Sunday Funnies – LOLs, March 12th, 2023

A case of breaking the third wall?

Maybe this is a bit of a CIDU — I understand how her laptop might need an OS update, or even her nails, but what’s up with the metaphors?

“Pin code”

How many of these would you call arguable?

Here’s a Quote Investigator link for “It got too crowded, nobody goes there anymore”.


  1. The Wrong Hands tried too hard. The top row are pretty good, but some of them are strained. Why would “foreign national” be an oxymoron?

  2. It’s like “jumbo shrimp.” “Foreign National” is like saying far and near or near and far. So “Foreign National” is an oxymoron.

  3. National is “from a nation”. Not necessarily “from my nation. “A foreign national” is a very clear way to say, “Someone who is from a foreign nation.”

  4. If each part of an alleged oxymoron conveys information necessary to my understanding of the person, place or thing being described, then I vote not guilty. I would argue against all the examples in the comic. A true oxymoron juxtaposes two contradictory ideas. Do I detect a deafening silence?

  5. Some are only oxymorons on a pun, ie: relative stranger — if “relative” is a description of degree (“relatively cold”), it is not an oxymoron, but if relative is understood as someone you’re related to, then it’s an oxymoron, but no one understands it that way. That said, I have a first cousin I have never met — if I came across her on the street, she would be a total stranger, who would also be a fairly close relative (relatively close relative?).
    Some are descriptors, and only oxymoronic through deliberate misunderstanding, ie: social outcast; yes, you can’t be social if you are outcast, but here it is clearly indicating what it is you are outcast from, ie, society. “Retired Worker” is also of this category, but I think this one, put as an oxymoron, cleverly highlights a social problem we have, ie: people identifying themselves only through their work. I am a Worker, even when I no longer work, that is my caste, my class, my identity…
    “Resident Alien” I have a problem with, maybe only because I spent the majority of my life identified as such, and I still find it to be the best descriptor of who I am vis a vis where I live, even now. Just because you reside somewhere, doesn’t automatically make you a part of that. As Sven said when asked why he was in the wardrobe, “Everybody’s gotta be somewhere!”

  6. As for the Bliss, it is only a case of breaking the first wall (if you read your comics from left to right; in Japan it would be a break in the third wall…)

  7. I think “foreign national” is more a redundancy than an oxymoron. As Carl Fink notes above, a national is someone from a nation. So one could say French national or Swedish national (although why not Frenchman or Swede?). But foreigner seems clear enough without adding “national”.

  8. But foreigner seems clear enough without adding “national”.

    Yeah, but only for low-grade bigots — real bigots have need to be able to distinguish between them dang furners who are from a different country (“foreign nationals”), and those gol’ darn furriners who hide among us — those are the worst! They make fun of you when you tell them to go back where they came from! (“What? Schenectady?”) Those nationals are the worst! The foreign ones!

  9. Does Atkinson’s headline count as an oxymoron if it contains an implicit contradiction (in that not all of his examples are really oxymorons)? (I thought the idea and his collection were mildly amusing, despite the fact that some of them are a bit weak.)

    P.S. Yesterday’s Macanudo also took a pot shot at the fourth wall:

  10. Presumably the PIN code was 666.

    Note that the 6 is slightly lighter than all the other numerals, presumably representing wear.

  11. I thought I was just imagining that, but if Brian or others are seeing it too, it might be real!

  12. You’re not imagining it.

    I feel like we’ve had this oxymoron discussion before on a past (and equally weak) batch.

  13. P.S. @ Mitch – It depends on the resolution of the screen. The lighter gray used for the “6” was almost indistinguishable from the other digits when I viewed it on a tablet (because the image was shrunk), but at full resolution on my desktop monitor it is clearly different (instead of the “pure black” (#000000) used for everything else, the “6” is colored with “#454545”).

  14. I just noticed “small crowd” is another oxymoron. But that is also questionable. If you think “little children” is redundant and “big children” is an an oxymoron, then OK, I guess, but most people don’t.

    In music we have the strange case of the “trio sonata.” If you think of a sonata as being for piano solo, you might think “trio sonata” is an oxymoron that way. But a sonata is not necessarily for just a piano. It may be for violin and piano; that is called a “solo sonata” even though there are two players. If it’s a Baroque solo sonata it’s expected that the solo instrument is accompanied by a harpsichord and a bass instrument such as a cello or gamba. Three players for a solo sonata. If you have two violins, harpsichord and bass that’s a “trio sonata”, four players.

    And a “piano quartet” is not four pianos. It’s piano, violin, viola and cello. Unless you mean the First Piano Quartet, a group of four pianists active in the 1950’s.

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