0194 - Nothing in common - 2021.06.21



Having linguistic problems, like a stutter or a thick accent, is a major problem for socialization, being understood, being respected, etc. Communicating is one of the primary things that humans do, and communication of one sort or another is a major emotional and psychological need. Being consistently misunderstood or ignored not only feels bad - it can have a hugely significant effect on your mental wellbeing.

On the other hand, being known to have linguistic problems can, in some circumstances, be an advantage. It's a great way to get out of having to give a presentation, for example, or to claim that something you said was misunderstood. Having little speedbumps in your speech can also have the added benefit that you get a few extra milliseconds to think about what it is that you're saying, and may allow you to change it midstream, if necessary. (Some might say we could all benefit from an enforced thinking-period before we speak.)

That's what's happening in the third panel, there, where Caleb starts to say something that begins with P, then their stutter gives them enough time to decide to change words. It may not be particularly significant in this case, but it is something that Caleb can do, and it may be of plot importance later on. Second-guessing and suppressing themself is a very Caleb move.


0194 - 2167/07/06/16:42 - Lee's apartment, living room.
Doc: Lee, you talk about your interests all the time. You can do this.
LC: I... uh... Caleb, do you like Gu Gu JaxxonFive?
CP: I... don't... uh... I don't know.
LC: You don't know?
CP: I... I... I mean, I've heard of it, but... but I don't really watch media that I'm... that I'm not a p-p-part of in some way. I can't g-get into it. Does that make sense?
LC: You don't watch TV at all?
CP: I w-watch things that are related to g-games I'm in. And the n-n-news, I k-keep up with politics, that's... uh... that's important.
LC: Okay, so... we definitely don't have that in common, then. Uh... I'm thinking of making my nose smaller, I'm still not happy with it. How about you, what's the last cosmetic change you had done?
CP: I.... uh... nothing. All the body modifications that were ever done to me were p-p-p... uh... for work.
Zoa: You've got this nifty crosshair design on your upper arm, though.
CP: Th-that's not a m-m-mod, that's.... y'know, that's a... that's a tattoo.
Zoa: Whoa, like old-fashioned with a needle and stuff? Badass!
CP: Y-yeah, with a needle and stuff, b-b-by... by hand. It... it really hurt.
LC: Okay, Doc: Caleb and I officially have absolutely zero things in common. What now?