1026: Compare and Contrast

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Redirected from 1026)
Jump to: navigation, search
Compare and Contrast
Frankly, I see no difference between thee and a summer's day. Only Ron Paul offers a TRUE alternative!
Title text: Frankly, I see no difference between thee and a summer's day. Only Ron Paul offers a TRUE alternative!

[edit] Explanation

A reference to the most well-known sonnet in the English-speaking world: William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 18", the first line of which is: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?". In this comic Randall sets about this in a typically goal-oriented chart, as opposed to the rather more romantic poetry of the Bard.

The lines are:

1. The first line is a reference to the sonnet itself, which reads: "Thou art more lovely and more temperate". He considers both thee and a summer's day to be "fair" (this is a pun; depending on context, "fair" can refer to complexion or weather) and "temperate" (meaning "warm", which again can describe a person or the weather).

2. "Hot, sticky" also refers to both, in different ways. "Hot" can mean sexually attractive or simply that the temperature is high. A "sticky" day refers to humidity.

3. "Short" is another pun. "Thee" is not tall. A summer day is chronologically long (time from dawn to dusk.)

4. "Harbinger of hurricane season" is technically accurate; hurricane season does follow the summer.

5. "Required for a good beach party" is not a pun, although it is another example of a word with slightly different meanings. The party is required to be held on summer's day and with "thee" present at the party. The party would not be held on "thee", although some of the other lines suggest that the writer might personally be on top of "thee" during the party.

6. Heat stroke is a condition mainly affecting children and the elderly. Heat waves and excessively hot days are highly linked with heat stroke incidence; see Epidemiology

7. "Linked to higher rates of juvenile delinquency" apparently refers juveniles committing crimes in the summer. However, this results, to some degree, from school not being in session, rather than simply as a direct result of the summer weather.

8. "Sometimes too stifling" is another pun. It is also unusual in that it expresses a negative feeling about "thee", unlike the other entries which express what the author likes or admires about thee.

9. "Arrested for releasing snakes in the library" is possibly inspired by the movie Snakes on a Plane.

10. The last line "difficult to focus on work while I'm in" is a sexual reference, on the "thee" side, not on the "summer's day" side. To be "in" someone refers to the penetrative part of sex[citation needed], which would occupy a typical person's attention.

In Shakespeare's day, English had informal pronouns and formal pronouns, thou/thee (informal), and ye/you (formal). This is similar to what is still used today in many European languages. Wikipedia has a nice chart for all of English's personal pronouns, current and archaic.

For both the chart and the original sonnet, whether or not the work is autobiographical is unknown. Also unknown is the identity of the person whom each work refers to. It is believed that Sonnet 18 is addressed to a young man.

And of course, the title text is a reference to Ron Paul, a former Republican candidate for President who was on top in the Republican Primary against a few other challengers for the nomination. Ron Paul was frequently represented on the internet using similar language to the image text. Paul has been seen as an alternative because he is a strict Libertarian and believes the government should be as small as possible and stay out of people's lives.

[edit] Transcript

[A checklist comparing thee to a summer's day:
Fair, Temperate: Thee & A Summer's Day
Hot, Sticky: Thee & A Summer's Day
Short: Thee
Harbinger of Hurricane Season: A Summer's Day
Required for a Good Beach Party: Thee & A Summer's Day
Major Cause of Heat Stroke in the Elderly: A Summer's Day
Linked to Higher Rates of Juvenile Delinquency: Thee & A Summer's Day
Sometimes Too Stifling: Thee & A Summer's Day
Arrested for Releasing Snakes in Library: Thee
Difficult to Focus on Work While I'm In: Thee & A Summer's Day]

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


Commenter J. Curwen posted a link to a modern paraphrasing of Sonnet 18. I think it would be appropriate to repost it here. http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/18detail.html lcarsos (talk) 17:58, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Shakespeare woos Randall with charts? Holy ambiguous dependent, Batman! - Frankie (talk) 12:47, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

I prefer to believe that thou art in fact harbinger of hurricane season, and a major cause of heatstroke in the elderly ;) PotatoGod (talk) 05:26, 22 December 2017 (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?