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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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En Garde
'Touch!' 'Nope, I sighed and stared at you with resignation, so I regained emotional right-of-way.'
Title text: 'Touch!' 'Nope, I sighed and stared at you with resignation, so I regained emotional right-of-way.'


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: How guarded is Cueball really?
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

The left participant says "en garde!", a fencing call literally meaning "be on your guard" (from French). The call is used to order the participants to take their position, in a similar way to the “on your mark” command in racing (the other two commands are “((tireurs,) êtes-vous) prêts?” (“((combattants,) are you) ready?”) and “allez” (“go”)). The right participant takes this to mean being "guarded" emotionally, and explains so, to which the left participant says he shouldn't be that guarded.

The title text takes this further with the "touch" call, used to indicate to a participant that they have been "touched" by their opponent's blade, and have therefore lost the bout (fencing terminology for the current round). The right participant counters this claim by saying his emotions have priority (or right-of-way). Fencing right-of-way rules can make a move invalid when another move has priority, but generally refer to physical actions on the participant's part.


[Two fencers are standing together as if to fight]

Fencer 1: En Garde!
Fencer 2: Ok.
Fencer 2: No matter how long we know each other, when you ask "What are you thinking," I will always pause before answering.
Fencer 1: Maybe a little less guarded?
Fencer 2: No way. I've been hurt before.

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