How to Construct an Informative Presentation

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Reader Comments (50)

If fthe public school system works so well, how come must of us have forgotten so much of it?

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKris L

You could also have done a comic about how your comics have four panels. It'd have been almost the same thing.

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCovarr

There is no part of this that isn't absolutely spectacular.

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDel

Hi again. Word missing in panel 2: THEN comes the body, or NEXT comes the body.

Who are these people you're addressing? (And shouldn't there be more of them if it's a presentation?)

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave Haslett

But I thought; The details are unimportant!

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack

@Dave: putting a 'then' or 'next' there is awkward. The full sentence is basically "After the intro comes the body", with embellishments. You wouldn't stick an extra word in that sentence.

This is not Grammar Poland.

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMerus

How to comment on a superb webcomic. A comment has two parts. The first part is fear. The second part is surprise. The third part is ruthless efficiency... wait... hold on... I think I remember this from somewhere...

An excellent episode! Though I must say it's a disturbing reminder of some of the presentations I've endured at NASA :)

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaul G

This time you've got a grammar nazi who needs to check his own grammar. You have the second panel worded and punctuated correctly and it will become wrong if you listen to DH. That should feel like revenge to you, revenge which is long overdue.

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHari

@davehaslett. Wrong. After the intro, ..., comes the body. Correct use of the language and of commas.....

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrobinsonky

AWESOME! My students will be looking at this when I assign them their next oral response.

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

I think the E in "educators" was probably supposed to be capitalized.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJota

Ah, no adult left behind.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

Sorry Dave Haslett but I do not agree that there is a word missing in the second panel. Remove the bit between the commas and the sentence reads "After the intro comes the body,...". Makes sense to me

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Committing Yak

Scott, why did you steal all the material of a half day course at my work?

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAK

Amazing. I literally just had to self-evaluate a paper a couple days ago before I turned it in, and I stated that my conclusion sucked, primarily because I have a personal bias as to their worth (i.e. there is none). I fully expect to get reamed for my honesty, but whatever. The truth shall not be quashed.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNiraj

@Dave Haslett

There is no word missing.

"After the intro, where you told the listener what you're going to tell them, comes the body, where you tell them what you're telling them."

Cutting out the dependent clauses leaves you with: "After the intro comes the body."

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBen Smith

@Dave: No, read it again.

If you were to omit the section between the commas, it'd be: "After the intro comes the body".
This is correct, as the clause "where you told the listener what you're going to tell them" is an adjective phrase modifying and explaining "intro".

It would be incorrect to say "After the intro then comes the body", or "After the intro next comes the body", as "next" and "then" would be prepositions modifying "comes", the verb describing what "the body" is doing, a purpose already served by the prepositional phrase "After the intro".

As "After the intro" contains no verb, it cannot exist as an independent clause, and, therefore, would not require a preposition to conjoin it to the rest of the sentence, and the suggested addition would be needlessly redundant.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEternally Thoughtful

Superb! i'm needing to construct a presentation for work, and now i have the basic instructions to do it!

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIW

A comment has three parts, a beginning, a middle, and an end.
The beginning of a comment has three parts, a beginning, a middle, and an end.
The beginning of the beginning of a comment has three parts, a beginning, a middle, and an end.
The beginning of the beginning of the beginning of a comment has three parts...

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMattF

My presentation? "Grammar loons remind me why I don't read blog comments".

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Tack

I may actually use this with my students. Probably not your intent!

A conclusion I can live without, but I hate presenters who don't tell me what they're going to talk about and leave me to figure out which bit of trivia in their meandering discussion is the point.

I've been to research presentations where a presenter talked for 45 minutes, then got asked, "What are you trying to explain, exactly?" (More formally, "What is your dependent variable?")

Also, I think we've done the "Dave Haslett, you're wrong!" point to death.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertired of blogs

Ha! "The American Public School Method" is going on my list.

It reminds me of a quote relayed by Jerry Pournelle:


In 1983 the National Commission on Education, Glenn T. Seaborg, Chairman, wrote "If a foreign nation had imposed this system of education on the United States we would rightly consider it an act of war."

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Dear god, why don't some of you people read the other comments? If you did you'd realize the issue has already been addressed multiple times. Now you've gone and made yourselves look just as reactionary and overzealous as the original, failed grammar-correcter.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

If I were a teacher, I'd be pissed off right now. The only thing wrong with public education is that not enough money is being spent on brand spanking new buildings to teach in !!! Who is thinking about the children? What about the children? Doesn't anyone care about the children? They need to have the finest facilities or they can't get a quality education! Doesn't more money equal a better education? We need to raise school taxes more! Hire more administrators! We just have to have better football stadiums, nicer grass on the feld, and newer scoreboards! Ahhh, but I digress...
I better stop now.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjames yeamans

1: Introduction
2: Body
3: ???
4: Conclusion!

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoc

The only change I'd suggest in the second panel is that "where" should be "in which."

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKahnJC

Why is the guy with the belt holding the guy with the shirt's hand on panels 2 and 3?

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMateus

I am starting to think we need basic instructions on avoiding a grammar flamewar :>

please hurry...

March 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteroneoverzero

Wow! That's a whole lotta grammaring going on!

March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAtheismo

This resembles my classes in Portugal. It's understandable, with the US being a Portuguese colony and all. We share the same crappy education system.

March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFabio

The only thing this comments section needs is one more person telling Dave that his assertion that a word is missing is incorrect. I am that person. You're welcome.

March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRay

I'm using this at my next Toast Master's presentation.

March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJuli Carvi

I cannot decide if this comic is saying the three-part presentation structure is good as long as you avoid tediousness; or the three-part presentation structure is always tedious and should be avoided despite conventional wisdom and your English teacher instructions.

March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

This is awesome. I used to argur with my teachers about this."Why can't I just tell them?'

March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

@Dave: There were more of them. The others were smart enough to run.

March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

This is actually pretty close to the exact words the teachers used in my school.

March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I _hope_ that the folks posting grammar-godwins were unaware that the comments here are moderated, and posted before realizing that over 9000 versions of the same "correction" were already in the queue.

March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Enough with the commas, guys. As a professional editor, I hereby declare the comic correct in its grammar, punctuation, and syntax.

And as a teacher of writing, I hereby declare this comic the best in-class example EVER!

March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah

BizOp- charge five cents per comment, through paypal. Won't stop too many people- all the important comments (if only important to the poster) will still make it through. But if you implement this, you owe me...

March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob

So funny!! Thanks again! It's a really fun one to read out loud, too.

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

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