Monday, December 26, 2011

Comics 993, 994, 995: Christmas Edition!

Merry Christmas, cuddlefish! I got you some shitty, one-sentence reviews. Sorry they're late (except not).

993. Randy has discovered minimalist design philosophy, and hasn't yet realized that companies already make a killing using it.

994. Randy is living proof that Zeno was correct: he is always halfway to a good comic but never actually gets there.

995. Wouldn't it be wacky if someone tried to feed chocolate coins to one of those Coinstar machines?

Your regular shitty two-sentence reviews will resume eventually, maybe.

136 comments:

  1. Shitty one-sentence review of Rob:
    you suck.

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  2. I demand mediocre three sentence reviews.

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  3. Also, haha, ALT-F pronounces shitty "ʃɪttɪ" no doubt. What a fag.

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  4. She doesn't though. That's not a characteristic of the Minnesota dialectical region.

    The British, maybe, but she's no Brit. Only acts like one on the internet, which is pretty pathetic.

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  5. Wow, these reviews had as much thought put into them as what the're reviewing.

    How Meta.

    You fag.

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  6. Holiday tip: Coinstar does not handle elephant tusks well.

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  7. Holiday tip: Coinstar does not handle streams of boozy vomit well.

    Captcha- dicepine. Christmas is over, so you gotta get that tree to fit in your bin somehow.

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  8. Holiday tip: Coinstar does not handle bobcats well

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  9. Holiday tip: Coinstar does not handle Coinstars well

    IM SO META EVEN THIS AWFUL

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  10. Rob, as any Apple fan will tell you, no-one did anything until Apple announced that they're doing it.

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  11. guise once when i was a kid i was playxing manopoly with my familie and cuz i was in the manopoly spirrit i thaught WUDNT IT BE FUNNY IF I TRYED TO PAY FOR A COKE WITH THE MANOPOLY MONEY so insted of brang my wallit i braught my manopoloy money

    anywazz the casher said no well actally he said "f*!* off n stop waisting my time kid" so i went home again w/o any coke.

    Maybe I should write a comic about all these hilarious things I did before I reached a mature understanding and respect for society? Like the years I shat in my nappies ("diapers", you yankee oafs) before I was toilet trained, or the time I shouted "LESS TALKING MORE SINGING" at a wedding, the time I copied a kid's stammer at school because I didn't really get it was a disability, or the first job I got where I asked my boss why they advertise a gross salary if I'm only ever going to see an amount after tax thanks to PAYE (and anyway they've taken Employer's NICs out before giving a figure, so why not the rest?).

    captcha: mitters. Because the real world doesn't come with kid gloves.

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  12. Holiday tip: never announce drunkenly that you got a new pair of knee guards for Christmas. Especially never clarify that they look strong enough to take a good kicking.

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  13. Holiday tip: the perpetrator should also take Rohypnol. If you can't remember anything either, you're less likely to incriminate yourself. Who knows, maybe they drugged you?

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  14. Holiday tip: aunties and grandmothers gifting you too many socks? Why not wear each pair for a week then sell them on eBay as fetish items?

    Shave your legs and call yourself Mary. Everyone likes dirty socks from a virgin.

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  15. Holiday tip: the world's going to end in 2012 which means you just wasted your last Christmas.

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  16. someone on the forums was like 'maybe this would have been better if he gave the machine a couple of chocolate coins and it gave him back a big bar of chocolate' and actually, yeah, that would be stupid but it would be ten thousand times better than whatever the fuck that drawing is meant to be.

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  17. That would be worth a smile, weaselsoup. I imagine the system would take a commission: you put in 100g worth of chocolate coins and it only gives you an 80g bar. Now I have an image of a looped-back Chocstar machine forever processing ever smaller amounts of chocolate, thank you Zeno reference.

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  18. and he could draw the machine getting a little bit fatter every time as it eats its percentage.

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  19. no but then he'd have to turn it into a sloppy allegory for the american banking system or something.

    ...although, at least then he'd be making some sort of point with the comic instead of "I don't (which is to say this Void Creature doesn't) understand the money system at all, one month after making a massive thing about the money system".

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  20. A sloppy allegory for the American banking system would involve your being returned a 110g bar comprising 80g of the original chocolate and 30g water.

    This is still less convoluted and more insightful than that stupid poster.

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  21. Coinstar only takes 9% if you want cash. You can get 100% if you take a gift certificate to amazon or another store.

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  22. A sloppy allegory for the American baking system would involve your being returned a 110g loaf of bread comprising 80g of the original flour and 30g water.

    This is still less convoluted and more insightful than that stupid poster.

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  23. A sloppy allegory for the American king system would involve your being returned 110 promises comprising 80 of the previous President's promises and 30 changes.

    This is still less convoluted and more insightful than that stupid poster.

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  24. 10:15, how does change produce slop?

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  25. @10:19 chocolate coins?

    FULL CIRCLE.

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  26. Is he holding a used condom in the last panel?

    Jesus christ

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  27. The machine should take in chocolate coins and give back bars of gold.

    The first rule of XKCD Club is scan your restraining order from a girl actually named Megan (show scanned birth certificate and yearbook photo).

    The second rule of XKCD club is recursion. Or maybe the Pigeonhole principle.

    The 3.14159th rule of XKCD Club is the 3.14159th rule of XKCD Club.

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  28. You know what they'd call xkcd if it were a TV show? Big Bang Theory.

    Horribly unfunny, highly mainstream "nerdy" references, annoying pseudo-intellectual fans, and everyone's a hideous stick figure.

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  29. if it was a movie it would be called scott pilgrim

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  30. @11:17 obscure references would make it even more annoying

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  31. Hey Rob, I'm the anonymous you respond to all the time.

    I'm glad I get a reaction.

    Why else would I bother existing.

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  32. 12 languages and you dont know what coinstar is?

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  33. The website is REALLY not helpful. It sounds like a machine where you can buy gift cards; is that accurate?

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  34. You know what they'd call Big Bang Theory if it were a webcomic? xkcd.

    Yeah, I totally see the similarity. At least Big Bang Theory largely keeps to its own part of TVTropes.

    On a side note, has anyone noticed that the blog description (top-left, under 'What the hell is this?') has changed?

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  35. Also, regarding Coinstar

    "Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSTR) is an American company.

    The firm's original focus was the conversion of loose change into paper currency, donations or gift cards via coin counter kiosks."


    Any comic that requires you to read a Wikipedia article has failed in my opinion. We don't have Coinstar in the UK. I'm sure that as a stereotypical penny-pinching jew I would have noticed it.

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  36. Levi, you agoraphobic, there are Coinstar machines all over the UK, especially outside supermarkets.

    Also why is Brian Cox so popular? He basically caused the Iraq war and the British economic crisis by being in the band which wrote the song which carried New Labour to power.

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  37. Coinstar machines take commission -> result in a loss of money -> only gentiles can see them

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  38. Oh, and I also know Old Church Slavonic, but that really doesn't count.

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  39. (I've got the whole friggin' liturgy memorised in that language. But I'm never going to converse in it outside of highly topical stuff, so it's very pointless.)

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  40. And I go outside all the time to lots of places in America and I've never seen a Coinstar machine. Where am I supposed to find these? The local mall doesn't have one, and it usually keeps up to date with a variety of trends (they recently installed a terrible AMC Dine-In Theater, and it was one of the first places to have an Apple Store).

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  41. Once I went to a mall in Parsippany with my friends, US (I'll be damned if I can remember the state). Fucking hugest mall I've ever seen, I had to station people at various points in the mall just so that I wouldn't get lost. One area had this array of automatic machines, where I got myself a Coke for a dollar or something. THERE WAS NO COINSTAR MACHINE THERE. Where am I expected to find these things?

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  42. you can't see them unless you believe in them

    CAPTCHA: imsingl. well obviously im singl or i wouldnt be posting on xkcdsucsk

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  43. Во обще не ти, Михаеле, вярвамъ говорити Старобългарски. Хотешъ ли преведити?

    More than likely you are some autist who acts like a lowkey version of ALTF for amusement. But I'd love to be proven wrong, if you actually speak the tongue among the rest you claim too I'll recognize you as at least my equal, more likely my greater.

    Mentirisve... Si possis, declara mihi ipsum auctoritatem tuum campo linguae Latinae: quot annorum habes, in quae institutione, et de ceteris rebus.

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  44. Also, мили Михаеле, I take issue with these conflicting statements of yours in the last thread:

    "Why would I learn it? My friends speak Gujarati and Urdu. In fact, once I get considerably proficient in all of those projects, then I'll learn Urdu. Which I know nothing about yet"

    and, among the languages you claim to have known by 15:

    "Arabic
    Sanskrit
    Hindi
    Gujarati"

    Urdu is, as anyone knows, and as I'm sure someone whose "... friends speak Gujarati and Urdu" especially, simply Hindu (which you know) written in the Arabic script (which you know) and with a few influences from other Indian languages (which you know).

    I am forced to conclude you don't know either Hindi or Arabic, or else are lying about the whole deal, all 20-odd languages, given your lack of understanding of Urdu's makeup and systemic properties.

    No one who knows Hindi, care Michaele, would fail to understand spoken Urdu.

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  45. Well, I've never asked them to speak Urdu. I DID do research and saw that Urdu was unspeakably easy to learn with my background, but it's neither Hindi nor Arabic. I'd have to invest time into learning it, however small, and I'm a bit crunched for time at the moment. Also, my knowledge of Hindi isn't all that great anyway; I learned it alongside Gujarati, and neither of them did I venture into particularly deeply. However, next winter I shall be vacationing in India, so by then I'd like to know at least Hindi as well as I know Latin now.

    Oh, by the way, I do not understand some of your Russian (although in your most recent post, the short piece you typed out obviously poses no problem; I'd translate it as "sweet Michael", or milji Michajelje). I guess it's a bit too advanced for me, as my education so far is only as much as my grandfather learned in a year.

    And to prove my worth in Latin at least:
    "You're lying, or… if you can, declare to me your authority itself regarding the scope of the Latin language: how many years you have, in (I'll assume you meant "quā" here) the establishment, and about other things." The number of years being three I think.

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  46. wait hold on I never actually translated quā

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  47. In WHAT establishment. Ah.

    My school. That's the language that I officially take; the rest I was taught by my parents (in case of Russian, German, and Slovak) or self (the rest of 'em). Oh, French and Arabic though the school's teachers helped me some. They put up with my questions a lot. :D Oh, and Spanish I learned from my friend. And Chinese from a bunch of my other friends. And two friends of mine gave me input on Gujarati (I'd never be able to pronounce Dravidian languages correctly if it weren't for them). So, yeah, I've got resources.

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  48. The friend that I learned Spanish from doesn't speak it as his native language though. He just takes Spanish at my school and has for quite some time. Funnily enough, I DO have a friend who speaks it, but I haven't talked with him in quite some time. And there's also a Mexican exchange student at my school, but I don't talk to her very much.

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  49. Also I thought I changed my name to read left to right. Lemme fix that.

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  50. Oh, by the way, it was actually Sanskrit that got me into Dravidian languages. Or, uh, Indo-Aryan. Whatever. Which is why it's on that list. I just don't count it as important as the rest of 'em, because it's not as useful. Latin I DO count because I'm writing a short story in it and I learn it in school and it's the language that I'm the third most proficient at.

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  51. I love how like a sixth of the posts here are by me.

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  52. "Well, I've never asked them to speak Urdu ... I'm a bit crunched for time at the moment. "
    What a classic cop-out.

    "my knowledge of Hindi isn't all that great anyway; I learned it alongside Gujarati, and neither of them did I venture into particularly deeply"
    That's perfectly acceptable, I'm sure you know the other 18 languages 100%, ne c'est pas?

    "Oh, by the way, I do not understand some of your Russian"
    So you either don't know or can't recognize Old Church Slavonic! A shame! For I do believe you said that you had the liturgy memorized. Ah well, let bygones be bygones, I'm sure you know the other 17 perfectly!

    "And to prove my worth in Latin at least"
    Pfff... ha ha ha ha this is great.

    Let's catalogue some mistakes shall we?
    >mentirisve - 'you're lying, or'
    Nope. All after-word participles are translated before their word. Common knowledge.
    >quot annorum - "how many years"
    Rather, "how many of years". We all know to translate literally, Michaele!
    >campo - 'regarding the scope'
    Do you mean "in the field"? I'm sure you did.

    So that's 4 down out of 4 I've tested you in. That's great.

    You know, I'm actually a bit depressed. I thought I had finally met someone at or above my caliber (besides William Monty Hughes, IQ 224), but it seems I have only met an high school student overeager to claim surface knowledge as an actual mastery of the tongue.

    Alas.

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  53. hahaha cop-out you're hilarious

    No I don't know the languages perfectly have you been listening?

    Our liturgy is romanized. I've never associated Old Church Slavonic with Cyrillic.

    I translate whimsically moron. You sound exactly like my Latin teacher, "blah blah blah translate literally or you'll get a B, blah blah blah all we ever want to know is the word to word translation of the text". Do you ever get out? What's the point in linguistics if you don't… ah fuck it I've never been able to put this into words. I LIKE TO TAKE LIBERTIES ASSHOLE

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  54. (And by our liturgy is romanized, I mean that it's written "hospodi pomiluj" rather than "хосподий помилуй" in our texts)

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  55. Did I just write "hospodij"? I think I did. Damn it you know what I mean.

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  56. And I know I'm supposed to translate clitics before the word (obvious example: "-que" in like the nine billion situations in which it is used), but in all honesty I hadn't encountered -ve before, and I was even more confused because it had no Latin text before it. So I just went with what seemed the most natural.

    (Now go away. Ironically enough, I have to design a website for my church.)

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  57. Also I'm 100% serious about the Urdu thing. I just never had the need, y'know? Like, what's the point? The rest, though, are constantly flung about and around me, and I'm like "damn I need to get some of that action".

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  58. A bunch of high schoolers who think they're the shit for knowing how to use Google Translate. Shouldn't you fools be on XKCD instead?

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  59. Oh, no, his text was totally serious, I don't think it would be possible to produce it with Google Translate. Does Google Translate even do Latin? I know Babelfish does, or did.

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  60. Oh surprise it does. And it doesn't know how to translate clitics.

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  61. >No I don't know the languages perfectly have you been listening?
    Superficial familiriaty or conversational aptitude with a tongue is unfortunately not enough to prove mastery of a tongue. I could converse well enough in Italian, Portuguese, or Serbian (as could any Latin or Slavonic speakers, respectively), but there's a large gap between finding cognates and learning the stresses and actually knowing a language itself, as you claim to so much.
    I don't think you're stupid and I think you do see this gap and know it exists but it would undermine your ego to admit it.

    >Our liturgy is romanized. I've never associated Old Church Slavonic with Cyrillic.
    Which could be a problem given Old Church Slavonic being a language originally and still written in Cyrillic. If you only know Arabic transliteration into English but you see Arabic script, you should, no exceptions, be able to immediately recognize it as Arabic. If you can't, you've never studied Arabic in its original form and claiming Arabic as part of your linguistic repertoire would be deceptive.

    >I translate whimsically moron ... I LIKE TO TAKE LIBERTIES ASSHOLE
    The only way to prove knowledge of a tongue is literal translation. Anyone can see a text in a semi-related language and get the gist of it, it's easy as hell, but that does not amount to mastery of the tongue, or even basic proficiency at it (any European can read the decl. of human rights in Romanian and get 95% of it, but drop him in the poorer parts of Bucharest...)

    >And I know I'm supposed to translate clitics before the word (obvious example: "-que" in like the nine billion situations in which it is used), but in all honesty I hadn't encountered -ve before, and I was even more confused because it had no Latin text before it. So I just went with what seemed the most natural.
    So not knowing the meaning of the term "ve", actually quite common in classical Latin, you looked it up and translated it pretty much incorrectly.
    Well, mate, we can all look up terms we don't know and guess at their use, but alas! we cannot claim knowledge of a language just based upon our skill at internet searches.


    I think it would be entirely fair to say that our dear Михайлъ Словенинътъ is unfamiliar or woefully weak at the vast majority of languages he claims to ken, and indeed woefully ignorant of many features thereof. At best he may be familiar (and here I take a certain liberty in his favor) with a general Slavic mix, English, and his familial tongue, but no more besides. Neither is that too bad an achievement, three languages, and I do wonder why he claims knowledge of 20.

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  62. 'Cause those are the languages that I have studied. I claim nether a superficial nor a masterful familiarity with any of the listed 20 languages. See here annotated (sorry I didn't clarify this earlier):
    Latin: I could totally live in Rome
    Ancient Greek: I could converse with Eucleides
    Greek: My Greek friend and I talk often
    German: I can buy stuff at Karstadt and read Die Welt
    French: I can read the newspaper in Paris
    Italian: I've memorized the differences between it and Latin, now I can totally understand anything in Bibione and Florence
    Spanish: The Spanish teacher approves
    Slovak: I can converse with people in Beseňová
    OCS: I can translate any section of the liturgy you'd like
    Finnish: I have no fucking metric, but I think it's pretty good
    Swedish: I could have a short topical conversation with Notch
    Russian: I can converse with my grandfather to an extent
    Arabic: The Arabic teacher approves
    Sanskrit: I can read parts of the Mahabharata and conjugate verbs
    Hindi: Somewhat adequate
    Gujarati: Slightly less adequate
    Mandarin Chinese: I can understand snatches of the conversations of my Chinese friends, and can construct a wide variety of topical sentences
    Japanese: I learned this for a long while and then totally forgot, but I can still do a lot of sentences!
    Korean: My Korean friend won't laugh at me talking in Korean, also the Hangeul is AWESOME
    Swahili: I know some grammar and like 50 words, just enough not to embarrass myself in front of a native speaker
    Hebrew: About as much as my Jewish friends

    These are all ongoing efforts, I plan to know these as well as fucking possible eventually.

    I generally don't sight-translate Cyrillic, as it's just enough of a pain in the ass not to do so. Same goes for Arabic to some extent, but not for Dravidian scripts (which are awesomely. Also, I've never seen the word "bo/vo" in Old Church Slavonic. Not so for Russian.

    Literal translations are a very touchy subject for me. If you want, you can give me another Latin text and I'll translate it literally. I just absolutely loathe it for reasons I have not yet been able to put down in writing (but I'm working on it). But if that's what it takes to prove myself I'll totally do it.

    Oh, also, if you think 20 languages is ludicrous, check out how many languages this guy has to his name.

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  63. (I picked these languages specifically because with these I can make myself understood in pretty much any part of the world and not look like white trash whilst doing it)

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  64. Well, you know a select few tongues relatively well, as do most people. I don't think that necessarily is something to show off in a hugeass list!

    Anyway, sharpen your teeth on this:
    "Urbe capta, Aureus fugivit curritque Romae. Tamen Aureum petit anguis latens, nec consistens nec relentens.

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  65. With the city having been gotten, Aureus fled and ran to Rome. (uhwut, I'd definitely use "ad + acc." here, is this legal?) However, a hiding snake attacked Aureus, neither halting nor relenting.

    I've never heard relent(e)o before, but okay. Now this is how I'd translate it really:

    The city having been acquired, Aureus absconded and fled to Rome. But a hidden snake attacked him, neither stopping nor relenting.

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  66. oh fuck verb tense

    With the city having been gotten, Aureus fled and runs to Rome. However, a hiding snake attacks Aureus, neither halting nor relenting.

    Wow I fucked that one up.

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  67. Oh, and yeah, I'm not sure why I mentioned it either.

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  68. I'd use "seized" instead of 'gotten', "relenting" isn't optimal for 'relentens' ('doubling back' is better) and Romae is the locative case (very rarely used for anything but Rome, by classical times). Else you're good.

    So though you may not be a Latin expert yet your Latin knowledge is pretty good, mid-level.

    In any case, I stand by my statement that you know fluently/semi-fluently only Latin, slavonic blend, and English.

    So getting back to the whole point of this debate it's not good to say "I also knew [20-odd] languages by 15" (I guess you are 15 and a junior in HS? not that it matters, I've known smart 15 year olds) when someone can call you out on that knowledge. Just say "I also knew enough bits of ... to speak conversationally by 15".

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  69. baby i only know one language
    and that's the language of looove

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  70. rob you are too fat to have vocal glands

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  71. Oh okay. Glad we got that settled! :D Now back to Coinstar.

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  72. Oh, but do tell: what are the principal parts of relentens?

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  73. Relentare: Re + Lentare

    So the same as lentare's-
    re+lentō
    re+lentās
    re+lentat
    re+lentāmus
    re+lentātis
    re+lentant

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  74. -que and -ve are enclitics. I don't want to be a dick about this but if you've never seen -ve before then you've not read very much Latin.

    and you couldn't live in ancient Rome with what you know now. It doesn't matter how much prose comp you misguidedly attempt (honestly, do it if you think it's fun - maybe it has the elements of a puzzle, or something, but it's entirely pointless when it comes to understanding Latin texts), you can't be 'fluent' in a dead language. None of us can. It's just a different skill.

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  75. and here I am being a dick about it, but that's a present active indicative conjugation, not principal parts.

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  76. Rob can, yeah, sorry, I should've said that

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  77. i mean i am not trying to brag but i don't want anyone to think false things about me

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  78. Aww, but I've been specifically researching vocabulary for day-to-day life... :-P

    And you're right about the principal parts thing, but I have no business not knowing how lentō is conjugated.

    Oh, and I do believe I've heard -ve somewhere before (I even automatically assumed the correct meaning for some reason), but yeah, you're kind of right. It's just... yeah, that's pretty embarrassing. Although, I don't read much ancient Latin text; well, I do, but not whole tomes end to end. Rather, I read other stuff; for example, I recently finished both the Harry Potter books (no sign of -ve in there either). But I still can't believe how this has managed to get past me...

    Oh! I finally get where "sīve" comes from! :-D

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  79. well like Vergil said, forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit

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  80. ("Maybe, and this will help sometime," just so I don't look like a total dick)

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  81. OH SHIT
    996 is the best christmas gift

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  82. Oh my god what the fuck is this new comic

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  83. My password for my email: a paragraph of Shakespeare
    My password for everything else: a short string of random letters followed by a random number
    My password for my xkcd account: password

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  84. I find this comic offensive to people who have had cancer. The forums apparently disagree.

    And Rob, 988 made me incredibly angry and I am sad that I am far too late to write a guest review for it.

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  85. if i ever invent time travel you will be the first to know

    also show me your tits

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  86. I would actually do that, given the opportunity

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  87. Weaselsoup:

    I can and do translate the Aenein (to give it that greek touch). Would you still say that I could not survive in ancient Rome, linguistically speaking? It would take maybe a week or so to pick up accents and, say, elisions or other odd spoken features of latin (like the prounciation of "-ns" as "-s", inter alia), and given the existing vocabulary and grammatical base one picks up from reading Classical Latin, I can't believe it would be too great a leap to fluency in a very short time period.

    But you do write in a more world-weary tone than I do so you're probably right. (To note I've had two more years of formal Latin than Michael has, if that will affect your judgment)

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  88. 'Favorite mastectomy breast prosthesis idea: a fake boob containing a spare rechargable battery, accessed via a nipple USB port. Complete with a ring of LED charge indicators in the areola!'

    Oh for fuck's sake. Randy somehow managed to justify all the shit xkcdsuckers have been giving him, and then some. And the forumites are beside themselves with praises for the irredeemable piece of shit:

    'Anyways, I really hope Randall's wife does this in real life.'

    'There's not a lot of comics that do that much in that space. On a good day, this guy is brilliant.'

    'the alt text, in my opinion, is about ten times better than the comic. The comic was all right, though.'

    'Beautiful! I had two close friends die of breast cancer over the past few years. They were both amazing vibrant women and would have appreciated this! ^^'

    'Sensitive subject: First wife died from BC; her mom also died from BC. Ex-wife recently went through mastectomy and is awaiting reconstructive surgery; ex's mother died from BC. I fear for the well being of my daughter.

    Nevertheless, I chuckled at the comic (got it right away) and LOL'd at the title text.'

    'Great comic. I'm a family doctor and really relate. Humor is power for people in this type of situation.
    Our surgeon needs to see this...'

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  89. so is the receiving of anal beads in the doctor's office a Munroe family tradition or is that some hip newfangled young gadget, like a string of mini computers or something

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  90. oh sure, given a bit of time to acclimatise, anyone can pick up a language that's being spoken all around them. I meant that none of us could just be dropped into the Subura c 42BCE & walk up to someone & go 'salve, amice!' or whatever & be understood. (especially if all you have to go by is a translation of Harry fucking Potter which will have been written by someone whose first language was not Latin). to be fair Leahcim said 'I could totally live in Rome' and didn't say 'without a period of time to absorb the language' but then again, it would be pretty meaningless if he had, as anyone could live anywhere at any time if given a bit of time to absorb the language. I just don't really think the Latin we have from that time is enough to allow us to *speak* the language as it would have been spoken. I don't mean in terms of elisions and suchlike - we have pretty decent evidence for pronunciation & so on - just that it's like if all you had was plays and poetry written for the most part by upper class white men in London to go by and you expected to be able to chat to anyone in the pub in English without being laughed at. same goes for any dead language.

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  91. Yeah you're right. We do have graffiti though, nonetheless I'm sure the average hypothetical time traveller would head for the Palatine ASAP to meet with the emperor or the Curia in republican times. Would he stay and chat with the lower class locals? Maybe if he got refused admission or some such.

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  92. I love Latin graffiti. epigraphy is a lot of fun. and there are many amusing curse words to be learned. Mr Munroe probably likes it cos there is a lot of graffiti about oral sex.

    re the new comic. blimey. This is the same guy who's given us thousands of white knight words about respecting wimmin on the internet, *sexualising* his *wife's* cancer treatment? for shame.

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  93. For the first time in a couple of years I read xkcd (998) and laughed. However, I laughed at the absolute gift this comment is for xkcdsucks

    I for one welcome Megan's constantly lactating usb-powered cyberboob.

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  94. SOME CONTEXT FOR THE CANCER COMICS

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  95. Baraatun mina Allahi warasoolihi ila allatheena AAahadtum mina almushrikeenaDecember 28, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    *tugs microphone*

    In the Red corner, from some ex-Soviet satellite and weighing in at 122lb, we have backward-spelling Michael. Michael is undefeated in the number of languages he can list and claim to speak. Hitherto unable to rein in his ego as reigning troll champion ALTF, has he now learnt to parry pleas to perform?

    In the Blue corner we have new challenger, weighing in at whatever weight he pleases, the ubiquitus, undiquitous (no wait that's Rob) Anonymous, a man so great the list of people whose ability he can look up to only includes one name.

    In today's round the competitors will challenge each other with the sort of basic Latin sentences a typical prep school boy masters in his first year. Michael will handwave a general idea and be well on his way to a high D in the first question of a Latin Common Entrance paper, while Anonymous will simulate the stilted translation of a bot, scraping a B. sic transit gloria Quinti.

    In tomorrow's challenge they will record themselves singing the Soviet national anthem, e-pinky-swearing that they're not reading the lyrics from somewhere. Good rhythm makes good language. On Friday, ever resourceful, they'll each write a paper on communicating with their respective cats, use Babelfish to perfect a translation to Basque and have their submissions refused by Cat.Jour.Ling. before the end of the day. The .cat domain is not territorial.

    By Saturday, competitors will begin looking through al Qaeda sponsored web sites for training tapes to translate to prove their mastery of Arabic. Each not able to believe that the other has not found a pre-existing translation or hired an Arab, they challenge each other to produce videos so convincing that no member of the community is able to distinguish this academic exercise from a genuine call to arms against the West.

    By Sunday they're each sharing the same building with a ragtag group of nationalities. It turns out neither could totally live in Rome.

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  96. I enjoyed reading this conversation, or at least attempting to parse some of stuff you were all saying, only knowing a cursory amount of French. (Also pig latin. oink.)

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  97. I didn't laugh at any of that, 3:03. There must be something wrong with you.

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  98. Anonymous@3:21, you're supposed to be bitch-fighting Leahcim, not the ref.

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  99. It made me smile, 3:21. I took the Common Entrance Latin paper about 15 years ago and it's spot on. By 4th Form we were reading Pliny and Virgil as preparation for GCSE, beyond any of the Latin demonstrated here, but none of us would say we're fluent or try to challenge each other like starved apes in a cage.

    The immature child thinks that best in their class must be approaching best anywhere, and that all they know must be approaching all there is to know. He picks fights with his littermates and occasionally nips at the heels of giants.

    I recall a recent argument with a guy who had performed well in the IMO. He kept arguing that since pre-university exams in the UK were so easy anyone who hasn't scored top grades in them has no place in research. Such people are, according to him, wasting valuable positions and resources which should be occupied by the more intelligent. He highlighted Professor Brian Cox, a well-known promoter of science in the UK, who happened to score a D at A-level mathematics. Surely anyone who failed to score well in a particular elementary quiz is stupid. Surely they only got their Professorship through saying the right things at the right time and memorising answers to easy exams! Never mind their published research output, the actual measure of a good scholar.

    Leahcim and the anon are textbook output of a system which puts excessive value on pressurised, standardised, ultra-competitive testing rather than creativity. I'm currently a PhD student and once you get here you realise that those angry little puzzle-solvers tend to drop out fairly early because they lack the wider gamut of skills required for success.

    Wow, that was tl;dr and way too serious. Sorry guise. But all true.

    captcha: buctort. You say it best when you say nothing at all.

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  100. 996 is downright hilarious. Just when you thought Randy's breast cancer fetish may be a fluke, he gives us THIS. This comic alone is enough hatefuel to last xkcdsucks all the way through 2012.

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  101. I wish Carl would come back to guest review this one. It would easily qualify for an angriest rant, and between this gift Randall has bestowed upon us, comic 1000, and new years 2012, the ground is obviously set for Something Great.

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  102. 4:03 didn't do very well at A-levels/undergrad.

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  103. 4:03 got 13 GCSES and 4 A levels at top grade (including top 150 at GCSE and top marks in country for an A level mathematics award) and has two Firsts in Mathematics and Computing at undergraduate level. Also I misled at least once in my previous post: while I took CE practice papers I actually got into Public school on a scholarship which included Latin at a higher level than CE. You now have enough information to find out who I am if your Internets skills are good enough.

    But I work with people far smarter than I am who didn't do so well grade-wise at school. I am able to acknowledge that I did well at school because I am geeky and know how to ace exams. My performance at school didn't reflect much of the affinity or lack of affinity for particular subjects. In short, I am intelligent but I am far from a genius.

    What is more, the "smartest" kid I knew at school by IQ metric languished for years in a PhD programme before dropping out. He was an extraordinary puzzle-solver, manipulating 3D objects in his head which I had trouble arranging using pen or computer, but didn't seem to have the imagination or tenacity to create and engage in substantial original work. The guy's still brilliant at what he can do but he shows no signs of achieving much.

    Having been constantly heaped with praise by those around me, I was 14 or so before I started to put my abilities into context and understand how limited I was. A precocious child can be forgiven for not seeing how small he is but Leahcim and the language anon (particularly) should be beyond that.

    Also I'm trying to procrastinate as much as possible today so feel free to throw more one-liners at me so I can reply with essays.

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  104. 5:23 hates writing his useless comp sci thesis so much he spends his time on here, trying to goad people into googling for him (they won't).

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  105. 5:23 wants to immerse himself in work but it's his girlfriend's birthday and knows he'll end up ignoring her all day if he opens the books. He has plans for her for the afternoon and is determined not to let her down. But this morning she is having a lie-in so he can only annoy her so many times while she's resting.

    5:23 is often torn between work and pansy romantic faggotry. Hell, 5:23's mother has at least once asked him if he is homosexual - and that was also while he was going out with a woman.

    FWIW, if 5:30 tried hard with his googling then he'd find 5:23 dragged up in a lovely red number. Pointing this out should hopefully elicit a short response like "attention whore!" and the opportunity to prepare another ramble.

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  106. @FINAL COUNTDOWN

    That's what you said last time.

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  107. There I fixed my display name happy

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  108. #996: Shut the fuck up, Randall.

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  109. You know how you can tell how old a woman is by the number of rings round her nipples? Does this also work when the breast is cancerous?

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  110. Why wouldn't that work for guys too?

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  111. @10:52 Maybe it does. I haven't been close to any guy's nips but my own and I already know how old I am.

    captcha: ENTing, being ALTF's medical specialisation as these as the orifices in which she takes it.

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  112. Why is it that when Megan—who's been shown to have a one-dimensional torso—opens her shirt, there's a vast, dark void?

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  113. Cancers cause black holes.

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  114. so what am I missing in today's comic that I don't understand it at all

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  115. You're supposed to flash your breasts to Mardi Gras necklaces.

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  116. @5:23 The guy in your third-to-last paragraph sounds exactly like me: quit a bit of spatial ability but a fucking asshole with no creativity. Any chance we're related...?

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  117. Is that a Mardi Gras necklace? I couldn't tell from the god damn stick figures.

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  118. what is the 'spare rechargeable battery' for? just for the nipple fairy lights? but then also why usb? it would be better if there was a little solar panel imho. Maybe if it didn't say spare it would make more sense. Spare makes it sound like it's for like a phone or a radio or whatever and he's imagining a scene where he'll be like, 'fuck, the battery's gone in my phone/smoke alarm/velociraptor-shaped vibrator and the shops are shut and what will we DO' and she'll say 'never fear' and pull out the 'spare'. but that makes no sense with the usb & the lights & all.

    otoh I expect built in multicoloured fairy lights would improve lots of people's tits. mine are pretty boring, for example

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  119. Goatkcd's looking good today.

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  120. I think you're supposed to be familiar enough with the concept to assume it is; the fora have picked up on it nicely at least.

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