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Poll

Who's the Boss?

Dora
- 8 (18.6%)
Roko
- 11 (25.6%)
Beepatrice
- 0 (0%)
Beatrice
- 0 (0%)
Marten
- 1 (2.3%)
Claire
- 0 (0%)
Bubbles
- 6 (14%)
Faye
- 0 (0%)
Tai
- 4 (9.3%)
Dr John Ellicott-Chatham
- 9 (20.9%)
Jim
- 2 (4.7%)
Corpse Witch
- 0 (0%)
Other (please specify in comments)
- 2 (4.7%)

Total Members Voted: 43


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Author Topic: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)  (Read 2760 times)

dna_level_c

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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #50 on: 26 Feb 2020, 16:33 »

Does this comic need a third Arthur? We already have support-group!Arthur and Arthur!companion-of-Melon.

( did i do the !thing! right? )

Bubbles' potted succulent is also called Arthur.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #51 on: 26 Feb 2020, 17:26 »

Really?

I guess I can see Spock and Data - but the T-1000?

I'll admit that I don't have much contact to 'spectrumfolk' outside of this site, but it's not obvious to me that 'they' would naturally identify with 'robot' characters.

No critique or objections on the wish for representation, mind you - just curiosity.

Like 4 people I can think of offhand for seeing themselves represented in the T-1000, and I only actually met one of them. The others were in online forums.
Definitely watch the vid I posted.

EDIT: typo fix
« Last Edit: 26 Feb 2020, 21:02 by Gyrre »
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #52 on: 26 Feb 2020, 17:37 »

Does this comic need a third Arthur? We already have support-group!Arthur and Arthur!companion-of-Melon.

( did i do the !thing! right? )
I think at this point, "Arthur" is a code name for any character whose name Jeph can't remember.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #53 on: 26 Feb 2020, 17:40 »

Very soon all of the characters will be named Arthur.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #54 on: 26 Feb 2020, 17:52 »

This is a comic about an indie-rock guy named Arthur, who has a roommate named Arthur, and previously dated a coffee shop owner named Arthur, who is now engaged to be married to Arthur, who is Arthur's boss at the college library. Arthur is currently dating Arthur, a former intern at the library. Arthur lives with her robot girlfriend, Arthur, and they own a robot repair shop together. Arthur's brother, Arthur, is a student at UMass, who has a crush on Arthur, who really likes clocks, and Arthur, who works at a local bakery with Arthur, who also has a crush on Arthur. Arthur lives in the same apartment building as a former police officer robot, Arthur, and her wacky friend, Arthur. Arthur has a roommate who is a horrible cook, but I don't remember his name.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #55 on: 26 Feb 2020, 18:26 »

........

Well, that at least explains things. Youch.

Fun fact, volunteer organizations with little in the way of funding to pay people tend to end up with more enthusiasm than competence. It's all a fun noble cause until the world hits you in the face with a truckload of reality.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #56 on: 26 Feb 2020, 18:38 »

The name has been fixed to Nelson in the most recent comic (4208), though the preceding ones still say Arthur.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #57 on: 26 Feb 2020, 20:22 »

And more backstory..

I'm amused that an AI can literally just go 'Fuck it, I'm a statue now.'

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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #58 on: 26 Feb 2020, 20:57 »

Whatever his name, ArthurNelson has shown that he's the smartest one in the room.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #59 on: 26 Feb 2020, 21:11 »

Maybe Nelson and Arthur are siblings, like Lemon and Melon.  They each work there part time.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #60 on: 26 Feb 2020, 21:12 »

Personally, I generall y don't even think of the AIs as AIs until the context of the strip is something inherently robot-y .

Me either. Most of their problems are the same as ours. May’s problems with her chassis correspond to someone with no health insurance who has physical problems that aren’t life-threatening, but that negatively impact their day-to-day existence.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #61 on: 26 Feb 2020, 23:14 »

If I believed in that sort of thing, I'd start saying that this advocacy group has some sort of curse. In truth though, it is just a reminder that 'fully funded' and 'well run' are not automatically intersecting sets. Just because you personally like someone doesn't meant that they can do the job that you want them to do.

I wonder if the 'existential crisis' was basically what Beepatrice has gone through a few times since we met her: "I don't know what I'm doing! Why am I even here? I'm a huge fake!"

For some reason, I can see Roko going to the museum to see her ultimate boss on occasion, talking into thin air about what is going on at the group for a while before getting annoyed and calling the garden statue a coward for abandoning the group and storming off. Final panel is the statue thinking: "Turing! I'm glad I retired when I did!"

In any case, they are now in a perfect position for Hannelore to step in to follow her own sense of responsibility. After all, we've not confirmed that there is no existing authority structure for her to subvert!
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #62 on: 26 Feb 2020, 23:27 »

Hm.  (Golden Age of) Science Fiction author, female, deceased, probably lived/active on the East coast and the Boston area in particular, liked robots (though that may be more common in a world where they actually exist)... anyone care to take a guess?  Do you think Jeph had someone real in mind?

(If not for the 'she', I'd have gone with Asimov as the obvious pick.)
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #63 on: 26 Feb 2020, 23:56 »

Roko never stopped to wonder why she'd never been introduced to any other volunteers, I guess.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #64 on: 27 Feb 2020, 00:08 »

Hm.  (Golden Age of) Science Fiction author, female, deceased, probably lived/active on the East coast and the Boston area in particular, liked robots (though that may be more common in a world where they actually exist)... anyone care to take a guess?  Do you think Jeph had someone real in mind?

Dorothy Fontana, one of the real creators of Star Trek, come to mind. She was a New Jersey girl.
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Blackjoker

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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #65 on: 27 Feb 2020, 01:24 »

Roko never stopped to wonder why she'd never been introduced to any other volunteers, I guess.

she may have assumed this was a central office type of thing or maybe just that a lot of ai weren't as directly interested as their status is still fairly new
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #66 on: 27 Feb 2020, 01:49 »

Hm.  (Golden Age of) Science Fiction author, female, deceased, probably lived/active on the East coast and the Boston area in particular, liked robots (though that may be more common in a world where they actually exist)... anyone care to take a guess?  Do you think Jeph had someone real in mind?

Dorothy Fontana, one of the real creators of Star Trek, come to mind. She was a New Jersey girl.

Thank you. My brain went 'yes', then 'file not found'.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #67 on: 27 Feb 2020, 03:08 »

She wrote a fair number of the TOS trade paperbacks as well. D.C. Fontana
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #68 on: 27 Feb 2020, 03:48 »

Someone on the Subreddit has suggested Ursula K LeGuin. Apparently, she wrote the story about the sexy starship captain and the sexy starship getting up to interesting things with robot manipulator arms that Millefeulle likes so much.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #69 on: 27 Feb 2020, 03:58 »

Someone on the Subreddit has suggested Ursula K LeGuin. Apparently, she wrote the story about the sexy starship captain and the sexy starship getting up to interesting things with robot manipulator arms that Millefeulle likes so much.

UKL spent most of her life on the West Coast, though; why would she establish a nonprofit in Massachusetts rather than Portland, Oregon?
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #70 on: 27 Feb 2020, 04:38 »

Asimov's last wife Janet is an SF author.  She died about this time last year.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Asimov
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #71 on: 27 Feb 2020, 04:40 »

UKL spent most of her life on the West Coast, though; why would she establish a nonprofit in Massachusetts rather than Portland, Oregon?

To be fair, I don't think anyone's suggesting that Jeph was trying to write Ursula K LeGuin's biography. Just that he had some real SF writer in mind when writing this bit of backstory. I don't think that where she lived would have played on his mind.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #72 on: 27 Feb 2020, 09:02 »

Being a garden sculpture is a nice low-pressure occupation. Especially if you're fond of pigeons.

Next time a barista asks for my name, I will stand tall and say "Arthur".
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #73 on: 27 Feb 2020, 11:22 »

Garden sculpture seems like a nice "retirement" kind of option.

Especially if you're genuinely interested in people and enjoy being around them, but just can't take the pressure of directly interacting with them.

Being a kinetic sculpture means being free of other people's expectations and social pressure.  Free to express yourself in movement, without any pressure to limit that expression to fit people's needs or requirements.  And, in some way, if you can express peace and beauty, to bring people happiness. 

I think of this described boss as a painfully shy person who has trouble communicating, creating a new (non)persona by taking up a career as a sort of performance artist.

It may still be possible to interact with them via email.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #74 on: 27 Feb 2020, 13:53 »

I think it's Yay. Or... something related to them.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #75 on: 27 Feb 2020, 14:27 »

Maybe my priorities aren't in order but... It doesn't sound that bad...
The organization is having growing pains, but having a big revolving door of volunters doesn't sound as terrible of having the lots and lots of people that are doing more harm than good, mistakes at the moment seem limited to four people and stakes seem limited at the moment at not having much be done.
Things might look not okay at the moment but aren't unfixable, and they are still trying and searching for the people that can do and can remain.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #76 on: 27 Feb 2020, 19:04 »

Awww!!! I love Agatha the Giant Robot Bear, that's awesome. Also yeah a bear is definitely a good choice for a chassis, almost as cool as a fighter jet.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #77 on: 27 Feb 2020, 19:14 »

The more I think about it, the more the idea of being a sculpture appeals to me. You're out in the sun and the fresh air, and in the public eye. It's a great reason to get yourself bronzed or gilded. And as a literal embodiment of Art, you can do Interpretive Dance in Ultra Slow Motion.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #78 on: 27 Feb 2020, 19:19 »

I wish I had the energy at the moment to photoshop the Arlo meme to "I've only had Agatha for two panels, but if anything happened to her I'd kill everyone in this room and then myself."
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #79 on: 27 Feb 2020, 19:57 »

The more I think about it, the more the idea of being a sculpture appeals to me. You're out in the sun and the fresh air, and in the public eye. It's a great reason to get yourself bronzed or gilded. And as a literal embodiment of Art, you can do Interpretive Dance in Ultra Slow Motion.

Bird poop, tho.

Well, Roko now finds herself Boss by default. At least it'll look good on her resume?

Hi Agatha!

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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #80 on: 27 Feb 2020, 23:25 »

I sort of guessed that Roko would end up boss because there was no-one else who wanted to do it and was capable of doing it.

I'm already fascinated with Agatha. What's the story behind the sort-of-bear chassis? It's not very high-fidelity so I'm wondering if she used to work at a family fast food restaurant in the animatronic entertainment hour section. Double-purposing entertainment and cleaning staff would make economic sense but I imagine that it would lead to a lot of bitter entertainers - Bitter that they have to clean and bitter that the cleaners are better with the little brats than they are!

Countdown started until Melon or Emily starts hugging Agatha and won't let go...

Also, will she be QC's equivalent of The World's Smartest Garbage Man?
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #81 on: 28 Feb 2020, 02:47 »

I sort of guessed that Roko would end up boss because there was no-one else who wanted to do it and was capable of doing it.


Well, duh!

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Countdown started until Melon or Emily starts hugging Agatha and won't let go...

I rather expect something in the likes of Faye hugging armored Bubs - unexpected headaches.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #82 on: 28 Feb 2020, 04:20 »

Okay. I'm going to wild guess that the little guy is either named Arthur Nelson, or Nelson Arthur. Because with the newest comic, that's the same little guy, isn't it?
The name has been fixed to Nelson in the most recent comic (4208), though the preceding ones still say Arthur.

For those, who want him named Arthur, there is #4201, where he's still called Arthur.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #83 on: 28 Feb 2020, 04:49 »

Poor Roko.  Reality isn't what it seems, she's saddled with a bunch of extra responsibility, and right after a dissociative episode and a major disappointment.  I expect she'll embark on a wanderjahr shortly, at least mentally if not physically.  [Edit: fix speling]
« Last Edit: 28 Feb 2020, 05:22 by Wingy »
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #84 on: 28 Feb 2020, 05:06 »

Giant robot bear? Might as well call her the security guard since nobody will break into the office with her working!
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #85 on: 28 Feb 2020, 05:07 »

Poor Roko.  Reality isn't what it seems, she's saddled with a bunch of extra responsibility, and right after a dissociative episode and a major disappointment.  I expect she'll embark on a wanderjhar shortly, at least mentally if not physically.

I think she needs this more than she realizes: it grounds her in reality, helps her see that her issues pale in comparison with what others are going through, and she gets to help others while helping herself.

It's a win-win for her, therapy without knowing it's therapy
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #86 on: 28 Feb 2020, 05:11 »

The more I think about it, the more the idea of being a sculpture appeals to me. You're out in the sun and the fresh air, and in the public eye. It's a great reason to get yourself bronzed or gilded. And as a literal embodiment of Art, you can do Interpretive Dance in Ultra Slow Motion.

Bird poop, tho.

Well, Roko now finds herself Boss by default. At least it'll look good on her resume?

Hi Agatha!

And snow...and rain...and vandalism. Rain is a the mortal enemy of sculptures, it wears the metal or stone down especially if it's in a coastal location like New York or Boston.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #87 on: 28 Feb 2020, 05:56 »

I'm already fascinated with Agatha. What's the story behind the sort-of-bear chassis? It's not very high-fidelity so I'm wondering if she used to work at a family fast food restaurant in the animatronic entertainment hour section.

You really don’t want a high-fidelity bear chassis in a place that has actual bears. Which Northampton does - I’ve seen them in my backyard, and they’ve been reported on the Smith College campus a few times. A realistic-looking robot bear strolling through downtown Northampton would cause a mild panic.

Shoot, even in that chassis she probably has Animal Control called on her at least once a week.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #88 on: 28 Feb 2020, 06:57 »

Agatha and the town fairie's reindeer could do an interpretive dance about the the eternal symbiotic relationship between hunter and prey.   Agatha wouldn't hurt the reindeer, of course.  Although , considering the reindeer's natural habitat, she could wear a white costume to simulate a polar bear.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #89 on: 28 Feb 2020, 09:46 »

It may still be possible to interact with them via email.

Or interpretive dance.  It'd be interesting to see Emily try...
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #90 on: 28 Feb 2020, 11:32 »

Giant robot bear? Might as well call her the security guard since nobody will break into the office with her working!
Lotsa folks wear two hats at their job these days.

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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #91 on: 28 Feb 2020, 12:22 »

I expect she'll embark on a wanderjahr shortly, at least mentally if not physically.  [Edit: fix speling]

Huh? Is wanderjahr a regular Ameringlish term?

The original term refers to journeyman-years (it's three years plus a day), and ... it has very little to do with a sabbatical or similar.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #92 on: 28 Feb 2020, 12:40 »

It's not a common word, but I've seen it used more than once, in the more expansive sense Wingy used.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #93 on: 28 Feb 2020, 13:26 »

The places I've lived (which excludes the north and eastern parts of the US) I never heard the word but occasionally saw it written. 

The far more common term for that sort of thing would be "walkabout," an imported word from Australia.

Thing is, we use that one differently than the Australians do, too.  It's not as though we're walking on routes we regard with anything like the reverence the aborigines put into it; those routes, and the landmarks along them, are mnemonics for a vast cycle of stories and devotions that an individual person on walkabout keeps stored in their head. 

Not the same stories for every person, but the same set of paths serve as mnemonics to string their stories along.  And their cultural memory gets preserved that way.

Whereas when we use the word "walkabout" we usually mean that we got bored and/or restless and needed to be up and doing something or out away from other people for a while.  Which has some similar elements to a pilgrimage, but it's very different from what the aborigines are doing on their walkabout.
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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #94 on: 28 Feb 2020, 14:27 »

Separated by an ocean and a common language: when I see the word custodian in connection  with a charity I tend to assume some kind of senior role, and I was wondering whether bear = garden sculpture = founder's AI friend, but I checked an online dictionary, so am I right in thinking the role is what the R side would call a caretaker?
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Autistic Vulture

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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #95 on: 28 Feb 2020, 16:00 »

Separated by an ocean and a common language: when I see the word custodian in connection  with a charity I tend to assume some kind of senior role, and I was wondering whether bear = garden sculpture = founder's AI friend, but I checked an online dictionary, so am I right in thinking the role is what the R side would call a caretaker?

That seems at least reasonably close.
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Morituri

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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #96 on: 28 Feb 2020, 16:15 »

I'll have you know there's nothing common about this language.  To begin with, English has a vocabulary the size of three reasonable languages.  Which, of course, it got by stealing words wholesale from dozens.  English also uses positional grammar, like most languages; but admits of a ridiculous variety of word orders, also stolen from every reasonable language on earth, for slightly different kinds of emphasis or mood.  English uses eleven to thirteen different vowels, depending on your dialect, which is absolutely ridiculous.  And we write them using only five letters.  Speaking of which, our phonology and orthography got a divorce a few centuries back, and are now hardly speaking to each other.

Common....  I swear, that's the sort of thing people can say if they've never seen the way ordinary languages work.

Oh, and in response to your question...  New England use?  Yeah, 'Custodian' is probably a building-maintenance job.  In the Midwest, the same job is a 'Janitor' and on the West coast of the US, it's a 'Sanitation Engineer.'  None of these actually stick very close to their region of origin; people move around and take their verbal tics with them. 
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Tova

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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #97 on: 28 Feb 2020, 16:19 »

I'll have you know there's nothing common about this language.

Common as in, "shared by different countries," not common as in "garden-variety", Morituri.

Yeah. Language. Sheesh.
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I enjoyed the laughter, old poets, as you welcomed me.
But I won't be staying here for long.
You won't be, either.

jwhouk

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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #98 on: 28 Feb 2020, 17:42 »

The more appropriate English term (at least in the US) would be "sabbatical."
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Perfectly Reasonable

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Re: WCDT strips 4206 to 4210 (24th - 28th February 2020)
« Reply #99 on: 28 Feb 2020, 20:09 »

Isn't that what Hanners just did?

When I saw "Agatha the giant robot bear" I did a Google search. And there is such a beast. But then the comments stopped making sense entirely -- so I realized I had missed an update.

English was nearly squeezed out of existence. So now it attacks preemptively.

And Beeps has definitely abdicated responsiblity to Roko.
"You don't have to run the place. Just tell us what to do."
« Last Edit: 28 Feb 2020, 20:23 by Perfectly Reasonable »
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