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<   No. 4246   2020-05-04   >

Comic #4246

1 Lambert: Y... Y... gosh, I know there’s a monster starting with Y...
2 Kyros: Yeth... there is!
2 Dwalin: Yet ’e... ’asn’t figured it out.
2 Lambert: Argh!!
3 Mordekai: You go, Draak. Lambert’s loth to.
3 Draak: You want I go?
4 Lambert: Not helping!!
4 Kyros: Yep, true.
4 Lambert: Yeptroo! That’s a monster!
4 Kyros: Bzzzzt!

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Two things:

Firstly: Kyros is clearly impersonating the sound of an annoying insect as a signal that Lambert is incorrect, because naturally he wouldn't have ever had any experience with an electric buzzer.

Secondly, and I must preface this with the fact that it partially explains the joke, so if you'd rather try to figure out everything in the comic yourself, without reading my explanation of it, then maybe avoid reading any further:

I wrote this comic wanting Kyros, Dwalin, Mordekai, and Draak to all be dropping hints of monsters that start with Y, which Lambert is too oblivious to get. The other constraint of course is that Draak must speak monosyllabically. There are precious few canonical D&D monsters that start with Y in the first place - the main ones I missed referencing are the yellow musk creeper and its attendant yellow musk zombies.

I struck on the idea of Draak saying "You want I go?", with his first three words essentially pronouncing the well known monster race known as the yuan-ti.

Now some of you will probably already be thinking: "That's not how yuan-ti is pronounced." Indeed, after completing the comic, I checked if there was any pronunciation guide... and found to my horror that every single one I found said that the last syllable is pronounced "tee", not "tie".

However, I'm going to make an argument that the pronunciation of clearly wholesale invented words should not be dictated. I'm an Australian English speaker, and my natural reaction when first seeing the syllable "ti" in this previously unencountered word (over 30 years ago) was to pronounce it as "tie", not "tee". Just because that's different to the reaction of a typical American English speaker doesn't make it wrong. I (and 24 million other Australians) already pronounce a very large number of words differently to American English (and I defy anyone to tell every Australian that they pronounce more than 50% of their vocabulary wrong) - why should an American publisher tell me (and 24 million other Australians) how I should pronounce some other word, when it might be read more naturally with a different pronunciation by those using a different dialect of English?

Anyway, it was easier for me to write the above paragraph than to change the dialogue in the comic. So there you have it. 😀

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