CSotD: Getting over one’s self and so forth

Lemont, the protagonist of Candorville (KFS), spends too much time playing the pedant and correcting people for speaking the way people speak.

Sure, he’s correct: “Pin number” is redundant, though I don’t hear people say it nearly as often as I did a decade or so ago.

However, “being made redundant” remains both correct and current: It’s how Brits refer to being laid off.

Not only does it make perfect sense, but, under the circumstances, it’s more polite than I might have been.

Juxtaposition of Get Over Yourself

Sherman’s Lagoon — AMS

Bizarro — KFS

Technically, this pair isn’t a Juxtaposition of the Day because Sherman’s Lagoon ran yesterday while Bizarro is from this morning, but, then again, Sunday newspapers are considered current until the following Sunday, so technically they still qualify.

It has been nearly 30 years since I lived within an hour of Montreal and the little bakeries on every corner, and so it’s been about that long since I’ve felt compelled to pronounce “croissant” as if I were speaking French because I was speaking French.

Which makes it a perfect gag to put in Fillmore’s mouth, because he’s just the sort of pretentious prat who would insist on pronouncing it correctly even though, en francais, he couldn’t find son cul avec ses deux mains, the recurring joke in the strip being that he can’t find a date anywhere either.

As for Bizarro, I’m inclined to laugh harder than usual because nobody says “craws-ants” unless they’re speaking of their mother’s angry sisters.

I think journalists at NPR are required to attend monthly seminars in which they learn more linguistically authentic ways to pronounce place names but even then you don’t hear them pronouncing “Detroit” or “Des Moines” in the proper-but-who-says-that style.

And I would note that, while most people say “New Orlinns” rather than “New Orleens,” nobody seems to have a problem referring to it as the “Crescent City.”

Except possibly Fillmore and Lemont.

I often comment on strips which, despite their long lead times, somehow manage to land at an extremely timely moment, but this Non Sequitur (AMS) falls under the category of an evergreen strip because it’s hard to imagine a moment when it wouldn’t be timely.

I’ve been waiting for the other, final shoe to drop since the revelations at Mount Cashel in Newfoundland, which, ferchrissake, are now some 40 years ago and yet not over despite the uproar at the time. Or the ghastly stories of the Magdalen Laundries in Ireland. Or the Oscar-winning story of coverups in Boston.

But I’m still seeing stories of the abuse in residential schools presented as if we just discovered it, while down in Phoenix the Church is still trying to wash its hands and protest its innocence.

Not as funny as talking about crescent rolls, I know.

Wretched Timing Award

Prickly City (AMS) gets a wretched timing award for a gag about the new space race which landed on the funny pages just as Russia’s new wonderful improved magical space probe augured into the Moon rather than landing softly on its south pole.

I wasn’t impressed, obviously, with their rocket science, but I was struck by the frankness with which they acknowledged the spectacular failure, though I guess they had little choice, given that (A) they had hyped it up real good and (B) it happened up there where the whole world could see it.

Editorial cartoons have the advantage of a 24-hour schedule, so British cartoonist Ed Naylor was able to respond thusly and it’s a chance to have a good laugh at Putin’s expense, which doesn’t happen all that often.

Incidentally, I wouldn’t have caught Naylor’s piece except that I’ve added a bookmark for the Professional Cartoonists Organisation, which offers a nice selection of work by a variety of cartoonists who are not household names as well as some who are. As noted yesterday, the Brits have an attractive appetite for inflicting pain upon the comfortable and you might add that link to your own list.

In the meantime, On the Fastrack (KFS) has started a story arc that we’ll have to monitor but which appears to be a victim of interesting timing, given that a federal court has just ruled that AI work cannot be copyrighted.

I don’t know if that’s fortunate or unfortunate in this particular (fictional) case, because the gist of the story arc seems to be that Bill Holbrook should have trademarked Dethany’s avatar rather than that the copy would be copyrightable.

So it’s not entirely relevant, but it’s not entirely irrelevant, either.

The other factor being that, as that linked story notes, there are all sorts of additional copyright issues popping up over AI’s cloning of creative work, and the decision will no doubt get appealed up the ladder.

We won’t know how it will be finally decided unless we checked Justice Thomas’s vacation schedule and see who’s paying for his next big trip.

And there’s a lost copyright battle inherent in this Moderately Confused (AMS), because, yes, we once bought albums because we liked a particular song and it worked out pretty well once we moved from Top 40 singles into more Album Oriented times.

First rock album I bought was “For Your Love” by the Yardbirds, based on that single, and then, a few years later, I picked up “Fresh Cream” and “Sgt Pepper” based on name and buzz alone.

I also remember hearing CS&N at a friend’s house and being blown away that “Marrakesh Express” was not typical of the whole thing, so you could say I bought the album despite the single, which I had dismissed as bubble gum.

Anyway, newspaper folks aren’t the only ones who’ve gotten royally screwed by the Internet.

Something to bear in mind when you’re remembering how we used to get into concerts for five bucks.

Finally, I love Rose and I’m glad Wallace the Brave (AMS) is her pal and stands up for her, but what struck me about today’s strip is the scuffed dirt under each of the swings. Genius touch.

Those little depressions used to fill with rain and turn to mud and the point isn’t the overall plot and dialogue but, rather, those odd little things that turn nostalgia into something deeper, even if you didn’t notice them.

Until it was too late.

15 thoughts on “CSotD: Getting over one’s self and so forth

  1. My savings bank has a special deal where if you remember the PIN number for their ATM machine they’ll give me an ink pen as a free gift.

    1. When I lived where there were many speakers of a pin/pen-merger dialect, I saw the value of saying “ink pen”. If you asked just for “a pen” someone might respond “straight or safety?”.

      1. Thank you for the light-bulb moment.* I haven’t lived in that region, but people still say ink pen in the places where I have. Makes sense now.

        *Pronounced by my landlady in rural Georgia “buuuub.”

  2. To be fair “croissant” is literally French for “crescent”, so it really is just being pedantic. And funny.

  3. Re: bastardized French, now do “Notre Dame.”

    I spent my childhood in South Dakota, and have since been able to spot an authentic Dakotan by how they pronounce the state capital, Pierre. Hint: It’s probably not how you think.

    The flip side (heh!) to buying an album for one song and then discovering that the rest of the album was great was buying it for one song and then discovering that the rest of the album was terrible. In my experience, that was the more common outcome. I don’t think people just put on an album and listen to the whole thing anymore, which is a shame. An album is an artform of its own; done properly, it takes you on a journey. Listening to “Sgt. Pepper” or “Dark Side of the Moon” start to finish is a whole different experience than catching “When I’m Sixty-four” or “Money” on a playlist.

    All right, it’s “PEER.”

    1. I lived in Iowa for 8 (long) years and there’s a town there called Madrid. I’m sure everyone reading this is pronouncing it in your head the same as the city in Spain, MAH-drid. But not in Iowa. They pronounce it MAD-rid. They also pronounce “Italian”, “EYE-talyun”.

    2. “Days of Future Passed” is another example of an album with song order significance. Transiting from “Dawn is a Feeling” to “Nights in White Satin” with a few interspresed spoken tracks along the day’s journey.

  4. Ohio (pronounced “Ahia” in some areas) has BERlin Heights, MY-Lan, Med-eye-na and lies on the northern end of the New MADrid fault, where we get occasional earthquakes. Glad you gave the answer Brian, That was my guess.

  5. Thank you for solving the Bizarro. I had no idea that those French insects were supposed to be ants.

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