Friday, September 02, 2005


A Little Comic Relief

The news is unbearably sad to read and watch this week. Gunfire in the streets, rapes in the shelters, corpses everywhere, looting, disease – I’ve actually had to ration my news consumption as a mental health measure. (I did the same thing in September 2001.) For reasons I’ll probably never understand, I actually shed tears over Badger’s loss, but haven’t over New Orleans. At some level, incomprehensibility just numbs.

To stay sane, I’ve been paying extra attention to moments of comic relief:

The Boy uses ‘goodly’ as an adverb. “Look at how goodly I drew the dinosaur!” It makes sense, actually, and ‘goodly’ is an actual word (a goodly sum), so I’m not quite sure how to correct him.

The Pastafarians have constructed a perfectly wonderful, and very silly, response to the “Intelligent Design” movement. Check it out.

I’ll admit it – I stole the “Ask the Administrator” idea from Harvey, whose “Ask a Super-Villain” recurring feature always makes me laugh. This week’s interview with Modok is fun, as is this one with Magus, but my fave is this one with Batroc the Leaper (don’t ask). You don’t need to know anything about comics (I don’t) to get a kick out of these. You may make whatever academic administrator/super-villain comparisons you like.

In response to my request for knock-knock jokes, an intrepid commenter went on google and found a trove of them. There’s a zenlike simplicity to a well-formed knock-knock joke.

I recently stumbled across what must be the coolest team name in all of professional sports: a minor-league baseball team in Canada in the mid 1990's was called the Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks. (A whiskey jack is a bird.) That’s even better than the Toledo Mud Hens!

Take care, laugh freely, and count your blessings. It’s been that kind of week.

Another great team name, courtesy of the Japanese baseball leagues:

The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. mighty.

I'm glad you enjoyed the "Ask a Super-Villain" series. I try to write my dork-tastical entries in a manner that won't require the reader to have a Ph.D. in Nerd to enjoy them. (Me, I've done advanced post-doc work in Nerd. Hoiven glaven.)
Ah, your son has learned the rules of English too well. Children tend to learn irregular and suppletive forms early (saw, went, well, etc.), and then they disappear for a while when the rules are acquired (adverbs have -ly, past tense ends in -ed, etc.). It'll come back though. There's no point in correcting children, because it doesn't work. I recommend either David Crystal's 'Listen to your Children' or Stephen Pinker's 'The Language Instinct' if you want to know more about the mechanics of grammar acquisition.

Had a niece born a few months ago and am meeting her next week...bringing a tape recorder, as I'm a good little linguist. Can't wait to start the experimenting!
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