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Latest revision as of 14:16, 5 June 2015

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1577 xkcd comics, and only 19 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

[edit] 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.

[edit] Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a BOT - Please change this comment when editing this page.

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.

[edit] 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. Arbitrarily Randall used positive and negative numbers: if a letter is much more common in car models than in typical English (as X) he calls it carlike. If a letter's relative frequency in car models is far lower than in typical English (as O) he calls it English-like. 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.

Numerical order of scores

X: 126, Z: 83, 5: 74, J: 64, 0: 60, 3: 55, 4: 35, V: 41, Q: 40, K: 32, C: 27, G: 27, M: 19, S: 15, L: 12, R: 8, 2: 6, 6: 6, F: 5, B: -5, A: -14, T: -18, W: -20, D: -21, I: -21, P: -27, 9: -37, H: -44, E: -45, N: -46, 7: -58, 8: -67, U: -68, 1: -74, O: -80, Y: -90,

There are 19 positive scores and 17 negative scores.

[edit] 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.

[edit] 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
  • 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

[edit] 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 -
  • 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.
  • Acura PizzaJazz -
  • 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.
  • 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

[edit] Title text

[edit] 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
[Positive axis label.] 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
[Negative axis label.] 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)
[Left list - title underlined, brand names and numbers in light grey]
Names to avoid
Honda 2Chainz (-0.13)
Mitsubishi Fhqwhgads (-0.62)
Kia 49AndGothy (-2.96)
Chevrolet Niceguy (-3.09)
Oldsmobile GoodWood (-4.44)
Infinity Toothy69 (-4.51)
BMW Outhouse (-4.85)
Volkswagen Woodpony 4OH7 (-5.70)
Chrysler Uh Iono (-5.65)
Nissan Doody (-5.84)
[Right list - title underlined, brand names and numbers in light grey]
Potential hits
Honda 3Chainz (0.57)
Subaru Andre3000 (1.30)
Suzuki Sexism (1.82)
Lincoln Marxism (2.17)
Hyundai Climax (2.48)
Porsche Zizek9000 (3.06)
Lexus 3x3Cutrix (3.22)
Acura PizzaJazz (3.56)
Ford SixAxle 4x4 (3.95)
Toyota Cervixxx (4.85)


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Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account 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 and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • There are incomplete explanations listed here. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  • We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go here.

[edit] 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.

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