Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis for March 09, 2021

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    BE THIS GUY  8 months ago

    Just be grateful for autocorrect.

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    Aldew Yellowson  8 months ago

    This is why you should never ask for the receipt when buying stuff.

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    BasilBruce  8 months ago

    I wonder how many people today’s joke zoomed over the heads of.

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    MathProf2  8 months ago

    You mean of course that you wonder over how many people’s heads today’s joke zoomed.

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    Futabakun Premium Member 8 months ago

    Not fallacies… exceptions. Every rule has them.

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    tudza Premium Member 8 months ago

    I’m going to have to parse that a couple times to see if there’s a joke. Right now I’m stuck on, “It’s a spelling rule, not a grammar rule.”

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    tudza Premium Member 8 months ago

    Oh, and don’t try to teach your grammar to suck eggs.

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    wiatr Premium Member 8 months ago

    Generally speaking I get spelling right more often that MS’s little red lines under my words. I was a spelling champion of my school back in 1961.

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    Bilan  8 months ago

    First we’re inundated with puns, and now decade-old jokes. Uh-oh.

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    Robin Harwood  8 months ago

    The rule works pretty well when the sound is “ee”. Here’s a more precise, but harder to remember, rule:

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    Concretionist  8 months ago

    In fact, a quick search of the (on-disk) dictionary shows that it’s E before I more than half the time. Even if you restrict it to moderately common words. Yet another proof that everything you need to know, you learned in Kindergarten (which was way before they lied to you about spelling).

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    ronaldspence  8 months ago

    Pastis passes my first desire of any art or artist and that is they use their voice to convey a point that at least has some purpose and at best has a point! Thanks Mr P!

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    Katsuro Premium Member 8 months ago

    Very, very nicely done, Mr. Pastis.

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    blunebottle  8 months ago


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    Johnny Q Premium Member 8 months ago

    It goes back to the Tudor era. While the French crown created a famous academy to standardize spelling, English relied on consensus, a system that resulted in lots of irregularities…

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    Algolei I  8 months ago

    It’s less of a rule and more of a suggestion, really.

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    Kind&Kinder  8 months ago

    Not to worry about English having any science connected to its development; like Topsy, it just growed!

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    Zykoic  8 months ago

    I was on academic probation because I failed, many times, the ‘dumbbell’ english spelling examination in college. The dean of engineering had the english department give me an exemption. Tank Gud!

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    Piet  8 months ago

    The full rule that actually catches more exceptions is — “I before E except after C or when sounded like A as in neighbor or weigh.“

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    Leslie Booyse  8 months ago

    The rule ONLY applies when the sound is like “ee”. As in belIEve, and recEIve. The exception is sEIze. Remember it. It will save you many tears.

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    jewlie  8 months ago

    Or when sounded as a as in neighbour or weigh. Of course, as a Canadian, I put a u in neighbour. I don’t think that Americans do that. Down the rabbit hole of spelling we go! Also, autocorrect sucks.

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    A Common 'tator  8 months ago

    My autocorrect won’t accept GoComics, even on their website…

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    iggyman  8 months ago

    “Or when sounded like “A” such as Neighbor or weigh"

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    cornshell  8 months ago

    If there are bad words to end sentences with, linking verbs are.

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    Gent  8 months ago

    I is always has a hard times understanding Englees.

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    Major Matt Mason Premium Member 8 months ago

    “Heh, heh, he said phallus.”

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    Zoturdley Premium Member 8 months ago

    Mr. Pastis, very clever one today.

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    Procat Premium Member 8 months ago

    Would rat be considered conceited?

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    Plumbob Wilson  8 months ago

    How come the comics censor didn’t gig him for “fallacies”?

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    Byron Spears  8 months ago

    Seize him, guards!

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    Martin.lemoine  8 months ago

    …Except sounding “Ay” as in neighbor or weigh.

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    wrd2255  8 months ago

    Don’t get Stefan started on Bible contradictions :-)

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    Zebrastripes  8 months ago

    There, their, they’re ……

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    ekw555  8 months ago

    well, there is a 2nd part to the I before E, except after C.“unless it sounds like an A, as in neighbor and weigh”

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    cdward  8 months ago

    These rules, of course, are simply aids in helping sort out what is impossible to sort. Because English is so mixed up and is mostly exceptions, all a so-called rule can do is point to a probably good spelling. Sort of, “Try this first.” I think we expect too much from “rules”.

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    redback  8 months ago
    “Do or do not. There is no try.” …“You must unlearn what you have learned.” …“Named must be your fear before banish it you can.” …“Fear is the path to the dark side. …“That is why you fail.” …“The greatest teacher, failure is.” …“Pass on what you have learned.”
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    Stocky One  8 months ago

    Absolutely brilliant!

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    Jeffin Premium Member 8 months ago

    Ed, you Kay Chanel.

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    ZachOWott  8 months ago

    He even throws in one in the last panel, nice

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    bigplayray  8 months ago

    I live for live concerts!

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    brit-ed  8 months ago

    The English language is fun; like trying to rhyme plough, though, through, tough etc.

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    rhpii  8 months ago

    At least it’s not a pun.

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    steverinoCT  8 months ago

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    kimodb Premium Member 8 months ago

    I can’t wait for the lie/lay lesson!

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    Ellis97  8 months ago

    Silent letters. What’re you gonna do?

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    William Thorneloe Premium Member 8 months ago

    The best daily cartoon in months. It took me a few minutes to get it. When do we get the Duck Insurrection?

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    Reader  8 months ago

    Weird indeed.

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    Otis Rufus Driftwood  8 months ago

    At least Pastis is being educational.

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    gigagrouch  8 months ago

    or when sounded like “A” as in “Neighbour” or “Weigh”

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    uniquename  8 months ago

    Rules are made to be broken.

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    Call me Ishmael  8 months ago

    “Their’s” no ceiling to it, is their? Autocorrect didn’t pick that up..

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    Call me Ishmael  8 months ago

    Oy veigh!

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    Clare Kelm Premium Member 8 months ago

    Your 9th grade English teacher says, “Yay, Stephan!”

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    lotsalaffs Premium Member 8 months ago

    Pastis, do you ever sleep? lol

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    aphasia219  8 months ago

    Yadoofus. It’s: I before E except after C, or when sounded like “a”, as in “neighbor” and “weigh”. Fine to criticize rules when they’re wrong, not so fine when they’re only wrong because you changed them.

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    stamps  8 months ago

    I tried to use autocorrect to drive my car. I ended up in the C.

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    Flossie Mud Duck  8 months ago

    Very nice.

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    LeeYoung Premium Member 8 months ago

    Thank God for the English language. If it was a ‘normal’ language, not derived from a melting pot, Grammar Nazis like me would be out of a job. And George Carlin would’ve lost 2/3 of his material.

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    Thinkingblade  8 months ago

    I had to check … the rules of English grammar date back to the 16th century, so that counts as ancient.

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    WCraft Premium Member 8 months ago

    There is an exception to every rule – and the exception to the aforementioned rule would be “no exception.”

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    Omniman  8 months ago

    The problem is that English has so many words that come from other languages, and are therefore governed by different spelling rules.

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    mitchel.farr  8 months ago

    you did not complete the rule, you left our “and in such words as neighbor and weigh.”

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    Ermine Notyours  8 months ago

    It makes more sense (maybe) with Charlie Brown, Linus and Snoopy.

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    Snoots  8 months ago

    OH he soooo missed the chance to spell the last word falleceis".

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    lv2sew  8 months ago


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    I Go Pogo   8 months ago

    And this is exactly why I liked math and hated English classes. It is or it isn’t.

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    Caldonia  8 months ago

    English is the hardest language to figure out, I gotta give ’em that. Even so, I hate to see it butchered by people who should know better, I can be a real Rat about it.

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    willie_mctell  8 months ago

    Words came long before spelling. Retrofits like that are always a kludge.

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    notinksanymore Premium Member 8 months ago

    I learned “I before E, except after C, or when sounding like A, as in neighbor or weigh.” I know there’s exceptions even to that, but you get closer if you learn the second part of the rhyme =D

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    SiteeSatee Premium Member 8 months ago

    I before E except after C, except…when weird atheist science societies, seeing eight beige reindeer heifers reign and neigh, and sufficiently efficient albeit bouncier species, seize their ancient fallacies of deintellectualized deities agreeing to forfeit the reins, while heir Keith inveigles to reinforce or reinvent a surfeit of fancier, juicier, counterfeit caffeine freight weighing eight glaciers, herein a feint.

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    Timothy Abraham Premium Member 8 months ago

    I was taught I before E except after C, or when sounded like A, as in neighbor or weigh.

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    slbolfing  8 months ago

    left out "or when sounded like “a” as in “neighbor” or “weigh” (that’s the way I was taught it)

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    Ka`ōnōhi`ula`okahōkūmiomio`ehiku  8 months ago

    Mr. @StevenPastis : Spelling – A+

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    Cozmik Cowboy  8 months ago

    When, as a child, I pointed out things like this, the teachers would invariably say “It’s the exception that proves the rule”.

    Even as a 9 year old, I thought that was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard; an exception doesn’t “prove” a rule – it proves the “rule” is bogus.

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    Lori Wall Premium Member 8 months ago

    No fallacies here at all. He forgot the rest of the poem “except when sounded as “a” as in neighbor and weigh.” The words he is calling a fallacy follow the rules precisely even “receipt” which has a c in it.

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    foxmike6513 Premium Member 8 months ago


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    zeexenon  8 months ago

    An inventors creation to trigger corrective comments and drive us apart in cases we fully understand what they actually mean.

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    Charlie Tuba  8 months ago

    Stupid (spelling) rules!

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    Charlie Tuba  8 months ago

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    BobR  8 months ago

    Last century the rule was "i before e except after c or when sounded like a as in neighbor or weigh.

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    briangj2  8 months ago

    I before e, except after cOr when sounded as ‘a’ as in ‘neighbor’ and ‘weigh’Unless the ‘c’ is part of a ‘sh’ sound as in ‘glacier’Or it appears in comparatives and superlatives like ‘fancier’And also except when the vowels are sounded as ‘e’ as in ‘seize’Or ‘i’ as in ‘height’Or also in ‘-ing’ inflections ending in ‘-e’ as in ‘cueing’Or in compound words as in ‘albeit’Or occasionally in technical words with strong etymological links to their parent languages as in ‘cuneiform’Or in other numerous and random exceptions such as ‘science’, ‘forfeit’, and ‘weird’.

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    bruno113  8 months ago

    I love this! Wish I could memorize that sentence to use next time I have this same discussion.

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    WilliamDoerfler  8 months ago

    Pastis is more intelligent than I realized.

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    Grover St. Clair  8 months ago

    Some find English difficult, although I find it easy to plough through rough thoughts.

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    harebell  8 months ago

    i before e except after c, or when sounded as “a”, as in neighbor or weigh. Or if the word comes from the French, or some other invader. Don’t trust spellcheck, either.

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    harebell  8 months ago

    200 comments. Serves you right, Stephan.

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    rick92040  8 months ago

    I’m glad I never learned to spell.

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    ItaliaNicholas  8 months ago

    Yes- fallaCIes

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    Pgalden1 Premium Member 8 months ago

    Oh gods help me…I Love this :D

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    MDRiggs Premium Member 8 months ago

    What a weird strip.

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    bunrabbit99  8 months ago

    english majors everywhere applaud you!

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    Rand al'Thor  8 months ago

    “Neither financier nor foreigner seizes weird leisure at it’s height.”

    A mnemonic taught in high school.

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    Sisyphos  8 months ago

    Pugnacious Pastis strikes again, and English loses. Cartoon-Boy has weaponized his alter ego, Rat!

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    oakie817  8 months ago

    I before E except when your feisty foreign neighbor Keith leisurely receives eight counterfeit beige sleighs from caffeinated atheist weightlifters…A pretty weird rule if you ask me.

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    Treehggr87  8 months ago

    We’re not worthy (bow and bow again)

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    Claire Jordan  8 months ago

    This is a common and very irritating myth. The actual rule is “I before E, except after C, when rhyming with ‘key’.” There are only two or three words in the entire English language which break it.

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    KevDoneIt  8 months ago

    Also, the s in storm should not be pronounced like sh. Are you sure? How about sugar??

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    Paul Go Premium Member 8 months ago

    Society is to blame.

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    jdbligh  8 months ago


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    Goat  8 months ago

    At the risk of sounding like an idiot, what was the punchline here?

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    Swirls Before Pine  8 months ago

    I just leave after eating shoots.

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    Unnamed Reader  7 months ago

    “I before E except after C, or when sounded like A as in neighbor or weigh, and on weekends and holidays and all throughout May and you’ll always be wrong no matter what you say!”-Brian Reagen

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    rzander906  7 months ago

    lets leaf autocorect out of this

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    WDD  7 months ago

    “If the “c” you spy,put the “e” before the “i”.If you don’t spy the “c”,put the “i” before the “e”."Do you beleive that, freind?

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    lummysdad  7 months ago

    My son Keith disagrees.

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    PBS1!  5 months ago

    Um, I before E,,, always?

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