Chris and language
Languages are systems of communication consisting of units of meaning (i.e. words) arranged in a structured and conventional way. Given his intensely sheltered life in addition to his autism, Chris has yet to learn how to communicate effectively.
Having lived in the U.S. his entire life, Chris uses English as his primary language in both writing and discourse. He also learned Spanish as a second language, although his grasp of it is poor, to say the least. He has also used some phrases and words from other languages, and has shown interest in learning Japanese.
Chris makes many mistakes in both writing and speaking, for a variety of reasons. Chris stopped speaking at the age of 1, and he didn't start again until he was 7 years old. Chris does not interact with others offline on a regular basis. His autism and literal thinking also contributes to this problem; he takes sentences at face value, not thinking of any implication or hidden meanings in the sentence.
Chris is somewhat better at writing than speaking, since Chris writes more often than he speaks, and writing allows him to read over what he says before he presses send. Still, Chris's writing is riddled with grammatical, semantic, and literary flaws.
- Main article: CWC-isms
Chris has a habit of creating new words and using them without explaining what they mean in conversations. The CWC-ism "Tugboat" was used by Chris in an E-mail to Cole without telling him what it means. Oher words include "Noviophobia", "China" and "Ducks".
In the wider study of ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) these made up words are called neologisms, and are found to be common in the language of autistic individuals. It is hard to pin down and define the effects that these neologisms have on people with ASD across the board, but one of Chris's methods of creating these new words is using a portmanteau to create it. For instance the usage of Jerkop and noviophobia, jerkop sounding juvenile and slanderous, whereas noviophobia, a mix of boyfriend in Spanish (novio) and fear in Greek (phobos), is meant to validate Chris's fear of the infinitely high boyfriend factor.
Another form of Cwc-ism is that of an uncommon and completely original euphemism, such as duck or china. Chris's somewhat irrational fear of using the words that these cwc-isms replace is somewhat unusual at his age, but can be conducive to the sheltered type of parenting Chris has received. People with high functioning autism and Aspergers tend not to be able to understand idioms as easily as neuro-typical people (this is not dependant on IQ, either), so it is very interesting and unique to see how often Chris uses them.
- Main article: Chris and writing
In all languages, Chris's writing suffers from a lack of vocabulary, and using long words to attempt to sound intelligent, but often using them incorrectly, having the opposite effect. His unnecessary detailing and staggered flow can make reading his literary works cumbersome.
In contrast to the formless nature of his artwork, Chris has halfway-decent penmanship. Still, he often writes the wrong letter and ends up having to either scribble over it or "fudge" it into another letter. This has caused him to replace the handwriting in the comic with Comic Sans lettering in order to make it more legible. Though since issue 12-9 he has switched to Proxima Nova.
- Main article: Chris and oratory
In all languages, Chris has a lack of vocabulary knowledge, and a stutter, that cause it to be rather difficult to understand him oftentimes. His body language sometimes says a completely different thing than what he is actually saying, making the communication lose its potency instead of assisting it. His rhetoric is often very lacklustre, featuring very few solid arguments, and very many logical fallacies. Some examples of these issues include:
- Threats (including the occasional death threat)
- Bias and one-sided arguments
- Ad hominems
- Strawman arguments
- Moving the goalposts
All of these things usually make Chris's speeches very alienating, polarising and unconvincing, they also indicate a level of narcissism that is present in some of his works, and that leads to him being somewhat unlikable, which really damages his chances of being a powerful speaker.
- Main article: English
English is the most widely spoken language on Earth and Chris living in the USA should have been a master at it. Sadly, Chris's grasp on English is tenuous at best. His communication skills have suffered from a lack of vocabulary and heavy speech impediments including stuttering. Whilst singing and muttering prove as large obstacles to understanding Chris's speech, that's the least of the problems when it comes to Chris's communication skills.
- Main article: Chris and writing
His writing is riddled with wrong spellings, bad grammar, unnecessarily capitalised words, wrong syntaxes and non-existant words. He also sometimes reverses words, to exemplify some kind of significance, such as Pmurt, which is just Trump backwards, because he didn't like the United States President at the time.
His fondness of big words and semicolons despite his childlike writing style causes some of his writings to be very difficult to understand. He also has a poor concept of flow in his writing, often over-detailing things that are lack significance, leading one to lose their place in the story; Even in action sequences, Chris will sometimes explain something in excruciating detail, even though brevity and verbs are essential to keep the flow of the action going.
He also has problems with foreshadowing, as he can often foreshadow things which are irrelevant to the plot, or never following up, missing the point of the writing device in the first place. This causes his literary works such as the Sonichu comics to be very difficult to follow. Chris also has difficulty implementing exposition, often exposing unnecessary details and doing so in a very unsubtle manner.
His difficulty interacting with reality also causes Chris to conclude that his characters are real, making it ethical for them to never experience any difficulty or hardship, not realising that this can produce boring and tedious plots, with absolutely no conflict whatsoever.
Unfortunately, Chris usually has a hard time speaking, whether it's due to his nervousness or a speech impediment, it all stems from his autism. However, he also has inherited some regional dialect, such as the use of 'em and y'all, and omits the letter "t" when it is too much effort to pronounce, a common trait of American English.
The other problems have may originate from high-frequency hearing loss that Chris experienced as a young child, or perhaps he simply has tachyphemia, which seems to explain a lot of the symptoms.
The main problems Chris has outside of dialect are:
- Frequent sighing and ums and uhs.
- Speaking too quickly and slurring words, this behaviour is characteristic of children.
- Occasional spoonerism.
- Trouble pronouncing post-vocalic Ls, resulting in examples such as medal being pronounced "meadow".
- Trouble pronouncing the letter "X" (/ks/ or /gz/), as well as related consonantal digraphs (/sk/, /st/), pronouncing it either as an "/s/" sound (elision) or as a "/t͡s/" sound (fronting). Pronouncing box as bots and six as sits.
- Trouble pronouncing "th", usually pronouncing it "d", even when it's not intentional.
- Main article: Spanish
Despite learning Spanish for two years, Chris has often made rather basic errors in the language, some examples include:
- Using "ein" instead of "ien", a bad habit Chris has borrowed from his English writing ability, a common example of this is "bien", Chris would instead write "bein", the difference between them is easily notices by saying them out loud.
- Only using the present indicative tense, causing sentences that are set in different tenses to sound wrong.
- Being very inconsistent with punctuation and accents that are unique to the language.
His tendency to use Spanish in conjunction with reversed English indicates that Chris has an interesting view of Spanish which blends magical thinking and the idea that Spanish is some kind of ancient black magic language that only Chris understands, and that nobody would instantly know that Chris was just messing around with languages to make that video.
Other than the two major languages Chris uses, he has tried dabbling in other languages.
Chris being a Japanophile, has shown interest in learning japanese. He also uses the popular japanese words like “Kawaii" and "Senpai".
In November 2017, he released a drawing of him and Sailor Moon having a conversation in Japanese. The dialog was provided by the Idea Guys and the dialog therefore is filled with memes and lewd remarks.
|Japanese||Translated text||What Chris thought it said||Who said it|
Watashi wa dōseiai-shadesu
|I am a Homosexual.||I concur. John Elder had quite the autistic share and flair.||Chris|
Onaka ga akimashita
|I'm hungry.||Quirky, but intellectual||Luna|
Omae wa mō shindeiru
|You are already dead.||What a fascinating read.||Ami|
The text on the bottom is possibly: "You look like the kind of person who fucks a guy in the ass and doesn't have the courtesy to ejaculate inside him," which Chris thought was "Smart hearts; smart minds; well-educated support."
- Research paper on Neologisms and idiosyncratic language in autistic speakers (it's from 1991 so please update)
- Study about people with high functioning autism and Aspergers and their ability to understand idioms.
- See "Prevaricating" in this post
- Sonichu 12-9
- Such as this video in which when he says "my 25th birthday" he holds up three fingers, making the communication conflicting
- September 2020 social media posts#Chris the Multi-linguist
- December 2020 social media posts#Merry Christmas
- January 2021 social media posts#Chris now knows German