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== New here? ==
 
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Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the explain xkcd wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [http://www.xkcd.com xkcd] web comic, it should be here.
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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.
  
 
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Revision as of 05:35, 4 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". xkcd comics, and only Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". (Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",".%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Car Model Names
CLIMAX is good, but SEXCLIMAX is even better.
Title text: CLIMAX is good, but SEXCLIMAX is even better.

Explanation

In English, letters like X and Z are rarely used in the common vernacular. Marketers have found that names with these infrequently-appearing letters sell more products.

Scores

Scores for letters and numbers are presumably taken from their frequency in car models. Randall must have used a car-name database to create the scores. Randall uses positive numbers if a letter is more common in car models than in typical English (as X) which he then calls carlike. He used negative numbers if a letter's relative frequency in car models is lower than in typical English (as O) he calls it English-like (for text). The letters F and B, with scores of 5 and -5, respectively, are about as common in English as in car models. With this nomenclature, the most English-like letter is Y because, while not the most common English letter, it is apparently extremely rare in car models. The most common letter in ordinary English is E.

There are 19 positive scores and 17 negative scores.

Algorithm for the index

Randall devised an index for car models which is the score average divided by 10.

Example

We take 2Chainz and add the scores of its different numbers and letters: 6 +27 -44 -14 -21 -46 +83 = -9

Average is -9/7 = -1.29 and divided by 10 it's -0.129 or -0.13.

Names to avoid

  • Honda 2Chainz - 2 Chainz is an American rapper
  • Mitsubishi Fhqwhgads - A reference to a running joke on Homestar Runner. See http://www.hrwiki.org/wiki/Fhqwhgads
  • Kia 49andGothy - Gothy or gothic is a member of the goth subculture; most of its members are much younger than 49
  • Chevrolet Niceguy - A reference to the idiom "nice guys finish last".
  • Oldsmobile Goodwood - May be a reference to the Goodwood Festival of Speed
  • Infiniti Toothy69
  • BMW Outhouse - Loose standing toilet, or Outhouse.
  • Volkswagen Woodpony 7oh7 - Wood ponies are wooden constructions to give kids (and sometimes adults) the feeling of riding a horse, but don't actually move. 7oh7 is a way to pronounce 707, which could be a reference to the Boeing 707 passenger jet series.
  • Chrysler Uh Iono - When pronounced, sounds roughly like someone slurring "Uh, I don't know" [1]
  • Nissan Doody - May reference the unfortunately named Nissan Moco, which is Spanish for snot

Potential Hits

  • Honda 3Chainz - A play on 2Chainz in the previous section; according to the table the number 2 has a score of 6 and the number 3 has a higher score of 55; the index will go up by (55-6)/7/10=0.7.
  • Subaru Andre3000 - André 3000 is an American rapper
  • Suzuki Sexism - Akihiro Suzuki is a Tokyo city assemblyman who made sexist remarks in June 2014.
  • Lincoln Marxism - Marxism is a form of communism. There are various essays noting it's founder and Abraham Lincoln exchanged letters during the American civil war.
  • Hyundai Climax - In this context, an orgasm. The title text finds an excuse to add another "x" with the portmanteau SexClimax.
  • Porsche Zizek9000 - A portmanteau referencing academic Slavoj Žižek and the Saab 9000
  • Lexus 3×3Cutrix - 3×3 is a play on 4×4; this car presumably has 3 wheels. "Executrix" is the female counterpart of "executor", one who administers a will.
  • Acura PizzaJazz - The letter Z has a very high score, so using 4 of them in a fairly short name makes this a potential hit.
  • Ford SixAxle 4×4 - A contradictory name, as the 4×4 refers to a vehicle that has all four wheels connected to the drivetrain, which would only use two axles. May also be a reference to the Sony PlayStation's Sixaxis controller.
  • Toyota Cervixxx - A portmanteau of cervix and XXX rating used by pornographic industry to make titles seem more extreme (see X rating). It being the highest scoring item on the list may be an attempt to show that sex sells.

Note that Randall gives the symbol × the value of 126, which means he equates it with the letter x.

index(3×3CutrixNote) = (+55 + score(×) +55 +27 -68 -18 +8 -21 +126)/9/10 = 3.22. This means that the score of the symbol × is 90×3.22 - 164 = 125.8

Title text

Transcript

Certain letters and numbers are used
disproportionately often in car models
compared to regular text.
(see:"Rev-4 cr-x x3 G6 Maxx")
Letter and number scores based on relative frequency in car model names
Carlike 60 6 55 35 74 6 27 5 27 64 32 12 19 40 8 15 41 126 83
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
English-like -74 -58 -67 -37 -14 -5 -21 -45 -44 -21 -46 -80 -27 -18 -68 -20 -90
Based on these scores, here are a
few suggestions for car companies:
(with average letter scores)
Names to avoid Potential hits
Honda 2Chainz (-0.13) Honda 3Chainz (0.57)
Mitsubishi Fhqwhgads (-0.62) Subaru Andre3000 (1.30)
Kia 49AndGothy (-2.96) Suzuki Sexism (1.82)
Chevrolet Niceguy (-3.09) Lincoln Marxism (2.17)
Oldsmobile GoodWood (-4.44) Hyundai Climax (2.48)
Infinity Toothy69 (-4.51) Porsche Zizek9000 (3.06)
BMW Outhouse (-4.85) Lexus 3x3Cutrix (3.22)
Volkswagen Woodpony 7OH7 (-5.70) Acura PizzaJazz (3.56)
Chrysler Uh Iono (-5.65) Ford SixAxle 4x4 (3.95)
Nissan Doody (-5.84) Toyota Cervixxx (4.85)


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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