But there's a problem! The Internet, and most gaming discussion, is text-based which makes it difficult to convey a specific tone. Without being sure you're conveying the proper amount of sarcasm you run the risk of sounding super polite and also confused about the monarchical system. You need to make sure that when you say "Excuse me, Princess!" people know you're not serious! That's where adding extra letters u to "excuse" comes in. By adding more letters u you can force the reader's internal reading voice to drag out the pronunciation and ensure they pick up on your sarcastic tone! But how many letters u do you need to add to convey the correct amount of sarcasm? Luckily, computational linguist, Dinosaur Comics author, and IMHO total stud Ryan North has found the answer:
This graph shows the correlation between the amount of Google results and the amount of 'u's in "excuse." Points of interest:
- "Excuuse me, princess!" is really unpopular, given its ease in typing: people either write the phrase with The Canonical Number of Letters U (that is, 1), or write it with more. I believe this reflects a tension between dictionary spelling and how the word is said: if you're going to break the rules, people break them in a way that's clear and unambiguously not a typo!
- There is a marked preference for 41 letters u: "excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!" has 3,770 results, while the results around it have tons fewer. That's that bump near the end of the graph! Clearly there is a connection here with the amount of time the average person is willing to hold down their "u" key before losing interest and seeing what the other keys do. [Note: This may be a result of this YTMND which has 41 letters u in the title]
- It took 50 letters u ("excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!") to get 0 results. I was going to stop there, but then I made the mistake of checking 51 letters u, which had a few hits, as did 52. It was at 67 letters u ("excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!") that my Google search box was mostly the letter "u" and I realized that there is no upper limit on how many letters u could appear. It's letters u all the way down, you guys! So I stopped and wished I'd written a script to do this instead, but I really thought we'd peter out before 67.
If you're still reading this post and haven't yet found this topic totally exhausting, you can check out Ryan North's original post which contains the complete data set, including the exact number of results per number of letters u.