March 11, 2008


Jerry Anning writes:

Adam "ApeLad" Koford, of Laugh-Out-Loud Cats fame, recently started a new site called Onomatopedia where people send him sound effects and the like and he draws cartoons using them.

Here's Laugh-Out-Loud Cats #774, which will make no sense without basic knowledge of two quite different cultural traditions (or maybe three):

And here's the Onomatopedia posting for March 3:

This picture, though inspiring, is not consistent with the Jargon File's definition for splork:

[Usenet; common] The sound of coffee (or other beverage) hitting the monitor and/or keyboard after being forced out of the mouth via the nose. It usually follows an unexpectedly funny thing in a Usenet post. Compare snarf.

The word splork also seems to have several prior definitions whose signifier-signified relationships are more arbitrary: a junglefowl from the Olympic Peninsula rainforest; a turn-based strategy war game set in space; a mountain biker from Nashville, TN; the embryonic form of certain Klingon food animals; etc.

There is also a puzzling page giving three "informative speech splork topic lists", about which the less said, the better.

[More lolcats history here, here, here.]

[Update -- Melanie wrote:

I was particularly amused at your Language Log post today. In an early Viz Media translation of the X/1999 manga, "splork" was the sound of a fist going through someone's chest, so it was always been one of my favorite sound effects.


Posted by Mark Liberman at March 11, 2008 07:37 AM