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Gasoline Alley, 10/26/23

I don’t usually get a chance to deploy my classics degree, but when I do, it’s usually to make a joke about the etymology of some word in the daily comics on this blog, which if you think about it is probably a better use of it than trying to trick undergraduates into enjoying Vergil or whatever. Anyway, meretrix is Latin for “prostitute,” and “meretricious” means, basically, “whorish,” or, metaphorically, something that looks attractive but has no value, which is not something people really say anymore, what with changing attitudes around sex work and sex work’s usefulness as a metaphor. It definitely does not mean and has never meant “loud,” so I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a joke about how this bear, despite his surprising ability to mimic human speech, does not have as full a command of English vocabulary as he believes, or if the Gasoline Alley brain trust simply decided to do a joke that was specifically about the meaning of the word “meretricious” but just assumed they knew the meaning of the word “meretricious” and didn’t bother to double-check.

Dick Tracy, 10/26/23

Speaking of vocabulary, I like the fact that Dick is meticulously writing down everything in this conversation that he doesn’t entirely follow (“Whitman little big books,” “guttersnipe level”) and will be looking them up later to find out if he was being insulted.

Mary Worth, 10/26/23

You know, if your long ago ex finally found out about the child of his that you had 20 years ago and never told him about because said child tracked him down and showed up on his doorstep, and then he tracked you down and made you go dinner with him, I’d think you’d be less … bored? I mean, this is an experience I’ll thankfully never have, so I guess I can’t tell Kitty how to live her life or conduct herself, but the vibe I’ve been getting from this dinner is that she doesn’t find this whole scenario particularly interesting. Anyway, probably she spent less time telling her daughter that Keith was a cop/Marine and dwelt more on the fun parts (that he was a rippling hunk of a man who she largely finds dull but who’s pretty good at sex).