18 Comments

  1. It seems to be just that the cartoonist heard the term “inner ear” and thought it sounded like part of a house, so added other parts you’d find in a house. I guess it could be funny if you’re high.

  2. In French, the external ear (English pinna ?) is called “pavillon”, a word which also describes a building (English pavilion); so, this one doesn’t work too bad for me.
    @Billybob: this would make it better, indeed.

  3. He forgot the channel straight through the head to the other ear that appears at the onset of puberty. Sometimes at marriage, too.

  4. added other parts you’d find in a house.
    Yes, and also oddly enough a pretty good account of the parts of the ear. We see the tympanum, the cochlea, and two of the three ossicles.

  5. This probably made more sense in the artists head, but I’m assuming that he thought something along the line of we have an inner ear, what’s the outer part called, may fore ear, oh that sounds like foyer, ha ha, let’s go with that…

  6. Mitch4, the eardrum separates the outer ear from the middle ear. Benjamin Gorman may be a star at the Department of Computing, but his knowledge of anatomic illustration seems limited.

  7. Are Foyers still common and if people have them do we still think of them as receiving areas before entering the “inner” house? That foyer is as well furnished as most living rooms.

    Does Foyer *sound* like “fore-ear”?

  8. @woozy – I think there are two pronunciations common in US speech, one trying to hold onto a French flavor and the other one more like a spelling pronunciation. The latter may be what Karl was likening to “fore-ear”.

    @billybob – Confession, I didn’t pick that illustration on any basis other than thinking it was a pretty clean line-drawing, among the many that Google offered me. (And showed the three little bones.) If we now chose a better one, besides fixing the outer/middle/inner division, we might seek labels giving the bones in the Latin names.

  9. P. S. If we didn’t have the non-French pronunciation of ‘foyer’, we couldn’t have the story about the chess nuts boasting in the open foyer.

  10. foy-err or foy-yay are the two pronunciations I know – the former being used in Brooklyn and the later being used on the upper east side of Manhattan. (Low brow and high brow for those not from around here.)

  11. Yes, those are the pronunciations I also was referring to. The second of yours is the one I was suggesting still retained a French flavor.

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