Friday, September 17, 2010

Somebody with a Capital "S"

You JUST don't get dialogue like this from any other comic strip. And yet Churchy's first and last remarks completely e-lude me.


  1. Tom,

    The only thing I can suggest is that Churchy's reference to "jack" is a double meaning on the slang word for money. No clue on panel four, especially with the "as has been said before" comment.

    The COMPLETE POGO is DEFINITELY going to need plenty of footnotes.


  2. Chris, I think even the Complete Pogo will have plenty of bafflements that can't be debaffled. The thing that confuses me on the first panel is that the response of Churchy doesn't quite match Natural's question. And yeah, the 'as has been said before' seems to indicate that Kelly is quoting or repeating a common response. I mean you know he's basically saying, 'hey, I'm not making you look cheap, YOU make you look cheap". But the "capital 'S'" part is what baffles me.

  3. The term “Somebody with a capital ‘S’” has been around since at least the early 20th Century. Basically, the word “somebody” is not simply emphasized, but explicit attention is drawn to the emphasis itself.

    I've seen it used to distinguish someone who one might call “a somebody” (as opposed to “a nobody”), and to distinguish ostensible higher beings. Perhaps the former use fits here, and we've forgot some celebrated person attacking counter-culture youth as cheap-stakes; but I doubt it. I don't think that the latter use fits, as (unless Kelly were preaching predestination), it wouldn't be G_d who made Natural look cheap.

    My best guess, though I've not previously encountered the specific use, is that here “Somebody with a capital ‘S’” refers to a party other than the speaker/writer, whose identity should be obvious, similar to the emphasized “somebody” in “Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!”