Having been “downsized” (a word which horrified me the first time I heard it as an English major in college) from three different companies over the years, I’ve gotten a sense of the difference between a personality and an archetype. I like for the dialogue in PartiallyClips to ring as true as possible. I want my characters to speak more like people you know than is common in most strips.

But clearly that’s not the case in this one. I am not modelling “Kenneth” on anyone I have known, but on a certain common mindset. No real person would talk this way in this situation, unless maybe he’s in clinical shock and is falling back on comfortable speech/thought patterns as a way of dealing with an overwhelming situation. Don’t think I didn’t consider that angle for the punchline.

Sometimes I will listen to otherwise normal people when they take on the aspect of a business-speak archetype, and I will wonder if it sounds wrong to them, even as they’re doing it. I know it sounds wrong to me when I do it. Taking that behavior out of the office and putting it where it doesn’t belong is the joke I was going for here. It’s dialogue reality of a different order.