Comic Sans as Insult: Nerd Win

February 15, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness, Me | Leave a comment
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These comments were in response to this awful cartoon called Getting Over Him in 8 Songs or Less, as posted on Jezebel. Bu this post is not about the content of the video—if you really want to (read: if you dig “Cathy” comics) you can watch a clip of the cartoon in the Jezebel post—but the insult delivered by user suddenvalley: “This is like the Comic Sans of animation.” Zing!

I’m not saying that, in order to be a classifiable nerd, you have to hate Comic Sans, but if you’re not at least aware that Comic Sans provokes vitriol in many people, I might just have to come over to your house and take your nerd card away. The campaign against Comic Sans has spawned a website, a Flickr pool, and (I’m sure I’m not alone in this) a strong urge to photograph any egregious use of Comic Sans. Exhibit A:

I took this photo in Barcelona last July. I actually made my friends stop and wait for me while I captured a travel agency not simply using Comic Sans as signage, but using it IN ALL CAPS. WHY. Seriously, why?

Whether you love Comic Sans or you hate Comic Sans (or you love to hate Comic Sans), I hope you can appreciate the metaphorical spark of nerd wit that suddenvalley dished out. Wins for everyone!

[ screenshot from Jezebel ]

Metaphors In Real Life!

September 22, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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One of the dorkiest consequences of taking Linguistics 106: Metaphor in my junior year of college is that I get really excited when I see examples in the real world of the metaphors(*) we discussed in class.

(*) A point of clarification: metaphor in the linguistic sense is not the poetic “Your eyes are the deep blue ocean,” but rather the ways in which we understand and use the language of one domain to talk and think about another. For example: if I say, “I’m still digesting the lecture I just heard,” I am using the metaphor IDEAS ARE FOOD, specifically its sub-metaphor UNDERSTANDING IS DIGESTING, because I am utilizing the language we typically use to talk about food in order to describe my process of understanding new ideas. See what I mean? Also, apologies for the capitalization. That’s just a convention of metaphor studies!

Yesterday I watched the premiere of a new CBS show called “Accidentally On Purpose” that aired after “How I Met Your Mother.” The basic premise is that Jenna Elfman‘s character Billie gets knocked up by a mid-twenties dude, which leads to, of course, your standard barrage of lame-ass cougar jokes. There was one, however, that caught my eye (ear?):

20’s Dude: “In your day…”
Billie: “In my day? This is still my day! It’s not even lunch in my day!”

This little gem of dialogue just evoked—intentionally or not—a metaphor that is so classic it is the one thing you need to understand the Riddle of the Sphinx: A LIFETIME IS A DAY. The sub-metaphors include CHILDHOOD IS MORNING, ADULTHOOD IS MIDDAY, and DEATH IS NIGHTTIME. Billie’s “day” is a metaphor for her entire life, hence the reference to lunch (the middle of her life) as a way to argue how young she is.

See what we just did there? BOOM! Academics! I guess TV really can teach you something.

[ image from Substantive Academics ]

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