Archive for Linguistics in the comics


Frazz continues to explore vocabulary and its measurement:

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A tiny, delicate thesaurus

The latest Frazz:

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"… go all __ on you …"

Geoff Pullum wrote ("Adverbing, verbing, and adjectiving", 11/5/2014):

… for the most part what you get in the go all ____ on you [frame] is adjective-headed phrases …

While I hardly ever disagree with Geoff, my intuition said otherwise in this case, so I checked.

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Adverbing, verbing, and adjectiving

"I don't want to go all language nerd on you," says the female character in today's xkcd cartoon, "but I just legit adverbed 'legit', verbed 'adverb', and adjectived 'language nerd'." Is she correct?

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Academic punctuation

Today's PhD Comics:

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Get the rope, Bill

It's been a while since we featured a Partially Clips comic — here's the most recent one:


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Nanook of the South

From the current New Yorker: has "more than 50" grits recipes (I count 64 on display), and there are lots more on other sites, so (costume aside) this is entirely region-appropriate. It's still linguistically naive, since the recipes have mostly-transparent phrasal names like "Raspberry Kielbasa over Cheese Grits"; but hey, it's a cartoon, and I guess the point is to mock those southerners with all their different approaches to grits, using the "Eskimo words for snow" trope as a vehicle.

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Plural data

Today's xkcd:

Mouseover title: "If you want to have more fun at the expense of language pedants, try developing an hypercorrection habit."

That should be "…developing another hypercorrection habit", since making data plural in that situation is exactly analogous to using whom in "Whom are you, anyways?". But then, as Ben Zimmer has pointed out to me, that would spoil the joke involved in the choice of an in "an hypercorrection".

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Left-handed toons from 8/13/2010, "Jasper got a dog", starts like this:

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Technicality Club

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Too close for comfort

Today's Zits:

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Metrics

In today's xkcd, a list of

The relevant bit of the song goes like this:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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Mutual appreciation

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