1221: "Nomenclature"

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1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby glasnt » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:11 am UTC

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Alt: [shouted, from the field] 'Aunt Beast hit a pop fly to second! Dive for it, Mrs Whatsit!'


Abbott and Costello and Doctor Who jokes <3

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:13 am UTC

A Wrinkle in Time Lords.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Magnanimous » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:23 am UTC

Took me about ten seconds, but I laughed.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Poohblah » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:33 am UTC

ok, pretty confident this is a "Doctor Who" reference, but somebody please enlighten me as to the joke/pun, because I really don't understand it... :?:

edit: ok, I see abbott and costello has been mentioned (I've not seen much of their movies/skits), and so has "a wrinkle in time"... now I'm even more lost.
Last edited by Poohblah on Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:35 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby dzamie » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:34 am UTC

Song plays right field. Well, I didn't hear anything from A&C saying that someone else was playing there!
Jenny and Madame Vastra, of course, are batting for the other team. :wink:



Poohblah wrote:ok, pretty confident this is a "Doctor Who" reference, but somebody please enlighten me as to the joke/pun, because I really don't understand it... :?:

In Doctor Who, there's a running gag where someone introduces him as the Doctor, and someone else invariably replies with "Doctor who?" to which the response (usually by the Doctor) is "no, just the Doctor."
It also references Abbot and Costello's Who's on First skit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_gSWTQKE-0

Code: Select all

:Clrhome
:while 1
:Output(randInt(1,8),randInt(1,16),randInt(0,9))
:Output(randInt(1,8),randInt(1,16)," ")
:Output(randInt(1,8),randInt(1,16)," ")
:End

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby ETACM » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:38 am UTC

Any chance someone could explain the mouseover? I must be missing some references...

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Poohblah » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:39 am UTC

dzamie wrote:Song plays right field. Well, I didn't hear anything from A&C saying that someone else was playing there!
Jenny and Madame Vastra, of course, are batting for the other team. :wink:



Poohblah wrote:ok, pretty confident this is a "Doctor Who" reference, but somebody please enlighten me as to the joke/pun, because I really don't understand it... :?:

In Doctor Who, there's a running gag where someone introduces him as the Doctor, and someone else invariably replies with "Doctor who?" to which the response (usually by the Doctor) is "no, just the Doctor."
It also references Abbot and Costello's Who's on First skit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_gSWTQKE-0

Yes, I'm aware of that Doctor who joke, and.... OH!! THAT skit! I've seen it before!! NOW I understand! Thanks you :)

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Euler » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:59 am UTC

I just wanted to pop in and say that the title text is a reference to 'A wrinkle in Time' my Madeleine L'Engle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Wrinkle_in_Time

I couldn't exactly call it a normal book.
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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Antior » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:14 am UTC

dzamie wrote:In Doctor Who, there's a running gag where someone introduces him as the Doctor, and someone else invariably replies with "Doctor who?" to which the response (usually by the Doctor) is "no, just the Doctor."


Silence will fall when the question is asked...

Also, referring to The Doctor (character) as "Doctor Who" is about the same level of ignorance as mixing up Vulcans and Klingons.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby lassehp » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:31 am UTC

Goodness! I didn't get the joke. Just didn't. Started reading the comments, saw Abbot and Costello mentioned. Hm, no - not getting it. Then my memory (which apparantly has a high latency) kicked up the right association (maybe that was the problem - I'm usually left associative), and I burst into laughter-o-loudly.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby netcrusher88 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:56 am UTC

Euler wrote:I just wanted to pop in and say that the title text is a reference to 'A wrinkle in Time' my Madeleine L'Engle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Wrinkle_in_Time

I couldn't exactly call it a normal book.

In retrospect I think I may have liked A Wrinkle in Time for much of the same reason I enjoy Stephenson novels. Geeky babble.
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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Icalasari » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:29 am UTC

Aaaaand I'm watching Doctor Who reviews

Is this a Get Out Of My Head Randall moment?

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby willpellmn » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:46 am UTC

Took a moment for this one to dawn on me, but I was amused. (Yes this exactly the same thing Magnanimous already said; doesn't make it wrong.)

Also, to finish clearing up any confusion among readers even less knowledgeable than I - the reason A Wrinkle in Time is being referenced in the alt-text is that it contains a character named "Mrs. Who" (a compatriot of Mrs. Whatsit).

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Arky » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:51 am UTC

I got the Abbott and Costello ref (after about 10 seconds of thinking "eh? What's the joke? This is a scene which happens ALL THE TIME in the show") but I didn't get A Wrinkle In Time even though I've read the book. Albeit I read the book probably 16 or 17 years ago so my memory of it is not that great.
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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Arancaytar » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:52 am UTC

I got the Who's On First joke and the Doctor Who reference, but I haven't read A Wrinkle In Time.
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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby m_dow » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:52 am UTC

Incidentally, it's also a point of pedantic significance that Randall didn't put a period after the "Mrs" in "Mrs Whatsit." L'Engle left it off for the three supernatural beings, although some rogue copy-editors slipped it back in (at least, in a couple editions).

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Wooloomooloo » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:53 am UTC

Hmmm, is Randall meta-trolling? A continuation of http://xkcd.com/891/? "If you get this, you're... just too old"? Although to be honest, that doesn't include the alt-text (no idea about that, haven't read that book).

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby A42 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:16 am UTC

I made an account here just to say, EEEEEEEEEE, Randall referenced A Wrinkle In Time!

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby mooncow » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:31 am UTC

m_dow wrote:Incidentally, it's also a point of pedantic significance that Randall didn't put a period after the "Mrs" in "Mrs Whatsit."


It's a point a pedantic significance that "Mrs" is correctly written without a period. The period indicates omitted letters, and is correctly used for shortenings like "Rev.", "Gen.", "Pres.", etc. Titles like "Dr", "Mr", "Mrs" have letters omitted from the middle, not from the end, so "Mrs" is quite correct, although people do often write it as "Mrs." without logic, especially Americans.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Klear » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:36 am UTC

mooncow wrote:
m_dow wrote:Incidentally, it's also a point of pedantic significance that Randall didn't put a period after the "Mrs" in "Mrs Whatsit."


It's a point a pedantic significance that "Mrs" is correctly written without a period. The period indicates omitted letters, and is correctly used for shortenings like "Rev.", "Gen.", "Pres.", etc. Titles like "Dr", "Mr", "Mrs" have letters omitted from the middle, not from the end, so "Mrs" is quite correct, although people do often write it as "Mrs." without logic, especially Americans.


Thanks for this. I'm trying to know British English rather than american, so it's always nice to become aware of another difference. Not long ago, I was quite surprised that the correct British form is "aeroplane".

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby orthogon » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:56 am UTC

This reminds me of the whole "Hu is the president of China" routine that the Now Show did after the last-but-one Politburo reshuffle. The Prime Minister was Wen Jiabao, which doubled the comedic potential. ("The Chinese Prime Minister is coming to visit." "When?" "Yes" etc).
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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Mo6eB » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:20 am UTC

Ok, I read every comment here and then hit "A Wrinkle in Time"'s wikipedia page. Let me see if I understand right:

There's this show called "Doctor Who", in which the main character is called The Doctor, leading to people asking "doctor who?" and being told "No, just 'The Doctor'". It's a fine show.
There's also this comedy duo called Abbot&Costello, who have a sketch called "Who's on first" about a reporter and baseball coach constantly misunderstanding each other, because the player on first base (whatever the heck that is) has the nickname "Who". The sketch is mildly amusing.
There's also a book called "A Wrinkle in Time" in which several aliens pose as humans, adopting the names "Mrs Who", "Mrs Which" and "Mrs Whatsit". The book sounds awesome.

And the joke is...?
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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Klear » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:24 am UTC

Mo6eB wrote:Ok, I read every comment here and then hit "A Wrinkle in Time"'s wikipedia page. Let me see if I understand right:

There's this show called "Doctor Who", in which the main character is called The Doctor, leading to people asking "doctor who?" and being told "No, just 'The Doctor'". It's a fine show.
There's also this comedy duo called Abbot&Costello, who have a sketch called "Who's on first" about a reporter and baseball coach constantly misunderstanding each other, because the player on first base (whatever the heck that is) has the nickname "Who". The sketch is mildly amusing.
There's also a book called "A Wrinkle in Time" in which several aliens pose as humans, adopting the names "Mrs Who", "Mrs Which" and "Mrs Whatsit". The book sounds awesome.

And the joke is...?


The joke is that the reason why the baseball player from the A&C sketch is called "Who" is because he's The Doctor. Edit: And every time you'll see the sketch from now on, you won't be able to get the idea that they are talking about The Doctor out of your head.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby BAReFOOt » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:16 am UTC

Klear wrote:The joke is that the reason why the baseball player from the A&C sketch is called "Who" is because he's The Doctor. Edit: And every time you'll see the sketch from now on, you won't be able to get the idea that they are talking about The Doctor out of your head.


But that’s nonsense, since nobody ever calls him “Doctor Who". That’s like calling Link "Zelda", or Master Chief "Halo". In other words:

Doctor Who is a pretty cool guy. Eh fights the Daleks and doesn't afraid of anything.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby hetas » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:24 am UTC

ETACM wrote:Any chance someone could explain the mouseover? I must be missing some references...

Watch some Monty Python. Mixed with Abbot and Costello.

EDIT: Or at least that's what I first thought when reading Aunt Beast And Mrs. Whatsit. Maybe it was just an coincidence.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby VectorZero » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:56 pm UTC

Robot Chicken did this years ago.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby xpatiate » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:16 pm UTC

I thought I got the Doctor Who bit, I was completely and utterly stumped by the whole baseball thing, but I was SO EXCITED by the Wrinkle in Time reference! It's one of the handful of well-loved books I've kept from childhood, and flipping through it now I see all kinds of things that have stuck with me, without my realising where they came from. Truly a magical book, not just for the planet-hopping story or the insights into maths and physics, but the wonderful characters (human and otherwise) - in particular the dorky, emotional, brilliant but clueless but ultimately heroic Meg. Inspiration for nerdy girls everywhere.

Also I would love to see Aunt Beast hit a pop fly (whatever that is).

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby LarrySDonald » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:47 pm UTC

For the first time from 1 to 1220, I simply didn't get what the hell the joke was. Figured it was about Dr Who, failed to associate with Abbot and Costello until the comments.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:03 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
mooncow wrote:
It's a point a pedantic significance that "Mrs" is correctly written without a period. The period indicates omitted letters, and is correctly used for shortenings like "Rev.", "Gen.", "Pres.", etc. Titles like "Dr", "Mr", "Mrs" have letters omitted from the middle, not from the end, so "Mrs" is quite correct, although people do often write it as "Mrs." without logic, especially Americans.


Thanks for this. I'm trying to know British English rather than american, so it's always nice to become aware of another difference. Not long ago, I was quite surprised that the correct British form is "aeroplane".

Don't take mooncow too seriously. They're quoting the convention from Fowler's Modern English Usage (1926) which doesn't agree with other style guides, British or otherwise, on that point. There is nothing more or less correct about using periods after titles, and nothing particular regional about it either. (The logical editors of the Economist, for example, would let Rev stand without a period, and many careful British writers have made a point of giving Mr. a period.) The key really is consistency, which is why so many editors got out their pens for Wrinkle in Time, because many of these distinctions are arbitrary and it's only important that you pick one and stick with it! (Unless of course you're L'Engle and you have a reason not to.)
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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Klear » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:27 pm UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:
Klear wrote:
mooncow wrote:
It's a point a pedantic significance that "Mrs" is correctly written without a period. The period indicates omitted letters, and is correctly used for shortenings like "Rev.", "Gen.", "Pres.", etc. Titles like "Dr", "Mr", "Mrs" have letters omitted from the middle, not from the end, so "Mrs" is quite correct, although people do often write it as "Mrs." without logic, especially Americans.


Thanks for this. I'm trying to know British English rather than american, so it's always nice to become aware of another difference. Not long ago, I was quite surprised that the correct British form is "aeroplane".

Don't take mooncow too seriously. They're quoting the convention from Fowler's Modern English Usage (1926) which doesn't agree with other style guides, British or otherwise, on that point. There is nothing more or less correct about using periods after titles, and nothing particular regional about it either. (The logical editors of the Economist, for example, would let Rev stand without a period, and many careful British writers have made a point of giving Mr. a period.) The key really is consistency, which is why so many editors got out their pens for Wrinkle in Time, because many of these distinctions are arbitrary and it's only important that you pick one and stick with it! (Unless of course you're L'Engle and you have a reason not to.)


Wikipedia seems to agree though. And anyway, it makes sense to write it without the period.

Also, I worked as an editor, I know consistency is important.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Calica » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:36 pm UTC

Antior wrote:Also, referring to The Doctor (character) as "Doctor Who" is about the same level of ignorance as mixing up Vulcans and Klingons.

And yet, I do this all the time out of habit, despite knowing better :oops:

Edit: referring to The Doctor as Who, I mean. Vulcans and Klingons are clearly nothing alike.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Schrottrocker » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:41 pm UTC

Perfect comic to make anybody outside GB and USA feel totally left out. When I'm grown up I'm going to create a comic that attracts an even bigger fanbase than Randall's, then I'll write an episode that refers to a) 5 different sketches/tv shows/novels that are all well known in my country but completely obscure in the rest of the world, b) puns that are entirely lost in translation and c) some kind of sports that everybody in my country loves but nobody else outside has a clue about.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby orthogon » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:48 pm UTC

Calica wrote:
Antior wrote:Also, referring to The Doctor (character) as "Doctor Who" is about the same level of ignorance as mixing up Vulcans and Klingons.

And yet, I do this all the time out of habit, despite knowing better :oops:

Edit: referring to The Doctor as Who, I mean. Vulcans and Klingons are clearly nothing alike.

I didn't know any better. I guess I'm one of today's lucky 10,000. However, if this is correct (which I suppose I have to accept), why is the programme called "Doctor Who" and not "Doctor Who?"?

Also, estimation problem: how many Dr Hus are there in the world? (or in China, I guess it's approximately the same).

EDIT: I had underpunctuated my allegation of underpunctuation.
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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby goofy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:40 pm UTC

mooncow wrote:It's a point a pedantic significance that "Mrs" is correctly written without a period. The period indicates omitted letters, and is correctly used for shortenings like "Rev.", "Gen.", "Pres.", etc. Titles like "Dr", "Mr", "Mrs" have letters omitted from the middle, not from the end, so "Mrs" is quite correct, although people do often write it as "Mrs." without logic, especially Americans.


This is not true. There are plenty of British citations in the OED for Dr. and Mrs. with the period. The idea that the period is only used when letters are omitted from the end seems completely made up. It might be a standard in some style guides, but it's certainly not the only correct way.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby blowfishhootie » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:50 pm UTC

mooncow wrote:people do often write it as "Mrs." without logic, especially Americans.


You seem to be confusing you being too stubborn/clueless to understand something with that same something not being logical. Here's the logic: In American English, almost any single word (as opposed to an acronym) that is abbreviated will get a period on the end. I want to say any instead of "almost any," but I'm sure there's some example to the contrary, because language is a complex beast that can't be summed up in any practical number of single-sentence rules.

And the only question that actually matters in language is this: Did you understand the point being communicated? Great, then the language use was logical.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby O-Deka-K » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:00 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I didn't know any better. I guess I'm one of today's lucky 10,000. However, if this is correct (which I suppose I have to accept), why is the programme called "Doctor Who" and not "Doctor Who?"?

Already mentioned, but since you also mentioned "lucky 10,000", I'll explain. Whenever someone meets The Doctor for the first time, the conversation usually goes something like this:

A: ...and this is The Doctor.
B: Doctor? Doctor who?
The Doctor: No, it's just "The Doctor".

It's a running gag.

Also, it's not that NOBODY calls The Doctor "Doctor Who". It's that a lot of people incorrectly call him "Doctor Who" (because that's what the show is called). That's the joke. "[Doctor] Who's on first?" "No, he's just The Doctor".

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby goofy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:07 pm UTC

The Doctor has been called "Doctor Who" on screen once. In The War Machines, the computer WOTAN says "Doctor Who is required. Bring him here." He was also called "Dr. Who" in the early comics.

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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby orthogon » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:11 pm UTC

O-Deka-K wrote:
orthogon wrote:I didn't know any better. I guess I'm one of today's lucky 10,000. However, if this is correct (which I suppose I have to accept), why is the programme called "Doctor Who" and not "Doctor Who?"?

Already mentioned, but since you also mentioned "lucky 10,000", I'll explain. Whenever someone meets The Doctor for the first time, the conversation usually goes something like this:

A: ...and this is The Doctor.
B: Doctor? Doctor who?
The Doctor: No, it's just "The Doctor".


Thanks, but I think my question might have been obscured rather than clarified by the punctuation. My point was that the programme should be called "Doctor Who?", not "Doctor Who". Without the question mark it strongly implies that "Dr Who" is the protagonist's name. Then again I will count myself as doubly, triply or quadruply lucky if somebody now points out that Dr Strangelove, Dr Zhivago and/or Dr Jekyll are not the characters' real names.
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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby Angelastic » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:23 pm UTC

Abbot and Costello have a sketch about baseball, eh? No wonder Costello often gets confused with Joe Jackson, the baseball player cum pop star. ;)
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Re: 1221: "Nomenclature"

Postby O-Deka-K » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:24 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Thanks, but I think my question might have been obscured rather than clarified by the punctuation. My point was that the programme should be called "Doctor Who?", not "Doctor Who". Without the question mark it strongly implies that "Dr Who" is the protagonist's name. Then again I will count myself as doubly, triply or quadruply lucky if somebody now points out that Dr Strangelove, Dr Zhivago and/or Dr Jekyll are not the characters' real names.

Sorry, I missed the last bit of your question.

The answer is...
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Who knows?


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