Tuesday, April 18

Homer Says Wha?

How would you transcribe Homer's eloquent catchphrase? If you're a Simpsons writer, it's: "(annoyed grunt)," not the commonly transcribed "D'oh!"

"When the series started, Matt and the boys let Dan Castellaneta choose an interpretation for the "(Annoyed Grunt)" indicator; since then, Homer's "D'oh!" has always been referred to in that fashion," report the Simpsons-loving linguistic experts at Language Log.

Thus, we have the Simpsons episodes "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious," "E-I-E-I-(ANNOYED GRUNT)" and "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-bot."

Apparently there are a lot of linguistic in-jokes in the Simpsons (Linguo the grammer correcting robot, "Me fail English? That's unpossible!") or maybe linguists just like to categorize the funny:

Deixis in personal pronouns
Bart is standing in front of a Smokey the Bear statue, who has an electronic voice and a little 'quiz' to administer. Bart and Smokey have the following exchange:

Smokey: (electronic intonation) "Who is the only one who can stop forest fires?

Bart: (examines response panel, which has two buttons, marked "you" and "me". He presses "you").

Smokey: (electronic intonation) "You pressed YOU, meaning me. This is incorrect. You should have pressed ME, meaning you.

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