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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by eee View Post
    Well, yes. That's a given. But it doesn't invalidate the rest.



    Are you spying on people if they're talking about you within your hearing? If Yay's description of their sensory abilities is accurate, they 'hear' an enormous amount. I doubt everything on Earth, but I wouldn't rule it out. I would not say it is OK, any more than I would say it is OK for trees to fall in the forest. It happens. A value judgement is irrelevant.

    Now, if Yay were able to erect filters on their perceptions, and doesn't, THAT would be a different matter.
    1) It absolutely is capable of putting filters on its sensors.

    2) This explanation in today's strip is crap. There's no sensor system capable of listening in on all the sounds on earth as just a matter of perceiving all noise in every room of every building everywhere, and all the conversations going on at all points of the world. Yay has to actively choose to pick up these conversations through deliberate effort.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    1) It absolutely is capable of putting filters on its sensors.

    2) This explanation in today's strip is crap. There's no sensor system capable of listening in on all the sounds on earth as just a matter of perceiving all noise in every room of every building everywhere, and all the conversations going on at all points of the world. Yay has to actively choose to pick up these conversations through deliberate effort.
    Would it be better if it was every conversation within range of anything voice activated and connected to the internet or other global communication networks?

    *Glances uncomfortably at his cellphone.*
    Last edited by georgie_leech; 2020-06-22 at 04:17 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    1) It absolutely is capable of putting filters on its sensors.

    2) This explanation in today's strip is crap. There's no sensor system capable of listening in on all the sounds on earth as just a matter of perceiving all noise in every room of every building everywhere, and all the conversations going on at all points of the world. Yay has to actively choose to pick up these conversations through deliberate effort.
    You do know you are arguing about what can and cant be done technologically in a setting where we have human sentient AIs and now a super AI that is the next thing to a digital god right? My guess is this is basically an extension of "Everything is connected to the internet, therefore Yay can hear everything that goes online in some manner." Even in our real world virtually everything up to and including our toasters are connected to the internet in some way, many of which have voice recognition. I imagine Yay exists in a medium where it hears everything but filters out according to explicit keywords. Think Superman when they focus on just how absurd his hearing has to be and how even more absurd his mental focus is to deal with it. In a city of millions he can hear "superman help!" and know that its a person dangling from the edge of their window 13 stories up and 27 blocks away. Yay can do the same thing digitally.
    "Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum"
    Translation: "Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe."

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
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  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    You do know you are arguing about what can and cant be done technologically in a setting where we have human sentient AIs and now a super AI that is the next thing to a digital god right? My guess is this is basically an extension of "Everything is connected to the internet, therefore Yay can hear everything that goes online in some manner." Even in our real world virtually everything up to and including our toasters are connected to the internet in some way, many of which have voice recognition. I imagine Yay exists in a medium where it hears everything but filters out according to explicit keywords. Think Superman when they focus on just how absurd his hearing has to be and how even more absurd his mental focus is to deal with it. In a city of millions he can hear "superman help!" and know that its a person dangling from the edge of their window 13 stories up and 27 blocks away. Yay can do the same thing digitally.
    "I've hacked the internet of (stupid) things" is kinda a far cry from her poetic claims of near omniscience.

    Never mind that the processing power needed to filter that much sensory data is... well, it would be by far the more outlandish assertion made about AI yet, probably topping the "I can shut your brain off with a finger snap" nonsense.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    "I've hacked the internet of (stupid) things" is kinda a far cry from her poetic claims of near omniscience.

    Never mind that the processing power needed to filter that much sensory data is... well, it would be by far the more outlandish assertion made about AI yet, probably topping the "I can shut your brain off with a finger snap" nonsense.
    There may be a reason she has multiple bodies then. For all we know she has a mainframe the size of a small town hidden somewhere to support that level of processing power. Possibly a space station thats just her cpu. :p To heck with that, she may be the reason the internet moves so slow, she is draining processing power from every computer connected to the net to power her matrix! MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!
    "Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum"
    Translation: "Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe."

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Traab is yelling everything that I'm thinking already.
    "If you don't get those cameras out of my face, I'm gonna go 8.6 on the Richter scale with gastric emissions that'll clear this room."

  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    "I've hacked the internet of (stupid) things" is kinda a far cry from her poetic claims of near omniscience.

    Never mind that the processing power needed to filter that much sensory data is... well, it would be by far the more outlandish assertion made about AI yet, probably topping the "I can shut your brain off with a finger snap" nonsense.
    And that's kind of the problem with Yay as a character. Omniscient AI? Fine. I don't like it, but Jeph felt he needed one to get out of the corner he wrote himself into. Having one exist in the setting isn't the worst thing in the world as long as they don't get brought up again.

    Getting that character to show up as "wacky omniscient AI buddy"? Oh hell no. It doesn't work.

    The easy comparison is to Q from Star Trek TNG. The power differential is always present. Q is an antagonist who is only tolerated because he's too powerful for the crew to chase off and too persistent to ignore. We don't see Q shopping for dog treats in Ten Forward, or hanging out playing Jenga with Data.

  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    And that's kind of the problem with Yay as a character. Omniscient AI? Fine. I don't like it, but Jeph felt he needed one to get out of the corner he wrote himself into. Having one exist in the setting isn't the worst thing in the world as long as they don't get brought up again.

    Getting that character to show up as "wacky omniscient AI buddy"? Oh hell no. It doesn't work.

    The easy comparison is to Q from Star Trek TNG. The power differential is always present. Q is an antagonist who is only tolerated because he's too powerful for the crew to chase off and too persistent to ignore. We don't see Q shopping for dog treats in Ten Forward, or hanging out playing Jenga with Data.
    Of course then we see Voyager and he is creeping on janeway, or ds9 getting punched in the face by sisko. I do get your point though. On the other hand, I can see jeph wanting to explore this character. See the issues it deals with, and its morals and how wonky they can be. Maybe see if it can change through interacting with regular folk more often. At least its better than artificially introducing drama in all the established characters again. "Omg, Marten said "DUDE!" out of shock at something claire said, and now she is upset over being misgendered! However will they survive as a couple?" Dora will magically decide that her wife to be needs to lay off the weed now that they are engaged for *reasons* and now they are having a fight! Faye says something stupid... AGAIN! Bubbles is upset! Etc etc etc. At least this is something new and possibly interesting. Im honestly wondering if the reason we havent seen more of the clinton brun and whats his face, big softy dude who likes them both trio is jeph hasnt figured out the right way to get them all together without it coming off cheesy, so this works as filler till he figures it out.
    "Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum"
    Translation: "Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe."

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Traab is yelling everything that I'm thinking already.
    "If you don't get those cameras out of my face, I'm gonna go 8.6 on the Richter scale with gastric emissions that'll clear this room."

  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by eee View Post
    Are you spying on people if they're talking about you within your hearing?
    "Yay, despite being nearly omnipotent, couldn't choose not to be constantly listening to everybody" would be a really hard sell if Yay or Jeph tried to sell it; I'm not even considering buying it from you. Sorry.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    On the one hand, I'm glad that Jeph kept Yay on as a character and is looking to explore more about them. While we thought their sudden appearance to fix Bubbles without consequence was Deus Ex Machina, had they just turned up, fixed Bubbles and then disappeared forever without a word I think we would have been even more annoyed. That they have a purpose, motivation and agency beyond "solve the current plot" is a good thing.

    The problem I see is that Jeph struggles to 'kill' his darlings and I really don't know if he can or will make Yay into something more than a novelty.
    There was that arc a little while ago, for example, where Yay confessed to being a billionaire and at Roko's prompting they gave away all the money.... But nothing changed. Yay still maintains several bodies, multiple personal charging-pods, pays the upkeep of at least two pedigree pets and a large high-rise apartment among other things that we don't see. It's not like they had to go out and get a job to learn what it's like to be one of the little people or anything, they just aren't a billionaire any more.

    I can't help but feel that something similar will happen if Yay is confronted about being able to spy on people. "Spying on people is bad!" "Okay, I will try to stop." and then.... That's it? Problem solved, I guess? How else can it go, short of the super-powerful AI giving themselves a lobotomy and permanently crippling themselves in a way not dissimilar to what Corpse Witch was doing to Bubbles?
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  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    "Mom can I read some new Iain M. Banks novels?"

    "We have new Iain M. Banks novels at home."

    These last two strips: the Iain M. Banks novels at home.
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  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    With today's strip, I fear that the last few comics were just a setup for this punchline.

    Sure, it could be used as a valuable lesson on how it feels being spied on, but that's Jeph we're talking about. tomorrows comic is likely about butts and this issue won't be addressed again.

  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Oh good - Dora and Emily are now even harder to tell apart than before, that was never a source of confusion, ever.

    I don't have any particularly strong feelings towards weed - I think it smells bad, but by all means stand downwind from me and suit yourself.
    One hill that I am prepared to die upon, however, is that listening to weed enthusiasts talk endlessly about their sketchy self-justification for weed is one of the most boring and tedious experiences of my life. Please let's move on from this topic in comic form as soon as possible?
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  13. - Top - End - #163
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Clinton looked oddly feminine in that comic.
    "Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum"
    Translation: "Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe."

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Traab is yelling everything that I'm thinking already.
    "If you don't get those cameras out of my face, I'm gonna go 8.6 on the Richter scale with gastric emissions that'll clear this room."

  14. - Top - End - #164
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    Oh good - Dora and Emily are now even harder to tell apart than before, that was never a source of confusion, ever.
    What do you mean? Dora is clearly taller. So at least any time when both of them are in frame all you have to do is... oh, wait, 'your coffee shop' so I guess the one on the right is Dora. Hmm, okay, well...

    I don't have any particularly strong feelings towards weed - I think it smells bad, but by all means stand downwind from me and suit yourself.
    One hill that I am prepared to die upon, however, is that listening to weed enthusiasts talk endlessly about their sketchy self-justification for weed is one of the most boring and tedious experiences of my life. Please let's move on from this topic in comic form as soon as possible?
    Okay, In the last week we had the comic (through Roko) take Yay to task for being an intrusive and invasive demigod while also trying to have friends and be a regular comic character, and the comic (through Hanners) dispute Tai's perspective on weed being no big problem/setting the stage for a possible Tai-Dora growth opportunity arc. As far as I can tell, this is Jeph finally giving people (if the thread participants here are representative) exactly what they have been asking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    Clinton looked oddly feminine in that comic.
    I'm just seeing reinforcement of the 'tiny little skinny boy' schtick he usually has. All the characters in-frame are part of the slim ensemble, but the women all have decided curvature that Clinton doesn't get. He is standing in a 'I'm a little teapot' position, which might be something. I don't know, I'm not seeing it, but I've no claim to the truth.

  15. - Top - End - #165
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    Clinton looked oddly feminine in that comic.
    I think it's because his hair has started to grow out. Claire and Clinton have always looked alike, even being mistaken as twins at one point, with the biggest difference being that she has lots of hair. Now Clinton looks even more like her than when he had it cropped, so he's looking slightly androgynous-by-association.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    As far as I can tell, this is Jeph finally giving people (if the thread participants here are representative) exactly what they have been asking for.
    Hypochondriac Hannelore playing strawman to Tai being the Voice of the Author about the pro's of his favourite intoxicant? I don't think anyone asked for that

    In seriousness though, I know that I'm being picky. I miss the old days of vespa-riding vigilantes, dates that ended with a snake bite and weddings that could well have involved in a staged fist-fight between the groom and groomsman; laborious metaphors from Tai about why doing dumb stuff while being high is okay because she thinks it is, just aren't for me.
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  16. - Top - End - #166
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Add me to the list of people who just do not even slightly care about the wacky adventures of people being on weed. I get enough of that out of one of my coworkers, i dont really need to see fake people doing it too.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  17. - Top - End - #167
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    Hypochondriac Hannelore playing strawman to Tai being the Voice of the Author about the pro's of his favourite intoxicant? I don't think anyone asked for that

    In seriousness though, I know that I'm being picky. I miss the old days of vespa-riding vigilantes, dates that ended with a snake bite and weddings that could well have involved in a staged fist-fight between the groom and groomsman; laborious metaphors from Tai about why doing dumb stuff while being high is okay because she thinks it is, just aren't for me.
    Only time will tell who is right, but I'm reading into this a different trajectory. This looks to me like Tai not-very-convincingly justifying her pot habit and how stuff done while high is totally not a problem, like stuff done under the influence of other drugs would be. Given Marten asking Dora if Tai's pot consumption is under control, it looks to me like highlighting the cracks in the foundation, so to speak. Maybe it's the sober person hoping that Jeph is taking his ow sobriety seriously, but it sure looks to me like he's laying the groundwork for a 'Tai needs to kick the habit' storyline (if for no other reason than the Marten-asking-Dora scene seems really out of place otherwise).

  18. - Top - End - #168
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Only time will tell who is right, but I'm reading into this a different trajectory.... Maybe it's the sober person hoping that Jeph is taking his own sobriety seriously, but it sure looks to me like he's laying the groundwork for a 'Tai needs to kick the habit' storyline (if for no other reason than the Marten-asking-Dora scene seems really out of place otherwise).
    You're very probably right, in that we've not yet seen enough to judge where the plot is going and that there's more than one way to read it.

    To me, Dora dismissing Marten's questions and Tai effortlessly rationalising all of Hannelore's concerns seemed to be all at face value. There's not really a plot involved, other than someone pointed out how it might look concerning, so Jeph has spent a comic or two explaining why Tai is okay and it's nothing to worry about. I think he's done something similar before; pre-preemptively explaining something that could be criticised if left ambiguous.

    I guess we'll see tomorrow. If Tai goes over to Dora and says something along the lines of, "Hannelore thinks weed impairs your actions, but I'm always high and it's fine!" and then Dora realises how two unrelated people in one week commenting on Tai's habit is a red flag, a conflict between the two can develop. Right now though, Tai is talking to Hannelore and Dora is on the other side of the room talking to someone else, so it could still be a coincidence rather than obvious foreshadowing of Dora/Tai strife.
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  19. - Top - End - #169
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Tai comes across here as the sort of potheads I knew in college who couldn't shut up about how weed made you better... not just that it didn't make you worse, but that it made you better.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    I do honestly expect the subject to come up, like, tomorrow Tai will light up again and dora will be like, "Didnt you have enough yesterday?" Because the comments marten made will be in her mind even if she had dismissed them at the time. That could very easily spiral out of hand as an argument, though I expect eventually it will lead to a lessened smoking habit. It might also lean into the whole mind set of both dora and tai. Dora is a long established "Adult" type of personality. She is a business woman, someone who takes her life seriously, even if she is more than willing to have fun. Meanwhile Tai is still kind of a wild child. She basically got her library job while in school and has her life setup for herself there with no need to grow or change from her party girl lifestyle. Her biggest sign of growth was wanting to move from polyamourus casual sex to wanting a life partner. So yeah, i can see this sort of clash happening very easily.
    "Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum"
    Translation: "Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe."

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Traab is yelling everything that I'm thinking already.
    "If you don't get those cameras out of my face, I'm gonna go 8.6 on the Richter scale with gastric emissions that'll clear this room."

  21. - Top - End - #171
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Is Faye one of those strange people whose accent gets thicker the longer they spend away from home? Because im like 60% certain that she used to specifically avoid contractions and southern-isms in conversation.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Is Faye one of those strange people whose accent gets thicker the longer they spend away from home? Because im like 60% certain that she used to specifically avoid contractions and southern-isms in conversation.
    She loosened up with the contractions quite a while ago, maybe even before strip 1000.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by mythmonster2 View Post
    She loosened up with the contractions quite a while ago, maybe even before strip 1000.
    English not being my first language, what do we understand under "contractions" in this context?
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordokai View Post
    English not being my first language, what do we understand under "contractions" in this context?
    Her saying goin' and doin' in the place of going and doing, probably.

    Reddit seems to think that Faye's speech pattern is less to do with her not wanting to be mistaken as a southern hick, and more to do with her emotional unavailability. When we first met Faye and she discussed her accent, she was still repressing a lot of issues about her dad, keeping people at arm's length, and it made her seem generally stiff and uptight.

    She's now well on her way to dealing with that, knows that she has a strong support system, and is very comfortable with her emotions regarding Bubbles, so the 'uptight' facade has been allowed to slip as she relaxes around people.

    Similarly, how Faye used to talk is a lot like how Bubbles talks now, so changing Faye's accent a bit helps make them easier to recognise in a long conversation. No in-comic reason for it, but a good way to help readers follow the dialogue.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    I do honestly expect the subject to come up, like, tomorrow Tai will light up again and dora will be like, "Didnt you have enough yesterday?" Because the comments marten made will be in her mind even if she had dismissed them at the time. That could very easily spiral out of hand as an argument, though I expect eventually it will lead to a lessened smoking habit. It might also lean into the whole mind set of both dora and tai. Dora is a long established "Adult" type of personality. She is a business woman, someone who takes her life seriously, even if she is more than willing to have fun. Meanwhile Tai is still kind of a wild child. She basically got her library job while in school and has her life setup for herself there with no need to grow or change from her party girl lifestyle. Her biggest sign of growth was wanting to move from polyamourus casual sex to wanting a life partner. So yeah, i can see this sort of clash happening very easily.
    In the past, Tai also got an implicit pass for unacceptable behaviour because of her immaturity. For example, back then she hit on Dora while she was still with Marten, in front of him. But I didn't find it irksome, because she was essentially an inoffensive kid. Exit this logic, and she would have been a lot worse than whatever Brun has been saddled with, since she was Marten's boss.

    So it could be one out of three: Tai grows up | Weed jokes are funny, those were punchlines! (possible, but I hope not) | Tai is right, Hanners is wrong, let me preach weed (which I doubt)
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordokai View Post
    English not being my first language, what do we understand under "contractions" in this context?
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    Her saying goin' and doin' in the place of going and doing, probably.
    It went beyond that. She would go out of her way to say things like "would not" instead of "wouldn't."

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    It may also be connected to her talking to her southern momma for the first time in awhile. Its easy to fall back into the familiar speech patterns you grew up with when you hear them again. I know I used to start slipping into random accents if I interacted with someone that had one for awhile. It was an odd habit I thankfully broke and was never intentional but meh.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    It may also be connected to her talking to her southern momma for the first time in awhile. Its easy to fall back into the familiar speech patterns you grew up with when you hear them again. I know I used to start slipping into random accents if I interacted with someone that had one for awhile. It was an odd habit I thankfully broke and was never intentional but meh.
    The first time I noticed this effect was when my mother went back to England for an extended period. She had been back in Manchester for a couple moths and she called me. I was convinced she was one of my aunts when I answered the phone. Despite living in the Southern US for 20 years it took all of a couple months for her Mancunian accent to reassert itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Cribati View Post
    It went beyond that. She would go out of her way to say things like "would not" instead of "wouldn't."
    I mostly put this down to bad writing. A lot of the early dialogue is stilted, and Faye's dialogue is particularly stiff. Faye drops the "no contractions" thing around the 200 mark, which coincides with the writing as a whole getting a lot better.

    I take everything from the first couple hundred strips with a huge grain of salt. Writing dialogue is hard, and it took Jeph some practice to get good at it.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    In case anyone is wondering, this, at least, is an accurate depiction of how the academic and library job market looks.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    You don't expect to be assaulted by crocodiles in this line of work? The insanity.
    Always expect crocodiles. Or alligators. Always.
    Not that it would happen, but it's great practice for the raptors.
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