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View Full Version : A TV Tropes debate we could use some input on.



Rogue 7
2009-03-22, 01:45 PM
I'm currently locked in one heck of a debate over on the TV Tropes forum about renaming tropes and the overall content and clarity of the site. People are throwing around statistics and assumptions about what readers do and how they read the site. So, I'm asking you folk here to help me out and give me your opinions.


1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

Ascension
2009-03-22, 01:55 PM
Woah woah woah, the only reason I spend so much time on TV Tropes in the first place is because it's funny. If they start changing the amusing trope titles and draining the fun out of it... it won't be TV Tropes anymore. I don't know what it'll be, but it won't be TV Tropes.

Adlan
2009-03-22, 02:04 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

It's one of my Bad Habits. Doing so costs me many Hours of my life, and I'll never get them back.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

Generally titles are made clear

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

Not sure I understand the Question. Most titles I can think of are either self explanatory or a quote from somewhere

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

It is a bit of both, the wit and hunour make TV Tropes what it is, but it's also good for finding stuff out.

Haruki-kun
2009-03-22, 02:09 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?
A) Occasionally. Sometimes the trope name is more than enough. I just click because it somehow catches my eye.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?
A) Most definitely not. The fact that the title references some work of fiction, no matter how obscure, is what makes TV Tropes so likable. I like that as it is.

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?
A)......I'm not sure I understand this question.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?
A) Isn't there something in between? The latter, I suppose, but the cool thing about it is that even when you laugh at the silliness of it all, you can't help thinking "but it IS true, you know..." "they do have a point..."

sun_tzu
2009-03-22, 02:09 PM
I'm currently locked in one heck of a debate over on the TV Tropes forum about renaming tropes and the overall content and clarity of the site. People are throwing around statistics and assumptions about what readers do and how they read the site. So, I'm asking you folk here to help me out and give me your opinions.


1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

1)Yes.
2)I'm of two minds here. Context makes it more fun, but also more obscure to people who aren't already experienced with TVTropes.
3)Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do I.
4)I could make a reasonable case for either, I'm afraid.

Haruki-kun
2009-03-22, 02:12 PM
You know, to add something, I don't know why people would seriously want to rename tropes. I understand maybe adding an "AKA" tag somewhere, but the truth is, we're mostly already used to trope names.

Rogue 7
2009-03-22, 02:16 PM
What I meant by question 3 was- do you more frequently see trope names slung around with no context- either as examples or in descriptions- or do they generally have context that could help make a more obscure title clear?

chiasaur11
2009-03-22, 02:17 PM
I gotta agree with the pro humor bunch. Main reason I read the thing.

I mean, it won't be good as an academic resource even if it tries. Best to stick with the strengths, you know?

MeklorIlavator
2009-03-22, 02:19 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?
Sometimes, but not to often. I generally only read these pages if they come up on a random article search, or if they have to do with a favorite character, episode, etc.


2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?
I lean more towards allowing context to explain, but the title should be germane and recognizable. For example, naming the trope after the inside joke from a MST3K episode about the character who actually represents the trope is a bad idea (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheToblerone). Especially since the name is actually a type of relatively well known food (http://www.toblerone.com/).


3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?
Usually, I find them to be made clearer, but sometimes(like the one referenced previously), the logic behind the choice remains obscure. I think this is the bid reason. If the title makes sense, then people can remember it, but ones that don't just lead to confusion.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?
I think that there should be a combination, but leaning towards the latter(maybe 60/40).

Haruki-kun
2009-03-22, 02:19 PM
What I meant by question 3 was- do you more frequently see trope names slung around with no context- either as examples or in descriptions- or do they generally have context that could help make a more obscure title clear?

The former, I suppose.

I have noticed that they're very often mentioned in chats and stuff, for example. I just saw someone say "A wizard did it" in a chat, not 10 minutes ago. But for people who are not genre savvy, we often have to explain what we're talking about.

....I swear, I did not force Genre savvy in there.

Hell Puppi
2009-03-22, 02:21 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

Basically I click every trope ever, then read them all until I understand.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

Not at all, I like the amusing titles. Besides, what would be considered clear and what's not? I find 'Nightmare Fuel' perfectly self-explanatory, but another person may not.

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

Some seem to, but others are very well explained and liked to other tropes of similar types.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

I like the humor of the site and think it would loose some it's sparkle if it became a more serious wiki. The only real problem I have when navigating tv tropes is thinking of a trope then completely forgetting the name and having a four-hour slog through it before forgetting what I even came to the site for in the first place.

Helanna
2009-03-22, 02:21 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

Sometimes . . . okay, yeah, most of the time.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

Oh gods no. I love the creative trope names, based off of works. If you can't deal with a title that references a work you haven't seen/read, then why are you even on TV Tropes? Exact clear titles would be far too long anyway, making them short enough for actual titles wouldn't be any clearer anyway. :smallconfused:

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

I'm not sure what you mean either. Do you mean that do trope titles tip me off onto what they describe? Not always, but so long as it's potholed in a description of what's happening I'm pretty sure I could figure it out.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

Second one. Of course it should be clear and explain itself properly, but . . . it's not Wikipedia. The entire reason I'm so addicted to it is because it's funny and clever. It makes it seem more like a community. Who sees Wikipedia as a community rather than a resource? On TV Tropes, you can tell there are individual people gathering there to talk about their favorite shows/books/movies/whatever, and it makes it infinitely better than Wikipedia.

Rogue 7
2009-03-22, 02:28 PM
The former, I suppose.

I have noticed that they're very often mentioned in chats and stuff, for example. I just saw someone say "A wizard did it" in a chat, not 10 minutes ago. But for people who are not genre savvy, we often have to explain what we're talking about.

....I swear, I did not force Genre savvy in there.

I meant on the wiki itself. We've got no control over how you use it in real life.

Trizap
2009-03-22, 02:29 PM
I'm currently locked in one heck of a debate over on the TV Tropes forum about renaming tropes and the overall content and clarity of the site. People are throwing around statistics and assumptions about what readers do and how they read the site. So, I'm asking you folk here to help me out and give me your opinions.


1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

1.Yes
2. I don't mind unclear titles
3. huh?
4. I want it to be a balance of funnyness and cleverness and accessibility and clarity, I don't want it to lose its funny-ness and cleverness, that what makes Tvtropes unique.

afroakuma
2009-03-22, 02:33 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

Yep. I'm usually lured by amusing or unusual trope names.


2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

I'm with Ascension on this: Spikefication was a way better title than Badass Decay, for example, because it did what TV Tropes are supposed to do - mock the worst offender and provide a relevant and easily recognized case.


3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

I note most of them have the trope namer at the top of its relevant section, if not in the introductory section itself. With one exception, which is too unique a part of TV Tropes (The Toblerone), they're all relatively easy to put together or at least put in context.


4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

It's always been proud of being the latter, it claims to be the latter, holds the latter as its standard. I choose the latter without hesitation.

TigerHunter
2009-03-22, 02:38 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?
Yes.


2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?
I like unclear titles because they're more creative than just titling a trope with a description of what it is.


3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?
Not sure I understand the question. Could you elaborate?


4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?
Less serious, more witty and informal.

BRC
2009-03-22, 02:45 PM
I don't mind obscure funny trope names, but sometimes out of context they can be confusing. Especially if said trope is named after a character, and if it's in a description of another trope. I don't mind the character name as trope name thing, but it might work better if rather than simply saying the trope name and linking to the page, they describe the trope briefly. Like rather than saying "Show X's resident Scrappy, Character Y", they say "The fan-hated character Y from Show X"

Mewtarthio
2009-03-22, 02:52 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

Yes. Even those that seem like they should be clear from context alone. That's the entire point of TVTropes, isn't it?


2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

The only problem I have with unclear titles is that sometimes they lead to poor examples. Take, say, the Bragging Rights Reward (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BraggingRightsReward) page. Most of the examples are really Cosmetic Rewards, as a Bragging Rights Reward is technically something that does have a use, but takes so much work to get that you could have already beaten the game by that point.


3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

The other point of TVTropes is that tropes have all sorts of variations and clever twists. Thus, the use of a trope should not be perfectly evident by its title alone; otherwise, it is too narrow.


4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

TVTropes? A reliable academic source? BWAHAHAHAHA!

...Seriously, that would be a spectacularly bad idea. First and Ten, I believe it's called: People who took it lightly won't like the change, and people who want something serious will never take it seriously anyway.

Aquillion
2009-03-22, 02:52 PM
Bah. I think titles should be comprehensible at a glance, and shouldn't assume that everyone has read or seen (or, for that matter, wants to be informed about) all the same things you've seen.

Yes, yes, I'm sure you feel that your favorite/least-favorite show/genre/whatever is interesting and that you're doing people a favor by using it as the title and then using that as an excuse to tell them about it, but I just don't think that that's always the case. Not everyone finds Spike or Xanatos or obscure Mystery Science Theater 3000 jokes or whatever whoever to be a meaningful comparison.

I would also have to say that, in general, obscure references are not funny. Spikification is a dull name -- there's no joke there, just a 'haha, I get the reference'. I hate reference-humor. It's what 90% of modern comedy hacks rely on. Burning away names like that gives us at least a chance of coming up with something that's clever on its own merits.

Ascension
2009-03-22, 03:55 PM
By the way, a note: Part of the reason I'm defending less obvious titles is the growing number of entries in the Laconic Wiki. In many cases all you have to do in the case of an incomprehensible title is click the L and you get a one-sentence descriptor that tells you what you need to know. I'm all for the Laconic Wiki, and I'd love to see Laconic entries for every page on the site.

EDIT: Also, I liked Spikefication, even though I've never seen Buffy. It seemed like a nice parallel to Flanderization (even though I don't watch the Simpsons regularly either).

chiasaur11
2009-03-22, 04:05 PM
By the way, a note: Part of the reason I'm defending less obvious titles is the growing number of entries in the Laconic Wiki. In many cases all you have to do in the case of an incomprehensible title is click the L and you get a one-sentence descriptor that tells you what you need to know. I'm all for the Laconic Wiki, and I'd love to see Laconic entries for every page on the site.

EDIT: Also, I liked Spikefication, even though I've never seen Buffy. It seemed like a nice parallel to Flanderization (even though I don't watch the Simpsons regularly either).

Agreed on the laconic count. Also, some of the non intuitive titles just work for me.

Somehow, the Toblerone as a name just clicks for me.

Haruki-kun
2009-03-22, 04:29 PM
I meant on the wiki itself. We've got no control over how you use it in real life.

Ah, but you want them to work in conversations, too. That's how they're spread.

Anyway...


What I meant by question 3 was- do you more frequently see trope names slung around with no context- either as examples or in descriptions- or do they generally have context that could help make a more obscure title clear?

I'd say about 50/50, really.

Seraph
2009-03-22, 04:30 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

yeah. that's kind of the point.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

blatant obvious titles take out all the fun. so long as the reasoning is explained clearly in the relevant example, it's fine.

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

they're made clearer by examples.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

no one is ever going to take a wiki seriously. ever. at all. trying to avert this is futile in the extreme. better to keep it light in tone and funny.

Dienekes
2009-03-22, 04:37 PM
I like the tropes as they are.

Humors, countless references, doesn't take itself to seriously.

I think if someone tried to edit it up I wouldn't be as interested.

Besides entries like Toblerone and Xanatos Gambit help make it what it is. (That and Toblerone just SOUNDS like one of the characters it represents)

charl
2009-03-22, 04:42 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

Yes actually. That is one of the reasons why TVtropes is as dangerous as it is.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

No I don't mind atually. It's part of how the appeal of TVtropes.

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

They tend to be made clearer. Generally tropes don't exist in vacuum.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

I like TVtropes the way it is. It's witty and funny, and that's what I love about it. If people want a serious wiki let them make their own serious wiki. TVtropes is good as it is.

Totally Guy
2009-03-22, 04:55 PM
Spike-ification is a title I don't like. It sounds like something that starts off smooth and becomes more Spikey, the conotation is more like "Badass promotion" than Badass Decay. But that's just a single counterintuitive one because the character has an unfortunate name.

I think that the problem is that although a reference to Buffy is the norm today it won't still carry the same cultural significance in 5 years time.

It annoys me when a piece of fiction that would otherwise have been timeless drops a reference to a current affairs event or current popular culture which dates it. (Do we have those? Timeless and "It could have been timeless") Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that Tropes named after a single character or series will in most cases become dated. Obviously exceptions will exist depending on a level of ubiquitousness such as the trope "Beam me up Scotty".

afroakuma
2009-03-22, 04:57 PM
Frankly, I saw the Wikipedia taint when they changed Spikefication to Badass Decay. Weak.

There are some others I'm gradually tripping over that have lost their fun names. The Toblerone, for whatever reason, works perfectly in its capacity, because as others have said it just sounds right. It's something to do with the word itself. If they changed it to Big Loud Guy, a part of TVTropes would be gone for good.

Hell, Wikipedia's done the same thing. They used to have a full, well-written article on every single Pokmon, yet somehow their infinite server capacity decided that this, and not Random Star Wars Expanded Universe Character Number 53, was something in need of being pared down.

I think TVTropes needs to get an influx on fun-lovers to counter the straightlace plague. :smallamused:

Zarah
2009-03-22, 05:12 PM
I think that the problem is that although a reference to Buffy is the norm today it won't still carry the same cultural significance in 5 years time.

A lot of people know what "jumping the shark" means, but they don't have any idea where it came from. People need to stop looking at the names of tropes as direct references and just let them transcend the reference itself. Sure, some of them work better than others, but they don't all need to be descriptive. I mean, is "jumping the shark" descriptive? :smalltongue:

Prime32
2009-03-22, 05:25 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?
All the time


2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works
Not particularly. The catchy names make it more fun. If I wanted a long scientific description, I'd check Wikipedia.


3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?
Not a vacuum. For instance, Flash Step (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FlashStep) works fine as a trope name.


4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?
If Wikipedia isn't viewed as a "serious resource", there is no way TVTropes is going to outdo them. What it does do, it does well. It's a fun site.

Kato
2009-03-22, 05:38 PM
1. Mostly. Not every single one, though.

2. Not at all. An original funny title is great. It's just weird if the title has no relation to the trope at all.

3. Most don't. I stumbled upon some I thought were weird, but I can't recall them now... Anyway, most don't.

4: I'll join the humor crowd for most of it. But does one thing has to exclude the other? Okay, it might be hard sometimes to find something serious on a fun page and it carries the risk of tropes being placed just for fun (e.g. Zeta Gundam having listed Four is Death which is... true, though there is no quartett of doom in it) Generally, I like it the way it is... mostly fun, but also a source for information.

small pumpkin m
2009-03-22, 05:40 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?
Yes.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?
The second. Names like flanderization and cargo ship are much of the charm of the site.

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?
This is the same question with the same answer.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?
The second one. It's what TVTropes has been for ages and why it's so easy to get lost in there.

Dervag
2009-03-22, 05:50 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?Often.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?No, no, and no.
3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?A truly good trope title works in a near-vacuum (with minimal explanation and one or two illustrative examples). Good explanations and description are the meat and drink of the wiki, though, so it is vitally important to have those where possible.
4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?I feel that a compromise between the two is best.

Green Bean
2009-03-22, 05:57 PM
I'm currently locked in one heck of a debate over on the TV Tropes forum about renaming tropes and the overall content and clarity of the site. People are throwing around statistics and assumptions about what readers do and how they read the site. So, I'm asking you folk here to help me out and give me your opinions.


1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

Naturally. It's part of the fun! :smallbiggrin:


2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

This one's a little tricky. I don't mind not knowing at first, but I prefer the title to have something to do with the trope. For instance, I didn't know what "Kick the Dog" meant, but the title matches the trope. If it were called "Mango Pineapple" or "The <Obscure Anime Example>", I'd have trouble associating the title and the trope, and it wouldn't be as memorable.


3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

I feel tropes should be fairly self-contained. After all, not everyone has time to read through series pages to understand descriptions or examples. This is also why "X Just X" bugs the heck out of me.


4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

I honestly don't see how the two are mutually exclusive.

Totally Guy
2009-03-22, 06:14 PM
People need to stop looking at the names of tropes as direct references and just let them transcend the reference itself.

It's a language thing. When it comes to language things it's best to just go with the flow. It some word can be a mental shortcut for a concept it's great. Notability is important for making that word mean something for the most people. I know Flanders and get the concept. I don't know Xanatos but I can adapt and still get the concept. There's more than one Spike in fiction, real life and even a noun, so I didn't think it was so smart.

I like "Jump the Shark" as a name but I do see it misunderstood a lot. If something has Jumped already then you need to be able to go back and say that this event was so good that nothing since can compare to it. I'm not familiar with the event from Happy Days but I get the feeling that if more of us were then it would not be misunderstood so often.

I have a bit of a grudge against Buffy. When my friends decided they could all cast spells and I didn't believe in the magic... well that's when my aura went bad (which only they could see using their magic) and they stopped hanging out with me.

GoC
2009-03-22, 06:27 PM
1. Yes.

2. I find it annoying and would prefer a semi-obvious or at least memorable title. I have to read the Toblerone article every time I see it linked because I can't remember what it's about!:smallannoyed:

3. Depends on the trope. Generally decent but things like The Toblerone do exist.

4. The latter. I also want a law against Justifying Edits! Who cares if your favorite series just got pegged as using a Mary Sue?
I also want funny more than accurate.

Trazoi
2009-03-22, 07:13 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?
Yes. I also tend to click on any trope I do understand but haven't seen before. And sometimes on tropes I have seen before but want to read again. That's why heading to the TV Tropes website is so darn dangerous.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

I'm with many here in that I'm somewhere between the two. I like the flowery names that come direct from a prime example. Not only do they make the trope more fun, it's more memorable. But, and this is the big "but", the name has to make sense within the context of both the trope and the reference. The name has to make sense if you have a passing familiarity with the show/film/book/game/whatever. If you don't know the show/film/whatever, then the name should be catchy but either suggestive of what it means or at least neutral enough it doesn't suggest an alternative, misleading definition.

A good example: Samus Is A Girl. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SamusIsAGirl) I stumbled across this trope for the first time yesterday. As I know Metroid, my initial guess as to what the trope meant was correct. Even if you don't know Metroid, it's pretty clear once you read the opening blurb what it is, and you'll remember it. (Maybe a picture of Samus in her more usual form as well as the fan art would sell it better).

Bad example: The Toblerone (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheToblerone), as has been mentioned before. Seriously, an obscure MST3000 reference is not a good name. I've read this trope multiple times, and I still have to keep checking it up to remember exactly what it means (I thought it was synonymous with Large Ham. I was wrong.)

Another bad example: Spikification (now Badass Decay (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BadassDecay)). I agree that Spikification was a bad name. Not because of the Buffy reference, which is fine, but because the name is extremely misleading if you don't know Buffy. If I didn't know Spike, I'd think Spikification would the trope when a creative designer thinks "Hmm, this turtle demon doesn't look that scary. I know! I'll add extra spikes to his shell! That'll show everyone he's boss!". Which is almost the opposite of Spikification. However I wouldn't mind the trope being Something-ification for another Something.

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

Do you mean do they need description on other trope pages? I don't think pages need to go overboard in describing other tropes, but it helps if other tropes are used in sentences that imply their meaning: "Maria's full suit of plate armour has caused more than one foe to be stunned when they realise that Maria (Samus) Is A Girl (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SamusIsAGirl)"

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

There's no need to separate the two. Make it funny and make it informative. If you have to choose between the two, make it funny first as that's the appeal of the site. But I'd also include an informative section that properly explains the trope (after the funny).

Aquillion
2009-03-22, 09:35 PM
Spike-ification is a title I don't like. It sounds like something that starts off smooth and becomes more Spikey, the conotation is more like "Badass promotion" than Badass Decay. But that's just a single counterintuitive one because the character has an unfortunate name.There's also the problem that Spike is an extremely common name. To me, when I saw that title, I always thought first of Spike from Cowboy Bebop, and second of someone getting an increasingly prickly personality. Even if you think of the right Spike, that change is not so overwhelming that it's the first thing you think of when he's named.

And The Toblerone describes a sweet, slightly nutty guy in a long thin triangular package.

I get the sense, with a lot of these names, that people are really really dead set on establishing their favorite things as important and big -- Spike must be the Spike, references from MST3K must be culturally important, etc, etc. I think trying to come up with a title that is genuinely clever on its own merits rather than just a tired cultural reference is a better idea.

chiasaur11
2009-03-22, 09:55 PM
To be fair, though I love MST3K, when I first heard "The Toblerone" I had no freaking clue where it was from, but it sounded perfect for what it was.

SlyGuyMcFly
2009-03-22, 10:07 PM
This is relevant to my interests.



1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

Yeah, usually. Several times, if the trope name is one of the less obvious ones (The Toblerone (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheToblerone), Im looking at you)



2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

I like something that clearly references what it is being referred to, but maintains a certain wit, originality or what have you. Conversely, I dislike trope titles that reference a particular character or event from a show or book, because I often find I have no idea what is being talked about. (The Toblerone (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheToblerone), Im looking at you. Again.). Humongous Mecha (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumongousMecha) would be one I like, because the word Humongous is inherently funny.



3. What I meant by question 3 was- do you more frequently see trope names slung around with no context- either as examples or in descriptions- or do they generally have context that could help make a more obscure title clear?

Hmm... Kinda 50-50 Id say. I dont mind a trope title without context when the title itself provides a minimal context. Like Humongous Mecha (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumongousMecha) or Rule of Cool (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfCool) or Crapsack World (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CrapsackWorld). I dislike it when the title is less self-explaining (The Toblerone (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheToblerone), Im looking at you. Again (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RunningGag).)



4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

The latter. If I wanted dry explanations covered in citations and pretentions of scholarly knowledge of such things Id go to That Other Wiki. I like TvTropes because its fun to read while being moderately informative..

averagejoe
2009-03-22, 10:36 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

Given the time to do so, yes.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

I don't mind reading the content, for the most part, and I happen to find the cleverness of some names to be one of the charms of the site. Sometimes this can go too far, but for the most part I like the system as is.

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

Even when the name makes it fairly obvious I try to read the article, because even an obvious name can be deceptive at times, and sometimes there are subtleties represented by two different tropes, i.e. Humans Are Special (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumansAreSpecial) and Humanity is Superior. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumanityIsSuperior) The names for both make the trope fairly obvious, and you couldn't do much better as far as clarity, but I still need to read both the articles to really know what's going on.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

Hmmmm... I'm kind of torn here. If it was more "scholarly" then it would certainly be less fun to read, but I know there have been a few cases where I don't know what the heck is going on because of excessive cleverness. I'd have to lean toward less serious, but I see both sides well enough that it's difficult to commit myself.

Moff Chumley
2009-03-22, 10:50 PM
TV Tropes would lose much of what it is if made more serious, and the humorous names are part of what makes it so great. What would you replace Flanderization or similar names with, anyhow? Anything would require explanation either way.

Lord of the Helms
2009-03-22, 11:05 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?


Yes I do, I do all the time.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

Nope, it's part of the charm. If I'm familiar with the reference, it makes me smile knowingly; if I'm not, I get to learn about new works. And yes, that Includes The Toblerone (doubly fun because of the candy), Spikeification etc. If you don't immediately get a reference from the name (which is difficult even with some seemingly obvious trope names), it should be no big deal to read it. That's why you're on this site in the first place.

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

Does happen sometimes, and occasionally they are used incorrectly or confused with similar but not identical tropes, which can get annoying and/or confusing.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

Definitely the latter. Work would be better spent correcting grammatical and orthographical errors alone (inevitable on an open wiki, especially when non-native speakers, myself included, are involved) than dullifying trope names, imo.

Drascin
2009-03-23, 02:25 AM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

Generally yes. That's the point of TVTropes, to find out about stuff in a funny way.


2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

I would hate it if every trope had a blatantly obvious title. The point is that the name is catchy enough to remember it once you have read the article that explains it. Funny names are generally more catchy than mere descriptives. That said, this implies that the term is in fact catchy, and not absolutely weird, but everyone has different tolerances for this.


3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

A trope title should be adequately explained by its own article. As long as that happens, I'm contented. More Dakka is a good example - even to people who don't know what 40K is, reading the text makes it obvious in a moment, so it's good. And it becomes a catchier phrase than Overwhelming Automatic Fire (yes, this was one of the title suggestions for that article, if I remember correctly).

Basically, clever phrase that makes for a good shorthand > brevity and clarity.


4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

Cleverness and fun should take priority over brevity and clarity. The excessive roundabout way some tropes are explained even adds to the hilarity sometimes, in a Sesquipedalian Locuaciousness kind of way. TVTropes is not, and should not try to be, a serious site. Hell, Wikipedia isn't considered a serious website still, TVTropes ain't getting the status. No, the point is that reading TVTropes is really, really fun. That's why people get lost in there for hours, and its uniqueness. Why should we change that to become a less complete, less popular Wikipedia?

Aquillion
2009-03-23, 02:47 AM
I sort of object to the way the OP phrased these questions. This implicitly creates a false choice between having unclear titles and having a funny wiki.

That is not the debate. Rogue 7, you have to understand that most of the people who want to rename articles are not simply doing it because they are hard to understand (although that is a major factor), but because they are hard to understand because people are trying to be funny and failing. Cleverness that fails to capture the article it is describing is not cleverness, merely random wackiness. Cultural references are not clever, period.

A clever article name is one in which the author manages to capture the spirit and meaning of the trope in a few easy words. Cultural or character references are not cleverness; they are a tired substitute for cleverness. The truly clever article title is one that instantly conveys not only the meaning but the sense of what it is about to anyone who reads it -- it makes people slap their head or nod or groan, remembering all the awful/wonderful/horrible times they've seen that trope in action. A clever title instantly -- at a single glance -- crystallizes all the times views have enjoyed, suffered, or endured the trope in question, filling them with a drive to click it and make sure all their favorite examples are there, or add them if they're not.

That is cleverness. Making a title like that is very hard in most cases, but it's worth it when it can be done. When you see a good title like that for a new article, of course you support it -- everyone supports it. It's just so obvious, so clear that the first time you see it, without another word, you know that it describes a trope that you might not even have recognized until now.

The only reason people oppose that kind of clever renaming, honestly, is They Changed It, Now It Sucks (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheyChangedItNowItSucks). People get attached to the weak placeholder names, and object when they change. That is all.

If you put Spikification up in a poll against the current name, I doubt it would get even a single vote; but people have a sentimental attachment to things they already know.

The real issue is that there are some people who will oppose renames on the grounds that they're used to the old title, or that tvtropes has always done it that way and has its own unique special lexicon or whatever -- and that's a bad argument. A better title is always better, no matter how old or established the old one was. Simple age is not an argument for keeping an article's title if anyone can come up with something more clever or more clear.

Athaniar
2009-03-23, 05:26 AM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?
Of course. And that inevitably leads to hours of checking out new tropes. Not that that has to be a bad thing.


2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?
Obscure titles are fun.


3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?
Not sure, really.


4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?
I prefer it as it is now. It's the humor that makes it likeable. Without the humor, it would lose a critical amount of visitors, including me.

What I DON'T like, however, is the whole "random different color schemes" thing, but that's for another discussion.

Rogue 7
2009-03-23, 10:54 AM
I sort of object to the way the OP phrased these questions. This implicitly creates a false choice between having unclear titles and having a funny wiki.

That is not the debate. Rogue 7, you have to understand that most of the people who want to rename articles are not simply doing it because they are hard to understand (although that is a major factor), but because they are hard to understand because people are trying to be funny and failing. Cleverness that fails to capture the article it is describing is not cleverness, merely random wackiness. Cultural references are not clever, period.


Humor is very subjective. Many people who responded to this poll seem to find the trope titles amusing and clever. I'm sorry if TV Tropes doesn't cater to your particular brand of humor, but that's no reason to change. Cultural references have been a part and parcel of TV Tropes for as long as I've been on the site (a year and a half now), and so long as they are used well, people don't seem to mind.



The real issue is that there are some people who will oppose renames on the grounds that they're used to the old title, or that tvtropes has always done it that way and has its own unique special lexicon or whatever -- and that's a bad argument. A better title is always better, no matter how old or established the old one was. Simple age is not an argument for keeping an article's title if anyone can come up with something more clever or more clear.

Better is once again subjective. You think a title is better because it's clear and succinct. I think a title with a witty line that may be a little bit less clear but make a few people laugh is better.

And that's not why I posted this questionnaire. Several people arguing for much clearer names were making the argument that people don't want to actually read the tropes themselves, and merely look at the titles. They argued that readers should be able to instantly grasp the title and concept of the article without having to read the article. Their argument was that people didn't want to waste time looking at articles for things they don't recognize, and that the more in-jokey titles turned people off of looking at the site. I decided to see if that was true or not. Based on the opinions so far, that does not seem to be the case.

SurlySeraph
2009-03-23, 12:13 PM
1. No, though I do if the trope sounds interesting.
2. Yes, it annoys me when the title is unclear. I want every trope to have a fairly obvious title.
3. You can get an idea of what it is from other pages, but generally you have to read the page on the trope itself to fully understand it (unless it's a really obvious one, like Heroes Want Redheads).
4. It should be acessible and emphasize clarity and descriptiveness, but I see no need for brevity. Humor shouldn't be eliminated, but it should be secondary to comprehensibility.

KnightDisciple
2009-03-23, 01:16 PM
1. No, though I do if the trope sounds interesting.
2. Yes, it annoys me when the title is unclear. I want every trope to have a fairly obvious title.
3. You can get an idea of what it is from other pages, but generally you have to read the page on the trope itself to fully understand it (unless it's a really obvious one, like Heroes Want Redheads).
4. It should be acessible and emphasize clarity and descriptiveness, but I see no need for brevity. Humor shouldn't be eliminated, but it should be secondary to comprehensibility.

This.
Obscure titles loose their impact after a certain point of obscurity. The examples that come to mind for me on still not having a good grasp on them, partly due to obscure titles, is "Tsundre" (or however it's spelled) and "The Toberlone".
Quirky geek elitism at having obscure titles is still bad. The site should be accessible and understandable for anyone reading it. Anyone.

Rogue 7
2009-03-23, 02:14 PM
"Tsundere" is a bad example. It's a fairly anime-specific trope, and widely used outside the site. In short, most people familiar with anime will know it. We did not come up with that name to be obscure, it's the commonly accepted name. Not to mention that there's never been a better proposal. Further, the page itself explains the etymology of the term and what it means. Hardly obscure for the sake of being obscure.

Aquillion
2009-03-23, 04:31 PM
Better is once again subjective. You think a title is better because it's clear and succinct. I think a title with a witty line that may be a little bit less clear but make a few people laugh is better.It is subjective -- but I'm saying that I don't think that you are actually committed to "witty" titles, or that you are honestly representing the debate. You are arguing against clarity and falsely casting it in opposition to wit and humor because clarity is frequently presented as an argument for change, not because there is a genuine opposition between the two.

Have you ever suggested changing a long-established title to something new in order to make it more witty, for instance? "Jonas Quinn (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/JonasQuinn)" is not a witty title by most standard -- it's just a name, not something that would make anyone laugh -- perhaps you can think of something more clever? I'm sure someone in this thread can come up with a more clever replacement for that title, for instance.

Your actual position -- as you've stated it, repeatedly, on tvtropes -- is that you feel that changes harm tvtropes' "unique culture". That is not a commitment to wit, that is a commitment to stasis, an entrenched fan's opposition to approaching They Changed It, Now It Sucks.

Presenting yourself as defending cleverness against the boring dull forces of Wikipedia clarity is dishonest. Recently, say, you supported Fonzarelli Fix as a title over Percussive Maintenance (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PercussiveMaintenance?from=Main.FonzarelliFix) -- is that really a commitment to wit and humor? Do you really find the former title so brilliantly clever?

There can be an honest disagreement between what people feel is humorous or clever, of course... but the sense I've gotten from you is that you are really more concerned with maintaining "tvtropes culture" than with changing titles to more clever, witty options. That's up to you if that's what you want to do, but you should present that position honestly.

The people who want to change titles generally see a title that succinctly conveys its meaning in a clever manner to be an excellent example of wit, and find in-jokes, random memes, or references to be tiresome and dull. You might disagree, but you shouldn't act as if the debate is outright between clarity on one side and wit on the other -- at its heart the disagreement is not between wit and pedantry, but between change and stasis, between people who see themselves as defending cherished "tvtropes culture" and others who seem themselves as seeking to make improvements.

Teron
2009-03-24, 03:55 AM
Aquillion, you're doing the same damn thing you accuse Rogue 7 of by depicting him as some kind of change-fearing neurotic and yourself as the sole voice of wit.

I think "Fonzarelli Fix" is more interesting than "Percussive Maintenance", and I've never even seen Happy Days. A lot of people find pop culture references amusing (not to mention gratifying, when they understand them), and I can't imagine a more appropriate place for them than TVTropes. It may be a base sort of humour, but it's obviously a popular one. I know I'd vote for a new name along the lines of "Spikeification", using a different character who exemplifies it well, over "Badass Decay".

KnightDisciple
2009-03-24, 08:35 AM
I, on the other hand, would prefer "Percussive Maintenance" and "Badass Decay". More readily descriptive, and still fairly witty.

Rogue 7
2009-03-24, 08:55 AM
I'm of the opinion that change for change's sake is a bad idea. There should be a damn good reason to make a change, and Percussive Maintenance was already a perfectly serviceable redirect. In short, the trope wasn't broken. I don't support fixing it.

Jonas Quinn or The Toblerone are somewhat broken. But no one's been able to find a better title.

afroakuma
2009-03-24, 09:07 AM
I, on the other hand, would prefer "Percussive Maintenance" and "Badass Decay". More readily descriptive, and still fairly witty.

There's nothing witty about "Badass Decay," it's just another trope in the form of "N Decay" now.

I concur that Jonas Quinn is broken - there's no hint in the opening paragraph, it's not even remotely self-explanatory and I've never ever heard of the cited character. Had I not correctly guessed in which subfolder to look, I'd never know why they gave it that name. And now I look and see that the Trope Namer himself evaporated - disabling the trope in the process.

If we were going to go with recent pop culture, it would probably be "The New Gil Grissom" or some such, which even then would be a better title simply because it hints at what the trope means. Its brother trope, The Other Darrin, I'd never challenge. It's a good pop culture reference that exactly encapsulates the trope.

As for The Toblerone, I note the alternate title to be Big Fun Guy. :smallconfused:

Insufficient.

And likely doesn't need to be changed. I think by now, it's more TVTropes' term than it is MST3K's, and if the site evolves a terminology of its own, then go with that. I've never had a problem with it, and I think it's a part of TVTropes' flavor now.

Dragonmuncher
2009-03-24, 09:36 AM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

Almost always.



2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

Blatant/Obvious and Interesting/Unclear are not the only two options, here. Things like Everyone is Jesus In Purgatory, Screw The Rules I Have Money, The 'Ship Tropes, Big Bad, Nintendo Hard, and Viewers Are Morons are all examples of pretty clever titles that are also easy to understand (One of my favorites is Deus Est Machina).

However, tropes such as "Truffaut Was Right" just annoy me. Not only are they not particularly clever or original, they also are very unintuitive. Do most people really get the reference of French film director Franois Truffaut?


3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

Most don't exist in a vacuum- that's one of the advantages of a wiki (and one of the sole driving forces of TVTropes- that Wiki Magic comes from SOMEWHERE


4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

Hmm. I'd say definitely more of a focus on the second one. But again, it's not an "A or B" thing, here! The best trope pages (and there are a lot, so go browse for 10 minutes and you'll find some examples of your own) are both insightful AND entertaining!

Kane
2009-03-24, 10:24 AM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

Well, first of all, my compliments on deciding to do the research.

1.Usually, but I tend to prioritize interesting or funny sounding tropes over straight-forwardly labeled ones. (I, as well, have lost many, many, hours of my life to this site. I've also developed a little voice in the back of my head that sarcastically comments on tropes when I'm reading or watching a movie.)

2.No, and NO! The titles are great the way they are. Wouldn't change a thing if I could. Some of the funniest tropes are actually in-jokes relating to their description and/or trope namer.

3. Vacuum? How could you get such an idea? Every trope I've run into seems at least mostly sensibly named, and understandable.

4.Oh OutModedAndPrimitiveBeliefSystem, NO! Seriously, I bet at least 75% of the people who use TvTropes do so for teh lulz. People have the other wiki for that, and really, if people want a straitlaced wiki, they really ought to do it from scratch. We don't want to lose the current one!

bladedSmoke
2009-03-24, 05:53 PM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

- Yes, isn't wasting your life kind of the point?

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

-I prefer the unclear titles, they make reading the article more interesting. Boring trope names like 'Big Fun Guy' (come on, how could anyone consider that any good unless it's something to do with mushrooms) are so self-explanatory they render the article itself pointless, so I skim through it and just read examples.

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

- Um... The second one.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

- In essence, this question is saying, 'should TV Tropes be Wikipedia or should it be TV Tropes?' And I think the answer to that is obvious enough (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BeYourself).

late for dinner
2009-03-24, 06:23 PM
I might sound stupid here....but what is a TROPE? I really dont know.

snoopy13a
2009-03-24, 08:49 PM
I might sound stupid here....but what is a TROPE? I really dont know.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trope_(literature)

I think the website uses the word "Trope" instead of a more recognizable synonym because of the alliteration with "TV".

Dausuul
2009-04-08, 01:15 AM
Count me among those who prefer the in-joke names like Xanatos Gambit, Spikeification, and the Toblerone. (I have never seen the shows to which Xanatos Gambit and the Toblerone refer, and do not get the joke, but they're amusing and picturesque names even so, and I'm sure to those who have seen those shows, they're hilarious.)

Oh, and on the subject of Spikeification/Badass Decay... how about calling it Spike Wussification Syndrome?

loopy
2009-04-08, 06:17 AM
Not really. If it has an interesting title and/or I can puzzle out the meaning I'll click on it. Of course, that doesn't matter as much when I'm on an archive binge.

But then, sometimes there will be a title (like, for example) Nakama, that makes no sense to me whatsoever, and I'll avoid for a long time, even though I quite like the trope description under the name.



And TV Tropes should definitely be a less serious wiki. I go there for entertainment more than information. Don't go serious-i-fying it! :smallbiggrin:

Avilan the Grey
2009-04-08, 06:28 AM
I'm currently locked in one heck of a debate over on the TV Tropes forum about renaming tropes and the overall content and clarity of the site. People are throwing around statistics and assumptions about what readers do and how they read the site. So, I'm asking you folk here to help me out and give me your opinions.


1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

Bad habit which I love. Also applies to Tropes I understand, but has a funny name.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

Please keep funny titles!!! Please keep funny titles!!! PLEASE KEEP FUNNY TITLES!!!
Oh and no, I don't mind.

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

95% of the time they are made clear.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

Funny! Laugh! More funny laugh!
...If 'Tropes becomes "Encyclopedia of devices in fiction" I would never return.

Calinero
2009-04-08, 03:42 PM
I love tvtropes, but it has ruined my vocabulary.

1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?
Sometimes. If the page I am currently on is entertaining enough, I'll sometimes make note of an unfamiliar trope, then visit it once I am done with the rest of the page.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?
I like it when a title is explained. However, I have no problem with the title of a trope being an allusion or quote that I don't understand. I just want to be able to find out where the name comes from somewhere within the text of the trope.

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?
I find that with most trope titles, they are either self explanatory, or explained somewhere within the page. This is how I like it, though--I dislike it when a trope name is a reference that I do not get and cannot find, it drives me crazy.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?
I believe that TV Tropes should at least be comprehensible, but let's face it--people read it because it's funny. Half of the ideas on there are very opinion based and impossible to objectively quantify, so you're already looking at a more relaxed atmosphere than most wikis. I would definitely emphasize wit and language, because that is what makes TV Tropes unique. If they wanted boring dissertations on literary techniques, readers could read literary journals.

Llama231
2009-04-08, 06:11 PM
I'm currently locked in one heck of a debate over on the TV Tropes forum about renaming tropes and the overall content and clarity of the site. People are throwing around statistics and assumptions about what readers do and how they read the site. So, I'm asking you folk here to help me out and give me your opinions.


1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?
Only if it sound interesting enough.

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?
Not really. I do not care too much about the title. Usually.

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?
I like examples, and believe that they help with understanding the trope significantly.

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?
Both. Serious can work with silly.


0123456789

Fiery Diamond
2009-04-08, 09:26 PM
I'm currently locked in one heck of a debate over on the TV Tropes forum about renaming tropes and the overall content and clarity of the site. People are throwing around statistics and assumptions about what readers do and how they read the site. So, I'm asking you folk here to help me out and give me your opinions.


1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?

2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?

3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?

4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?

1. Unfortunately, I waste a lot of time that way.
2. It's pretty much made clear, and most are catchy, so I prefer a neat-sounding one to a super-obvious but boring one.
3. I'm not sure this question makes sense to me. ...read the explanation... yes, people usually use them without explaining them, which is why I click on the links. When people use them in places other than TVTropes.com it gets annoying because if I don't already know, I won't be able to figure it out.
4. The humor is why I love that site.

FatJose
2009-04-13, 10:12 AM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?
I just hit random and read whatever that pops up, unless its an article on a specific show. When that happens I hit random again.
2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?
I like tropes to have real names and for the trope description to explain the meaning behind the name. Many tropes have semi-official names already that are used by people in the business or are well known to the general public already and I'd think it best to use those names if it is possible. "Jump the Shark", "Clip Show", etc. As for Spikefication, I don't like it. I don't think a Buffy character should be a tropenamer for a much older device. I don't know if people in the business actually use that term but that character should not be the icon of a device that is old as dirt. Especially with the much better, older, well known examples on that page like Vader and Dracula.
3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?
No idea what that means
4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?
Is there a need to choose one over the other? What does "good language" mean?

note okay big note since a startled rambling here: A better name for Badass Decay may be "Evil Crush Justification" or atleast that should be a related but different trope all together. Wait, is that what Villain Decay already is? Just pulling that out of my bum, you guys can think of a better way to say it. Most of those examples are characters who, in my opinion from watching trends and fan receptions, become not just popular, but also sexy.

Dracula had many fangirls..and boys, so he became more...romantic in later reinterpretations, Spike was all over those teen and tween magazines even though he seemed to be irredeemably evil. Akira Toriyama has admitted in the pages of his graphic novels that Vegeta was supposed to die but he got so many letters from fangirls with a crush...he even jokes that if he had gotten the extremely large pile of Jeice(red alien with long white hair) fanmail sooner he probably would have tried to spare him.

These examples happen sometime "after" the fancrush begins. It isn't done to make people like the characters. It's done to justify the fans having the crush or simply liking the character. Its as if people can't just like a character for being what they are. Look at all the fanfiction out there that features the villain turning good or at least turning out misunderstood right before a self-insert Mary Sue is thrown in to pair up with him/her.

Maybe "He's not so bad" would be a better name. Echoes the voice of women who get hit by their boyfriends but insist that the guy isn't "that bad". It sure as hell seems to be the case with these characters. Pretty much the whole Badass Decay/Spikeification thing happens when a villain or a very distasteful character becomes a hearthrob because they invoke this dangerous, forbidden lust in chicks (and some dudes).

Seriously, women like horrible people in stories. The more messed up, the better. Especially the young ones. I was watching the Watchmen movie and, no lie, near the end of the movie, this teenage girl that was talking to her friends throughout the movie just blurts out "I don't know, he's kinda sexy." "He" was RORSCHACH!

Mauve Shirt
2009-04-13, 10:33 AM
1. Do you click on a link to every trope you don't understand and then read the trope until you understand it?
Yes.


2. Do you mind when an unclear title is made clear after reading its article? Do you want every trope to have a blatant, obvious title before you read its article, or do you mind context in explaining how the trope works?
I don't mind. I like it when a trope has a silly title.


3. Do you find that trope titles exist in a vacuum, or do they tend to be made clearer through the use of explanations on series pages or worked into the description on trope pages?
They tend to be made clearer by the description.


4. Do you think that TV Tropes should be an accessible resource for people who want to read about devices used in fiction, emphasizing clarity, brevity, and descriptiveness over wit and language, or a less serious wiki with an emphasis on clever descriptions and good language that will make you laugh more?
Well, I use it as the former sometimes, but I really read the site for the latter.