July 21, 2004

Comicbook grammarians

I enjoyed Mark's post on comicbook spellings of vocalizations, interjections, and other noises because I've been reading more comics lately, including The Essential Spider-Man series. (Older) Spider-Man comics are interesting to read for a variety of reasons, including the overabundance of scene-setting dialogue, Stan Lee's editorial comments, and of course the spellings of noises (not to mention the great artwork and stories).

Part of Spider-Man's appeal is his alter ego Peter Parker, at once an everyman and a science genius. Less well-known but of particular interest here is that Peter is apparently also a grammar buff. Here are some examples.

(In all of these examples, the bolded emphasis is in the original.)

In this panel, Kraven the Hunter lunges at Spider-Man and misses, resulting in the following exchange:

Kraven: Once I get my hands on you I'll.. UHHH!
Spider-Man: Tsk-tsk! Didn't anyone ever tell you not to end a sentence with an expletive? I can tolerate your nastiness.. but bad grammar... unforgiveable!

In this panel, Spidey's fighting off some baddies:

Baddie #1: C'mon... grab 'im!! He's no bigger'n us!
Spider-Man: Tsk tsk! You mean "no bigger than we"!

And in this panel, Peter once again corrects his Aunt May's failed attempt to use slang. Aunt May is defended by Mary Jane Watson's Aunt Anna (who seems to know a thing or two about satiation effects):

Aunt May: Isn't that Dr. Bromwell the dearest thing? As you would say Peter.. he's a regular pussywillow!
Peter: No, Aunt May! I keep telling you.. the word is pussycat!
Aunt May: But I think pussywillows are much cuter, dear!
Peter: OK, pretty girl! If you say so, he's a pussywillow!
Aunt Anna: The more May says it, the more it sounds right to me!

More examples coming soon.

[ Comments? ]

Posted by Eric Bakovic at July 21, 2004 02:45 PM