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The Wavy Rule, a Daily Comic by Paul Morris: Tmesis Junction, What's Your Function?

Filed under: The Catbird Seat: Friends & Guests   Tagged: , , ,

Paul writes about today’s “Wavy Rule”:

What’s tmesis exactly? Well, as one definition goes, “a tmesis is the separation of a word into two, for the purpose of inserting another word between the separated parts…” (John Carey, Latin Prosody Made Easy, 1808, p. 195). The word “tmesis” comes from a Greek word meaning “to cut,” and the figure of speech is found in ancient Greek and Roman poetry. But as a linguistic phenomenon, its use has continued, finding its way in Ned Flanders’ “Wel-diddly-elcome” and the “La-dee-freakin’-da” of Chris Farley’s Matt Foley character. Both examples were provided by the Wiki-freakin’-pedia article on the subject, found here.


More by Paul Morris: Our very own upside-down question-mark naming contest! Plus, “The Wavy Rule” archive; a very funny webcomic, “Arnjuice”; a motley Flickr page; various beautifully off-kilter cartoon collections for sale and free download at Lulu.

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2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree