Archive for Linguistics in the comics

Pod people

Today's xkcd:

Mouseover title: "Canada's travel restrictions on the US are 99% about keeping out COVID and 1% about keeping out people who say 'pod.'"

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Text corrections

Today's xkcd:

Mouseover title: "I like trying to make it as hard as possible. 'I'd love to meet up, maybe in a few days? Next week is looking pretty empty. *witchcraft'"

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More obsolete communications technology

Following up on our discussion of faxes and pdfs ("Obsolete communications technology", 7/13/2020), an even older textual transmission method is featured in the punch line of today's Doonesbury:

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Obsolete communications technology

"Choke Point for U.S. Coronavirus Response: The Fax Machine", NYT 7/13/2020:

The machine at the Harris County Public Health department recently became overwhelmed when one laboratory sent a large batch of test results, spraying hundreds of pages all over the floor.

“Picture the image of hundreds of faxes coming through, and the machine just shooting out paper,” said Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of the department. The county has so far recorded more than 40,000 coronavirus cases.

Some doctors fax coronavirus tests to Dr. Shah’s personal number, too. Those papers are put in an envelope marked “confidential” and walked to the epidemiology department. […]

Health departments track the virus’s spread with a distinctly American patchwork: a reporting system in which some test results arrive via smooth data feeds but others come by phone, email, physical mail or fax, a technology retained because it complies with digital privacy standards for health information. These reports often come in duplicate, go to the wrong health department, or are missing crucial information such as a patient’s phone number or address.

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Left-looking eyes

In the Dumbing of Age strip from a few days ago, Amber has been traumatized by the violence associated with a kidnapping, which has left one of her friends in a coma:

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Universal Rating Scale

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Party game

Today's SMBC:

Mouseover text: "I actually only made this so nobody will ever invite me to a party again."

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Five words

Today's xkcd:

Mouseover title: "My other (much harder) hobby is trying to engineer situations where I have an excuse to use more than one of them in short succession."

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Modeling

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Financial Headline Generator

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Endearing English

Jeph Jacques' Questionable Content "is an internet comic strip about romance and robots". One current romance features Faye Whitaker, described as "Sexy, snarky, and endearingly combative", and Bubbles, a "Big scary combat AI. Actually quite shy." In the past few strips (starting here), Faye works up the courage to introduce Bubbles to her mother, expecting some issues over Bubbles' gender and species.

After the initial shock wears off, the interaction goes well — but Faye is surprised to hear Bubbles accommodating to her mother's dialect.

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Comic entropy

It's in the air, apparently — there are two entropy jokes in current webcomics with four-character titles.

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Spelling out whole words

A recent Frazz:

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