Talk:2191: Conference Question

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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I don't know to what "Word of Power" in the title text refers. A quick Google revealed something from Skyrim and something from D&D, but I have the feeling there must surely be a more original source for it, even if it is just a common term in folklore or something. Pureawes0me (talk) 07:45, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

I think it means "magic word". The next step, "Unforgivable Curse", is from Harry Potter; a magic spell against someone that will get you jail time. (C. S. Lewis had an apocalyptic option, the "Deplorable Word", which killed every living person except the speaker) So Harry Potter's schoolteacher demonstrates the Unforgivables on spiders... and on students. (You find out why.) Also I think the title text is the platform speaker's response to Beret Guy. [email protected] 09:12, 19 August 2019 (UTC) WhiteDragon (talk) 13:51, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I understand the "Unforgivable Curse" part - it's more "Word of Power" I'm struggling with. I agree that the title text could potentially be a response by the speaker, and I've updated the page to reflect this. Pureawes0me (talk) 10:20, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
It's from tabletop roleplaying games; some of the earliest high level spells from the original edition of Dungeons and Dragons were "Power Word Kill," "Power Word Blind," and "Power Word Stun." These spells have been carried forward into newer editions where they are extremely unpopular because they were designed for campaigns when most monsters had a tiny fraction of the number of hit points typical today, and unlike essentially all of the fifth edition spells, they don't do anything when they don't work, and they don't work based on facts which are theoretically unknowable to the players. So, they kind of have a reputation for being the worst high level spells, and are sometimes included in magic items which turn out to be, well, like fruitcake, if you know what I mean. 11:36, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Re-reading, incantation already is a magic spell, probably. In current use, malediction can be either speaking against someone or something, or its original meaning of actual malicious verbal magic. So I suppose Word of Power has to be more than a magic word... I found a couple of references in the world of H. P. Lovecraft but those I traced were 1970s or later, actually after D-and-D. So, not definite. [email protected] 00:14, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
Note that Unforgivable Curse will not get you just "little jail time". It gets you life sentence in Azkaban. -- Hkmaly (talk) 22:41, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

One thing I feel needs to be said is that this behavior shows a lack of linguistic skill, because any statement can always be phrased in the form of a question, e.g, most easily, "Do you agree that _______?" Or by asking about the details of the comment in which the commenter is most interested in emphasizing or soliciting a response. That this kind of thing happens among advanced academics shows how narcissistic and tone-deaf even otherwise intelligent people can often be. 12:20, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

Similar to how the comic ends in a question? I think your statement is part of the joke. Less of a statement, and more of an utterance. OhFFS (talk) 14:28, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Do you agree it could be more of a noun phrase and a verb phrase, or perhaps merely a subject and a predicate? 00:15, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
And whereof is the object therein? WurmWoode (talk) 23:10, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

There is a Russian Folk Tale, among those collected by Afanasyev, called "Go I don't know where, Bring back I don't know what". In that story, the archer Andrey is given several impossible tasks by a tsar who covets his beautiful wife, the last of which is to go to I don't know where and bring back I don't know what. After journeying a vast distance and meeting his mother in law Baba Yaga, he is guided by an ancient frog across a river of fire, and is told "Over there you will find a house. Well, not so much a house as a hut. And it is not so much of a hut as a barn." This is I don't know where. So Beret Guy's intro to his statement may be a reference to this formulaic format. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

...his mother in law is Baba Yaga? Did he know that? Does the tsar know that? Does it change matters tsar-and-beautiful-wife-wise... (Is this story in English at all, I don't know where...) Wikipedia knows several Baba Yaga stories (some with three Baba Yagas who don't live together, unless this is a complicated alibi) but none match this. [email protected] 00:14, 20 August 2019 (UTC) says Baba Yaga is the mystery wife's sister, at least in the Afanasyev version. [email protected] 13:48, 15 August 2022 (UTC)

I think the Unforgivable Curse line in the title text is meant to reference the scene in HP&tGoF when Barty Crouch, posing as Professor Moody, demonstrates their use on spiders to the fourth years in Defense Against the Dark Arts. The curse, be it an annoyed audience member or the speaker, is to be cast on the friendly bug. 21:04, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

I don't think Beret Guy is trying to say that he and the speaker are friends in his last line, I'm pretty sure he's saying that he's friends with the bug he found. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

^^^ Agreed. The "we" in "now we're friends" means Beret Guy and the bug, not Beret Guy and the speaker. It is, after all, a friendly bug. -- Divgradcurl (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I also now agree, and I wrote the original wording. Thanks for fixing it, whoever fixed it. Oh, and remember to sign your comments with the four ~ thingies. -boB (talk) 13:07, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
I would like to meet the bug. I wonder whether Randall has ever introduced people to bugs he found. 04:44, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

I have created a Category:Harry Potter and found almost 20 comics to go there. And also a few that could have gone there, but where it was uncertain that Harry was the reference. --Kynde (talk) 13:44, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

I believe the reference to "It might be the person simply blowing." is technically inaccurate. The movement of air (i.e. breeze/wind or someone exhaling air/blowing) is not the same phenomenon as a sound pressure wave propagating through air. 13:09, 22 August 2019 (UTC)