What makes a litter?

by Trevor Bryden

The word litter has a surprisingly wide range of meanings in English. Trevor Bryden illustrates how some of them came about:

22 thoughts on “What makes a litter?

  1. Harry

    Now I know why my former French professor insisted that “French is a very PRECISE language.”

    Meanwhile, the state of Texas has a very successful campaign against litter — waste, garbage, etc. on public lands. Billboards and other notices warn “Don’t Mess With Texas.” The campaign has been wildly successful in reducing roadside waste in the state, as well as selling tee-shirts and even garbage bags with the slogan.

  2. Aline

    Sometimes people say Portuguese is quite difficult to understand because it has many different meanings for the same words… this little story shows it is supposed to happen with every single language…

  3. Pep

    I’m Spaniard (from Mallorca) and I’m trying to improve the English language.Don’t pay attention to my mistakes. I only want to say that illustrating (like a comic) the different meanings of the same word is a great idea indeed :IT’s easy to recall them and a very funny method at the same time.

    1. Humayun Mirza

      You’re not trying to improve the English language, Pep. What you’re trying to improve is your English.

  4. Emre Seden İşbar

    I am a Turkish woman from Turkey. I want to say that how a word becomes complicated or hard to understand between people and it makes people smile and I want to add that in Turkish language there are lots of words which change according to the meanings of the sentences, if you misunderstand the sentence a huge comic meaning occurs.

    1. lina cole

      Don’t feel bad, Tanay. I hope you won’t mind if I make a summary of what I understood. Litter can mean different things: garbage, waste, young animals being born, a portable bed … ( I do not agree that these drawings/comics are soo funny. I find them all too long and boring. – Which again shows that we human beings do not necessarily think alike, nor that we always share the very same kind of humor ;>)

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  7. Anup

    As in Oxford dictionary litter is ‘refuse’ and also ‘ young animals brought forth at One birth.’The illustration is a bit confusing. What the characters are trying to getting around ?

  8. D.S.R.Raju

    Not only words have different meanings littering our brains; letters also have different sounds making it tough for the learners of these un-phonetic languages to read them properly. Some one said ‘ghoti’ in English can be as well read ‘fish’ taking the sounds from tough, women and nation. Tamil said to be an ancient language has a primitive alphabet. The word ‘Bata’ written in that script can be read as Pada, Bada, Pata or Bata.German,Sanskrit and Telugu scripts being phonetic do not pose this problem.There may be others in this class.

  9. Cristina

    This is great. I think I’ll use these comic strips with my students. It’s much easier for them to learn from visual games or activities, and much more fun.
    I’ll go and read the rest of the strips on the blog.
    This is hilarious.
    Thanks a million.

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