Saturday Morning Oys – February 27th, 2021

XKCD #559. Mouseover text: “Like spelling ‘dammit’ correctly — with two m’s — it’s a troll that works best on the most literate.”

Y’know, it’s true both ways!

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Okay, this pun is done all the time, not only in cartoons but standup and sketch comedy too. But this is such a nice pure instantiation of it!


  1. “Both ways”? I think I see three.

    Ostrich-ized or ostrichcized : turned into an ostrich
    Ostrichsized – made to be as large as an ostrich

    All of which can make it hard to find friends.

  2. Luann reminded me of a song we used to sing when I was a washerwoman at the Renaissance Faire. It includes the line “The cheese now sits upon the shelf.” During morning warm-ups another washerwoman mentioned she has to be very careful not to sing “The cheese now (excretes) upon itself” and dammit from then on we ALL had to be careful!

    And I got a sensible chuckle out of the money laundering.

  3. “OK, what was the pun?”
    “What pun?”
    “About internalizing one’s girlfriend’s attitudes.”
    “There’s no pun there.”
    “You said there was.”
    “I did not.”
    “You said ‘No pun intended.'”
    “Yes, that’s right. I did not intended to make a pun, and I did not make a pun.”
    “If there isn’t a pun, why was it necessary to say ‘No pun intended’?”
    “So that you wouldn’t look for one.”

  4. I was going to comment that “Oy” implies a pun and Luann was not actually a pun and then…. I read the xkcd.

  5. Catladymac: Damn it, that is NOT the correct spelling

    I’ll give you Damn it over dammit, marginally. But for many of us, either of those is good, and the problem is with damnit, which cannot easily be read with the actual pronunciation and without introducing an /n/ segment.

  6. “Dammit” works for me, since it’s usually said quickly. Getting fussy with “damn it” messes with the satisfying flow. 🙂

    Just think, though…there’s only one way to spell “darn it”. 😛

  7. I spent a minute looking for Boise Ed’s rats in the comics list. Then decided it’s his suggestion for resolving the dammit spelling controversy.

  8. Dagnabbit, I wish one could edit one’s comment after posting. I was gonna say I could’ve avoided the controversy by using “dad-gummit.” Or is that “dadgummit”? Or possibly “dad gum-mit”…

  9. OED has:

    dammit, n. and int.
    Brit. Hear pronunciation/ˈdamɪt/
    , U.S. Hear pronunciation/ˈdæmət/
    Frequency (in current use):
    Etymology: Shortened < damn it! (see damn v. 5).

    a. Used in comparative phrases.
    1894 G. F. Northall Folk-phrases 9 As near as damn it. As near as fourpence to a groat. As near as two ha’ pennies for a penny.
    1897 J. Conrad Nigger of ‘Narcissus’ iv. 91 You were as near hanging as damn-it to-night.
    1908 E. Wallace Angel Esquire xii ‘Outside as quick as dammit!’ he cried.
    1911 A. Bennett Hilda Lessways v. i. 338 That first night..I was as near as dammit to letting out the whole thing and chancing it.
    1920 P. G. Wodehouse Little Warrior i. 36 When I’m alone with Parker—for instance—I’m as chatty as dammit.
    1931 F. D. Grierson Mystery in Red vii. 106 You were as near rude to him as dammit.
    1961 Guardian 24 Apr. 9/7 The score standing as near as dammit at two.
    1998 Sunday Tel. 25 Jan. (Mag.) 37/3 An aubergine purée..was repeated, as near as dammit, as the topping of a pancake which came with a red mullet.

    b. Damn it! used as an imprecation.
    1956 A. H. Compton Atomic Quest iii. 193 Dammit, give it stuff to spare.
    1971 Sunday Times 21 Feb. (Colour Suppl.) 43/3 Whenever I talk about Rizzo and brutality, I have to use the word ‘allege’, but dammit all, I have so many facts, baby, there ain’t nothing alleged about it.

  10. Danny Boy – London Derriere: My “Rats” was just making fun from the “darn it”/”dammit”/”damn it” parade. One could say I was offering an alternative solution to the question.

  11. Speaking of Renaissance Fairs and three-way puns, at King Richard’s Faire in Carver, Massachusetts, one of the long-established food vendors sells roasted cashews and almonds.

    The name of this establishment: “The King’s Nuts.”
    Ostensibly this establishment has the patronage of King Richard himself, and is reminiscent of The King’s Men which at one time was the name of Shakespeare’s theatrical company.
    But it can also mean that the King is mentally not all there.
    As for a possible third meaning …
    Well, the King just laughed, not because he had to but because he had two.

  12. “Well, the King just laughed, not because he had to but because he had two.”

    I hadn’t thought of that monologue since my undergrad college days in the mid/late 1960s… thanks!

    This version is longer (and more scatological) than the one I’d heard:

  13. Sorry about the duplication — I thought the first one had been somehow rejected. (sniff, sob….)

  14. Susan T-O –
    I am presuming that you mean laundry washer woman – not kitchen washerwoman – or am I wrong.

    Our 18th century unit has never invested in period laundering equipment so I have avoided that job, but have been stuck washing up pots, etc after cooking out in a field in a tub of water. We never sing when doing so and everyone is responsible for their own personal “mess kit”, okay, I get stuck cleaning husband’s “mess kit” as well as mine.

    As to the King mentioned by others – when we are done with him, in July, he has gone to pieces.

  15. “We never sing when doing so”

    Having seen production numbers in musicals and operas in which the women of the chorus sing a spinning song as they ply their spinning wheels, or the men sing the Anvil Chorus while doing their blacksmithing work, I am always disappointed at seeing ordinary people at work.

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