Sunday, July 4, 2010

Comic 761: In Too Deep

here lies the SHOCKING TRUTH
This is one of those comics with a lot of little problems but nothing big. Whether the little ones add up enough to seriously piss you off is, of course, up to you. You can imagine my own feelings. I guess the only logical and appropriate way to explain is to just list the problems:

--One, terrible use of space. Just terrible. The huge amount of white space makes the comic extremely off balance and irritating to read. Panel 5 could easily have come at the end of a row. Yes, it's true that more time has passed between panel 4 and 5 than between any other panels, but that's not really a problem. If you are going to separate the last one out like that - and you can, that's fine - you need to figure out a nicer way to do it. At the very very least, center it. Probably you should make it a bit wider too, and perhaps taller to match. You could also have the first two panels on one row, the 3rd and 4th below that, and the final panel below that.

A smaller width for this comic would have the additional advantage of letting the caption - which refers, of course, to the entire comic's action - take up the width of the whole comic.

--the towel on the stick figure looks really, really weird. I assume it is a towel, actually, I should probably point out that they also might be pants.

--Here, I'll switch to saying something nice. People have pointed out that it appears the cut-off #4 on the first panel's list says "bee eating contest." I find this line quite funny. I think if I had been editing this comic I would have said to make Bee Eating Contest the first problem, and get into the funny sorts of situations that would bring up. Snake bite is irrelevant enough to be weird but not inherently funny enough to make for a good comic.

--It's another lame "what if a human mind was operated like a computer could be?" scenario. And the answer is: "it would lead to hilarious consequences, all of which would be hilarious!"

--dialog in the last panel. Both of them. There's no shock in the woman's voice - her question a about his preparedness isn't even until her second sentence - and her first sentence ("I'm here to pick you up") is one that in real life would be so obvious as to not need stating. Even "Wait - why aren't you dressed for our date?" would make more sense.

As to his dialog, "By LD 50" is needless nerdery. Toss it.

--Lastly, the art details. First, check out the classic example of xkcd floaty-head syndrome in panel 2 (did we ever come up with a name for this symptom? I have forgotten). But more importantly, notice that the hair changes between panels 3 and 4. Given the towel, the fact that he's preparing for a date, and the general mess that his hair is in, I assumed, as did many people, that the hair simply had been wet, perhaps in some kind of a shower, and then dried as the time went on. That's fine: Standard, presumably dry, xkcd hair is just to have nothing. By switching to that, the comic was, I assume, trying to show that time had passed. Good! That's a clever way to do so, without calling attention to it too much. I was almost shocked, actually, given how badly Randall usually does the telling and not the showing (see, for example, panel 5 of this very comic).

And then, as you probably know, something changed. Namely, the comic changed. Randall went and made some edits and reposted the "fixed" comic, never, as far as I know, admitting he has made a mistake (this has happened a few times with typos and such, usually updated on the sly and never admitting that things were any other way). Luckily, our own Ann Apolis saved a copy of the original that you can see above. The new one is, of course, on the xkcd site linked to through the image above.

Obviously, having to go back and update any comic is not a good sign - it's a sign of hasty work, not checked before it was published. But in this case, I think there's an even weirder problem, which is that the comic was better before.

Think about it - there are, in the revised comic, two options:
--Lots of time passed, and his hair is just always like that
(this is odd because almost no male characters in xkcd have ever had hair, and when they did, it was for a specific and clear reason, usually to identify them as unique)
--No time passed, and his hair is still wet
(this is odd, because the humor of the comic is supposed to come from the fact that he has wasted a lot of time on doing the wrong sort of research)

See, when I say things like "there are things about xkcd that are objectively wrong," this is what I mean. The way he's constructed his comic has clear and identifiable problems. It's not like it's impossible for him to do it right - after all, he did it right first, before he changed it. Yes, some people were confused by "what happened to his hair??" but those people should have thought harder.

85 comments:

  1. haha yes

    thanks to me you can all say

    "how... ORWELLIAN"

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  2. 762 has what is probably my favorite punch line that randy has graced us with in the past few weeks (i.e. there was a punch line), though I have the sneaking suspicion that it's a joke that's been told elsewhere. Too bad about the rest of the comic though. Looks like randy read some comments about xkcd not really being a "webcomic of...language" so he had the quirky nerds (including a girl!!!) that we all love talk about vocab from 6th grade English.

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  3. I like how he didn't put "Depth First Search" as the title, that was a nice improvement

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  4. I think 762 is supposed to be a sort of general whimsical conversation; I agree that the punchline is actually pretty funny, and I suppose that means the rather torturous rest of the dialogue can be forgiven for setting it up (after all, it's meant to be torturous as part of the setup). So, woo?

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  5. The latest comic kind of feels like an IRC conversation acted out by a bunch of stick figures. Also it's not funny.

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  6. XKCD 762 was perhaps Randall's most defined bit of literary wit since... Well for a long time. Kinda sad to say that it's highschool level, at best.

    I also feel that the alt text was just pandering to the masses of nerds who know what "Synecdoche," means. Because otherwise, the alt text is really just a non-sequitur.

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  7. ACTUALLY I'M JUST USING BIG LANGUAGE USING NON SEQUITUR.
    Ignore that. I mean "synecdoche" doesn't really add to the comic besides audience approval for big words.

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  8. When my hair is messy and wet, after a while it generally turns into hair that is messy and dry. So the updated comic makes perfect sense to me - at least in terms of the hair - as it's showing that he was so distracted by his research that he didn't even bother to comb his hair (more evidenced by the fact that he is still in his towel). Visually this comic is just fine compared to other strips. He's showing us that the stick dude was distracted.

    Didn't laugh, or even crack a smile, at the joke though, and that's generally what I feel like I'm supposed to do.

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  9. Alt text is awful, but the comic's punchline is definitely above Randall's usual level, so, congrats.

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  10. 762 ruins my theory that Randall's been writing for Goatkcd.

    On the plus side, there's a punchline!

    It's not flawless, because the third panel bothers me a little, but that does work as a buildup for the punchline (and one gets the feeling that they're the kind of guys who talk crap for hours).

    I can't shake the feeling that Randall's been looking up figurative devices on Wikipedia recently.

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  11. "Ooh, so today I'm going to make a new, lovely entry for my webcomic xkcd, 'a webcomic about romance, sarcasm, math and lang--'... language?... hey, I haven't done a 'language' comic for months, now!" *scribble scribble*

    That's what the newest comic felt for me. Not that that's too big a problem. The comic shows why it hurts so much that xkcd has no fixed characters -- this conversation just doesn't have much effect when it's done by anonymous, unknown stick figures.

    One problem that I *DO* have with it is how the fanbase is going to react; the "word nerds" will climb from below their rocks and have a field day. Ok, ok, so I'm not going to blame Randall for that one. The other problem that I have is that the comic is way too self-aware and consciously "smart", without actually being very smart. I doubt any good, well-established author would consider this dialogue incredible enough to deserve a webcomic.
    The impressive thing, though, is that the dialogue is NOT brain-achingly awful! Come on, we all know how unbelievable is that.

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  12. Eh, even if Randall had intended the hair-drying effect to show time passing, it still just looked distracting to me because it was so damn weird and it overtly brings up questions about the confusing nature of his stick figures.

    On to 762 - if the goomhbas are metaphorically trying to connect up in a hive mind, does this make them syncdouches?

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  13. Do people really like the most recent comic? It seems to me to be one of the worst in ages. A conversation that feels utterly artificial on a subject most people were familiar with by the age of 12.

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  14. Yes, drying hair turning invisible makes so much more sense.

    How about: if your characters aren't drawn with hair, don't draw hair on your characters.

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  15. I've got a date! Now, what's the worst
    That could happen? Snakes, lightning, a burst
    Appendix... [Hours roll
    Down a wiki black hole]
    I've got to stop searching depth first!

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  16. 762 is bad, bad, bad. Jesus Fuck. Seriously. A clusterfuck of wrongness. Holy shit. xkcd hasn't pissed me off like this for a long time

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  17. I learned about figurative language in middle school too, GOOMHR!!!

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  18. Anon 5:40 here, allow me to elaborate:
    First off, the whole conversation has no flow whatsoever. I know comic dialogue is not supposed to resemble the real world, but every sentence in the comic seems completely unlinked from the rest.

    First sentence, not the strongest opener, but functional.

    "Is 'Sandwich' a metaphor?"
    What the fuck. I can perfectly understand someone responding to the question with "Only is 'sandwich' is a euphemism" or similar, but as the rest of the comic shows, he is seriously asking if the word 'sandwich' in this context is symbolically referencing something other than a sandwich, WTF

    "No, I'm bad at metaphors. But I could try a simile."
    Again, what the fuck does this even mean? She's not getting sandwiches?

    "I guess that's like a metaphor. Sure"
    No. There is no way a simile can be used in place of the word 'sandwich' in the original question. "While I'm up, does anyone want that which is like a cake with ham?" Whhyyyy? Why are you so stupid randall.

    "Well, 'a simile is like a metaphor' is a similie."
    Ok, fine. Shit dialogue still, but as least not totally inaccurate.

    "Is that simile itself a metaphor for something?"
    I challenge someone to explain the meaning for this line, or in fact the next one. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK

    OH GOD I CANT EVEN FINISH THIS TRNAT WAHT TH EFUCK IS THITS SHIT CARL YOUD BETTER FUCKING TEAR THIS BULLSHIT TO SHREDS

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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  19. This comic reminds me of QC, in the worst possible way. It reads nothing like a conversation normal human beings would actually have, and very much like one guy trying to write a funny conversation. Only instead of obnoxious douches trying to outquip each other it's obnoxious semi-autistic nerds trying to outnerd each other, and instead of being crammed into the final panel it spans the entire comic.

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  20. I would have said "is sandwich a euphemism"

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  21. ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    One last thing: Why does this comic exist? Because of this one line on Wikipedia/Metaphor: "other rhetorical comparative figures of speech, such as metonymy, parable, simile, and synecdoche, are species of metaphor distinguished by how the comparison is communicated"

    Herp Derp I'm randy all off the above are interchangable herp derp

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  22. Jesus fuck 762 pissed me off. I don't think I'm going to get any sleep tonight

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  23. Anon@6:06: the reason 762 pisses you off is because synecdoche is not an analogy, metaphor, or simile; it's a simplification of thinking that does not even necessarily occur consciously. New synecdoches can be formed by analogy, but that has nothing to do with it.

    As a result, attempting to include synecdoche in one set with the rest is a complete and miserable troll fail, worthy of his (completely illiterate) obsession with quotation mark placement.

    ...proving tragically that Randall's only source of information about philosophy of language is the half-baked shit on the crappiest pages of Wikipedia.

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  24. This comic is, well, not funny, but a little less annoying if you read it as the guy in the first panel having some kind of stroke, and therefore spouting nonsense, and the other characters confused and worried and trying to humor him as the girl goes and calls 911.

    My point being that's about the only reason I can imagine him saying "is sandwich a metaphor" in that context.

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  25. @anon6:03 [who isn't Steve]: Yes. Notice how every character in the scene is original/witty/knowledgeable of specific thing [replace "Indy Music" with "Simple Literary Devices"].

    That said, I'm okay with it. It's another "conversation his 'friends' probably had and don't realize he's posting to the internet yet", but I smiled at it at least.

    Oh, and has anyone else who read [that is pronounced "red", stupid non-Slavic language] Questionable Content come to realize that his commentary on comics has started to sound like something a 13 Y.O. girl who watches too much MTV teen drama would say about a situation, mixed with what a 10 Y.O. boy who thinks Dinosaurs and humans co-existed [in a non-religious way] and has just begun to learn the dirty subtleties of human anatomy would say? Because neither of his "moods" ever seems particularly contributive, and I like to hope the whole strip has turned into an elaborate prank for him. It's that or 5 updates a week has driven him insane, and I can only fear what Mr Weiner will do given the years of daily updates with only those 4 days of Wedding/Honeymoon in absense...

    Captcha: Underer. It's MORE under; fuck your grade 7 English teacher who says degrees of things aren't always possible.

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  26. @Ravenzomg
    SMBC was insane from the start. I doubt you'll ever see a change.

    And "read" won't confuse anybody, even if they read it incorrectly. (See?) I don't know what Slavic or not has to do with anything but I'm assuming English isn't your first language. This is coming from someone who learned it at birth -- try caring less about how you're using it. That's what we do!

    (And fuck grammar nazis)

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  27. @Anon 6:15: I gotta say, I was kind of thrown by randall's ability to produce a decent punchline and not follow it up with useless PPD for a change, but you're right, the whole instigation for this thing makes no sense whatsoever. When would someone say that?

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  28. Weiner's showin off xkcd in his videos again. :(

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  29. i thought the punchline was actually funny but then i realized the comic is idiotic

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  30. The new comic is up. Randall doesn't know what synecdoche is. Synecdoche is the use of a part to represent a whole or vice versa. He uses the term like it's a blanket term for metaphor, even though it's really a subset of metaphor.
    Also, the set-up is terrible and the joke predictable. The pacing is also bad in that the punchline is in the third panel and instead we get a dumb thing about a sandwich.

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  31. Is "sandwich" a malamanteau?

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  32. "Is 'sandwich' a metaphor?"
    "No, I'm bad at metaphors, but I could try a similie"

    Posted about this on the forums, but in what universe does this dialogue actually make sense?

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  33. Charles Augustus FortescueJuly 5, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    Metaphors are not a subset of analogies. In fact, synecdoche is a good example - it is a metaphor but not an analogy. An umbrella term would be images.

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  34. First post on the forum "and why is the girl making the sandwich? knock it off with the sexism." and I'm sure they were serious.

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  35. Am I the only one who thought that "Is 'sandwich' a metaphor" was referring to the sexual practice? ...you know, man-woman-man.

    As for the rest, it does make sense as a conversation about similes, metaphors and analogies by people who don't really care about the exact meaning of those words and just want to have a pseudo-intellectual conversation (which can be fun, admit it!).

    Concerning... synechdoche or whatever:
    All of you who claim that Randall doesn't know what that means are idiots. I mean, okay maybe he doesn't, but that's not the point of the alt-text, and you're idiots for not getting that.
    His characters in the comic throw out a couple of words that they think all have a similar yet different meaning, and turn this into a pseudo-intellectual conversation. Then he jumps in and says "Well I just call them all synechdoches", which is a common way of jokingly ending such a conversation that has no real merit anyway.

    It's like when you look at a fruit stand with some friends. They start discussing, "Is this a pear?" - "No I think it's a mango" - "Looks like a peach to me".
    And you jump in and say "Well, mango, pear, peach... I just call them all apples."
    Everybody has a short laugh and you switch the subject.

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  36. Oh, and apparently there's also "twice the fun" in the alt-text because using the word 'synecdoche' when speaking about figures of speech in general is itself a synecdoche.

    Doesn't invalidate my explanation above at all, although without this I would've liked it much, much better (now it just looks like he wanted to be a smartass once again).

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  37. Cute. Randall thinks a simile is anything using "like", doesn't he?

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  38. @ Anon 9:31 - I think this falls under the category of "I don't understand it, therefore it can't possibly be important and is all interchangeable gibberish" (see also: 451)

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  39. In 'Back to the Future', Doc sets clock in the DeLorean to a day 25 years in the future. Today is that day.

    Randall decides to make a bland comic about language instead and fails miserably.

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  40. 762 is much better when you read it like I did:

    Panel 1: Girl: While I'm up, does anyone want a sandwich?
    Boy: blah metaphor
    Panel 2: blah blah metaphor blah simile
    Panel 3: blah analogy blah
    Panel 4: Girls: Analogies are like sandwiches in that I'm making one now.

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  41. I'm not going to read the newest comic. Not in the mood, I'll just wait for the next post. Or until it becomes unbearable to read the comment thread without knowing what the hell you're talking about. A quick comment on 761, thouhg.

    This ORWELLIAN incident cemented my impression that Randall does his comics in the last minute -- maybe literally, in the last minute between 23:59 of the day before and 00:00 of the updating days, but I digress. Since the charactes was not supposed to be suddenly bald in the last two panels, it's obvious he let this pass, but then I ask: how? It's a glaring detail no one could let pass unless there was no time to even give a quick glance at the comic before posting, let alone review his horrible horrible panel layout.

    So, Randall updates thrice a week, with shoddy art, laughable writing and not taking time to even avoid siple mistakes, and yet he has internet fame and has stick figure comics and selling shirts with stick figures on them as a job. Cuddlefish would say I am envious of such man, but I am not. Because if Randall has any shadow of a conscience, he surely cannot sleep well at night, and longs for the day death will relieve his weighed soul. Otherwise, I'd rather not be a man who has no sense of his own mediocrity, thank you very much.

    Yes, that is a ridiculously long and dramatic commentary on a harmless comic.

    Sue me,

    Mole

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  42. XKCD is like a car analogy in that it is almost always flawed. That is itself an analogy. Please give me a hundred thousand dollars and a tour of the lecture circuit.

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  43. Girl: While I'm up, does anyone want a sandwich?
    Chair: Is "sandwich" a euphemism?
    --
    Girl: No, but it's more of an analogy.
    Chair: I guess that's like a metaphor.
    Floor: And that's a simile.
    --
    Chair: Is that simile a metaphor for something?
    Floor: Maybe it's a metaphor for analogy.
    --
    Chair: Hmm... but how is a sandwich like an analogy?
    Girl: I'm making one now.
    --
    Alt: I just call all of them "synecdoche".

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  44. The new comic works if you think the three characters are complete assholes, and since there's nothing in the comic that suggests they're NOT assholes, the mood is not really spoiled.

    In that case, I prefer to block my mind to the possibility that Randall really, honestly thinks those three characters are the role model of what humanity should be: geeky, self-obsessed and obnoxious; I have tortured myself WAY too much with Randall's vision of the world.

    Also, is that REALLY a punchline? I thought of the comic as just being a skit, and the final phrase being the closing of the skit, not as the "punchline" of a "joke".

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  45. It's not as bad as most of the other recent works, at least for the past 6 months or so.

    Obviously the word-geeks here think that he may have possibly misused some of the words or used them in a simplistic manner. He has a physics degree, that means he sat around thinking about space & shit, instead of contemplating the difference between a metaphor and a euphemism.

    Better than most of his crap, moderately funny. 6/10 (Randall's been averaging about a 2/10)

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  46. Jesus Fucking Christ, Randall. I write fiction semi-professionally and hang out with lit majors all the time, and if anyone talked like that around us we'd beat their face in with a dictionary on general principle.

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  47. Oh shit the pedants have learned violence.

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  48. @Anon 9:04

    I don't entirely blame 'em. "Make me a sandwich" is right up there with "Get back in the kitchen" when someone's sarcastically referring to misogyny. Problem is he never makes the joke and this chick is offering to make both these guys some sandwiches. So yeah, while it doesn't bother ME in the least, I can see the unfortunate implications. Especially since Randy and his fans consider him a "feminist".

    And it's so easy to fix, too. One of the guys could have been the one to make the sandwich while the chick and other guy are sitting.

    I seriously don't think he did it on purpose, but it does sort of invoke an involuntary "facepalm" when you read it. He KNOWS his audience might have a problem with it WE know they might have a problem with it. And it's SO EASY to avoid.

    I just think he honestly does these at the last minute or seriously lacks some common sense.

    Everyone else has touched on everything else wrong with this one.

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  49. Then, you could also have the female say the line about "sandwich" being a metaphor, thus making it less creepy.

    The XKCD Explained guys have the best theory about this one. It fits perfectly.

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  50. Girl: While I'm up I'm going to read XKCD
    Guy: Is that a metaphor for a shit webcomic?

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  51. that one's actually synecdoche.

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  52. @Anon 7:09AM, Yes, I realize that my particular example actually wasn't ambiguous in pronunciation. Yours is, though, which is slightly unnerving. And Slavic or no, it's basically just "Not English" where we get some decent declension of verbs. I hanged him for treason, and hung the cadaver on the porch. I have ridden a horse all day, only to have rid this nation of the God-sent Toads [with a capital T for emphasis, yes, that is how it ought to be done].

    Learning languages in class just makes you arrogant and confused -- nobody speaks their first properly, and you sound "incorrect" for speaking it right.

    Somebody should make a comic and try to rival XKCD... or maybe just Hijinx Ensue, I could probably do that. If nobody does I may have to, and you will see how much it sucks. Oh yes. But at least I'll be making a point [if not Randall's ridiculously padded income].

    Captcha: Coccl. Well, this is what I was thinking. Not quite right, I know. If you laughed at the word, you are probably a)13, b)running on less than an hour's sleep, or c)Web Comic Creator. ...Or d) all of the above, obviously.

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  53. Can I briefly interrupt the xkcd-bashing to bash on Abstruse Goose—which isn't even fucking trying anymore, I fucking swear—and MS Paint Adventures—which seems to have forgotten what its plot was in order to show shitty exposition for months on end? What is it with shitty webcomics all hitting the bottom of the barrel simultaneously? Do they plan this?

    Argh! The rage—it won't go away!

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  54. Randall is a synecdouche amirite

    also I agree with Anon 9:01 with regards to MSPA. Following the core stories of 4 different people was difficult enough and now he expects us to be able to track 12 of them? I have no idea what the hell is going on (and this isn't helped by all the WORDS WORDS WORDS with all the incredibly annoying "quirks" that each of the trolls have).

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  55. Was Abstruse Goose ever trying? I always thought it was an elaborate parody taken far enough that everyone would forget it was a parody. Or am I over-estimating them here? Is that what they planned?

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  56. I liked this one, but I love dumb puns.

    Captcha: Unkjrf, the sound I make during sex.

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  57. 762 sounds almost like something that I might suddenly think to myself for no apparent reason and dwell on for a while. And then I'd go, "jeez, self, stop going off on nonsensical tangents and get back to whatever you were supposed to be doing."

    What I would not do would be to attempt to make a comic out of it. These sorts of bizarre and pedantic musings are generally not all that funny.

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  58. Okay, I think I got it.

    Comic 762 is missing one panel. Right there, before the first, in which they're getting high.

    Eureka,

    Mole

    CAPTCHA: emerse. Wait, isn't that a real word?

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  59. The punchline was amusing. The painful and forced way in which he got there seemed like total garbage when I read it.

    Now I've read XKCD explained, and the whole comic now makes sense while at the same time being way creepier.

    I think I was happier not understanding it, to be honest.

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  60. I actually liked 762 at fiorst, mainly because I skimmed it at work and only really read the girl's dialouge.

    But holy fuck, I just read XKCD explained and Anon 5th june 6AM comment and I'm sitting here pissing myself laughing at work- how did I not spot the HORRIFIC NONSENSE inbwtween?

    Silver lining guys, this has been indirectly one of the funniest XKCDs for a long time for me.

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  61. Is this Randall's way of saying "BITCH MAKE ME A SANDWICH"? I think the comic might've been funny if he'd started with that and then had the characters debate the etymology of "bitch." How would a female dog make a sandwich without opposable thumbs and so on. Also, I totally want a sandwich now. Get out of my head and into my kitchen, Randall.

    Anon 9:01 - I'm taking a perverse sort of enjoyment of the current troll storyline in MSPA, even if it is needlessly expository and/or esoteric. I mean, at least we're learning stuff without any SUPER PSYCHOUT COMBO X7s breaking up the flow, and a few of the subplots (gC's lawyer roleplay thing in particular) have been crazy good.

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  62. Sudo get me a metaphor.

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  63. I think I got it, guys. 762 is missing a panel right there, before the first one. It's the panel in which they're getting high.

    That's the only logical explanation for that conversation.

    Eureka!

    Mole

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  64. I know I'm being all autistically nerdy, but I just can't help myself.

    ""A simile is like a metaphor" is a simile"

    No it's not. The "like" is being used literally (not um, metaphorically) there to compare two similar rhetorical devices. If I say something "alligator tastes like chicken", or "calzones are like pizza", those are straight up literal similarities I'm talking about, not similes.

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  65. 1: I'd like to point out that while the "woman making a sandwich" thing isn't sexist, the whole "men are quirky, nerdy and major characters and women are down-to-earth and minor characters" thing still very much is.

    2: @Sepia: hey, you're right! Goddamnit Randall, how the hell do you manage to screw up this much?

    3: @Anon5:59:
    You actually made me want to search Wikipedia for references of XKCD to see how many "X appeared somewhere in this single XKCD comic" there was.
    At about search 30, I came across this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=147_(number)&diff=352105076&oldid=350163192

    Yes, that's right, somebody made a reference for the page on the number 147, because one of the comics had a very minor thing saying that a lot of people think their IQ is 147. Oh, and it was completely made up.

    And it didn't get removed for three and a half months!

    God!
    Damn!
    I hate this comic!

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  66. Whoops, bad link. Lemee try again:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=147_(number)&diff=352105901&oldid=352105239
    Better.

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  67. aaaaand Randy forces the punchline again. It's a shame, because the last two panels manage to not feature insipid dialog- if the first two had been better it might not be so bad a comic.
    (note: don't get me wrong, they're not saying anything particularly clever or amusing, but at least they're talking like real people)

    The first two panels though, holy shit.
    Nobody anywhere has ever talked like that. It's not conversation; it's a series of verbal nonsequitors stumbling into a joke. Wrong, stupid, and childish.
    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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  68. Oops, I left a word out of my previous post.

    That should've read:
    "If I say something LIKE "alligator tastes like chicken""

    And hey, that's another non-simile use of the word like. More of an implied literal comparison than a direct comparison (since I'm not listing all the other statements I could've said), but definately not a simile.

    I wonder what Randall would make of Valspeak.

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  69. The punchline was forced, but I chuckled. My standards have been lowered enough that I was happy with that. Comic could have been better, but hey, it was funny.

    Captcha: cormen. Where in the world is Cormen Sondiego?

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  70. What exactly do people think the punchline of the latest comic is? I thought it was the "analogies are like sandwiches..." line, but...

    1) That isn't that funny (just funny compared to the other crap in the comic).

    2) It isn't a pun, so people saying "I thought it was funny because I like puns" doesn't make any sense.

    3) Some people apparently think the punchline is in the third panel.

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  71. weird. my name is dan I had my own questions about the punchline.

    goomhd

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  72. Fun story about that. This was posted over 20 minutes late because he was too busy browsing a website. We yelled at him on IRC. Of course it looks rushed! It is rushed!

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  73. Brian how dare you besmirch the glourious name of Randall!

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  74. Hahaha, holy shit, Randall's only obligation is to post a goddamn webcomic THREE TIMES A WEEK, and he manages to even screw that up.

    I'm surprised he didn't use all his L337 PYTH0N PR0GR4MMUR SK1LLZ to automatise the process. Fuck, considering the quality of his webcomic, I'm surprised he didn't automatise the process of MAKING the comics as well.

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  75. Sepia, you nailed it.

    Furthermore, asking if the statement "a simile is like a metaphor" is a metaphor for analogy is within a few degrees of absolute nonsense. That was clearly not the speaker's intention, and there is nothing in it to suggest such a convoluted interpretation.

    For being from a field dealing in "perfect, universal truths", Randall certainly lets his characters get away with some very wooly thinking when he reckons it sounds impressive.

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  76. i have fallen behind on MSPA yet again because it's so tedious and unrewarding to read. It's very, very hard to follow all 12 characters (because they have their real names, their screen names, and HEY THERE ARE TWELVE OF THEM) and it's just irritating to have to sift through their Cr@zY 7yp1Ng H@b!ts.

    abstruse goose is AWFUL, sometimes in ways that are almost literally unbelievable. Eventually i always believe they are that bad, but sometimes i don't want to.

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  77. Geez Carl, it's not THAT hard to keep up with them. Are you sure you're not just retarded?

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  78. ...it's a comic...maybe eveyrone is just taking it all far too seriously. some are funny, some aren't. that's how most comics are.

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  79. and XKCD is one of those comics that isn't funny. we like making fun of how bad it is. see how this works?

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