491: Twitter

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
If long tooltips / cut off for you / then upgrade from / Firefox 2 / Burma Shave
Title text: If long tooltips / cut off for you / then upgrade from / Firefox 2 / Burma Shave

[edit] Explanation

This comic plays off of an old shaving cream product's Burma-Shave advertising campaign employed on American highways from 1925 to 1963. These ads used short poems, each line arranged sequentially on a sign along a highway, the last line always being "Burma Shave", the name of the shaving cream. Originally these ads only described the product, but others included driving safety messages.

xkcd uses the image html-title-attribute text (sometime confused with Alt-text) as a major part of the joke-telling — on most browsers the title-text shows as a "tool-tip" when the cursor is left hovering over the image. Firefox 2 had the longest standing annoying bug where only the initial part of the title text were shown as a tool-tip, creating a "Burma-Shave" effect of only being able to see some of the text. Unlike Burma-Shave where you would see the rest of the text as you were driving down the highway, Firefox didn't actually show you the rest of the text unless you right-clicked-show-property and you would be able to see a sideways scrollable field of the (alt)-title-text in the properties for the image.

Twitter is a messaging service where your messages are restricted in length, so to get a longer easay sent you will need to break it up in smaller fragments — like the Burma-Shave messages.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball with a handheld device sits on an office chair.]
Device: Beep beep
Device: On Twitter
Device: Beep beep
Device: An odd regression:
Device: Beep beep
Device: Ancient memes
Device: Beep beep
Device: Find new expression
Device: Beep beep
Device: Burma-shave
comment.png add a comment!


Just end every sentence in Burma Shave Spongebog (talk)

Are we sure that Cueball is typing? It seems to me that he is getting a series of texts (or a series of tweets), because of the "Beep Beep" sound: cell phones typically don't beep when typing. --Troy0 (talk) 09:25, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

I have to agree, add in that the zig-zag is used for external text usually, like the other end of a call. 20:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The transcript was accordingly edited. --Troy0 (talk) 04:05, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Personal tools


It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal or Bitcoin?