13 Comments

  1. It took me a bit to figure out what was going on in the Whamond comic. Partly it was because Watterson knew what “transmogrify” meant, and it doesn’t have anything to do with transportation.

  2. Gosh, I had no idea that “transmogrify” was an actual word that Watterson could use correctly or incorrectly. I only know it in the context of Calvin and Hobbes.

  3. The first use of transmogrify that we know of was in the early 1700s! Now I want to know the context it was used in so long ago…

  4. After playing around with Google Books I found that it appears in an English translation of Don Quixote from 1712! It must have already been in use for the translator to have picked it as the translation of a Spanish word.

  5. Wait – it also appears in an English translation of Don Quixote from 1687, but in a totally different place! Sorry, I’ll stop now, I’m just amazed at how much information I can find on the web in a few minutes – I’m going to have to stop myself from starting to compare the 1687 and the 1712 versions…

  6. Looks like all the pairs of characters have switched heights, most excessively Boris and Natasha. I’ve never seen Despicable Me so I didn’t even know the guy with the scarf was Gru, the despicable him; he was surely bigger than his minions. Ergo Bert and Ernie presumably also switched heights. Any other switches besides Popeye and Olive’s arms?
    I suppose the transmogrifier felt underused so it went in search of pairs besides C&H to transmogrify.

  7. I agree with Arthur about the linguistic error. If he wanted (tele-) transportation, he should have rotated the box:

    Treesong is right about the simplistic nature of the reversals. As long as he was swapping arms, he could have had Natasha and Olive Oyl wear the hats (and smoke the pipe). As far as this comic is concerned, I think Calvin said it best:

  8. The earliest use of transmogrify in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1656: “So that he remained for a time as one trans-elemented. [Note] Meaning transmografide, or me-morphosed into a Mandrake.”

    R2-D2 and C-3PO have also switched their body types.

  9. – For those who skipped “Despicable Me” when it came out, like I did, the title and preview did not reflect the picture. I found it a wonderful and fun movie.

    – Bert and Ernie were tough for me; they are the most inaccurate in that the blue shirt stripes should be a medium dark blue, significantly darker than R2-D2’s blue, .. and their eyes should be perfect circles. Every other character’s eyes are drawn the same as the original version (oh, except for Boris’s).
    In the original Rocky and Bullwinkle show, Boris’s head is always (or almost always) rendered as round-ish, regardless of his expression. The recognizable mini-Natasha made the couple recognizable to me.

  10. Not only do I agree with Kevin A about “Despicable Me”, I would say that both of the sequels (2 & 3) are equally as enjoyable as the original movie. The “Minions” spinoff is a bit sillier, but still worth watching (if you like computer animated humor, and can appreciate a few backhanded French digs directed at the British monarchy).

  11. A third for Despicable Me not sure that sequel “2” is not even a bit better.

    Great to watch even on TV – especially when stuck home for a long time and needing some humor.

    I will let Robert know to check transmogrify in his “when did this word start being used and what did it mean” book. (We have another book “How to Speak 18th Century” which Colonial Williamsburg took from their employee manuals on the subject.

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