Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Cool Comic Book Colloquialisms

From The Sixth Gun #16 by Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree.
During class, after saying something intentionally goofy or silly, I'll follow up what was said with the phrase "Just funning!" sort of like a cooler take on "Just kidding!" The phrase "Just kidding!", is employed to tip people off to the fact that the statement prior was not true. People often tell small lies to trick each other, and then say "Just kidding!" to reveal the trick. The phrase is often used by both children and the immature alike. Not commonly used in formal communication, it (and colloquialisms like it) are fairly common in casual speech.

"Just funning" somehow found its way into my lexicon and I had not given it much thought, that is until my students started spitting it back to me and I realized that perhaps I had gone to that colloquial well too frequently. Interestingly enough, the phrase also turned up in last week's pile of new comic books. As evidenced from the panels above from the most recent issue of Oni Press' spectacular Western-occult comic book series The Sixth Gun, depending on its delivery, the phrase can seem a pretty insincere apology for a "goof" to the recipient. (In the panels above the deliverer of that particular line had much more nefarious intent though!)

Though defined formally as the intransitive form of the verb "fun," meaning to engage in banter or play, funning seems most often used as a caveat to something intending to be hurtful by an individual not wanting to take responsibility for what preceded. This would make it kind of the back end answer to the Southern colloquialism "Bless his heart..." a phrase almost always seems to be followed by a comment intended for negative effect.

"Bless his heart, that has got to be the lamest blog post I've read in a long time... just funning!"

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