Cidu Bill on Nov 26th 2012




Filed in 9 Chickweed Lane, Bill Bickel, Brooke McEldowney, Jerry Scott, Zits, comic strips, comics, humor, synchronicity | 31 responses so far

31 Responses to “Shut-up-and-kissity”

  1. guero Nov 26th 2012 at 02:09 pm 1

    Well, when I first saw the 9 Chickweed Lane comic, the last panel left me puzzled. “Gee, I wonder what a question mark would feel like?” is already in the form of an inquiry and should have a question mark. Since Mr. McEldowney intentionally left it off, and has Amos(?) saying “…state that in the form of an inquiry.”, the implication is that she read her line as a statement, not a question. If I squint real hard and imagine Lauren Bacall delivering the line at her most sarcastic that might work, maybe, but it is totally the wrong tone for two young lovers. Am I missing something? (and please don’t drag Arlo into this.)

  2. fuzzmaster Nov 26th 2012 at 02:32 pm 2

    “I wonder what a question mark would feel like” is a statement of fact. “I wonder, what would a question mark feel like?” would be in the form of an inquiry.

  3. zbicyclist Nov 26th 2012 at 02:47 pm 3

    guero and fuzzmaster: too much analysis of a cartoon can place the humor in jeopardy.

  4. Arthur Nov 26th 2012 at 02:49 pm 4

    There’s not much humor in Jeopardy. Maybe you’re thinking of The Newlywed Game.

  5. Morris Keesan Nov 26th 2012 at 03:32 pm 5

    Arthur: Can you put that in the form of a question, please?

  6. Jeff S. Nov 26th 2012 at 07:24 pm 6

    Ladies, what did your husbands say a kiss in the form of a question mark would feel like?

  7. Arthur Nov 26th 2012 at 08:10 pm 7

    Can you put that in the form of a question, please?

    I dont think I know you well enough to add punctuation

  8. James Pollock Nov 26th 2012 at 08:55 pm 8


    Here’s a few spares
    Sprinkle in as you see fit whenever and wherever you like

  9. mitch4 Nov 26th 2012 at 11:28 pm 9

    This could lead to an interrobang.

  10. Elyrest Nov 26th 2012 at 11:48 pm 10

    Interrobang - now that’s a word I haven’t heard since college and that’s been a good long while mitch4. I have to admit that it is a wonderful sounding word. I like it so much that I don’t care at all that I can’t remember what the hell it is.

  11. Cidu Bill Nov 26th 2012 at 11:57 pm 11

    The interrobang was the Next Big Thing when I was in fourth grade — but I guess you can’t deliberately invent a punctuation mark (or, as Esperanto proponents learned, a language)

  12. James Pollock Nov 27th 2012 at 01:43 am 12

    But… you CAN deliberately invent a language, of which Esperanto is just one example. There’s also Klingon, and Tolkien’s elvish languages (not to mention all the “languages” that have cropped up in the computer field… Structured Query Language, Hypertext Markup Language, Programming Language I, etc.)

  13. Cidu Bill Nov 27th 2012 at 02:27 am 13

    What I meant was, you can’t invent it and expect it to catch on. Nobody wanted Esperanto. Klingon is more popular today because, while it wasn’t invented to be used in the real world, Trekkies liked it enough to make it so.

  14. Ooten Aboot Nov 27th 2012 at 07:29 am 14

    Esperanto failed to catch on because the equivalent of “How are you?” is the too-easily misunderstood “Kiel vi fartas?”

  15. Powers Nov 27th 2012 at 09:15 am 15

    Girls talk to much, amirite, guys?

  16. Powers Nov 27th 2012 at 09:15 am 16

    “Too much” , I mean.

  17. Kilby Nov 27th 2012 at 10:44 am 17

    @ Esperanto (11-14) - Esperanto failed to catch on because its adherents are all starry-eyed idealists with an axe to grind.

    Natural languages are passed on from generation to generation from childhood onward, which for the vast majority of people is the only reliable method to achieve any sort of native fluency (in any language).

    Any kid who is subjected to learning any artificial language (such as Esperanto, Ido, or Interlingua) by his or her parents is almost certainly predestined to reject it as useless knowledge, since there is virtually no use for such languages outside the miniscule sphere of such fanatics.

  18. James Pollock Nov 27th 2012 at 11:58 am 18

    There are far more speakers of Esperanto than of Klingon.

    (Esperanto wasn’t intended to be anyone’s first language, it was intended to be everybody’s second. It would have gotten away with it, too, if not for those pesky kids. Actually, it was the rise of English, particularly after the second world war, that removed the need for Esperanto.)

  19. Cidu Bill Nov 27th 2012 at 01:49 pm 19

    I’ve read the reverse, James, that far more people speak Klingon than Esperanto.

    Of course the article was written in Interlingua…

  20. Jeff S. Nov 27th 2012 at 02:25 pm 20

    While I know Esperanto exists, I have never heard anyone actually speak it. Outside of the show, I know a few people who speak Klingon. Due to the show, mainly ST:TNS, I used to be able to speak a few phrases myself. I’m willing to bet CIDU Bill (and possibly even TOBB) is right — FAR more people speak Klingon. There is a fan base for it.

  21. Andrew Wheeler Nov 27th 2012 at 04:03 pm 21

    According to Wikipedia — yes, yes, I know, but it’s a good first approximation — there are about 20-30 fluent speakers of Klingon and 10,000 of Esperanto.

    On the other hand, there are probably more people (millions, I’d estimate) who know a couple of Klingon phrases than have the equivalent level of Esperanto fluency — Klingon is the Yiddish of geeks.

  22. Cidu Bill Nov 27th 2012 at 04:43 pm 22

    I’m not sure how Wikipedia defines “fluent,” but there was a least one “Klingon language immersion camp” operating, which tells me there has to be well more than 30 people who speak the language reasonably well.

  23. Mark M Nov 27th 2012 at 05:05 pm 23

    You know, just the other day I had this same conversation with my wife over whether more people speak Esperanto or Klingon. No wait, never mind. We were debating whether to have fish or leftover turkey for dinner.

  24. James Pollock Nov 27th 2012 at 07:19 pm 24

    There are a number of different levels of understanding a language. Fluency, however, requires the ability to listen and understand at the normal rate of speaking, and the ability to speak without pauses. By that standard, I’d doubt that there are much more than 100 people who are actually “fluent” in Klingon. If the ability to recite a couple of phrases in a language constitutes “speaking” it, then the number of Klingon “speakers” might go up to the tens of thousands.

    I suspect a cultural selection bias here… most of the world’s Klingon speakers are in the U.S., while most of the world’s Esperanto speakers are in middle and eastern Europe. I suspect that CIDU Bill interacts with more Americans than with eastern Europeans.

    Rather than Wikipedia, I will present a piece of discrete evidence. Google Translate supports Esperanto. It does not support Klingon.

  25. James Pollock Nov 27th 2012 at 07:20 pm 25

    Note that Google might just be biased against non-humans, Google Translate does not support Vogon, either.

  26. guero Nov 27th 2012 at 07:41 pm 26

    Ah, but Firefox will let you chose Klingon as a preferred language (along with about 300 others including Ojibwa and Zulu, but no Vogon). Although I don’t know how many web sites are offered in Klingon, presumably it is enough to justify the option.

    And for the record, Esperanto and Interlingua are also available.

  27. Mark in Boston Nov 27th 2012 at 11:15 pm 27

    Decades ago the National Lampoon published an article on “How To Talk Dirty in Esperanto”. It is a problem, because there aren’t really any dirty words in Esperanto. But there are several methods you can use, such as taking a word that has a certain meaning in English and using the literal translation. For example, consider the verb “hang”. The past participle, which can be used as a predicate adjective, is “hung”. The Esperanto equivalent is “pendas”. Thus “I am hung” translates to “Mi pendas”. Adjectives are made comparative or superlative by changing the ending, thus “Mi pendegas” means that I am hung to a very large extent.

  28. mitch4 Nov 28th 2012 at 03:40 am 28

    Ha! Just saw the very clever new blog subtitle:

    komiksoj i ne komprenas

  29. David S. Nov 28th 2012 at 08:10 pm 29

    There’s an annual global Esperanto conference that regularly draws a couple thousand people. is the Esperanto newsgroup; compared to , the Klingon mailing list, there’s more posts, a higher percentage of posts are in the language, and the posts in the language tend to be longer. lists 25 books published in 2012 in Esperanto, including original novels and translations of Dorian Gray and the Republic.

    I’m not arguing that Esperanto will ever become a universal language. But people are so quick to dismiss what it does have. There’s a global news magazine, works from around world published in it, and a chance to meet people from around the world on a more neutral ground then English. It’s still a living language.

  30. J-L Nov 28th 2012 at 08:51 pm 30

    All these people wasting time learning different languages! It’s a well known fact that English is the most efficient language in the universe.

    Don’t believe me? Don’t take my word for it. Go to to see a super-smart xenolinguistics expert explain it.


  31. James Pollock Nov 28th 2012 at 09:00 pm 31

    According to Dave Barry, all foreigners actually speak English. They just make with the mumbo-jumbo babbly-babble for the tourists.

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