Friday, July 27, 2012

Cirith Ungol

The alt text is worth reading:
My all-time favorite example of syntactic ambiguity comes from Wikipedia: 'Charlotte's Web is a children's novel by American author E. B. White, about a pig named Wilbur who is saved from being slaughtered by an intelligent spider named Charlotte.'
It took me a minute to grasp the meaning, but once I did, it was worth a snicker. The joke is that it sounds like Wilbur had to be saved from Charlotte, rather than Charlotte saving him from being slaughtered. The strip and title themselves are references to Cirith Ungol, the pass that Gollum led Frodo and Sam through on the way to Mordor. The pass led to Torech Ungol, home of that big old spider, Shelob. Basically, Randall Munroe managed to make a reference to both LOTR and Charlotte's Web in one comic. Gotta love xkcd.

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