Today’s Zits, with Jeremy communicating with his fingers but not with his voice, to his mother’s dismay:
This could be about teenagers and their parents, or about the fabled laconic nature of boys (and men), or of course about both.
In Today’s Zippy, our pinhead reverts to adolescence on a snowboard:
The slang in the body of the strip — airdog, boned out, shred, shred the gnar, pop, nollie, pow-wow — is all genuine snowboarder slang, listed in the enormous collection of snowboarding terms here. The title, “Shagnasty”, is slang, but apparently not slang specific to snowboarding.
Friday’s Zits returns to some old themes for the strip:
The theme is that women — especially, teenaged girls — talk talk talk, in a rapid, never-ending stream, one sentence flowing into the next, one story into the next, without pause. You can’t get a word in edgewise, the saying goes. (The truth is far from this, of course.)
But Jeremy has found the solution, a very satisfying one: the punctuational kiss.
This is the latest in a series of strips about Jeremy and Sarah: Jeremy seems not to be listening to Sarah at all (and Jeremy’s father is presented as doing the same to Jeremy’s mother), and now, when Jeremy responds, it’s in monosyllables — he’s speaking, but not communicating.
That gives us two stereotypes at once: genderspeak and teenspeak. Males don’t listen, males are uncommunicative (especially when talking to females), and the teen stereotypes are for “laconic guys and gabby guys”.
In the strip above, Jeremy finally produces a minimally non-monosyllabic response. I doubt that it will satisfy Sarah.
Here we have a deliberately uncooperative response from Jeremy, who treats his mother’s request entirely literally, rather than thinking “Why is she making this request?” and calculating the reasons for her request and the kind of response she’s looking for. So his answer flouts Grice’s Maxim of Relation (or Relevance), as in this discussion of an earlier Zits. Jeremy is given to evasive uncooperativeness.
Note Jeremy’s facial expression in the first panel, and both facial expressions in the third.
Today’s Zits – with Jeremy talking so fast his mother can’t understand what he’s saying — turns out to be a repeat performance; I posted about this strip on Language Log in 2009, under the title “Teen speech in overdrive”.
Jeremy’s mother: “Can’t you just talk slower?” Jeremy: “Can’t you just listen faster?”
A Tom the Dancing Bug cartoon by Ruben Bolling, caught yesterday in Funny Times (which was reprinting it from April):
Many guffaws, especially at the last panel, with its hazmat decontamination team.
Cooties are part of the popular lore of childhood (at least in the U.S.), with an interesting linguistic history.
Yesterday’s Zits, with Jeremy bemoaning the unfairness of things:
Two Fair World assumptions:
an egocentric version, which seems to be Jeremy’s: In a fair world, I would get what I want/need;
an evenhanded, or utopian, version: In a fair world, everyone would get what they want/need.
Kids, teenagers included, are much inclined to the egocentric understanding of fair: what inconveniences me is unfair.
From Dennis Preston, this item from Ann Arbor:
And we’d be surprised if some of the hiccups we encountered don’t get taken care of before our next visit. In the meantime, the Wurst is a really fun place for a hang and a nice addition to Ypsilanti’s food-and-drink landscape. (link)
Yes, a nouning of the intransitive slang verb hang ‘hang out (with)’. New to Dennis (and to me), but not to the world in general.