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No. 883: Wigs, Wags, Wugs

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Wigs, Wags, Wugs

First | Previous | 2023-07-12 | Next | Latest

Permanent URL: https://mezzacotta.net/owls/?comic=883

Strip by: SuperNerd

{Samantha and Meridien are wugs}
Samantha: Sorry I'm late; I hoke here.
Meridien: I know what you're talking ablaut.

The author writes:

1. The main joke is about ablaut, which is a system of regular vowel variations in Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor to some of the most spoken languages in the world including English, Hindi, Spanish, and French. In English, it manifests in the form of strong verbs, in which a verb marks its past tense by means of changes to the stem vowel. For example, sing, sang, sung, and the related song. In this instance, Samantha reinterprets the verb hike as a strong verb, producing the past-tense hoke.

2. Wugs are bird-like creatures invented by Jean Berko Gleason as a part of a series of questions to see if children could apply grammar rules to nonsense words like "wug". They have since become a bit of a linguistics icon.

3. I chose Samantha because she's a big risk-taker and Meridien because one of her typical roles is a linguist. Next comic you'll see Holly and Ambrose...

4. This comic served as an opportunity to practice using Procreate. It turned out quite well. I especially enjoy the rainy effect in the background. Text was added in GIMP.