Monday, January 23, 2012

Comic 1007: Unsustainable Humor

sustainable

[Comic title: Sustainable; alt text: "Though 100 years is longer than a lot of our resources."]

Oh boy, another graph comic! This one's got it all: Randy has done the same joke before, the graph implies that the average sentence is 100 words long (15-25 is more common), and Randy is covering all his bases to make sure he doesn't accidentally make any of his fanboys angry--not only does he complain about the word "sustainable" being overused (using a graph that does not reflect the actual source in google ngrams), he throws in a token comment in the alt text about how we'll run out of a lot of resources in 100 years' time anyway to appease the sustainability fans out there. I bet Randy was pretty pleased with himself for that one.

The forums seem to think the point of the graph is that it was badly made. I think Randy just hoped he could get away with cherry-picking data and presentation to make his point. It must be nice having fanboys who interpret everything you do as something incredibly brilliant.

130 comments:

  1. Like some anal wanker the first thing I did was go to Google ngrams to check whether the he had simply made the data up. Turns out I was right.

    When you have 168 hours a week to draw two or three stick figure comics and the level of sophistication you're looking for in quirky results is "does it fit on a straight line (try log axes too cos that's geeky lol)" then if you can't find at least one fucking pattern you're pretty much developmentally retarded.

    I hereby offer this plot to illustrate that the more Randall whores his excrement the less people talk about Randall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He didn't make the data up, simply used "american english" and not "english", you moron.
      http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=sustainable&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=5&smoothing=0

      Delete
    2. That's covered below, 4:21, you heap of crap.

      Delete
  2. Surely, if we are to believe the contents of this comic, the word 'sustainable' is in fact self-sustaining. It reads as if the caption was written with the assumption that the word's use is actually on the decline, and was not altered when the data failed to bear this out.

    I guess it wouldn't be 'sustainable' in the sense that it's not *practical*, but is anyone insisting on a move away from using fossil fuels because there will eventually be an infinite supply of them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's an infinite supply of Rob and we all want to move away from him

      Delete
  3. Looking at the graph he drew, there is a nice smooth curve up through the mid 90's, and he draws a straight line through it. The points all start out above the line, then under it, then back above again. That's pretty much the most obvious sign that your model of the data is crap and you need to analyze it differently.

    Also the first poster does a good job of showing what it has done recently, leveling out and heading down a bit. I think the graph showing the full range Randall plotted makes it even more obvious that he just made crap up. 1995 and 2008 should be approximately the same, and they clearly aren't on his graph. http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=sustainable&year_start=1950&year_end=2008&corpus=0&smoothing=2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, thats where the line should be. It's called the regression line, which is used for extrapolation. It helps when the relation between two sets of data have high correlation, as do the sets of data in the chart, aka (in AMERICAN english) the use of the word sustainable in US english texts over the year...

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  4. Rob, I do think your blog posts are incredibly brilliant, just not the ones on this site.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i would be so worried if someone thought the blog posts on this site were brilliant

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    2. I think the blog posts on this site are brilliant.

      Delete
    3. I think Rob's microfiction is adolescent and formulaic while his blog posts here encompass (cos he's fat) everything I love about the Internet.

      Delete
  5. "the graph implies that the average sentence is 100 words long"

    No, it doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so why does the "sustainable appears in every sentence" appear right at the 1% line

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    2. Note the point on the graph with the words '2061: "Sustainable" Occurs an average of once per sentence". This point on the graph corresponds with a frequency of the word 'sustainable' of less than 1%. The graph, therefore, does imply that the average sentence must be more than 100 words long. It is very likely, in conclusion, that your comprehension of reading, and/or, basic mathematics, is negligible.

      Delete
    3. Now you've done it, Rob is going to cry to himself whilst watching "Good Will Hunting" and eating cheap store brand ice cream, telling himself that it's ok that he never went to college.

      Delete
    4. the way i read it, the assumption is closer to 200 words per sentence.

      Delete
  6. Despite it being a graph comic, I thought it was a little funny at first. But in order for it these types of "it's funny because it's true" jokes to work, it actually has to be true. And the thing is, there is actually actual data he could have used to make it true-ish, if not true: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3723.

    Also, that Language Log post also points out the jokes been done before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty sure this is not a "it's funny because it's true" joke. Rather an "over-simplified extrapolation is flawed" "joke".

      Delete
    2. That's a good point. Nevertheless, "oversimplified extrapolation is flawed" isn't inherently a bad joke (except, perhaps in the hands of Randall), while oversimplifying data that is incorrect to begin with is fairly pointless.

      Delete
  7. In this case, I'm defending him... He said "US English", and that dataset appears to match the source for "American English" http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=sustainable&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=5&smoothing=0

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Except that

      (i) Outside Microsoft installs we call it "American English" - "U.S. English" is a xenophobic English advocacy group in the USA and "US ENGLISH!" sounds like either an innocent Northern England colloquialism or BNP affiliate;

      (ii) To extrapolate data about American English over more than a few years is absurd. Consider how old the USA is, let alone its well-defined dialect of English. Then take account of the rate the Englishes are converging thanks to globalisation/Interwebs/etc.

      Now any linguist will tell you that American English is unsustainable (using Randall extrapolation skill this means that a negative number of people will be speaking it at some point SO HILARIOUS). The most popular spoken English is already Indian English, but like Google we ignore that because there be dragons East of Germany, the biggest of which is China which eats all our money and shits out cheap consumables for us.

      In b4 chinkei defensor Ruiqi babbling about how it's all the West's fault for not treatings its citizens with as much disdain.

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    2. Look, all I'm saying is that if Americans weren't so fat, lazy and stupid, they could be just as productive as China. I don't see how that can be disputed.

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    3. No-one disputes this, Ruiqi. It's the mindless obeisance of the soulless Asian which disturbs us.

      Delete
  8. http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=1930%2C+1940%2C+1950%2C+1960%2C1970%2C1980%2C1990%2C2000&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=0&smoothing=0

    "Time is unsustainable"

    ^ better than Ran-dull

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    Replies
    1. That was beautiful. Irrelevant, but beautiful.

      Delete
  9. This graph is so terrible I'm tempted to believe that Randall is trying to illustrate the ridiculousness of many politicians insistence on the "lack of consensus" on the subject of global warning among scientists... tempted... it's much more likely that he just screwed up.

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  10. This comic is so terrible I think it gave me cancer.

    ReplyDelete
  11. why arent you guys out spending time with your friend and family

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I spend plenty of time with my friend and family... I only devote about 15 minutes of my day, three days a week, to hating XKCD... admittedly this has gotten at high as a few hours a week on occasion... but still, plenty of time to spare.

      Delete
  12. The real question this comic raises is when did Michael Mann start teaching statistics classes?

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  13. Replies
    1. Randall doesn't work here. Try sending him an email.

      Delete
    2. Yeah... but he'd appreciate it less.

      Delete
  14. the new one is - surprise - terrible. he's tried to be all look at me, depicting motion with my creepy stick figures. it doesn't work

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  15. I like how, in comic "Suckville", the chick turns into some many-tentacled eldritch horror in panel 3. What the fuck

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ho my god. I actually had to go look into the xkcd forums to understand the joke in 1008, and then i realised i did undestoor it, it was just THAT bad :(

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  17. some dimwit on the forum is trying to say that the extra legs are in fact 'shadows'. Never mind that there are no other shadows anywhere in the entire corpus of xkcd. the lengths to which these people will go to excuse the shitness of the comic is fucking bewildering

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no you fool, it's clearly motion blur!!

      Delete
    2. AND even if they were shadows they'd be shit ones that make no sense.

      Delete
  18. How bizarre this all is. most people just don't bother reading things that annoy them, but here you're actually going out of your way to be annopyed. I guess you come across something new every day. As it happens I generally enjoy xkcd. Not always consisant in quality, but that's hardly something to get het up out.

    Have fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How bizarre this all is. most people just don't bother reading things that annoy them, but here you're actually going out of your way to be annopyed. I guess you come across something new every day. As it happens I generally enjoy xkcdsucks. Not always consisant in quality, but that's hardly something to get het up out.

      Delete
    2. How bizarre this all is. most people just don't bother reading things that annoy them, but here you're actually going out of your way to be annopyed. I guess you come across something new every day. As it happens I generally enjoy Tom's comments. Not always consisant in quality, but that's hardly something to get het up out.

      Delete
    3. i'm annopyed because my BOSS sent us ALL the batman xkcd. I would've gone out of my way to *avoid* it quite frankly. did your boss make you read this blog Tom? did s/he say LOL this is funny! about xkcdsucks? poor you if so. that is very annopying.

      Delete
    4. weaselsoup, my sympathies on the awfulness of your job.

      Since the Batman-Robin relationship is trivially an updating of classical pederasty taking into account modern AoC law and hang-ups, what we have from your boss is a clear case of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation contrary to Council Directive 2000/78/EC. Also Art.3 of Protocol 1 of the ECHR for his treatment of you and keep your eye on Art.4 of Protocol 4 for collective approach toward men dressed like bats. I'm assuming you are somewhere in Europe because your posts have the flavour of culture.

      This is legal advice.

      Delete
    5. Clicking my xkcd bookmark takes less than a second. I do not miss this time.

      Delete
  19. Randall budded 82 times I guess.

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  20. If it turns out he's been in Suckville since 2000, why would she be welcoming him now? Very disappointed with this illogical banter.

    ReplyDelete
  21. http://www.webcitation.org/64xQxsATc

    No do-overs.

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  22. Welcome to Suckville, population this comic.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The "Suckville" comic started out ok, but then went nowhere.

    Trite taunt --> semi-witty comeback. Too bad he just phoned in the rest.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Dear God, how the hell do you draw her legs like that? Unless you're currently being fellated or have a bad case of Parkinson's, there is NO reason to even accidentally fuck up that badly.

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    Replies
    1. Well, nowadays with drawing tablets and layering and masking and all that crazy stuff, you could draw something twice and forget to delete the original and then somehow not notice. Randall does need the latest technology to produce those masterpieces, after all, and technology does not come without its own drawbacks.

      Delete
  25. I think some of you just don't understand this comic. The town is called suckville because you live there, and you suck. That you're the sole inhabitant implicates that either you are the only person who sucks enough to live in suckville, or that you suck so much you were given a special town to live in named after you. These analogies should be considered very abstract and not extrapolated any further, nor any practical implications considered. Further, you should consider verbal cues such as changes in intonation that would indicate the person is taunting you. You may notice a smirk, or realize that you are getting beaten quite badly when the comment is made.

    The male character however replies as if the female is serious. By questioning her use of 2000 census data, he in a sense acknowledges that he lives in suckville given that he is familiar with changes in it's population over the last decade. This has the effect of dulling the insult by demonstrating that he is not ashamed or embarrassed by it. Also, it demonstrates a level of quick wittedness that challenges the female further dulling the insult. The female takes this in stride (by claming she is not familiar with 2010 figures), and the male then escalates referencing a specific table designation in the census. The female, ostensibly looking at the 2010 census data on her laptop, plays along with his escalation, despite the fact that suckville is not actually in the census tables, producing a specific updated population number, 83. This further dulls the insult, by conceding that he is not the only inhabitant of the fictional town. Also, in playing along with him so completely, she submits to his quick wittedness and concedes that he has completely deflected the insult.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understood the comic.

      It wasn't funny.

      Also, is it quick wittedness or not understanding the insult?

      CAPCHA: Howdhan. Howdhan not shoot first?

      Delete
    2. Yeah, but as I said the "wit" doesn't fit neatly because she's welcoming him to the town, which wouldn't make sense if he's been there since 2000. That type of crap flies within the limited time constraints of conversation, but we're looking at scripted text here. It doesn't get the same breaks.

      In fact, what's the bet he's just transcribing something somebody said when he was hanging out with some guys shooting the breeze?

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    3. "It's" means "it is," you dumb shit.

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    4. e.g. "In the third frame it's got at least four legs," right, Doof?

      caphtcha: phype, being xkcd's most annopying method of reproduction.

      Delete
  26. 4:11-

    Why does everyone think that the level of English is the most accurate indication of someone's intelligence?

    On the Internet, making a grammar error makes you some sort of retard, and everyone likes to go round correcting every mistake they see, because they'll be seen a geniuses.

    You think people who use text speak on facebook walls are idiots? If you actually had any non-idiot friends, you'd know that a lot of intelligent, educated people use text speak.

    From my experience, those who type properly with caps and punctuation are mostly pseudointellectual drop outs, artistic liberals, etc.

    On the other hand, being bad at math is totally cool: "I'm so terrible at math I can't even add lololol," when mathematical ability correlates directly with intelligence, and skipping it serves no intelligible purpose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous Jan 8, 2012 05:15 PM

      Anon 8:24:


      Why does everyone think that the level of English is the most accurate indication of someone's intelligence?

      On the Internet, making a grammar error makes you some sort of retard, and everyone likes to go round correcting every mistake they see, because they'll be seen a geniuses.

      You think people who use text speak on facebook walls are idiots? If you actually had any non-idiot friends, you'd know that a lot of intelligent, educated people use text speak.

      From my experience, those who type properly with caps and punctuation are mostly pseudointellectual drop outs, artistic liberals, etc.

      On the other hand, being bad at math is totally cool: "I'm so terrible at math I can't even add lololol," when mathematical ability correlates directly with intelligence, and skipping it serves no intelligible purpose.

      ------------

      Anonymous Nov 7, 2011 07:21 PM
      6:57,

      Why does everyone think that the level of English is the most accurate indication...(same exact thing follows)

      ------------

      Anonymous Oct 18, 2011 11:14 AM
      10:31-

      ------------

      Anonymous Dec 4, 2011 07:08 PM
      Why does everyone...

      -------------

      Stop copy pasting your bullshit.

      Delete
    2. Was this meant facetiously? Copy pasting the reply of someone who once said this seriously? My comment was meant to be ironic anyway. I'm not that new here, I knew I'd read this before. I'm apparently new enough that this went over my though.

      Delete
    3. it's one of our local memes. it went like this:
      there's this guy who has a collection of copypasta rants that he uses whenever the situation arises, and he reused one of them here and I called him on it, and then the discussion turned to his copypasta rants, and then, as is the nature of the xkcdsucks hivemind, using his copypasta rants, or variations thereon, became a meme.

      Delete
    4. You know, he said he had a collection that he uses, but if you run a line from his grammar rant through Google all that comes up is this blog. I get the feeling that we were the only ones privileged to receive his wisdom.

      Delete
  27. Why does everyone think that the level of typing is the most accurate indication of someone's computer skill?

    On the Internet, typing with two fingers like a monkey makes you some sort of retard, and everyone likes to go round using the homerow or Dvorak, because they'll be seen a computer nerds.

    You think people who type slowly are inept human beings? If you actually had any non-typist friends, you'd know that a lot of intelligent, educated old people type slowly.

    From my experience, those who type quickly are mostly teenagers with regular access to technology, or strange quirky adults, and honestly who'd want to be either of those?

    On the other hand, being bad at writing is totally cool: "I'm so terrible at writing no one can read it lololol," when writing ability correlates directly with fine motor skills, and skipping it serves no intelligible purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Those aren't legs, this is a repeat of 631 in stick-form. She's naked, you see.

    captcha: impsest. imp + insest --> comedy gold!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Why does everyone think that the level of mathematics is the most accurate indication of someone's intelligence?

    Amongst geeks, making a mathematical error makes you some sort of retard, and everyone likes to go round correcting every mistake they see, because they'll be seen a geniuses.

    You think people who approach non-Eucliean geometry with the informality of Poncelet are idiots? If you actually had any non-idiot friends, you'd know that a lot of intelligent, educated people favour creativity over the modern mindless symbol manipulation of which Hilbert forewarned.

    From my experience, those who cannot resist couching their posts in mathematical language or correcting trivial arithmetic slips are mostly pseudointellectual drop outs, physicists, etc.

    On the other hand, being bad at language is totally cool: "am rock+islnd dnt need 2 comunic8 lololol," when artistic ability correlates directly with intelligence, and skipping it serves only as an excuse when you make a schoolboy error to say you weren't really trying anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe I'm the first person here to say it but I find reading fiction really boring. I have started reading hundreds of pieces of fiction of various lengths and probably finished a dozen throughout my life, not including schoolwork.

      I find it hard to pick up a book without immediately engaging a mindset of, "Here's a consumable that some guy has produced to make money and/or unload some issues. What comfortable fantasy is he creating to enable this?" And that's how my whole reading experience goes. Fiction makes no point well which can't be better made with reference to reality. It takes me nowhere without giving me the uncomfortable sense that someone thinks this is where I am supposed to need to be in order to see something false or escape something true. Fiction idealises; it romanticises; it preaches. It falls asleep and it dreams. It is a selfish journey away from the truth.

      The world already has enough that is beautiful and that is abhorrent - and reality is far more challenging to confront. Fiction has always seemed like the easy way out.

      Delete
    2. The fuck are you talking about? By that logic, the ideal gas and the frictionless harmonic oscillator are the Lethean dreams of Lotus eaters.

      Fiction is how we make sense of a world that is literally impossible to understand completely and consistently from first principles. Are you really saying that instead of fiction, we should be reading nothing but case studies? Is that really how you go through life? Are you telling me you have never entertained a fictional premise for the purpose of discovering the solution to a real life problem? Or are you just finding a pretentious explanation for the fact that the internet and webcomics have truncated your attention span so thoroughly that when you read more than a page of text that doesn't link to a youtube video your vision gets blurry and your hands start instinctively ctrl-tabbing?

      Delete
    3. That's odd. Your blogger profile says you've been on the Internet almost three years.

      Delete
  30. Oh gosh. I didn't even nitice there was anything wrong with the girls legs in 1008. Now I can't unsee it. Thanks a lot, guys.

    "Or maybe it's part of some multi-comic series of oddities that, when taken together, form a clue to the XCKD Metapuzzle?"

    No, it's not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's how shitty the drawing in xkcd is. People don't even bother to really look at it, they just glance over it.

      Delete
    2. That's so true. I just read the bubbles and take a quick look to see the situation.

      Also, since a huge amount of comic is just "megan talks to randy", it's really often useless. The point being to allow him to publish it into an overpriced book with just a few "jokes" per page, this giving the finger to real author who works their ass off to write real books, either just book with real content, or comic books with actually useful art.

      Delete
    3. Because barely reading it and posting that you hate is is so difficult?

      Delete
  31. Why does everyone think that the level of arithmetic is the most accurate indication of someone's mathematical ability?

    On the Internet, making an arithmetical error makes you some sort of retard, and everyone likes to go round correcting every mistake they see, because they'll be seen a geniuses.

    You think people who slip up on adding a few numbers are idiots? If you actually had any mathematical education, you'd know that even Leibniz's papers were full of sign and other trivial errors.

    From my experience, those who obsess over figures are mostly pseudointellectual drop outs, autistic, etc.

    On the other hand, lacking the qualities of a good mathematician is totally cool: "I'm so terrible at languages I can't recognise and appreciate simple patterns lololol," when pattern-matching ability correlates directly with intelligence, and skipping it serves no intelligible purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  32. chris houlihan's room

    ReplyDelete
  33. Sometimes, I come and read all the posts here and I think how you'll all turn to dust and your empty voices will be heard by no one, no one now and until the end of time no one. Just empty bleached sterile death. Then by that point i'm at least turgid so I whip it out.

    I miss the days when I could just jack off to porn.

    ReplyDelete
  34. is rob's fatness sustainable

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technically not. But the time it would take for enough Hawking radiation to escape will tens of billions of years.

      Delete
    2. 02:38

      Probably because on the internet you can read your post over again before actually posting it, hence letting an obvious mistake pass makes it looks lite you haven't really thought about what you said, and saying without thinking makes you an idiot.

      Of the other hand, making a logic mistake while trying to lay down a thought without actually seeing the person we're explaining our idea to, and trying to be as thorough as possible without being dull or overexplaining things is a hard thing. Also, when you try to make an intelligent argument, you generally read your post over before sending it, and modify pieces of it to try and make it clearer, and since you need to be focused both on the particular part you're trying to clarify, as well as the role it plays in the whole, you may end up including some things different to what you meant.


      Which is even more true when you're not speaking in your native language, as it is for me right now.

      Delete
  35. Anonymous at 05:42:

    he said he posted them mainly on chans

    which is a good question catually, does Google index chans or not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure about the content of those boards, but try searching Google for b, just the letter b. You'll see.

      Delete
  36. http://imgur.com/iW9yH

    So there are supposedly two super-imposed image layers or whatever. But that doesn't explain why there are 4 knees, 4 feet (or pods or whatever it is Randy ends legs with) indicating 2 legs, but only 3 arms! - nor are the three arms interchangeable.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Since when did recycling old memes become okay? I don't think it's okay.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Nice. A second comic in a row featuring trite real-life banter trying to pass itself off as a readable comic.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Oh yeah, retroactive avatar changes, baby!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh, also this from the xkcd forums. Makes 1008 worthwhile, perhaps in part for the way it pokes fun at Randall's art goof. It's fucking hilarious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. I actually LOLed. I can't remember the last time anything xkcd related has made me laugh.

      Delete
    2. Wow, that's more poorly drawn than the original. (And less funny, too)

      Delete
  41. Holy shit 1009.

    I mean, i once again had to go to the forum to even try to see something funny (as usual, you can see on the first page someone asking "what the hell is supposed to be funny) and... The joke is just that there's a sigh in the song, followed by a "girl look at that body" line ?...

    I mean... That can't be it, can it ? Is the joke just about trying to give a line of a song another meaning ? That would be low, even by randy's standards... Please tell me i'm wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're wrong. The line from the song isn't given another meaning, it's just used because shoehorning references into conversation is funny.

      Delete
    2. You're right, i misspoke, but that actually makes it even worse.

      It's like if you knew a movie by heart, and right before someone was going to say "yes", you'd ask "hey would you like me to milk your breats ?" and then the character says yes HOW QUIRKY AND SMART AND BRILLIANT AND

      fuck that

      Delete
    3. Once when I was having sex I shouted "oh!" and my partner shouted "fuck me harder!" so next time my boss says "oh!" I'm going to shout "fuck me harder!" this will be hilarious this is how xkcd humour works so it must be funny.

      BTW weaselsoup because your boss likes xkcd you have to actually do this. If he responds negatively, point out that you couldn't resist copying the quirky banter of 1009. I predict he will not only share your laugher but might even give you a raise. Pls tell us how it went.

      captcha: grama. Openly censored publications have their upsides.

      Delete
  42. 1009: Why is LMFAO italicized? It's not a book, it's a band.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you put an article title in quotes and italicise a journal then you put a song name in quotes and italicise a band name.

      In b4 disagreement. Think about it - I'm right.

      captcha: bybuystf. Captcha provides solution to Western economic crisis: news at 11!

      Delete
    2. nope. you italicize the album name, put the song title in quotes, and don't do anything to the band name. just like you put an article title in quotes, italicize the journal, and don't do anything to the author's name. nice try though

      Delete
    3. tell that to the paper I write for - they treat song names and album names exactly the same, italicising both. weird fuckers. they still don't italicise band names though, they're not mental

      Delete
    4. Thanks for taking the bait.

      The journal name identifies the physical entity from which emanates the physical expression. The band name identifies the physical entity from which emanates the physical expression.

      The band may also collectivise (AYN RAND!) the authors but does as or more frequently not. I have performed dozens of pieces in a concert band but no member of the band contributed to writing any of these pieces.

      The album name is as a title for a bounded list of articles.

      HTH.

      Delete
    5. Anon @ 05:12 != Anon @ 11:07

      What's the antonym for "samefag"?

      Delete
    6. differentfag


      Anonymous Jan 28, 2012 11:07 AM

      Thanks for taking the bait.

      The journal name identifies the physical entity from which emanates the physical expression. The band name identifies the physical entity from which emanates the physical expression.

      The band may also collectivise (AYN RAND!) the authors but does as or more frequently not. I have performed dozens of pieces in a concert band but no member of the band contributed to writing any of these pieces.

      The album name is as a title for a bounded list of articles.

      HTH.

      Delete
    7. Thanks for taking the bait.

      The journal name identifies the physical entity from which emanates the physical expression. The band name identifies the physical entity from which emanates the physical expression.

      The band may also collectivise (AYN RAND!) the authors but does as or more frequently not. I have performed dozens of pieces in a concert band but no member of the band contributed to writing any of these pieces.

      The album name is as a title for a bounded list of articles.

      HTH.

      Delete
    8. your journal analogy is, of course, not the best--a better analogy here is an anthology of short poetry. the title of the anthology is italicized; the name of the individual poems are put in quotation marks. the editor of the anthology does not get his name italicized, because italics indicate the title of a work.

      the general rule is "italicize the titles of full-length works that are published separately; put the titles of works published as part of an anthology in quotation marks," and whereas a band name is not a full-length work that is published separately, an album is. the artist is largely irrelevant; just as Shakespeare's plays' titles are italicized regardless of who is performing them, whereas the group of performers is not.

      here's a helpful link which specifically says that musical albums are italicized. so far i've been completely unable to find something that suggests italicizing any form of artist or performer's name, ever--most style guides make no mention of it, probably because it's too stupid for most people to even consider.

      of course, I give it better than even odds that you're just trolling, but there is a lot more to a good troll than simply saying things that are wrong. you rookies are so damn inartful.

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    9. There is no helpful link, Rob, you LIAR

      YOU STUPID FAT LIAR

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    10. Inartful isn't a real word you retard.

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    11. oh yeah i was going to put a link in. too lazy to dig it up now so I'll just link to this.

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    12. The point is that convention for bands is misleading when compared with convention for journals, Rob. It fails to recognise that the band is where the sounds come from, as a journal is where the written words come from. I assume, of course, that we assign primacy to the performer/editor and not to the tape copier/paper printer - certain industry groups would disagree and we can all see where that's brought us.

      An anthology is perhaps as an individual performance (of a collection of songs) is as an individual edition of a particular journal.

      But a band publishes (i.e. performs) several individual works and collections altogether forming the discography of [band name] just as a journal is a series of regular and possibly special editions altogether forming the publications under [journal name].

      You might argue that [band name] refers to the performers in the band, but I might then argue that [journal name] refers to editors of the journal.

      tl;dr The journal is what delivers the shit to your eyes; the band is what delivers the shit to your ears.

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    13. the only trolls i like on xkcdsucks are those which work rob up enough to get his thumbs out of his fat lazy ass and type real responses

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    14. look, i don't know where you learned to write, but you don't italicize "the physical means by which something is delivered to you." you italicize the title of a full-length, separately published work.

      even buying your weird definition: the band are not the publishers; their record label are the publishers. we don't italicize record labels. (similarly, the name of the journal is not the name of the publishing company, it's the name of the journal.) and the album title is the physical means by which we listen to something, not the band.

      (another helpful analogy: Britney Spears is the name of Britney Spears's band. I defy you to find someone who has ever once had the impulse to italicize her name when talking about her music.)

      your continuing focus on journals is causing you serious problems here. any other form of performance would be a better fit, since it is actually in some way analogous to a musician's oeuvre. we italicize the names of separately published plays, separately published books, etc. we do not italicize the name of the company that performs a play, or the person who reads an audiobook, or the author of a book. we italicize the name of the work itself: the name of the play, the title of the book, or, in the case of music, the album name.

      the reason the title of a journal is italicized is because we follow this fiction that it is one continuously updated publication. each edition isn't really a separate full-length work; the journal itself is the separate full-length work. (this is why, when you are citing a journal article for a paper, you need to specify the volume/edition.)

      as an aside: a journal is by its nature a serially published entity, which invariably cycles through various editors and writers over the course of its career. a band, by and large, is a single creative force: rare is the band that completely changes its lineup over the course of its career, since by the time none of the original members are left it is no longer the same band.

      and I found another website that tells you to italicize CDs and "long musical works" but fails to mention ever italicizing the names of authors, artists, and performers: http://www.sc.edu/webpresence/editorial_guide/italics.html

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    15. We are considering the device used to convey the product, not the publisher. The band creates the sound; the journal carries the printed letters. The "record label" doesn't even need to come into it, though it certainly wishes otherwise, and too many think of a band as recording a series of boppy tunes rather than making a series of performances.

      The band's performances form one "continuously updated publication" just as the series of journals. In the latter case we denote such series The Journal so it stands to reason that we may denote the former The Band. If you think that most bands are a "single creative force" then your definition of "band" is too narrow - for every three song wonder on the hitparade there are hundreds of small bands from brass to drum playing various different sorts of music throughout schools, workplaces, armed forces and other institutions. Journals, meanwhile, can retain the same delicious or acrid editorial taste throughout their lives.

      I am not denying convention - I am disputing it. A band, following its style, presents pieces in a form suitable for an audience, just like a journal.

      captcha: scrohum: when I was young, the matron brought to mind a Carry On and we had to scrocough.

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    16. do you think we should italicize the names of authors, audiobook readers, and play companies?

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    17. Authors - no, they produce the raw creative work but do not tend to emit the final form suitable for an audience.

      Audiobook readers - they do make a creative contribution but their role tends to be conversion of one final form suitable for an audience's eyes to a very similar form suitable for ears. Answer not clear.

      Play companies: by analogy with journals, we should. Assuming you've not given up on your definition for barely applying to journal names, you may complain that we now we have two sets of italics because players will often perform a "full-length, separately published work". Or do they? Are all plays separately made available to the public in some written form? Were they traditionally made so available? No - but convention puts the italics on the name of the play.

      Just as it's convention that puts italics on the name of the journal but not on the band or the players.

      Randy once read a couple of papers in a big boys' journal for his final year project and by analogy he's correctly italicised the band name. He's still wrong, of course, because xkcd isn't some trailblazer of information science and he's clearly done it out of ignorance rather than innovation. There are right ways to be wrong and wrong ways to be wrong, and he's guilty of the latter.

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    18. still have no idea why you care so much about emitting the final form suitable for an audience, but whatever.

      the reason for italicizing titles is not to emphasize who created a work, it's to clearly identify the work in question as the title of the work in question. differentiating between quotes, titles, and doing nothing at all makes it easy to distinguish song names, album titles, and artist names.

      let's pretend that on Vampire Weekend's self-titled, Vampire Weekend, there was also a song called "Vampire Weekend." if I format all of them according to convention, it's easy to tell what I'm talking about when I write something like "Vampire Weekend is innovative." if I italicize I'm talking about the album; if I put it in quotes I'm talking about the song; if I do nothing I'm talking about the band.

      of course, it also aids in clarity for those unfamiliar with a work, readily identifying what kind of work I'm talking about--song, artist, album. the italics are for ease of reference, not for emphasis.

      in contrast, when I'm writing about a journal, I'm identifying the name of the journal in which something is found. if I say "I found the headline article in December 3rd's New York Times to be obnoxious," I'm identifying the issue and the publication for the reader. if I want to talk about the journal's writers, I specify them: "I find the New York Times editorial board to be ethically repulsive." in both cases, the purpose is to identify which publication I'm talking about for ease of reference.

      similarly to a play: you don't italicize Shakespeare in the Park when they perform Hamlet, you italicize Hamlet. italicizing the company would introduce confusion--is the name of the play Shakespeare In The Park's Hamlet? if you need to specify which performance you saw, or which company, you specify: "I just saw Hamlet as performed by Shakespeare in the Park." dates if you really want to know. adding more italics would only confuse the issue.

      I can't think of a single instance when italicizing the name of the performer would do anything but provide confusion, because it will always produce undue emphasis on the performer. it doesn't particularly matter which choir is performing Messiah; the work being performed remains the same.

      and no, a band's oeuvre is not a single continually updated publication. a band is an entity that might produce multiple distinct works over their career, similar to how an author might produce multiple distinct books over his career. (or he may only ever release the one.) a band is not by its nature published continually. and even in the case of bands which rotate members over their careers, they remain a single creative entity throughout that time. they are working in concert to produce a single work.

      once again your continued focus on this utterly flawed "journal" analogy detracts from your ability to understand. a band is not like a journal in any meaningful sense of the word. but more importantly, the convention of italicizing is not derived from italicizing journals, which seems to be your conceit here. the title of the journal is italicized because style editors feel that it is analogous with the title of a book, and to differentiate from the articles published therein, whose titles are given quotation marks.

      tl;dr: the convention is there to denote a hierarchy between artist, publication, and "sections of that publication." your proposed revision to the convention would not be helpful in any sense of the word

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    19. In what sense is Othello a publication?

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    20. -girllookatthatbody

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  43. I wonder if this is pandering to the Bircher-derived paranoia about "Agenda 21?" That combines "The UN is trying to kill us all!" with "Al Gore is the AntiChrist."

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  44. *Sigh* the most recent comic is awful, and he posted it on a Friday, so it will stay on the top a day longer before it is usurped by a comic that is merely mediocre.

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    1. -girllookatthatbody

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    2. *Sigh* is that really the point of Friday's comic?

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    3. -Girllookatthatbody

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  45. chris houlihan's room

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    1. Chris, I know you got gyped by Nintendo, but you're not going to get famous here either.

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  46. eh, update faster, there ain't no fun in slamming xkcd, the.

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  47. GUYS DID YOU KNOW RANDALL IS AWARE OF THE POPULAR TELEVISION SHOW DOWNTON ABBEY AND THE POPULAR ELECTRO POP SONG "SEXY AND I KNOW IT"?

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    1. He's heard of Downton Abbey, at least. With all probability, he doesn't watch it.

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  48. Also, the forumites are befuddled* over what role the misspelling of "Downton" plays in the joke, and one of them said this:

    "...I thought this comic was funny because it made me think, 'This is what normal people must feel looking at the typical XKCD that I think is hilarious...'"

    Yes. The poster found this comic funny because he didn't get it.

    *haha, befuddled cuddlefish

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  49. argh. 'normal people'. look at that guy! he's so keraaazy. he's so intelligent it's not even normal! he's the only one that understands! he has an opinion that no one else shares but he's in the right! you don't have to be 'special' to like xkcd but it helps! ARGH FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF

    in other news I think I have a crush on Rob

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  50. chris houlihan's room

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