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Revision as of 05:35, 4 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained 5 xkcd comics, and only 1937 (38740%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

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Go to this comic explanation

Memorable Quotes
"Since there's no ending quote mark, everything after this is part of my quote. —€Randall Munroe
Title text: "Since there's no ending quote mark, everything after this is part of my quote. —€Randall Munroe

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Finish adding the explanations for all quotes, and make sure none of the explanations are pithy or self-evident.

This comic "helpfully" provides random quotes to be used by anyone as blurbs, online reviews, motivational quotes or similar short bits of text. Either the webcomic xkcd or its creator Randall Munroe may be quoted using any of the provided lines, as stated at the top of the comic.

In particular, their "usefulness" lies in the fact that almost any of them can be applied to almost any situation. This is achieved by making each quote not really about anything in particular, aside from the fact that they are quotes. This is in contrast to typical quotes, which are never quite this aware that they will be quoted, but this is to be expected when the lines here were made solely for being quoted.

These self-aware quotes are, on a meta level, jokes about quotations generally. Most of Randall's quotes either sabotage the quoting work, reference some aspect of quotes as used in practice, or both---and it can be both when the aspects referenced are about twisting people's words to look like they agree with you.

Table

Quote Explanation
"I disagree strongly with whatever work this quote is attached to." Quotes are often used in publications and documents to make it seem like the person saying the quote agrees with the book's or document's message. This quote would be impossible to be used in such a way.
"This quote was taken out of context." Quotes are commonly taken out of context in order to make a (fallicious) point. Randall predicted this and wrote a line that would point this out directly if used as a quote.
"This quote is often falsely attributed to Mark Twain." Many quotes are misquoted as being said by famous people (such as Mark Twain, Dr. Seuss, or Albert Einstein). If this quote was attributed to Mark Twain, however, it would be immediately clear that either it wasn't said by him, or he was lying at the time.
"I'm being quoted to introduce something, but I have no idea what it is and certainly don't endorse it." This is likely the case for many famous, widely admired people who are often quoted for all sorts of arguments, even diametrically opposed ones.
"This quote is very memorable." This is most certainly not the case; this quote is very forgettable, being a very short and bland quote in a list of far more interesting quotes.
"I wrote this book, and the person quoting me here is taking credit for it." The quote is sabotaging the work that uses it.
"This entire thing is the quote, not just the part in quote marks." [Quote marks, brackets, and editor's note are all in the original. —Ed.] The quote itself is referencing how sometimes quotes include mistakes or typographical oddities that may make the reader worry a mistake has been made by the quoting author. An editor's note can be included to assure the original was like that.
"Websites that collect quotes are full of mistakes and never check original sources." Websites that collect quotes are infamous for not checking sources. This has been parodied in many ways.
"This quote will be the only part of this presentation you remember." Randall asserts that the presentation this quote is found in will be very forgettable, making it likely that a lot of people will listen closer to prove the quote wrong.
"Oooh, look at me, I looked up a quote!" Quotes are used to add weight, wit, or authority to a work. If your quote doesn't quite manage this, however, then the inclusion of the quote might just look like you're trying to impress people.
"If you're doing a text search in this document for the word 'butts,' the good news is that it's here, but the bad news is that it only appears in this unrelated quote." This would probably occur if you decided to follow Randall's advice and include this quote in your work.
"Wait, what if these quote marks are inside out, so everything in the rest of the document is the quotation and this part isn't? Duuuuude." The quote imitates the stereotype of strange revelations being made by hippies, typically ones on drugs. If it were true, it would mean that whoever wrote the quoting work would be stealing the entire thing from somewhere, with the exception of these two weird sentences pointing it out.
"The editors of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations are a bunch of cowards who don't have the guts to print this." The author of this quote is apparently making a desperate attempt to get a quote published by challenging the editors of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.
"This quote only looks profound when it's in a script font over a sunset." Inspirational quotes are often set in a fancy font above a picture of a sunset, mountain range, beach, etc. to make them look more profound. This quote suggests that, without such formatting, it looks boring and average.
"I don't do a lot of public speaking, so I looked up a memorable quote to start my speech, and this is what I found. OK, you're staring at me blankly, but this whole thing is a quote. I know that sounds confusing, but... you know what, never mind." People often begin speeches with a memorable quote. This quote attempts to explain that it is being used as such, but it fails and gives up.
"Sent from my iPhone" This is the default email signature on an iPhone. Quoting this would lead the reader to think that you typed the rest of the work on your phone.
"Since there's no ending quote mark, everything after this is part of my quote. —Randall Munroe is a big jerk." Appears in the title text. Randall Munroe is claiming that, because the ending quotation mark is absent, the remainder of the work that the quote prefaces is thus a continuation of Randall's quote, even the attribution to Randall itself. However, as you can see by the first four words of this explanation, this is easily counteracted.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.

Looking for a quote for something? Here are some for general use.

They can be attributed to xkcd or Randall Munroe as needed.

  • "I disagree strongly with whatever work this quote is attached to."
  • "This quote was taken out of context."
  • "This quote is often falsely attributed to Mark Twain."
  • "I'm being quoted to introduce something, but I have no idea what it is and certainly don't endorse it."
  • "This quote is very memorable."
  • "I wrote this book, and the person quoting me here is taking credit for it."
  • "This entire thing is the quote, not just the part in quote marks." [quote marks, brackets, and editor's note are all in the original. -ED.]
  • "Websites that collect quotes are full of mistakes and never check original sources."
  • "This quote will be the only part of this presentation you remember."
  • "Oooh, look at me, I looked up a quote!"
  • "If you're doing a text search in this document for the word 'butts,' the good news is that it's here, but the bad news is that it only appears in this unrelated quote."
  • "Wait, what if these quote marks are inside out, so everything in the rest of the document is the quotation and this part isn't? Duuuuude."
  • "The editors of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations are a bunch of cowards who don't have the guts to print this."
  • "This quote only looks profound when it's in a script font over a sunset."
  • "I don't do a lot of public speaking, so I looked up a memorable quote to start my speech, and this is what I found. OK, you're staring at me blankly, but this whole thing is a quote. I know that sounds confusing, but... You know what, never mind!"
  • "Sent from my iPhone."


Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! Here's how.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.

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