Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
|Words for Small Sets|
Title text: If things are too quiet, try asking a couple of friends whether "a couple" should always mean "two". As with the question of how many spaces should go after a period, it can turn acrimonious surprisingly fast unless all three of them agree.
By strict definition, the noun "couple" means "exactly two items of the same kind". The comic/chart is satirizing how layman sometimes use the word "couple" synonymously with words like "few" or "several", which in this context mean "comparatively small but definitely greater than one". This satire is nerd troll bait; Randall is attempting to "troll" or get a certain group of people fired up by taking an unpopular side of the argument just to get the other person angry.
The title text is a pun. Randall says "Try asking a couple of friends [...] unless all three of them agree" which implies a couple should always mean two.
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- [A small chart.]
- Just to clear things up:
- A few: anywhere from 2 to 5
- A handful: anywhere from 2 to 5
- Several: anywhere from 2 to 5
- A couple: 2 (but sometimes up to 5)
I disagree on "A Handful" and "Several". A Handful should be about 4 to 7 and several should be 6 to 8, averaging about 7, which sounds just like several. The other two are within the range that makes sense to me. Also, check out how he sneaks "a couple of friends" and "all three of them" into the image text very sneakily. User:Jeff - From the blog
- Dude, that's the point. You've been trolled. --Jimmy C (talk) 11:43, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
Several is two or more.
A handful to me is just that. A dozen berries, one hand grenade, 2-3 sticks of TNT, a bird (2 in a bush else where gives 3) or a wild blonde (more than 1 way to be a handful I guess). DruidDriver
) 07:09, 17 January 2013 (UTC)