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Reader Comments (35)

love this site; love your comics. just a kind of grammar nazi comment. the line that says 'The code is 'cool' isn't it?' really would be more proper without the question mark, but a period instead, and maybe a comma to emphasize? :)
'The code is 'cool', isn't it.'

March 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRuney

Accept that would be wrong.

April 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJim & Joey

I have to think that if he'd done that, someone else would have requested that he put the question mark back in for the same reason.

April 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBenjaminBuckley

Language is for communication. Did you understand what he was trying to say? If you did, shut up.

May 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFred

Well said, Fred.

November 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

The comic is representing people talking. People who talk often use bad grammar. So it's realistic!

November 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDa Linz

Anyone else find it ironic that "Jim & Joey" used "accept" when they meant "except?" I sure do.

March 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrandster

People often use 'accept' when they should of used 'except'. I'd like to correct them all, but its not practical so I just grit my teeth and try not to loose my temper.

March 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterptbptb

When people write "should of" instead of "should have", I get a little tense.

April 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterABC

Period vs. question mark:

It depends on the way the sentence is presented. If Scott is asking if the code is "cool", then the question mark is appropriate. If Scott is stating that the code is "cool", then the period is appropriate.

So then the manner in which the sentence is presented is based on Scott's tone - I'd like to imagine he is asking the question dejectedly, realizing that he knows the answer, but still must ask to verify if his boss is, indeed, that stupid.

On the other hand, had a period been used, Scott would have been directly stating that the code is "cool", possibly in a mildly aggravated manner (like a parent towards a child who has misbehaved), preempting the need for confirmation, showing to the audience that he knows his boss is, indeed, that stupid.

Disregarding all the above stated, a comma is necessary between "cool" and "isn't":

"The code is 'cool', isn't it?"

May 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGrammartron

The grammatical errors in this comic are acceptable. The grammatical errors in the comments it generated are exceptional.

Hi, Scott! I've been reading your comic for quite some time now and I love it! I'm sorry so many of your comments are related to grammar. You do tend to make a lot of errors but you're also hilarious. You'd think that would buy you some leeway.


June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Hilarious. I'm enjoying these so much...

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTe

I find it ironic that in ptbptb's comment about correcting everyone who uses "accept" when they mean "except" wrote "loose my temper" instead of "lose my temper"...


July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeebieJeebie

Grammartron was correct in saying there should have been a comma, but was incorrect in the placement of that comma. Punctuation always goes inside the quotation marks, so it should be "The code is 'cool,' isn't it?"

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMe

HeebieJeebie, I'm pretty sure ptbptb was just trolling with his "accept" statement. Trolling is a art.

July 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeep Meep

i see what you did there meep.

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpeem peem

Has anybody else. considered that Jim & Joey actually meant he/she/they/it wanted Runey to accept the fact that it's wrong, and didn't make a mistake? 'Cause I have.

August 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterADSF

All these people get angry over grammatical errors. They must spend their lives furiously restraining their hilariously out of control tempers for the good of society (and their not being in jail-ness).

For the sake of the greater good, I invite you to brutally criticize my grammar now.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSavageMonkeys

I find this exceptionally hilarious to read. And I don't mean the comic. Although that was hilarious, too.

December 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSunny

I think it would be a safe assumption that whenever he uses the word "nobody" he means you, regardless of context.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkonamicode13

"....really would be more proper without the question mark, but a period instead"

No. The only thing worse than a "grammar nazi" is a wrong grammar nazi. "Isn't it?" is a question, and it doesn't matter if the sentence starts out as a statement.

July 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

love this site; love your comics. just a kind of grammar nazi comment. the line that says 'The code is 'cool' isn't it?' really would be more proper without the question mark, but a period instead, and maybe a comma to emphasize? :)
'The code is 'cool', isn't it.'

Wow. I love how you had the gall to criticize a perceived grammatical error in the comic, while failing to use proper capitalization and sentence structure. He is asking a question (hence the question mark) to verify what he believes is correct, not stating a fact that he knows for sure (which would call for a period). Also,"isn't it" is ALWAYS a question, it's never a statement of fact. The grammar is fine and in the future if you're going to attempt to criticize one's grammar, perhaps you should first make sure that your own grammar is at least beyond the elementary school level.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

I'm not an english speaker, but i think the question mark is requested in this case because it, in fact, is a question!

he is questioning his boss "the code is "cool", right?"

damn! i'm so good!

September 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarth GTB


Actually, punctuation is not "always" inside of the quotation marks.
For instance, a question mark or exclamation point will go inside or outside of the quotation depending upon whether the quote was a question or if the entire sentence was a question.

If I said, "You asked if you could have a dog," you would end that with a period, because it is a statement; however, if you said the following: You asked, "Can I have a dog?" The question mark will go inside the quotation because the whole sentence is a statement, but the quote (which ends the sentence) is a question.

Now, here's where we break conventional wisdom: You could write the sentence this way: Did you say, "I love you"?

Since the sentence as a whole is a question, and the quote is a statement, you put the question mark on the outside of the quotation. Question marks and exclamation points take priority; moreover, semicolons always go outside of the quotation.

"You learn something new every day"; I don't know who said that.

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAtari

Oh, I just couldn't resist.

All questions, even rhetorical ones (the spoken tone of which more resemble a statement than an interrogative), get a question mark. Scott was right.

As for the protocol for placement of a question mark or period inside quotes vs. outside, the question is not a grammatical one, but a cultural one. Atari may be revealing his or her background by stating the rule as above...the whole story is that the British and Canadian English protocol places the punctuation mark outside of the quotes except for those that are in fact directly related to the content being quoted, and American English always places it inside quotes, with the sole exception of instances when quoted content immediately precedes a colon or semicolon (those go outside the quote marks, as Atari indicated). Consequently,

Did you see the series finale of "Lost?" I thought it was a stellar example of quality writing and artistry.

would be correct in American English, but not Canadian or British English. An appropriate response might be

You're an idiot, aren't you?

The above statement could be construed as rhetorical based on the delivery and the fact that the series finale was not really either of those things.

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamarazon

The subsequent posts this cartoon prompted are so entertaining it makes me wonder if it is not Scott just continuing the joke in the posts and not actual, different people. The fact that posts alone can continue two years or so after the comic is indicative in and of itself of how damn funny this was.

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercacodaemon

>Did you see the series finale of "Lost?" I thought it was a stellar example of quality writing and artistry.<

So, the show is called "Lost?"? Strange, never spotted that before...

Also, you're an idiot for using the grammatical structure of an Idiot people. Just kidding America. Y'all speak good an' things.

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDéjà Vu

works for me if I read something (I can retain 98% of a book but only 40% wen someone tells me

April 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE.nigma

Every question should get a question mark, right?
If your statement includes a quote which is a question, then the question mark should go inside the quotes.

John just said "Do you want to have lunch?"

If your question includes a quoted statement, then the question mark should go outside the quotes.

Did you hear John say "I'm having lunch"?

But what if your question includes a quote which is a question? Do you punctuate the quoted question? Or the question you are asking? The only logical answer is to do both.

Did you hear John say "Do you want to have lunch?"?

Is asking "Does that help?" sound too condescending?

You're welcome.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRocky Stone

All you grammar Nazi's did it wrong. Punctuation goes INSIDE the quotation marks when adjacent to them.

The following is wrong: "The code is 'cool', isn't it?"

The following is right: "The code is 'cool,' isn't it?"

Commas, periods, question marks, and exclamation marks go INSIDE quotation marks when they are adjacent. I found it incredibly hilarious, and sad, that you all had an argument about two different wrong ways to write that sentence. Only Scott got it right.

Scott, reading these from the beginning, and it's all great. The puns, the verbal banter, the turns of phrase, they are heaven.

July 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLoias

Bravo Loias, for your exceptional skill in being a grammar nazi, and for that, I award you with, this comment. If we were to write it in the way that you said to be "right", then the code would be 'cool,', not 'cool', which is what the character is trying to confirm. Also, in programming speak, those two would be a completely different code altogether (five characters and four characters, mind you). The placement of punctuations have already been explained well enough by Rocky Stone, something that you seem to have completely ignored.

March 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPedant

You wrote, "Did you see the series finale of "Lost?" I thought it was a stellar example of quality writing and artistry.
would be correct in American English, but not Canadian or British English."

I am American and learned English from an American (I presume) textbook, and according to that book, your statement is incorrect.
Since "lost" is not a question, but the sentence itself is a question, the question mark would be outside the quotation to indicate the overall sentence was a question, rather than the quote.

Question-marks supersede periods in priority; therefore, you would write, "Did you see "Lost"? I thought it was. . . ."

I admit that I am just shy of infuriated that the credit for this is being given to Rocky Stone, despite the fact that I CLEARLY explained the exact same thing before he did.

Hey, Pedant! How about giving me some accolades?

Oh, and after ALL of this, I am certain that every individual who has read these posts would fight tooth and claw against the notion of using "he" when referring to an unspecified gender, but I joke not when I transcribe that using the plural "they" instead causes my teeth to involuntarily gnash.

March 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAtarii

@Atarii (an extra "i"?)

Why, yes, you have explained it, though, my brain must not have processed it as something that strikes me as both informative and entertaining, only mostly informative. Still, not giving credit where it is due certainly is a mistake on my part, and I do hope you can forgive me for that.

On a side note, archive binge?

March 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPedant

1) I don't know what "archive binge" is. I'm thinking it's when you spend a few hours reading all of the comics in the archive.
If you are wondering, I am subscribed to this post, so I get an email any time someone writes a response.

2) Atari can refer to the band the Ataris; it can refer to the video game system, the video game company or the Japanese word which means something like, "to hit the target," according to my minimal research.
To differentiate myself I added an extra i. Man, I hope that HTML worked.
Also, I want it to just be a name, like Joe, as apposed to being a reference to something else.

3) In the body of your message you are right on all accounts.
I am emotionally wounded.

April 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAtarii

Punctuation does not always go inside the quotation marks.
"the code is 'cool', isn't it?" would be correct, as the comma is always used to signify the ned of a clause, which would be after the quotes.

October 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMe
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