[xkcd] Charity

Comic strip about charity

xkcd – Charity – Charity – http://xkcd.com



  • Box 1. Man 1: I’m going to buy this $10 game I want, and I’m donating $10 for malaria eradication.
  • Box 2. Woman: If you actually cared, you’d skip the game and donate all $20. What’s more important? Games, or mosquito nets and medicine for kids?
  • Box 3. [Later] Man 1: I think I’m going to buy these two $10 games I want.
  • Box 3. Man 2: Cool; which ones?



  • charity /ˈtʃærɪti/ kindness towards other people (often by donating/giving money to an official organization that gives money, food, or help to people who need it)
  • to donate /dəʊˈneɪt/ to give money or goods to a person or organization that needs help
  • malaria /məˈleəriə/ a serious disease that you can get in hot countries if a mosquito (= small insect) bites you
  • to eradicate (v.) /ɪˈrædɪkeɪt/ to destroy or completely get rid of something such as a social problem or a disease
  • mosquito net /məˈskiː.təʊ net/ a net that hangs over and around a bed to keep insects away from someone who is sleeping


  • Some people feel guilty when they spend money on things they don’t absolutely need while having in mind other people suffer from poverty (lack of food, diseases, etc.). The man here at first thinks that one day to deal with this conflict is to donate money. He thinks that since he’s donating money for a good cause, it’s ok for him to spend money on something he wants (even though not necessary). Yet, the woman points out this is only a way not to feel guilty and his action and that if he really cared about it, he would simply donate all the money to a charity. What’s his reaction? Well, in box 3 we see that he prefers not to think about it at all …!
  • If you are interested in how people think about charities, consider watching these TED speeches (you can turn on subtitles in your own language):

Language Feature

  • Dollars – $
    • Notice the symbol that is used to refer to dollars: $. This symbol is always put before the number: example: $20. But when we read it, it is read after the number: twenty dollars (and not dollars twenty). The same applies to other currencies: £20, ¥100, etc.

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