36: Scientists

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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A leading expert characterized the situation as 'retarded'
Title text: A leading expert characterized the situation as 'retarded'


This comic plays on the type of statement that news reports often use: "in what [group of experts] are calling '[quote]'", to add more weight and credibility to their stories. In this case, Cueball is using the phrase to attempt to add gravitas to the (relatively mundane) fact that his shoes are missing and he thinks it's "pretty gay" by assigning this opinion to scientists (rather than it being, presumably, his own opinion). The same joke is at play in the image text where a leading expert thinks the situation is "retarded" (a description not likely to be used by a "leading expert").



[Cueball is staring at an empty box on the floor]
In what scientists are calling "pretty gay", I can't find my shoes.

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If Cueball's a scientist, the statement is perfectly valid. Even more so if his scientist friends are helping him, and they can't find his shoes either. Davidy22(talk) 07:07, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I found the fact that the last sentence was present in the explanation funnier than the comic itself. -- 22:13, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Its worth pointing out the comic was drawn in 2006 -- 'pretty gay' was not nearly as politically incorrect then as it is now. Wow, this is an old comic. 14:33, 8 September 2015 (UTC)