Judgment leads to…

« previous post | next post »

The latest xkcd explains:

Mouseover message: "But the rules of writing are like magic spells. If you never acquire them, then not using them says nothing."


  1. Stan said,

    July 16, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

    Spelling defiantly can be tricky.

  2. Ray Girvan said,

    July 16, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

    But the rules of writing are like magic spells. If you never acquire them, then not using them says nothing.

    I'm not sure how to take that one. It's fair enough, pertaining to the overtly-misspelled example in the cartoon. But in general, it skates a bit close to the prescriptivist myth that "great writers know when to break the rules", used to diss usage evidence from the works of acclaimed writers.

  3. Brett said,

    July 16, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

    I took the second panel as a reference to Yoda from the (trailer for) The Phantom Menace: "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

  4. John Lawler said,

    July 16, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

    The mouseover text reminds me of Pratchett on the Afterworld (from Eric):

    "The gods of the Disc have never bothered much about judging the souls of the dead, and so people only go to hell if that's where they believe, in their deepest heart, that they deserve to go. Which they won't do if they don't know about it. This explains why it is so important to shoot missionaries on sight."

  5. Tracy W said,

    July 17, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    John – that is very Discworldish, isn't it? The whole thing in Equal Rites too about not using magic, and how a wizard not using magic becuase they chose not to use magic was a very different thing to a non-wizard not using magic because they couldn't.

  6. Milan said,

    July 17, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

    When I read it, I took "it says nothing" completely descriptive: A "spelling mistakes" (or rather: non-standard spellings" only adds to the deliberate message of a text if was made deliberately, i. e. chosen. Of course the opposite would also be true, if you don't know how to misspell, spelling right says nothing, but that is probably a much rather case.

  7. Milan said,

    July 17, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

    God, I was in a hurry when I wrote this…. Ahem, all the non-standard spellings in my above comment are intentional and made deliberately, as their purpose is providing an ironic meta-commentary to what we are talking about…. ahem.

  8. etv13 said,

    July 17, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

    Okay, but I'm super literal-minded, and I wonder how she can be dictating spelling mistakes.

  9. The Ridger said,

    July 17, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

    @etv13: T-Rex claims it's "subtle irony"!

  10. Faldone said,

    July 19, 2013 @ 11:20 am

    The fact that it's white characters on a black background indicates that it's on the laptop screen and not being spoken by the woman with the pony tail.

  11. etv13 said,

    July 20, 2013 @ 6:10 am

    But how did it get on the laptop screen? Nobody is shown as touching the laptop, though we are left to assume the dark-haired one knocked it down in the next frame.

  12. Faldone said,

    July 22, 2013 @ 9:26 am

    It was there from before the beginning of the strip. It's a standard part of the Internet Enlightenment process.

RSS feed for comments on this post