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I have just read this comic, and not quite sure what is the mistake in the last sentence "How pacific do these errors have to be?". Should it be peaceful instead of pacific? (English is my second language.)

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If you had problems with that last error, I wonder if you cot all the others: Frame 4: Your (should be You're); allergys (should be allergies); affect (should be effect). Frame 5: their (should be there); its (should be it's). My comment: cot (should be caught). Just in case you mist one (I hope you don't have the same allergy). –  J.R. May 1 '12 at 21:19
    
Does that guy in the last frame need a comma after God? –  Jez May 1 '12 at 21:23
    
Or pathetic even? That seems more in line with the rest of the dialog. ("I'm allergic to grammatical errors", frame-3, ...) –  Kris May 2 '12 at 3:18
    
‘If you want to impress small-minded educational snobs, then putting some time into the most intellectually trivial details of standard written English, the familiar grammatical and orthographic shibboleths, is a good investment.’ Geoffrey Pullum, Professor of General Linguistics, University of Edinburgh –  Barrie England May 2 '12 at 6:45
    
@Kris, it might be more coherent with the story line, but given that all the other errors are very common, I suspect that specific is the right answer, as that mistake is far more common (in my experience). –  Benjol May 2 '12 at 8:15

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Ha! It's supposed to be specific.

2a : restricted to a particular individual, situation, relation, or effect

Ex. a disease specific to horses

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This is an all too common (and annoying) replacement of one word with another similar sounding one. –  neil May 2 '12 at 14:00

I agree with what cornbread ninja has written. The whole set of sentences uttered in the bottom drawings is marred with errors. To be correct, they should read :

"You're coughing up blood! I didn't know allergies could cause such a bad effect!" "Are there others like you? (It) Looks like it's getting worse." "How specific do these errors have to be?"

So the term you pointed out comes at the end of a long series of mistakes, thus contributing to the comic effect of the whole.


While I was writing my post, there was someone more rapid than me who commentated upon the same. Sorry if mine then seems to be a double.

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as always, your answers are better than the answers of native English speakers. +1 –  user19148 May 1 '12 at 22:10
    
@Carlo_R. You flatter me! Thank you anyway. –  Paola May 1 '12 at 22:54
    
Paola, no need to say "sorry" for the double. Thanks for commenting on my speedy typing skills – you flatter me! –  J.R. May 1 '12 at 23:31
    
+1. Nice analysis of grammar. It is also possible the word is pathetic in place of pacific. The overall grammatical context in the cartoon does appear so. –  Kris May 2 '12 at 3:25

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