Frankensteining frankensteined frankensteins

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Today Dinosaur Comics:

Mouseover title: "in the sequel the frankensteined frankenstein frankensteins dr. frankenstein into frankensteins".

The Archive comment: "hmm on second thought maybe copyright should be extended indefinitely after all".

This case is different from buffalo and shit because Frankenstein is neither game animal (or other noun with an unmarked plural) nor a mass noun, and so it's not possible to get a SUBJECT VERB version without adding inflectional -s to one word or the other.

Meanwhile, nothing about the copyright status of Frankenstein and his monster, as far as I know, either with respect to Mary Shelley's version (long out of copyright) or the Universal Pictures version (still protected).


  1. Viseguy said,

    May 21, 2021 @ 7:40 pm

    (1) Had to Google Dromiceiomimus, but the reference in this context is still going over my head.

    (2) I've never seen frankenstein used as a verb, but why not?

    (3) And then there's franken-, the prefix. Often used in the EDC (Every Day Carry) context — frankenpen, frankenwatch, etc.

  2. John Swindle said,

    May 22, 2021 @ 2:07 am

    I know the answer to that one. "Dromoceiomimus" is the name of the character in the comic, who is a dromoceiomimus, and is used here to address him.

  3. John Swindle said,

    May 22, 2021 @ 7:34 am

    And of course I've misspelled it.

  4. Marc said,

    May 22, 2021 @ 1:01 pm

    @John Swindle

    In this comic strip, the character Dromiceiomimus is female.

  5. John Swindle said,

    May 22, 2021 @ 3:51 pm

    Aha! Thank you.

  6. J.W. Brewer said,

    May 23, 2021 @ 8:11 am

    I haven't checked in non-crowdsourced reference works, but wiktionary is sufficiently au courant to include the verb "to Frankenstein," glossed as "To combine two or more similar elements into a consistent entity, or a cohesive idea."

  7. Viseguy said,

    May 24, 2021 @ 9:21 pm

    @John Swindle: Thank you! Would that English had an inflected vocative: Dromiceiomime! All would have been clear from the get-go.

    @J.W. Brewer: Yes, indeed, even though I'd never encountered the verb form, the meaning was clear, esp. from my cyber-experience in the world of EDC (Every Day Carry), which is rife with franken-pens, franken-watches, franken-knives, and so forth. The franken- prefix is wonderfully versatile, and its meaning will be self-evident as long as Mary Shelley's classic, or the Universal Pictures version thereof, lives.

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