Some language-related strips from Robert Balder’s principled comic PartiallyClips:

Just keep talking, Mr. Billings…
[I know I have to keep talking to you, doctor. But I’m afraid I’m distracting you or something.
It’s part of the procedure, Mr. Billings. I have to map the regions of your brain. Just keep talking, about anything at all.
Oh, OK. Uh, did you watch the Rams game?
Yes! And I can’t believe they couldn’t beat the spread! I had $200 bucks on those–oops.
“Oops?!” It’s nothing, go on.
Oh. Well, they could have had a smurfdown on that fourth and one smurfuation, if Smurf Warner had just thrown the smurfball, instead of smurfing off to Marshall Smurf…
Yike. This is either a lawsuit or an article in JAMA, depending on how I play it.]

Sweetie, stop making noises and look at the book, OK?
[Oss… truh… lo… pith… uh… seen…
Sweetie stop making noises and look at the book, okay? See the picture of the caveman family? Can you say “caveman?”
Ho… mo… hab… bill… luss…
No sweetie, caveman. Caaaaaavemaaaaan. It’s okay, your daddy and I will always love you and we’ll never give up on you. Look, they have a doggy. Say “doggy?”
Kay… niss… fuh… millee… ar… iss…]

How do you do that thing where your mouthparts don’t synch to your words?
[Beetle1: Have at thee!
Beetle2: Engarde!
Beetle1: Your bug fu is poor. You should go back there and practice.
Beetle2: You will not happy ending!!
Beetle1: Okay stop. You win. You’re crackin’ me up. How do you do that thing where your mouthparts don’t synch to your words?
Beetle2: It doesn’t matter. The important thing is that we impressed the females.
Beetle1: Dude, they got bored and left ten minutes ago.
Beetle2: Crap. So yet again, we’re “stag bettles.”
Beetle1: You are once more wrongly, grasshopper! I threat you!
Beetle2: I consent. We must fight a duet, extreme in power!]

Via the irrepressible Mark Liberman at the indispensable Language Log.


  1. I can’t thank you enough for this…
    I’ve bookmarked the page and will try to ration myself to two or three strips a day so that I can prolong the pleasure.
    Smurf on!

  2. Funny funny stuff. ‘Preciated.

  3. Can I say something irrelevant and correct your virtually impeccable spelling? It’s indispensable (not -ible). Love your site, though, as always.

  4. Good god. We all have our blind spots in spelling, and that’s one of mine. On my good days, I look at the word after I write it and think “Better look that up.” This wasn’t one of my good days. I’ll leave it up till I get to work as a horrid reminder, then get around to fixing it. Thanks!
    (Oh, and spelling is never irrelevant on this site.)

  5. The strip was taken down last year and the Wayback Machine links don’t seem to always actually show the comic, so I’ve added the dialogue from Oh No Robot’s comics search.

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