Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Language use in The Simpsons

Anyone who's a fan of The Simpsons and also has an interest in language should check out this blog site. It's Arizona linguist Heidi Harley's annual compilation of interesting and funny language things done by the folks of Springfield. You'll enjoy it, even if you don't totally get all the technical linguistic science thingies. A friendly example:
Rhetoric

Lisa's bringing Mayor Quimby his pre-ordered Girl Scout cookies.

Lisa: That'll be thirty dollars.
Mayor Quimby: For three boxes?!
Lisa: The money helps us serve the community…(counts off on fingers, list intonation) plant trees, pick up litter, cut up milk bones for old dogs…
Mayor Quimby: It was a rhetorical question!
Lisa: And I used rhetoric in my answer!

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