Bullshit Removal!

Selling Pictures

What The Duck – By Aaron Johnson – http://whattheduck.net

Transcript

  • Box 1: I don’t sell photographs. I sell memories and experiences.
  • Box 2: I don’t sell pictures. I sell cherished moments preserved for eternity.
  • Box 3: I don’t sell shovels. I’m just here for bull$#!it removal.

Vocabulary

  • memories (n.) /ˈmeməriz/ the things you remember.
  • cherish (v.) /ˈtʃerɪʃ/ If you cherish an idea, hope, memory, etc, it is very important to you.
  • preserved (adj.) /prɪˈzɜːv/ to keep something the same or prevent it from being damaged or destroyed
  • eternity (n.) /ɪˈtɜːnəti/ time that continues forever, especially after death
  • shovels (n.) /ˈʃʌvəl/ the tool he holds in his hand
  • bull$#!it = bullshit (n.) /ˈbʊl.ʃɪt/ (very informal) swear word to refer to complete nonsense or something that is not true

Context

  • The two photographers are basically saying the same thing: they sell photographs. But they want to say it in a way that sounds much better to attach their potential customer.
    • When you use a word which has a positive association instead of a neutral word, this is called a euphemism.
  • Notice that the author used some symbols to write bullshit: “bull$#!it”. This is a common strategy in comics when the authors don’t want to write the actual word because it could be perceived as something negative, but still want the readers to be able to guess which word it should be. (Note that this one would actually be very easy to read: $ stands for S, # stands for H, and ! stands for I).
  • Another interesting feature in this comic is the fact that the three ducks start with the same sentence structure: “I don’t sell X,” but the third one breaks the pattern by actually meaning the fact that he doesn’t sell shovels, adding to the comical effect.

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