Get the rope, Bill

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



  1. Robot Therapist said,

    October 14, 2014 @ 2:48 pm

    Lol at "Officer Strunk" !

  2. Aaron said,

    October 14, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

    But what if it's a headline-ese clause: "(The) horn broke"?

  3. John Baker said,

    October 14, 2014 @ 3:01 pm

    Of course, there's nothing wrong with "Horn broke, watch for finger" (grammatically, that is). Our unseen driver simply used the past tense of "break"; Officer White is mistaken in his assumption that the past participle "broken" was intended. The valid complaint would be about the comma splice.

  4. MN said,

    October 14, 2014 @ 3:08 pm

    That comma is also perfectly fine headlinese, though, isn't it? By default, I'd write it as:


    But if I wanted to fit it all on one line, there'd have to be some sort of punctuation mark in there. A period or semicolon would look extremely wrong; I'd go for a colon or a dash, or a comma.

  5. Stan Carey said,

    October 14, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

    A full stop would also be fine: Horn broke. Watch for finger.

    (I laughed at "Officer Strunk" too.)

  6. adm said,

    October 14, 2014 @ 3:20 pm

    also, where does this officer get off implying there's something wrong with ending a sentence with a preposition? as a grammar cop, hypercorrection is something he should be aware of.

  7. adm said,

    October 14, 2014 @ 3:21 pm

    *sorry about the dangling! needed it for my joke.

  8. ThomasH said,

    October 14, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

    The gentleman need urgent treatment for IDHD (Irony Deficit Hyper-correction Disorder)

  9. pj said,

    October 14, 2014 @ 4:37 pm

    Surely using the logically misnegated 'couldn't help but notice' for 'couldn't help noticing' is a disciplinary matter within the force?

    (Wait, is it misnegated? My brain's gone into meltdown trying to untangle exactly what that 'but' is doing. It is getting a little late in the evening here on the east of the pond.)

  10. Jen said,

    October 14, 2014 @ 5:01 pm

    'I couldn't but notice' is perfectly grammatical, just a bit out of date. And 'I couldn't help noticing' is fine. But the more I think about the two together, the more confused I get.

  11. a George said,

    October 14, 2014 @ 6:18 pm

    Eyeballing and talking back are offenses not taken lightly by those in authority (read: "who have a gun and baton"). None of the advice given above would be useful under the circumstances. The Sheriff/Ranger is always right. 'E pur si muove' can be thought, not uttered.

  12. Gert Loveday said,

    October 15, 2014 @ 1:39 am

    I'm just longing to see a cartoon based on a message displayed by pedestrian crossings with flashing lights in this part of the world:

    "When flashing give way to pedestrians".

    I should bloody well hope so!

  13. Alan Palmer said,

    October 15, 2014 @ 3:31 am

    I can't read his name badge but I'd lay good money that it's Officer Elwyn Brooks ('EB' to his friends) White doing the talking.

  14. Adam Funk said,

    October 15, 2014 @ 3:45 am

    @Gert Loveday: surely that should be "When flashing give way to other pedestrians", since most flashers are pedestrians too.

  15. Faldone said,

    October 15, 2014 @ 6:06 am

    In our last long distance drive my wife and I enjoyed collecting "When flashing" signs. There's some doozies out there.

  16. Ralph Hickok said,

    October 15, 2014 @ 9:12 am

    Actually, Elwyn Brooks White was known as "Andy" to his friends.

    What kind of cop am I?

  17. Jerry Friedman said,

    October 15, 2014 @ 11:18 am

    a George: The only time I've argued with a police officer, he reduced the amount of the fine to the amount I deserved.

  18. Gert Loveday said,

    October 15, 2014 @ 2:35 pm

    Well said, Adam Funk. There's no point in flashing if you're sitting in a car. I hadn't even thought of that. It makes the sign even more confusing to a thoughtful flasher.

  19. Nathan said,

    October 15, 2014 @ 3:22 pm

    Faldone, why couldn't you have left the signs there? Now flashers won't know what they're supposed to do.

  20. Ted said,

    October 16, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

    The joke goes deeper yet. If one reads "broke" as an incorrect past participle with omitted copula, as Officer White evidently does, it's in the passive voice. If one reads it as a correct intransitive past-tense verb, it's in the active voice.

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