January 05, 2004


Take a look at Teresa Dowlatshahi's Shoecabbage, if you haven't already seen it. It's fascinating that a nationally syndicated cartoon can be created out of an illustrated exploration of accidental phonetic similarities between words of other languages and words of English. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to see linguistic content get featured in the popular press for any reason at all, and it's especially nice to see Dowlatshahi's slightly eccentric 25-year-long quest for cross-language homophones turn into a popular success. Let's just say that this is one of many real-life events that I would find implausible in a novel.

My favorite (in the current 14-day window accessible without paying $9.95 to uComics.com) is this one.

But I'll be really surprised and impressed when there's a popular syndicated cartoon whose captions are given as interlinear text.

Posted by Mark Liberman at January 5, 2004 07:18 AM