Words are tasty!

Jay Kinney - eating words - Anarchy Comics 1, 1978

Image from Anarchy Comics #1, 1978, edited by Jay Kinney.

For readers unfamiliar with the idiom: eat one’s words means retract what one has said, take back a statement, admit an error. So it’s similar to eating humble pie (whose origins are surprisingly visceral), and worth comparing with laughing on the other side of your face.

“You gotta break an omelet to make an egg”, of course, reverses the natural entropic order, playing with a proverb (“You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs”) to make a political point. If you’re interested in the comic’s history, here’s a recent interview with Kinney at BoingBoing.

10 Responses to Words are tasty!

  1. alexmccrae1546 says:

    Hmm… in light of Jay Kinney’s thought-provoking, quizzical, somewhat philosophic last point in the above-comic strip panel, where the ‘yoke’ is clearly on us, we might have to adjust that old conundrum, “What came first, the chicken, or the egg?”, to… ‘What came first… the omelet, or the egg?’ (Groan.)

    Stan, I did enjoy the radio interview w/ Kinney. Listened to the entire almost-half-hour back-and-forth.

    It was neat to hear him fondly recount his early years in comics going back to the ’60s, and the short-lived, but well-received Anarchy Comics; as he gives praise and due credit to the talented writers and cartoonists with whom he worked over the course of only four issues.

    Interesting how he later ventured into the more serious exploration of spirituality in recent years, with the “Gnostic” print project, and his book addressing the Masonic ‘myth’; offering that he saw no real inherent conflict with his earlier sometimes racy, light, parodying of the True Romance genre of comics from back in the day, and his latter-day delving into the spiritual world.

    Kinney comes off as a very humble, thoughtful mensch of a guy.

    Clearly, the BoingBoing interviewer was (and still is) a big fan.

  2. Charles Sullivan says:

    I imagine plenty of hilarity would ensue when the word for ‘tongue’ is the same as the word for ‘language’, e.g., ‘lengua’.

  3. Stan says:

    Alex: Yes, I enjoyed the interview a lot too, and found Kinney very personable and thoughtful. (The comic shows the omelette coming first, but of course there’s an implied egg before that!)

    Charles: That reminds me of a comic I read in childhood where the last frame shows a German military man (I think) being served tongue, which he hates, and shouting Ach! Tongue!

  4. Julia says:

    Hello, Stanley! I was so lucky today to encounter your blog through Macmillan website :) I find it very interesting and hope that you’ll find some time to answer my question (which isn’t related to the above topic, though). So the task is to choose the most suitable word for each space: ‘Keeping fit and staying healthy have become a growing industry. Quite apart from the amount of money spent each year on doctors’ prescriptions and approved medical treatment, huge sums are now spent on health foods and______ of various kinds, from vitamin pills to mineral water, not to mention health clubs and keep-fit books.’ And there’re 4 options given: 1) medications; 2) cures; 3) drugs; 4) remedies Could you please tell me which one fits best and why?

  5. Stan says:

    Hello Julia, and welcome. Am I doing your homework here? It can’t be 1 or 3, because books aren’t medications or drugs. So look up cure and remedy in a few dictionaries and see which is the best match with the list you’ve been given.

  6. Julia says:

    Thank you so much! Actually, I always do homework myself… It was just a very arguable point between my teacher (who’s not a native speaker as well) and me and the dictionary couldn’t help. I’m sorry my question was probably irrelevant here. But thanks anyway!

  7. Julia says:

    Thanks again! Promise to be on the topic next time :)

  8. Brian Hansen says:

    “Supplements” would seem to work pretty well.

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