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No. 976: Fun With Auxiliary Verbs

Fun With Auxiliary Verbs

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Strip by: Manyhills

Woman: Garfield, can you come here?
Garfield: {from offscreen} Let's find out!
{Garfield comes into view}
Garfield: Apparently, yes!
{Garfield leaves}

The author writes:

Late at night. I aimlessly browse the Internet, a pathetic attempt at procrastination to stave off the Week 5 Blues. My eyes go fuzzy and the comics start to merge into each other. I cry to the heavens, can anyone save me from this mess? Will somebody help me?

"YES AND NO RESPECTIVELY," comes the response. "You see, both 'can' and 'will' are commonly used in casual English for the formation of requests, even though technically they relate to ability and likelihood respectively, rather than volition. Thus I was able to interpret what you said in a strict manner in order to facilitate a humorous misunderstanding! It was quite the jape, if I do say so myself. You'd have to be pretty clever to make a joke like that."

But this self-congratulation is wasted on an empty room - I have fled into the darkness and am far, far away, running down Sidney Street without a care in the world, free, free...

[To be continued?]

Original Garfield: 2011-10-19.

Original xkcd: #943, "Empirical".