Today's Bizarro cartoon is brought to you by Subvocalized Punch Lines. "Act them out in your head, they're funnier!"
It has been my experience that people read in very different ways. Really good readers, with large, bulging, veiny brains, can glance at words, understand their meaning in a microsecond, and move on at tremendous speed.
Average readers, like me, tend to hear a voice in their head saying the words. (Don't get me wrong, I am an avid reader and can achieve the glancing technique when I just want the info and don't care about style, but when reading for fun I slow way down.)
Then there is the third type, who move their lips and whisper as they read, usually more slowly than they would speak, often with their eyes half shut and a little drool on their chin. (This third type is not to be ridiculed, many such readers have attained great personal success.)
The punchline above is one that begs to be subvocalized, as the emphasis on the words is essential to the gag.
One of my pet peeves is when a cartoonist emphasizes the wrong words in a caption. I see this all the time. For instance, if during a heated debate one character says, "What are you talking about?!" the proper word to emphasize is "talking." But often, the word "about" or "you" will be emphasized instead. Say these aloud and hear which makes the most sense: What are you talking ABOUT?! What are YOU talking about?! (this version could make sense, but in the context of an argument, it isn't the emphasis you're looking for.) What are you TALKING about?!
That's a hypothetical example and sounds dumb, but believe me, I see this all the time. If I went on the Internets right now, I'm sure I could find an example somewhere and post it. But then I'd be deriding a colleague, which is not cool in my book. Unless it is Jim Davis, who no longer writes Garfield anyway and who could afford to buy the entire block across the street from my apartment in Brooklyn, turn it into an ice cream truck parking lot and leave the music on all night.