Irregular Webcomic!

Archive     Blog     Cast     Forum     RSS     Books!     Poll Results     About     Search     Fan Art     Podcast     More Stuff     Random     Support on Patreon
New comics Mon-Fri; reruns Sat-Sun
<   No. 2736   2010-07-24   >

Comic #2736

1 Prof. Jones: Dr Smith! Colonel Haken! Erwin! They've been...
2 Monty: Petrified. By the Gorgons' gaze.
3 Monty: Poor Ginny.
4 Minnesota Jones: I always thought she gave you a good stony stare.

First (1) | Previous (2735) | Next (2737) || Latest Rerun (2487) | Latest New (5064)
First 5 | Previous 5 | Next 5 | Latest 5
Cliffhangers theme: First | Previous | Next | Latest || First 5 | Previous 5 | Next 5 | Latest 5
This strip's permanent URL:
Annotations off: turn on
Annotations on: turn off

"Petrified" means "turned to stone", deriving from the Greek πετρα, or petra, meaning "rock", via Latin. This is also related to the name Peter which, as anyone who has perused a baby names book will know, also means "rock".

There's another common English word with the same root: petroleum. The oleum part comes from the Latin for "oil", so the word in fact means "rock oil". Which is a fitting description for oil that comes out of the ground.

I actually learnt this particular piece of etymology from the book Asterix and the Black Gold. In this book Asterix and Obelix must travel to the lands of Arabia to find and bring back some "rock oil" for Getafix to brew the magic potion that allows the Gauls of their village to fight off the Roman army. It was obvious from the beginning that "rock oil" was essentially crude oil. When the heroes reached a supplier somewhere along their journey, he explains that the rock oil is known locally as petra-oleum.

At that point, on my first reading of the story, it was like a thunderbolt of realisation. There was a connection here that was obvious once it was pointed out, but that I'd just never mentally made myself before that time. I love these little flashes where a connection gets made between two previously unassociated bits of knowledge in your brain.

LEGO® is a registered trademark of the LEGO Group of companies, which does not sponsor, authorise, or endorse this site.
This material is presented in accordance with the LEGO® Fair Play Guidelines.

My comics: Irregular Webcomic! | Darths & Droids | Eavesdropper | Planet of Hats | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | mezzacotta
My blogs: (daily updates) | 100 Proofs that the Earth is a Globe (science!) | Carpe DMM (long form posts) | Snot Block & Roll (food reviews)
More comics I host: The Prisoner of Monty Hall | Lightning Made of Owls | Square Root of Minus Garfield | iToons | Comments on a Postcard | Awkward Fumbles
Last Modified: Saturday, 24 July 2010; 03:11:01 PST.
© 2002-2023 Creative Commons License
This work is copyright and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International Licence by David Morgan-Mar.