 6/18/14: (Prosodic) foot fetish:

(Prosodic) foot fetish

1383: Magic Words

ML, 8/25/14: Teenage Mutant Turtle Metrics:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Metrics

1412: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

10/11/14: Strunk & White and Strunk/White:

Strunk & White and Strunk/White

reposting of 7/11/11 cartoon (923)

11/6/14: Language nerd:

Language nerd

1443: Language Nerd

11/7/14: Adverb and Adverbial:

Adverb and Adverbial

follow-up to “Language nerd” posting

ML, 11/19/14: The Insular Islands:

The Insular Islands

1449: Red Rover

12/14/14: Small Moon:

Small moon

1458: Small Moon

GP, 2/6/15: Linguists get tough on promoting language change:

Linguists get tough on promoting language change

1483: Quotative Like

2/6/15: Data on xkcd:

Data on xkcd

1429: Data

2/10/15: technically:


1475: Technically

3/13/15: leg-jiggling:


228: Resonance

3/16/15: xkcd on science and math:

xkcd on science and math

1489: Fundamental forces; 287: NP-Complete

3/28/15: na na n:

na na na

851: Na

4/17/15: Sevens:


1417: Seven

ML, 4/17/15: Style guide:

Style guide

1513: Code Quality

5/6/15: Disciplines in competition:

Academic disciplines in competition

1520: Degree-Off

5/27/15: Association by bracketing:

Association by bracketing

1529: Brackets

ML, 5/29/15: The BDLPSWDKS Effect:


1531: The BDLPSWDKS Effect

ML, 7/3/15: Ancestors:


1545: Strengths and Weaknesses

ML, 7/22/15: Spice lists:

Spice lists

1554: Spice Girls

7/28/15: Going on in Antwerp:

Going on in Antwerp

slides for Traugott/Zwicky IPrA paper on My Hobby xkcd cartoons

☛ ML, 7/29/15: Recursive romantics:

Recursive romantics

1557: Ozymandias

ML, 8/10/15: Orthography and meaning:

Orthography and meaning

1562: I in Team

9/4/15: Two from xkcd:

Two from xkcd

1571: Car Model Names
1572: xkcd Survey

ML, 9/11/15: Caring, more or less:

Caring, more or less

1576: I Could Care Less

9/13/15: Caring:


1576 again

ML, 10/21/15: Describing events:

Describing events

1593: Play-By-Play

ML, 11/9/15: Take a Hint:

Take A Hint

1601: Isolation

ML, 11/11/15: Linguistics Club:

Linguistics Club

1602: Linguistics Club

ML, 11/18/15: Nicholas Wade’s DNA decoded:

Nicholas Wade’s DNA decoded

1605: DNA

1/6/16: The New Year’s resolution:

The New Year’s resolution

about xkcd cartoons; Eugene Chan tribute to xkcd

ML, 2/12/16: The gravitational internet:

The gravitational internet

1642: Gravitational Waves

ML, 2/19/16: Brilliant:


1645: Toasts

ML, 2/26/16: Scrambled pairings:

Scrambled pairings

1648: Famous Duos

ML, 3/7/16: Pedantic about biscuit conditionals:

Pedantic about biscuit conditionals

1652: Conditionals

ML, 3/26/16: Good question:

Good question

1660: Captain Speaking

ML, 3/29/16: Semantic differential: Podium or lectern?:

Semantic differential: Podium or lectern?

1661: Podium

ML, 7/8/16: The Legend of Gnome Ann: The Legend of Gnome Ann
1704: The Legend of Gnome Ann

ML, 7/21/16: Pictographic English?: Inflection
1709: Inflection

ML, 7/29/16: PolitiFact says: Politifact
1712: Politifact

8/6/16: xkcd mansplaining:

xkcd mansplaining

1716: Time Travel Thesis

8/11/16: Collatz days:

Collatz days

710: Collatz Conjecture (3/5/10)

ML, 8/27/16: Rexthor: Linear Regression
1725 Linear Regression

ML, 9/16/16: Some kind of strict police: Fashion Police and Grammar Police
1735 Fashion Police and Grammar Police

11/16/16: Placenames of the British isles:

Placenames of the British Isles

1759 British Map

12/13/16: Three from xkcd:

Three from xkcd

1767 US State Names
1770 UI Change
1771 It Was I

ML, 12/19/16: Adjective foods:

Adjective foods

1774 Adjective Foods

12/22/16: Edible adjectives:

Edible adjectives

1774 Adjective Foods

3/22/17: An outrageous but colorful pun:

An outrageous but colorful pun

1814 Color Pattern

4/26/17: The geological vocabulary bluff:

The geological vocabulary bluff

1829 Geochronology

ML, 5/8/17: Lunch order::

Lunch order

1834 Lunch Order

5/9/17: For want of an A, the world was saved:

For want of an A, the world was saved

1834 Lunch Order

GP, 5/11/17: Similes for quality of computer code:

Similes for quality of computer code

discussion of three cartoons:
1513 Code Quality
1695 Code Quality 2
1833 Code Quality 3

ML, 5/17/17: Machine learning:

Machine learning

1838 Machine Learning

5/27/17: Memorial Saturday 4:

Memorial Saturday 4

#4 1841 Who?

ML, 6/2/17: Slightly unfair, but funny:
1845 State Word Map

6/7/17: The word came down on Pentecost:

The word came down on Pentecost

#8 1845 State Word Map

7/8/17: Words on a wall:

Words on a wall

1860 Communicating

8/2/17: Adventures in compounding:

Adventures in compounding

1681 Laser Products

8/5/17: This way to the regress:

This way to the regress

1872 Backup Batteries

4/3/18: Research Risks and Name Dominoes:

Research Risks and Name Dominoes

1904 Research Risks
1970 Name Dominoes

5/4/18: Initialisms off the rails:

Initialisms off the rails

1989 IMHO

7/22/18: Rubber and glue:

Rubber and glue

#2: 1139 Rubber and Glue

12/20/18: Sports commentary:

Sports commentary

904 Sports

6/2/20: Cereal adjectives:

Cereal adjectives

#2: 1774 Adjective food

8/31/20: Synonyphilia:


2352 Synonym Date

10/19/20: The xkcd dialect quiz:

The xkcd dialect quiz

2372 Dialect quiz

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