Title text: [title-text similarly alphabetized]
An epigram is a brief, interesting, usually memorable and sometimes surprising or satirical statement. Constrained writing is an age-old literary phenomenon, where writers impose rules or patterns in their works. Haiku is a well known example of this.
Twitter is a short message social network and communication service. At the time this comic was published, all messages (known as tweets) on the service needed to be under 140 characters. Until August 2015 even private messages had that restriction. Twitter is frequently used by well-known comedians as a place to make interesting jokes and observations. It should be noted that the limit is now 280 characters.
All the words spoken by Megan, from "Yeah" to "alphabetization", are in reverse alphabetical order. Here are the starting letters (with extra letter when more than one word in a row begins with the same letter):
- Y, Wr, Wo, U, T, R, P, N, M, L, F, Ex, Ep, Em, B, A.
The title text, "title-text similarly alphabetized", is also backwards-alphabetized and self-referential. Starting letters:
- Ti, Te, S, A.
- [Cueball sits in an office chair at his computer desk, motioning toward the screen with a hand as Megan stands behind him.]
- Cueball: I don't get why authors and comedians spend so much energy trying to be clever on Twitter. Couldn't they put that creativity into more books and scripts?
- Cueball: Is there something they like about the 140-character format?
- [Same picture but in a frame-less panel, except Cueball has taken his arm down.]
- Megan: Yeah. Writers working under tight restrictions produce novel material—like, for example, epigrams employing backward alphabetization.
- [A slim panel with only Cueball at his computer desk shown.]
- Cueball: ...Whoa.
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