Talk:1781: Artifacts

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Wouldnt data entirely made of outliners just be ..regular measurements that just yields different results?#GoWest-West (talk) 13:59, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

The graph that Cueball is showing looks like the graph from the EM drive paper. Maybe Randall is poking fun at the EM drive with this comic? Cgplover (talk) 14:15, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

It does look like the Full Resonance tuner sweep graph 15:12, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Why the emphasis on HAVE in the alttext instead of, say, ENTIRELY?

I see no issue with this. The speaker is clearly focusing on the probability of the situation. If anything, I'd say that this emphasis is intended to underline the competence, or lack thereof, of the researcher, which is in line with the mocking tone previously given. Not emphasizing HAVE would more indicate the speaker is accepting of the results, but is still surprised by them. 15:40, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Is there also a suggestion that Indiana Jones didn't properly handle artifacts he dealt with?

Depends... Does dropping the Holy Grail down a crevice count as "not properly"? 15:40, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
I also think that that could be a reference to him holding an artifact while running from that giant boulder. Could be. IDK. --JayRulesXKCD (talk) 15:58, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

I have the feeling that I've seen this comic before. Is there another comic where Cueball gives a presentation and is then dissed by his audience? 15:36, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

I think you are referring to the one where he is talking about emoticons and parentheses (for example, :)), then gets kicked out of the convention center. --JayRulesXKCD (talk) 16:35, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, check out #410: Math Paper and #323 Ballmer Peak, see if those ring a bell. And as Jay mentions, there is also TED Talk. 20:02, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

To me, the point of the comic is the mistake in the first sentence. "Data" is plural and so the correct wording would have been "the data clearly prove that...". The last sentence points out the error -- there are lots of items on the poster and he didn't handle them correctly -- as a plural -- in the initial statement. The capitalization of HAVE also seems to be a clue that "plural" is the theme ("it has" versus "they have"). Ibid (talk) 16:19, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that argument has been addressed in a previous comic, or at least something similar. Linguistic drift changes the way words are used, and as long as the listener understands the speaker, there isn't really a reason to correct it. Also, it's more of a collective term than plural, which in American English use singular parts of speech. Plus, I'm of the camp that believes that loanwords should be treated as part of the language they are joining, rather than the one they are from. English is complicated enough with its Germanic, Greek, Latin, and specifically French components all contradicting each other on how they should be spelled and pronounced. --KingStarscream (talk) 16:50, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
As far as the point of the comic being about him using the word incorrectly, that doesn't seem likely considering that the heckler talks about the data chart in the alt text as well. Using a word incorrectly wouldn't be considered an artifact, though the supposition about how it should be used can be in a way. As for the capitalization, it's for emphasis and sarcasm. --KingStarscream (talk) 17:03, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it's even relevant to quip on grammar in this explanation. Besides that, "data" here refers to the singular object of "collection of data", and as such I would think "the data proves" is most correct. -- 19:48, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Working in a field that uses lots of data and often uses the word "data" in formal publications, I concur with others that it is commonly and acceptably used as a "group noun" which is treated as singular. While datum is sometimes used as a technical term (I most often see it referencing a fixed line or plane used as a reference in geometry or Computer Aided Design), it is almost never used as the singular for "data." Whenever it begins to be tempting to treat it as plural and an editorial argument breaks out, I often recommend changing to "data point" or "data set" or similar for clarity. My point is that a grammatical debate here is pedantic, moot, and unrelated to the comic. 19:59, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Also we already know that Randall Munroe pokes fun at grammar pedants for this exact word from his comic "Data". 20:23, 4 January 2017 (UTC)