Harrisian transformation of the week

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Today's SMBC:

The mouseover title: "In the future, you'll pay to chop wood, but it's not real wood."

The aftercomic:

Actually, plausible pairs of the form Xifying Y::Yifying X are not easy to find or create.


  1. bill said,

    May 15, 2017 @ 8:51 am

    Neal Stephenson workifies the game in his novel, REAMDE:

  2. Q. Pheevr said,

    May 15, 2017 @ 10:01 am

    “When you anthropomorphize objects, you unthropomorphize people.” —Harvet Ismuth

    (Not quite a case of Xifying Y::Yifying X, but in a similar spirit, and morphologically innovative in its own way.)

    [(myl) How about "When you personify objects, you objectify persons"?]

  3. Mara K said,

    May 15, 2017 @ 10:05 am

    Neal Stephenson workifies the novel in REAMDE. I don't know how I finished it. And he drops the video game plot, the best plot, halfway through. I kept reading in hopes of a resolution to the in-game war, and all I got was IRL gunfights on confusing terrain and BS-ed-ly resolved romantic subplots.

    Read Anathem instead if you want to spend a full weekend on Stephenson. It's got interesting philosophy, there's an actual ending, and he finally found an excuse for not knowing how to write female characters realistically.

  4. Q. Pheevr said,

    May 15, 2017 @ 10:26 am

    Because this is the sort of challenge I can’t resist:

    All the countrified gentry want to gentrify the country.
    We had to modify the code to codify the mode.
    Is that petrified wood or lignified rock?
    Dignify the sign that signifies dignity.
    Crucified saints sanctify the cross.

    [(myl) #2 and #5 are not technically an instance of the same Harrisian transformation, as I understand things. But #1, #3, and #4 are perfect.]

  5. Morten Jonsson said,

    May 15, 2017 @ 10:32 am

    Prosecutors will be violated.

  6. Q. Pheevr said,

    May 15, 2017 @ 10:42 am

    The P.A. system wasn’t all that complex in the first place, but they really dumbed it down for us. It was an ample simplification of simple amplification.

    [(myl) Another perfect instance. You win!]

  7. Owlmirror said,

    May 15, 2017 @ 2:28 pm

    I am reminded of Sphinx, from "Mystery Men", but checking the quote list doesn't quite find the exact [X-ing the Y/ Y-ing the X] form.

  8. BobW said,

    May 15, 2017 @ 6:45 pm

    Q. Pheevr – Be sure that you never anthropomorphize computers, they don't like it.

  9. Serebrianyi Golub said,

    May 15, 2017 @ 8:40 pm

    "Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women, man!"

  10. Yuval said,

    May 15, 2017 @ 10:14 pm

    Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women, man.

  11. Rebecca said,

    May 15, 2017 @ 10:41 pm

    Closest I came is "mouseifying a triangle vs. triangulate a mouse".

    Mouseifying triangles is actually something I use to help kids discover that the sum of the angles of a triangle equals 180. But trianglify just doesn't sound as good as triangulate. And the two operations just aren't parallel like gamify and workify.

  12. Mara K said,

    May 15, 2017 @ 11:51 pm

    How does one mouseify a triangle? With computer mice or real mice?

    While we're at it, how do you pluralize a reduplicative focus compound? Is the plural of mouse-mouse "mouse-mice" or "mice-mice"?

  13. Joyce Melton said,

    May 16, 2017 @ 1:08 am

    You won't be landing the fish if you're fishing the land.
    Would it be wrong to fish for a compliment by complimenting a fish?
    How would a phishing expedition work by expediting the Phish?
    He fished the fiche on fishes from the niche where the fish fiche was found.

  14. Chas Belov said,

    May 16, 2017 @ 1:50 am

    Question authority
    Authorize questions

    Ah, but isn't "play" the opposite of work? Work and games both imply structure, so are not precisely opposites.

  15. Stephen Goranson said,

    May 16, 2017 @ 6:59 am

    Signifying monkeys were monkeying with signifiers?

  16. Dr. Decay said,

    May 16, 2017 @ 7:43 am

    Are we answering questions or questioning answers?

    Not mine, I saw it on a cartoon once.

  17. Michael said,

    May 16, 2017 @ 12:20 pm

    Actually, I believe that was the concept behind the Original Dungeons & Dragons. They borrowed it from miniature war-simulation games.

  18. Daniel Deutsch said,

    May 18, 2017 @ 2:18 am

    Nullify the truth and you verify nothing.

  19. Graeme said,

    May 20, 2017 @ 6:10 pm


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