These Numbers Just Don’t Add Up

Getting Right Down To It

This cartoon was originally captioned, “Yes, I can see that you added these numbers up, but they still don’t, you know. . .add up.” It’s a fine caption, but if brevity is indeed wit, that line is less than witty.

You see, in general, you only have a few seconds to get a cartoon across to a reader, so any shortcut you can take (implying background, simplifying scenery, pruning a caption) helps a lot.

But this one was a stumper. I couldn’t get past setting it up with “added these numbers up,” that is, until I was tinkering with my budget later that day.

I was using the auto sum function when suddenly the above caption came into sharp focus. An Excel-lent improvement, you could say.


Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website,

3 Reactions
  1. Yeah, the final caption is FAR better 😉

  2. Business Valuations

    I agree, the new caption is better. There are times I wish control+z worked in the real world. Cool pic and caption.

  3. Martin Lindeskog


    Do you know where I find the Greek alphabet letter Sigma (used in Excel as autosum symbol) on MacBook keyboard?

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