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 – August 13th, 2022

Thanks to Le Vieux Lapin for this one, which is some sort of word-play on language-related terms, so what is there not to oy?


For Argyle Sweater, one bad pun deserves another. The actual Pony Express is famous, but only existed for a short time, from from April 3, 1860, to October 26, 1861. Pricing didn’t help (The initial price was set at $5 per 12 ounce, then $2.50, and by July 1861 to $1. Normal mail service was $0.02 then.). The service continually lost money, and closed two days after the transcontinental telegraph connected Omaha with Sacramento.


Now we’ll segue into some that miss a bit. Kilby reminds us that Segway ceased production in June, 2020. One might ponder the various reasons why the Segway, introduced in 2001 to great fanfare, was a failure (and by the end, so out of mind it might have merited a geezer alert), while now e-bikes are flying off the shelves and electric scooters are commonly seen.


Well, there are some judgement calls here; let”s see if you agree. The “just ok” is enough to qualify it as a pun or Oy; but isn’t especially good, or enough to make it a funny Oy. However, the second shot, using the idea of “settling for [smthg]”, does make it work, and earns at least a chuckle. (No comment on the squirrel’s addition.)


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For those of us who’ve served as executor of someone’s estate that wasn’t tied up very well, this will bring back painful memories. Painful OYs here.


And just when we were making plans to officially retire the Synchronicity category, this pair comes along within a week of each other with the same double pun. One factor is that this one was already published here, in last week’s OY list:

But this one is fresh:



Sunday Funnies – LOLs, August 7th, 2022

This should fulfill the category tag of “Momentary CIDU”. It presents something genuinely puzzling, but solvable quickly enough that it wouldn’t work as a daily standalone CIDU post.


A delectable one from Mutts’ finicky cat.


I couldn’t resist tossing this in the list … for the sake of quoting these classic lyrics:
Ahh you've gone to the finest school, all right Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get JUICED in it
Nobody's ever taught you how to live out on the street
But you find out now you're gonna have to get USED to it


Here is the Dark-LOL advertised in the Category links:


This reminds me of a joke by Steven Wright: “I wish, when I was first born, the first thing I said was “Quote” so the last thing I said before I died would be “Unquote.””

Chemgal sends in this pair from Strange Planet:


Is the phrasing that somebody “is assisting the police in their inquiries” used everywhere? I first learned the phrase back when I worked for the Journals Division and a certain scholarly Association worked with us to draft a press release and statement to go in the journal they sponsored and edited but we published. The readership / membership had to be told that there would be an interim Acting Editor for an issue or more, as the Editor’s stay in the UK was being extended as he was needed there “to assist the authorities in their inquiries into the circumstances of the death of his wife”! [mitch]


We just had “The Grill is On” as an OY yesterday, so we’ll pick another song to wake you up this morning. [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1fImXAeS-s if the embed doesn’t show up correctly; your new editor is still learning a few things ]


Saturday Morning OYs – August 6th, 2022

Greedy for layers of pun, I almost wanted to see a ‘c’ in place of the ‘k’ — to reflect that they are drawn to look quite cute! And we would of course still recognize them as sharcs.




A CIDU that then becomes an OY.

A reminder that it’s prime grilling season!

It’s also an excuse to listen to some B B King:



From Andréa, who says “I see it as more of an OY . . . flippin’ in all its meanings”


Frazz riddle … conclusion

Did you catch the posting earlier today, Frazz riddle … answered soon ? It incorporated the Monday and Tuesday strips from last week, where one of the kids tells Frazz that she is giving her dad a vacation, and it cost only nine bucks. She adds a clue, that she could have spent twice as much but then it would have lasted just half as long. Oooh, paradox!

The Tuesday strip shows Frazz asking “Where will he go for $9? What will he see?” and the student answering “Nowhere. And nothing new. Just in a whole new way.” Evidently still in clue mode.

But the the Wednesday strip goes right to the answer. And Thursday and Friday just round off the story. Here they are:


P.S. It wasn’t quite done as of that Friday installment. It continued for one more, on Saturday. (But Monday — and probably not Tuesday either, but this will be already posted by then, so … who would care?). Here is the Saturday strip:

Frazz riddle … answered soon

Monday’s strip seemed to be the start of one of those extended riddles Frazz sometimes undertakes (such as with Halloween characters).

How can a vacation cost just nine bucks? And why would one costing twice as much last only half as long? Hmmm, put on your thinking caps.

Tuesday continued the riddling, with maybe a small bit of new clue:

And then what on Wednesday? Further clueage, helpful but not giving it all away?

Nope, Wednesday’s strip directly gave the solution! Then Thursday and Friday rounded out the story. (I’m writing this on Friday so it remains to be seen if there will be more of this tale next week. But you are reading this on Tuesday or later, so you’ll already know…)

On the off chance some CIDUers are seeing this but haven’t seen these Frazz strips, can we do something to allow for puzzle-solving and speculation in the comments here, but still give the solution? Well, ideas like throwing in tons of vertical space are not really effective. And that time we tried protecting a spoiler with that sliding-panel image-comparison gizmo was broken on some people’s platforms, and is anyhow a pretty flimsy test of patience.

Well, fine. The next three strips from this series will be in a separate post, this afternoon. Meanwhile, feel free to opine here on how that bargain vacation would work!