Saturday Morning OYs – September 3rd, 2022

We’ve previously complained about how they use Horace and his characterization to get away with not managing to find the right level to pitch to. But that objection aside, this is a pretty nice pun!


My friend Alice used to … oh never mind!


Dilbert Classics has been running a storyline about a new employee without a head (Microsoft hired his head, which is in a jar at their headquarters). But he has a name.


Not a natural language among them

I remember running into a well-meaning person who heard the linguistics lecturer use the term “natural language” and tried to object that no language or dialect is actually more natural — that is, “better” in some way, or more suited to learning — than any other. Which is something that audience would not disagree with, in general, among the set of languages they were discussing. (Which of course, were just those natural languages.)

But of course there are several ways some communication system or notation system can be called a language but is not a natural language. Roy’s list includes two major types, and misses a couple other categories. (But we don’t get to hear if he has command of other natural languages.)

Here’s an amusing talk I ran across recently, which may be fun for those with either practical programming experience in a few different computer languages or anyhow a reading/browsing acquaintance with them.

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.)