Archive for Linguistics in the comics

Style? Stance? What?

Yesterday's SMBC:

Mouse-over title: "The emeritus will take 4 hours telling you about a trip to Africa that happened 40 years ago."

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An xkcd for Geoff Nunberg

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Political physics

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Easing burdensome regulations

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All too true

Today's xkcd:

Mouseover title: "Cauchy-Lorentz: "Something alarmingly mathematical is happening, and you should probably pause to Google my name and check what field I originally worked in.""


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Quasicompositionality in the comics

Today's xkcd:

Mouseover title: "The <x> that is held by <y> is also a <y><x>, so if you go to a food truck, the stuff you buy is truck food. A phone that's in your car is a carphone, and a car equipped with a phone is a phonecar. When you play a mobile racing game, you're in your phonecar using your carphone to drive a different phonecar. I'm still not sure about bananaphones."

See Mark Liberman and Richard Sproat, "The Stress and Structure of Modified Noun Phrases in English," in Lexical Matters, Sag and Szabolcsi, Eds., 1990.

Update — How about other XY/YX English compound pairs, written with or without internal space? There's cat house and housecat; fish-bone and bonefish; index-card and card indexball game and game ball; dozens if not hundreds of others; how many can you think of within a minute or so?

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Tolerance for singular they

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Today's xkcd:

Mouseover title: "At least we can all agree on the enormity of this usage."

See "Begging the question: We have answers", 4/29/2010.

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Today's xkcd:

Mouseover title: "If you study graphs in which edges can link more than two nodes, you're more properly called a hyperedgelord."

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By Allie Brosh:

Update — apparently this is a meme derived from Allie Brosh's art, but not created by her. See the comment below.


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Conversation starter

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Nouning and verbing

Today's SMBC starts this way:

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Cartoon zeugma of the month

From the first panel of the most recent Scenes From a Multiverse, an example of what Wikipedia calls "Type 2 Zeugma" or "semantic syllepsis":

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