comic alphabets

Discussion in 'English Only' started by AntiScam, May 26, 2016.

  1. AntiScam

    AntiScam Senior Member

    Meaning of comic alphabets?

    Crystal makes a simple argument-that since playing with language is so natural, a natural way to learn language is to play with it-while he discusses puns, crosswords, lipograms, comic alphabets, rhymes, funny voices taken from dialect and popular culture, limericks, anagrams, scat singing, and much more.

    Source:Language Play
  2. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Humorous alphabets - the humour will be visual.
  3. AntiScam

    AntiScam Senior Member

    Thanks but sorry I am afraid this is not enough to tell this is comic alphabets
  4. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    One meaning of an "alphabet" is a children's book of the letters of the alphabet with appropriate words demonstrating the letters:

    A as in Apple
    B as in Boy
    C as in Candy
    D as in dog... etc.

    A comic alphabet is thus

    A as in aisle (pron. eye-l)
    B as in bdellium - silent first letter
    C as in cnidaria - silent first letter and very rare word
    D as in djin - sounds like gin
    E as in eye
    F as in faze homophone of the commoner "phase"
    G as in gnat - silent first letter
    H as in heir - silent first letter
    I as in isle - homophone of aisle, see A

    Obviously, in a comic alphabet, the comments would not be included.
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
  5. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    This doesn't tell us whether the humor is in the picture, as here:

    Or in the narrative, as here:
    (A traditional format for an alphabet is "A is for ....", "B is for ..." and so on. Often they rhyme, to make them easier to remember.
    You can see the whole alphabet here: The Gashly Crumb Tinies by Edward Gorey
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
  6. LVRBC Senior Member

    English-US, standard and medical
    Incredibly ( to me) there is a book about comic alphabets:
    Comic Alphabets: Their Origin, Development, Nature
    By Eric Partridge
    I read through a page, but it seems there are multiple types of comic alphabets and I didn't have sufficient interest to read and summarize. However, it will appear if you google the words.
  7. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)

    Anti-scam, you will love this one - you're featured in it:D

    I think you get the picture now:)
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
  8. AntiScam

    AntiScam Senior Member


    Thank you everyone for your very helpful posts.
    And for The cat in the hat too:)
  9. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    There is another type of comic alphabet where the letter+example itself makes a word or phrase. For example:
    A for 'orses (hay for horses)
    B for brook (Beaverbrook)
    C for Thailanders (Seaforth Highlanders)
    D for Kate (defecate)
    E for brick (heave a brick)
    F for vest (effervesced)... and so forth ad infinitum.​

    The point is that "comic" has at least two meanings -- illustrated by drawings and humorous.
  10. AntiScam

    AntiScam Senior Member

    This is very interesting Keith. I like it very much.
    How would you describe the smart manipulation of the words? Smart, ingenious, etc?

    When I first read 'comic alphabet' only humor crossed my mind.
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
  11. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    When I read 'comic alphabet' I immediately thought the same as Keith. It was originally, or at least famously, done as the Surrealist Alphabet on an old 78, and when they got to V for la France they burst briefly into singing the Marseillaise, so I always do too when I recite it.

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