Erm, can someone explain the sequence of premodifiers in the penultimate panel, specifically both ultimates? I'm usually quite good at getting such nuances, but what are those two words doing right there? Shouldn't 'ultimate' be placed right after 'penultimate' because the peerless writing tool is, after all, the second to last among ultimate pens?
Confused: one 'ultimate' is the common usage with the sense of 'best, peerless, utmost' while the other is a refererence to the 'team frisbee' in th earlier panel (officially Ultimate Frisbee, tm). As a modifier, it indicates a functional or possessive relationship: the pen writes about ultimate, the game, thus it's an 'ultimate pen'. Similarly: apple tree, paint bucket, rocket scientist.
Thanks, it's much clearer now! I simply didn't know about the frisbee sport (which goes to show once again that understanding the message depends on the semantic content more than the syntax). Still, why was 'Penn' put before 'ultimate' (the one meaning 'matchless')? To simplify the phrase, why do we see 'Penn ultimate pen' instead of 'ultimate Penn pen'? You would say about your fine pen from Illinois that it's 'an amazing Illinois pen', not 'Illinois amazing pen', wouldn't you? This order just bugs me.
@Confused: I agree that the word order's a bit puzzling. I think I would have gone for "penultimate ultimate Penn Penn ultimate pen", with the first "ultimate" being the adjective and the second being the sport.
I still am not sure I understand all the jokes (being unfamiliar with most of the elements of the whole context) but I think that the first "Penn" had to come before "ultimate" because of the echo with the preceding "penultimate".
The only way the order makes sense to me is if he plays frisbee for the University of Pennsylvania, and the "Penn Ultimate" part is short for "the University of Pennsylvania's Ultimate Frisbee team" (in which case it would be the second "ultimate" that means "peerless"). But I don't know if that's the intended interpretation…
I think of it as, "ultimate ultimate Penn pen" is being treating as a proper noun, the name of the kind of pen (Ultimate Ultimate Penn Pen, I suppose). Then Penn in front of it for where he bought the pens. Thus, for me it works.
This reminds me of a bag of Doritos I saw in the store that were Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco flavored; Cool Ranch, of course. This makes the official name for such a product "Taco Bell Doritos Locos Cool Ranch Taco Doritos".
Oo yeah, that works! Now I'll up the ante a lil' more. I feel like I have a stomach full of illegal, horrible, uncooked Belgian breakfast food made from fried chickpeas AND organ meats shaped like Quidditch balls