Saturday Morning Oys – June 18th, 2022

Thanks to Bill R, who says “It’s like they’re daring us to figure it out”. Which is why there is a CIDU category (“tag”) on this, along with the “(Not a CIDU)” for the OYs list in general. Look, don’t question it too hard. Oh, and it’s not a pun really, but gets an OY as a language-related item. Also this list was sitting bare too long …

The usage they’re disputing over was taught in my schooldays as one of “those common mistakes to be avoided”. 

OK, I think (but am not positive) that I get the alternate meaning the joke depends on — from too many crime shows, the best deals a defendant’s lawyer might hope to extract from a prosecutor would involve setting no additional jail time, so the defendant gets to “walk away” or “take a walk”.

First I thought the outside guy was wearing an odd bathrobe; but throw in his laurel wreath and I guess he is at a toga party. But not the inside guy. Oh well, it doesn’t seem to affect the joke.

Possible cross-comic banter, based on spelling of the name?

Sunday Funnies – LOLs, February 27th, 2022

When I was growing up, and my dad and uncles were into car repair, front-wheel-drive was relatively rare, and most American cars had front engine and rear drive wheels. There was a very important part called the “differential” which sat at the rear end of the drive shaft and connected also to both sides of a rear axle and the drive wheels. The informal term used for the differential was “rear end”.

Since “rear end” was also an informal substitute for “butt”, there was occasion for many a scene just like the one in this cartoon.

This is inflation on count-to-ten.

Jane: I once went on holiday and pretended to be twins. It was amazing fun. I invented this mad, glamorous sister and went around really annoying everybody. And d’you know, I could get away with anything when I was my crazy twin Jane.
Sally: But you’re Jane.
Jane: Kinda stuck. It’s a long story.

And there was a sequel:

Link only, to a Far Side that shows the prequel to an iconic Meryl Streep line. (The link may not last long.)

Do you Mean What you Say?

Thanks to Usual John for sending this in, and for useful email discussion! His focus is on the bottom strip, where we get amusing literalized visions of some common idiomatic expressions. Except — we apparently no longer have an idiom to match “He had a pony on his cuff”. So, what would that mean, apart from what’s in the literal illustration?

By the way, can anyone assist my memory and give me a clue why I remembered this Origins of the Sunday Comics feature as not always in the past being a genuine historical exploration, but rather including sometimes a parodic or fictive-history take? Maybe mental contamination from reading a sometime series of posts in Working Daze, pretending to trace a century-long history of that strip, thru different writers and artists, and even titles and publishers. 

Bonus: Estamos texting todo el tiempo

(Or as Google Translate would put it: Nosotros estamos enviando mensajes de texto todo el tiempo.)

Our recent foray into the Baldo translation mysteries included an interesting subthread on whether the Spanish seemed to reflect any particular national-origin variety of the language (or since the setting is in the U.S. , there might be contemporary U.S.-regional varieties at play ) , or rather a textbook or generic Western Hemisphere compromise variety of the language. Also in question was “official, standard” language versus slang and colloquial.

Last week’s and this week’s strips provide a wealth of material bearing on those issues. The teen characters are doing a lot of texting, so we get to see the handling of such matters as: standard texting abbreviations; spontaneous abbreviations or “shorthand”; accidental typos, and bad autocorrect and autocomplete insertions; and intrusion of English terms instead of “official” Spanish. Thus for OMG they stick with OMG in the Spanish context, though I think elsewhere I’ve seen DM (for Dios mío not in this case Direct Message); and “texting” in both English and Spanish versions.



(Two wordless strips depict a deepening of the romantic jealousy crisis.)

(For anyone paying close attention to the dates, there were strips over the weekend that were not part of this series.)






¿Qué quiere decir esta palabra “significa”?

I.e. , What does this word “means” mean? Or maybe What does this Spanish word “significa” mean?

In the Spanish version, Baldo’s question in panel 3 ¿Qué significa eso? he speculatively answers for himself with sort of paraphrases of Sergio’s [Papi’s] saying from panel 2, but tending more toward argumentative applications to his current situation. When Sergio answers in panel 4 by just repeating the saying verbatim and asserting that is the meaning, he is bringing down Baldo’s flights of fancy and special pleading by just repeating the idea, for an “it is what it is” effect. All of this makes easy sense.

In the English version, Sergio’s saying in panel 2 is originally presented in Spanish, then repeated in panel 4 in English translation. So It means … in panel 4 amounts to It would be translated as … . Then when we look at Baldo’s What does that mean … in panel 3, is he still only asking for significance and situational applications (which he then supplies, sometimes ironically)? Or is he in any part asking for help in translation? (Since a translation is what he gets.)

Bonus Baldo: A pun before and after translation

Back in last November, in this “OY collection” post, we discussed a Baldo strip and the matching Baldo en Español where an element of the joke doesn’t come thru in the Spanish version, and combined this observation with other instances, as well as “About” tab type info and external sources, to agree that the strip seems usually to have been first written in English, then translated for the Spanish version.

(In that November post, if you feel like scrolling back, there was also a fun digression stemming from a different comic, on a style of word-play puzzle called by some “Dingbats”, a sort of text-layout rebus.)

In March, Arnold Zwicky’s Blog discussed a related example, with the same conclusion, where the English Baldo was about English language spelling and pronunciation (just pointing out that tough, cough, and dough give different sounds to the -ough sequence of letters) and the Baldo en Español just used the Spanish translations of those words, which really don’t resemble each other in any special way, certainly not rhyming. Zwicky also brought up some possibilities on how the Spanish version could have been handled. (And yes, that’s me popping into the comments.)
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Now lookit what just showed up on GoComics!


All the Spanish that you really need to know here is that pecado indeed means sin, and pescado means fish (as food).

In the English version, Tía Carmen’s jest is to turn the saying “Hate the sin but love the sinner” into “… love the dinner”. In Spanish she says “… love the fish [we are eating]” which is basically the same idea, but manages to preserve the word-play element because of the resemblance of pecado and pescado.