Is that how engineeers curse?
In keeping with our desire to "learn something every day," we turn to Wikipedia for some speculation regarding Dilbert's tie:
In nearly every strip, Dilbert's tie is curved upward. While Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, has offered no definitive explanation for this, he has explained the tie at least as a further example of Dilbert's lack of power over his environment. A second explanation given by Adams in the Dilbert FAQ is that "he is just glad to see you"...
Additionally, in Seven Years of Highly Defective People, Adams wrote: "Many readers asked me to allow Dilbert to lose his innocence with Liz, so to speak. But I didn't see any way I could do that in a comic strip and get it past the editors. So I developed a secret sign. I told the people who receive the Dilbert newsletter that if Dilbert ever got lucky with Liz, I would draw his normally upturned necktie flat one day."
The flat-necktie strip was printed on August 9, 1994, in which Dogbert suspected that Dilbert had gotten lucky; ironically, the tie was shown flattened after Liz stated she did not believe in fornication... In another strip, Dilbert met Antina, an overly masculine female coworker who caused his tie to flatten and point downward, strengthening the idea of the tie being a phallic symbol (Adams himself has said that he does not know what it means).