Thursday, July 17, 2008

Attack of the Linguists!

This didn't bother me until the headband and the bonsai tree showed up in today's strip (A Challenger has appeared!):


  1. PVP's Panda Whisperer, if his traditional headband and bansai tree are any indication, is Japanese. (Mr. Miyagi is also Japanese.)

  2. After checking around, "Panda-chun" doesn't seem to mean anything. I'd guess that either it's made up, or it's supposed to be the Japanese "chan", which is a term of endearment. (I studied Japanese, and I checked with native Chinese and Japanese speakers, but I suppose we could be missing something. It's also the western spelling of common Korean last name.) "Panda-chan" could make sense, in that it's a real word (even though it doesn't mean "one who channels the spirit of", or anything like it) but, again, only in Japanese.

  3. Pandas are Chinese.

40 comments:

Moist said...

What a cunning linguist!

Anonymous said...

I guess when you have a panda living in an American magazine office, Scott's not really trying to make it very accurate.

I think Scott has been watching too much anime, chinese people don't talk with their eyes closed and as a Chinese person myself, I find it a little offensive the way he's drawn the character.

So Solly Cholly said...

We're not going to start down this road, are we?

Oh please no.

moist said...

It's okay, Anonymous.

Mr. Miyagi is Japanese!

jessica said...

HA! The 'chun' bothered me with its lack of sense-making, but it didn't even occur to me that pandas are Chinese. I fail.

Anonymous said...

Yes bonsai trees originated from China.

As for adding "-chun" I have no idea why he did that. I think he merged '-chan' with '-kun' neither of which are used by Chinese. Panda-kun is more appropriate than Panda-chan, but still the character is suppose to be Chinese isn't he?

Steven said...

The panda suit is whats really bothering me. I shouldn't even have to explain why.

Zack said...

Another disappointing comic. Now we find out Scott is wrong about practically every detail in this strip. I'm running out of things to say about PVP.

Michelle said...

It's probably just me, but I preferred it when the panda wasn't the main focus of a story. Especially a story that's been going on for almost two weeks now.

Ethan said...

Can I ask a stupid question?
Would this really have bothered anyone, except the Asians and linguists among us?

As I'm neither, that doesn't bother me. Well, NOW it does, but it didn't until it was pointed out. I don't THINK many people read webcomics for the subtle nuance of language, except sofar as it is necessary for humour.

The JOKE, the POINT of the strip, was funny. To me.

Not trying to criticise, just pointing out that *I* preferred the critiques of the humour and art- the two primary reasons, I think, to read a comic in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to read Sages opinion about todays strip and whether we are being too picky by pointing out inaccuracies like those mentioned by FSM.

J said...

@ethan
Maybe, maybe not; it would depend on how nitpicky the boards are feeling. I agree, the joke itself does work, but it's coming too late to actually be funny. I'm actually willing to let the '-chun' issue slide, and chalk it up to PvP universe quirks. Remember, this is the same place where imaginary creatures are real and unionized, genies grant you General Lee's, and you age with video game leveling.

Looking back, does anyone else feel like the strips are out of order? I'd've found it funnier had Scott introduced the Panda Whisperer (but not found the concept itself humorous), then IMMEDIATELY dress Brent up in a panda costume to hand his ass over to Maul, THEN give the hooky butt-trite explaination that Brent is is a walking Panda-ssiah.

...holy steaming panda droplings, Batman, Scott just made Brent the focus of the panda arc! EgoBrentism strikes again!

Chris Dunning said...

I'd assumed the Panda Whisperer was Chinese, so the whole panda/bonsai thing didn't bother me. I also have no clue when it comes to the chun/chan thing.

Anonymous said...

@Ethan - I'm oblivious to the correct usage too but for those who will know what you're talking about (and that you've gotten it wrong) it will strike a bum note. If you go to the trouble of including terminology/phrases as 'flavour', the very least you could do is make sure you've got it right.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's minor to screw up the hyphen-whatever word, but it evidences laziness.

If you author a professional product, you should do a modicum of research when writing.

Sage said...

@3:11 anonymus
Hey buddy.
The time i flailed the most was "angry eyebrows" which really was a nitpick and didn't do much to help the strip. The Japanese/Chinese stuff wouldn't be an issue if the arc or story was good if not. My opinion though it was never stated the man's nationality, and being a Panda Whisperer would mean living in the aread of the panda, he could be Chinese. Its all about interpretation.

One point though, if Brent doesn't want to do it and it seems he is being forced to do whatever to have them get busy, why is he putting the costume HIMSELF? Doesn't seem like its "Mo MNFNG MAY!". If the agent and Cole were throwing it on him, the reaction and costume would have made sense.

I agree this arc does nothing for me as I really am not interested in the panda outside of his non-sequiter appearances. I was mad at the Paintball story arc because there was a great oppurtunity to involve the whole PVP universe and even further add depth to his characters (which he seemed wanting to do). However Scott didn't know how the end it or got bored and the nipplatory system was created (which did make me chuckle) and ended up with a angry fanboy getting marked (I read Whiteboard now as a result so not a total loss) the Panda arc didnt interest me and still doesnt so I read for each day's strip hoping a one-off will make me chuckle and that hasnt happened

@1204 pm anonymus in the Juy 15th strip his eyes are open in three of the panels.

Anonymous said...

The Panda Whisperer is drawn to look just like Pat Morita (aka Mister Miaygi). I doubt Scott is trying to imply anything about asians except that Pat Morita looked like that.

Which he did.

hnm said...

@Sage:

Actually, I think Brent is trying to REMOVE the panda costume. At least, that's how I interpreted it. It looks to me like he's trying to get the head off and is struggling with it.

Orchid64 said...

All you picky people do realize that neither Japanese nor Chinese people who employ any sort of Western notions in their humor (or in anything in pop culture) would expend any effort or energy in making things accurate. They just don't care.

And most of them would be shocked that you care as much as you do about made up things like "chun". I've lived in Japan for 20 years now and they don't give a toss about what is real and wouldn't consider wasting their time getting it "right" to suit a couple of persnickety people. They'd laugh in your face at the notion that it matters enough to go to such efforts.

blotsfan said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA did you see in todays strip? Brent turned and hit the panda by accident!! HAHAHAHA oh man, my sides are actually splitting. This stuff is comedy gold.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the plan that Brent is supposed to get beaten up by the panda? Why was Cole alarmed that the panda had come up behind him? I don't usually like to leave nits crawling about regardless of what skin infections they can cause, but this storyline doesn't make any sense.

I mean, this is coming from someone whowas enjoying the paintball storyline until Kurtz had his hissy fit.

Anonymous said...

No wonder Scott use to come on here for feedback on his comic. His forum might get 1000s of threads and 10,000s of posts, but they have very little interest in talking about the strip.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to have a meaningful discussion about the comic ah Halfpixel when all the fanbois are conditioned to troll and derail any threads that, heaven forbid, take a negative stance.

What you have left is a bunch of trained seals who guffaw on command when the latest comic is posted.

Ti Chan said...

I am so disappointed about the expected "Brent Winning" angle we're running here. Scott gets it in his knickers that CAD is predictable, and then goes for the story ending that a blind deaf mental deficient four year old guess four comics back.

If you're going to make such a droll comic, at LEAST spic it up with something unexpected. Not that there really IS anything he could have done other than:
A) Maul kicks Brent's ass. Sexing begins.
B) Brent kicks Maul's ass. Inevitable sexing begins.
And while some here could probably make a zany ending out of this story arc, Scott really isn't going to try.

Anonymous said...

Panel 3 of todays Penny Arcade, why does Tycho still have his mouth open?

The Esoteric Scribe said...

I wonder if Kurtz will break out the internet nerd rage character again when this train wreck gets "wrapped up".

Anonymous said...

@Orchid64 : Glad you feel confident enough to voice the opinion of an entire (or just the majority of) 1.4 billion people. Personally, I don't have the ego to even attempt such an obviously pointless endeavour.

@Ti Chan : It is looking less like a car crash you're having trouble swerving to avoid and more like the inevitable conclusion of a train accelerating towards the end of the tracks, isn't it? Calling it merely predictable would be generous.

Anonymous said...

*shakes fist at The Esoteric Scribe for pre-empting my train reference while I was typing my comment*

Bah.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody seen the episode of The Mighty Boosh where Vince dresses up like a panda to court the female panda and make the male panda jealous? It's proof that this sort of storyline has potential to be funny.

Anonymous said...

It's also proof that we've seen this story before.

Way to be original!

Mike said...

Okay, what the hell? Normally, I think you guys are a little too hard on Kurtz, but since when, as a reaction of surprise, does one move their right elbow in a backward jab, especially at that high of an angle?

The Esoteric Scribe said...

Agreed. It should be either an elbow jab to the gut/chest or more of an arm swing that has his fist connecting, not his elbow.

Steven said...

I once accidentally hit my mother like that. But my mother is not a male panda bear in heat, so I don't know, mike.

Anonymous said...

Your mothers not a 7ft panda?

Ian said...

The world expert on panda mating doesn't HAVE to be chinese. The dude could be japanese.

A friend of mine studies south american tree frogs but isn't from south america.

Sage said...

But its never mentioned so it is just as likely that the man is chinese as he is japanese.

If you saw a caucasean man who was a horse whisperer would you expect for him to be more from the midwest/west USA or Kentucky(where horses are more prevalant) say than from Canada, Ireland or Germany.

There is a difference between a person who is a studier of frogs and one who is a frog whisperer (even though training frogs would be good) Wouldnt you expect it to be someone who grew up around South american tree frogs (i.e. a south american) than someone from the outside.

Anonymous said...

"A friend of mine studies south american tree frogs but isn't from south america."

Is he a frog, though?

bibliotheque said...

No, he's only French-Canadian.

Sage said...

ian
Im just saying he could be chinese as much as he could be japanese, and its not expressively said.

AFter all Pat Morita was actually born in Isleton California so he is American and you couldnt tell from how he looks :)

Jai said...

"All you picky people do realize that neither Japanese nor Chinese people who employ any sort of Western notions in their humor (or in anything in pop culture) would expend any effort or energy in making things accurate. They just don't care." - Orchid64

And thus we have Engrish. Does SK really want to be producing the American equivalent of Engrish?

What you say about "They just don't care" isn't entirely (And probably only a little bit) true, anyway. There are an awful lot of Japanese people who take great pride in what they learn of the English language. As for the Chinese, well, I'd better leave them out of this before I make a joke about knock-offs.

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