about "The Best Comic Strip Ever!"

The characters in my strip, set in Africa's Western Rift Valley, are: the Foolish Pride of lions (Leon, the haughty and lethargic King of Beasts; his queen, Leona; and their cub Lionel, an unpromising heir to the throne); Secretary Bird, a liason between the Royal Court and the rest of the animals; cerebral, man-imitating Ape, a reader of the Substandard; peevish Rhinoceros; harmless but senseless Ostrich; Crocodile, resident of the much-frequented Watering Hole, and his dentist, Crocodile Bird; Honey Badger (alias Ratel), the "Meanest Animal in the World", and his one associate, Honeyguide; Mumbo the elephant, a descendant of Jumbo and a butt of jokes about his weight and the size of his ears and nose; Duncan the dung beetle; ill-favored and unwashed Warthog; the craven, henpecked male and shrewish female hyaenas, both of them foul-smelling and perpetually at war vs. the lions; the mistaken-identity-plagued zebras; slow and superannuated Tortoise; Oxpecker, a companion of large herbivores; Hugh the chamaeleon; and walled-up Mrs. Hornbill.

The Best Comic Strip Ever!

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29 March 2015

Uncommon Commentary #449: Don’t Let Our Language Languish

People in general would likely agree that, if one is to do anything, one ought to try to do that thing as well as one reasonably can.  Yet, they seem to feel that this principle does not apply to the speaking and writing of English, and indeed that, while there may be such things as nonstandard grammar and syntax, the concept of substandard usage isn’t even valid; that it’s all just a question of dialect (or of the politically-motivated absurdity called “Ebonics”—As if being Black rendered one incapable of using proper English!).  In the play Pygmalion, Professor Henry Higgins says: “Remember that you are a human being with a soul and the divine gift of articulate speech, that your native language is the language of Shakespeare and Milton and the Bible.”  If George Bernard Shaw (a fine dramatist but a distasteful person overall) understood that good English matters, the average, comparatively respectable person ought to understand it also.