Pi’s having way too much fun with this. I love it.
Um… can we, the non-native-speakers, get some translation into English for the last panel?
(1) Any words or actions
(2) that the officer SHOULD have known
(3) were likely to get an incriminating response
??? What does that mean?
I’m not a native speaker either, and I have no idea what you mean.
That’s perfectly understandable English.
It’s a single sentence, broken up into bits to make it easier to spot the important elements. It’s not three separate sentences.
Here’s another way of putting it: It’s “interrogation” whenever an officer says or does something that could get the other person to say something incriminating, and the officer ought to have realized that there was a good chance of that happening.
Or: “Interrogation” includes anything that the officer should have known would be reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.
Honestly, I’m a native English speaker with a master’s degree in English and linguistics, and I had to reread that three times to decipher it. I think it first loses some people because the orthography makes it appear like the sentence should start with 1.) but it actually starts with “Interrogation.” We’re looking for the subject and verb of the sentence, but all we actually have is a big noun phrase broken up into three parts. Secondly, we start with a singular noun which is being defined, and we expect it to be defined as a singular thing as well (Such as: “a situation in which an officer takes any words or actions. . .” or similar). Because we see a plural noun phrase on a new line, we assume the definition is syntactically a new sentence, when it isn’t. I think what we’re more programmed to expect in a situation like this is: “Interrogations” consist of: (1) . . . (2) . . . (3) . . .
Except it more or less was. The function of the sentence was:
The confusion arose because it was framed as one whole sentence. To that end, it was closer to imagism poetry.
Well, no. It IS a whole sentence. It’s just a misuse of the verb “means” in this case. The problem from orthography (coupled with verb misuse, I’ll grant) is that we’re led to believe that the 1/2/3 segments ALONE form a full sentence. This is not the case.
This could be corrected with:
Interrogation refers to. . .
. . .criteria 1. . .
. . .criteria 2. . .
. . .criteria 3.
“Interrogation” being a single noun made equivalent to “any words or actions” a plural noun phrase doesn’t appear to work, so it’s natural to assume it’s not equivalence at all, thus that “interrogation” is not being made equivalent to the noun phrase but to an independent clause. This gets worse when we hit the verb phrase at the beginning of 3. With that, you now have all the parts you need to parse it as a clause, but you can’t, because the resulting sentence, while grammatical, doesn’t make sense in context. Bracketing for noun phrases below:
[Any words or actions that the officer SHOULD have known] were likely to get [an incriminating response].
This is the obvious misreading.
Thus the natural way to read that assemblage of words is to assume that the subject is “actions/words that the officer should have known about”, and that those actions/words were likely to get an incriminating response.
When in fact, it’s supposed to be read differently. Bracketing labeled below, including the full sentence:
SINGULAR NOUN PHRASE[Interrogation] VERB EXPRESSING EQUIVALENCE [means:]
PLURAL NOUN PHRASE [Any words or actions] MODIFYING SUBORDINATE CLAUSE [that the officer SHOULD have known were likely to get an incriminating response].
Swap “means” with “refers to” or “is defined as” or really anything appropriate and it’d be cleared right up.
Oh, now I get it.
“Should have known” in this case does not refer to the WORDS, but to “could get incriminating evidence”.
“Interrogation is any action and/or any question, statement or comment which was likely to elicit an incriminating response, BUT ONLY IF the cop should have known about the likeliness of that”
Not a bad takedown, π. ☆ don’t tend to be all that well trained, but they do get some lessons, he’s bigger than you, and probably in better shape; his job is a bit more physical than yours. All in all, nice job.
wtf is going on? Why is she twisting the cop’s arm? You make all the women in your comics very weird…