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Mauve Shirt
2011-11-01, 05:22 AM
So, the other day I was discussing something with a friend, I don't remember what exactly, some bit of media. I used the term "lampshading", he glared at me like I was some sort of pathetic thing and said "TV Tropes." So what? First of all, hanging a lampshade is a real thing, I could have learned that phrase from Wikipedia. "But you did learn it from TV Tropes." Again, so what?
Does anyone else react this way when someone references a trope or something they learned on that website in a real life conversation? Why?

The Reverend
2011-11-01, 05:43 AM
You could have also learned it from writing 102. I dont know why anyone would have a problem with tropes unless......does he fancy himself a highbrow writer or a Writer(capitalized)? I've known a couple people who were somewhat in those groups and hated it when I used tropes to deconstruct their writings or worse yet declare the ending of the story when only 10% done with it. They hated I was always right. My wife also hates them without knowing about the site, I always use them to predict what's going to happen in the movie.

Jimor
2011-11-01, 07:45 AM
This is like when people accuse Rich of mining TV Tropes for elements of OOTS when it's clear that he's well-versed enough in storytelling conventions from his own reading and experience to find his own reasons for using a particular trope in his comic. People have been noticing these patterns for decades if not centuries, and if you're a writer with any kind of skill you'll know when to go along with them, when to run counter to them, when to put your own twist on them, and most importantly, when to ignore tropes altogether when what you need to do for the story demands a particular path, well-trodden or not.

Prime32
2011-11-01, 07:58 AM
Really, getting mad at a story for using tropes is about as sane as getting mad at the book it's printed in for using atoms.

"I bet the cover has long carbon-hydrogen chains."
"**** YOU!"

GolemsVoice
2011-11-01, 08:08 AM
People seem to forget that TV Tropes only lists and "codifies" things which already existed in fiction, often for a long time. Of course there are some highly specific trops, which one might not know or care about unless one had read TV Tropes, but the most common ones are just what you learn in any language class, or if you ever study soemthing that has something to do with literature and writing. So I'd say your friend is just being a snob here.

Also, many people think that if you can deconstruct their writing, this somehow means it is bad, or that they have been outsmarted. And sometimes I get the feeling some people who decontruct writing seem to think so, too.

Feytalist
2011-11-01, 08:12 AM
I do get irritated when people obsessively try to insert a trope name into every discussion (or forum thread, for that matter), relevant or not. It feels like they're trying too hard, ya'know?

That's true for any sort of show offish behaviour though, and isn't necessarily restricted to TVTropes.

GolemsVoice
2011-11-01, 08:25 AM
Well of course. If I can't tell somebody the plot of a book or movie without being interrupted every few seconds because somebody discovered another trope, I'd be annoyed.

EDIT: But from what the OP writes, it seems he just used lampshading as aterm for describing what was going on in a story, which is perfectly fine for me. Both seemed to know what was meant, and so he saved himself the trouble of having to do a longer explanation.

Traab
2011-11-01, 08:27 AM
Give him a sneer and say, "Well, you dont exactly have room to talk considering how fast you recognized it. Done a few link marathons have we?" Or hit him with a brick. Both should make him shut up if you do it right. :smallbiggrin:

Yuki Akuma
2011-11-01, 08:44 AM
You should have commented on the fact that he's obviously never taken a Literature class in his life. "Lampshade hanging" isn't a new term at all!

Darthteej
2011-11-01, 08:48 AM
Really, getting mad at a story for using tropes is about as sane as getting mad at the book it's printed in for using atoms.

"I bet the cover has long carbon-hydrogen chains."
"**** YOU!"

I'm not sure which, but one of those is just asking to be sigged. May I?

Psyren
2011-11-01, 08:59 AM
I would just be happy to know someone IRL that knows what TVTropes even is.

Prime32
2011-11-01, 09:19 AM
I'm not sure which, but one of those is just asking to be sigged. May I?One of them? :smallconfused: The second part doesn't really make sense out of context.

But go ahead.

Weimann
2011-11-01, 09:37 AM
I'm not bothered. If anything, I'm happy to have names for the stuff I'm talking about. Names, I've found more and more, are integral to having meaningful discussions on any kind of non-trivial level.

The one problem I see is maintaining the definitions of the terms consistent.

Nerd-o-rama
2011-11-01, 10:12 AM
I learned more about the components of a story from reading books by self-referential fantasy authors (and following their implicit recommendations to go read The Hero with a Thousand Faces) and watching Stargate SG-1's comedy episodes than I ever did from reading TVTropes, for my part.

Really, there are a couple of possible reasons why TVTropes provokes such a negative reaction:

1) It's popular - enough reason to hate anything, to many people
2) Because it's popular, it leads to a lot of ignorant people using it as a resource to be intellectually smug about things they don't actually understand.
3) Those people (and other otherwise intelligent people) tend to just drop off trope names and links with no explanation into arguments or discussions, bewildering people who were actually trying to talk about their favorite show
4) This Troper, Troper Tales, and other vanity/self-pleasuring aspects that turn the thing into a giant and often rather creepy anonymous blog on some pages. TVTropes has fortunately started segregating all this from the actual useful information much better than they used to.
5) You can literally write about anything, including your own crappy fanfic, which ticks off elitists. This doesn't really relate to the original problem of referencing tropes by name.

I think 1 and someone overreacting to the possibility of 2 and 3 was Mauve Shirt's friend's original problem.

Psyren
2011-11-01, 10:19 AM
For all the schlock, there is a lot to love as well. Playing With a Trope (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PlayingWithATrope) has to be one of my favorite games/thought exercises of all time.

Weezer
2011-11-01, 10:44 AM
It really bothers me when people act as if tropes are only an ''internet thing'', my almost 60 year old religion prof used the word yesterday and he barely can use wikipedia, let alone TV Tropes. I think that some of the 'backlash' is based on the fact that people are getting exposed to the tropes of deconstructionism without learning about deconstruction itself. This leads to people either over using them, which always is irritating, or to people be offended when they're used because they think that a story that can be broken down into non-unique parts is a bad story. They fail to realize that all stories must rely on tropes or become nigh incomprehensible.

Whiffet
2011-11-01, 05:16 PM
It would depend a lot on how people use it. In your case, your friend really overreacted. Lampshade hanging is a common term, and there are plenty of people who know it without ever hearing of TV Tropes. Terms like that? Use them to describe works as much as you want. There's no law saying you can't discuss tropes.

For the terms specific to TV Tropes, it would probably be better to not use them when speaking to non-tropers. You wouldn't drop D&D terms into a conversation with someone unfamiliar with D&D, would you?

irenicObserver
2011-11-01, 05:30 PM
I understand a number of people are pissed about the apparent reductionism tvtropes causes. Personally, I think they should get over it.

Weezer
2011-11-01, 05:36 PM
I understand a number of people are pissed about the apparent reductionism tvtropes causes. Personally, I think they should get over it.

Which is what always happens when academic subjects are placed into the public eye in a "comprehensible" way, they get distorted from how they truly are resulting in people completely misunderstanding it.

Trazoi
2011-11-01, 06:03 PM
Yeah, lampshading or "hanging a lantern" is older and wider than TV Tropes. Using the more universally used terms like lampshading, deus ex machina and macguffins are fine. I'd avoid using the more TV Tropes specific terms like Five Man Band and Xanatos Gambit unless you're talking specifically about TV Tropes.


I learned more about the components of a story from reading books by self-referential fantasy authors (and following their implicit recommendations to go read The Hero with a Thousand Faces) and watching Stargate SG-1's comedy episodes than I ever did from reading TVTropes, for my part.
I agree. I love analysing media and the hows and whys about how their elements fit together, but the TV Tropes approach is far too superficial to be meaningful. All the site does is break stuff down into a checklist of components; there's very little discussion on the why and how that is a reflection of culture at large. The best parts of the site are the tiny descriptive blurbs before the honking great big lists, and my impression is those paragraphs keep getting edited down as the site is maturing. Tropers only seem to care about the lists

And good luck having any discussion about which tropes a particular piece implements badly.

Nerd-o-rama
2011-11-01, 06:40 PM
I agree. I love analysing media and the hows and whys about how their elements fit together, but the TV Tropes approach is far too superficial to be meaningful. All the site does is break stuff down into a checklist of components; there's very little discussion on the why and how that is a reflection of culture at large. The best parts of the site are the tiny descriptive blurbs before the honking great big lists, and my impression is those paragraphs keep getting edited down as the site is maturing. Tropers only seem to care about the lists

I believe "reductionism" was mentioned. I completely agree with this. Makes TV Tropes a good place to find out about works of fiction that share common traits with things you like (kind of a manual Amazon Recommendations with a lot more helpful comments), makes it worthless for learning about storytelling.


And good luck having any discussion about which tropes a particular piece implements badly.

Everything Is Notable apparently got translated in peoples' heads to Everything Is Good at some point. The only means of criticism or disagreement on that site that doesn't get edited away is passive-aggression.

Reminds me of somewhere else I visit, actually.

Trazoi
2011-11-01, 07:57 PM
I believe "reductionism" was mentioned. I completely agree with this. Makes TV Tropes a good place to find out about works of fiction that share common traits with things you like (kind of a manual Amazon Recommendations with a lot more helpful comments), makes it worthless for learning about storytelling.
If you're writing a story about a particular trope (either straight or poking fun at it) then TV Tropes can be useful in learning more about the cliches and finding media that use them. But the danger is that you'll end up trying to cram in as many tropes as you can for the tropes sake. It's why the writing forum over there IMO isn't much use. And if you're interested in the wider affect of storytelling on culture you aren't going to find much if anything.

That isn't so much a problem of TV Tropes if it stays true to being merely a fun wiki project where fans of all stripes come to chat about the stuff they like. However recently they've all be trying to act like they're a serious attempt to categorise media, changing the fun trope names to bland serious ones, removing all the images that aren't 100% perfect despite how funny they are and removing a lot of the tone in the text so it's all "neutral" (codeword for "boring").


Everything Is Notable apparently got translated in peoples' heads to Everything Is Good at some point. The only means of criticism or disagreement on that site that doesn't get edited away is passive-aggression.
It's by moderator fiat. They really hate media criticism. It's also an extension of their forum policy which doesn't have many strict rules, with the only implict rule appears to be that you can't be mean to anyone. It sounds open and friendly on the surface until you see in practice it means anyone can post any creepy opinion and the site culture is to be supportive rather than call them on it. And potential new tropers get weirded out when they see the Fetishes thread has 240,000+ posts.

(Edit: BTW, that's no exaggeration. The Fetishes thread really does have 240,000+ posts.)

Lord Seth
2011-11-01, 09:40 PM
changing the fun trope names to bland serious ones,I think this has been longer overdue, actually. A lot of the "fun" trope names are really vague, but the new ones actually give you a clue about what they're about. In fact, of all of the name changes, I don't recall any of the old ones even being that "fun." A few, like Xanatos Gambit, have attained sufficiently popular usage outside of the site, so I don't mind those so much, but how many people are going to guess just by the title that "The Paolo" is supposed to refer to a romantic false lead?

Weezer
2011-11-01, 09:55 PM
I think this has been longer overdue, actually. A lot of the "fun" trope names are really vague, but the new ones actually give you a clue about what they're about. In fact, of all of the name changes, I don't recall any of the old ones even being that "fun." A few, like Xanatos Gambit, have attained sufficiently popular usage outside of the site, so I don't mind those so much, but how many people are going to guess just by the title that "The Paolo" is supposed to refer to a romantic false lead?

Agreed, having more informative trope names can only help the site. Sure it's less fun, but I can deal with that.

averagejoe
2011-11-01, 10:10 PM
"I bet the cover has long carbon-hydrogen chains."

Your mom has long carbon-hydrogen chains.


I think this has been longer overdue, actually. A lot of the "fun" trope names are really vague, but the new ones actually give you a clue about what they're about. In fact, of all of the name changes, I don't recall any of the old ones even being that "fun." A few, like Xanatos Gambit, have attained sufficiently popular usage outside of the site, so I don't mind those so much, but how many people are going to guess just by the title that "The Paolo" is supposed to refer to a romantic false lead?

But the new names are rarely descriptive in the first place, and in any case you still have to read the article. I suppose I'd buy this sort of change if the site had higher quality analysis/categorization. But then I'd use it as a reference, not a fun little site you can waste hours looking through. As is it isn't quite one thing or the other.

Trazoi
2011-11-01, 10:22 PM
But the new names are rarely descriptive in the first place, and in any case you still have to read the article. I suppose I'd buy this sort of change if the site had higher quality analysis/categorization. But then I'd use it as a reference, not a fun little site you can waste hours looking through. As is it isn't quite one thing or the other.
Exactly. I know I'm in the minority re: the name changes, but I liked that the old TV Tropes used ultra-nerdy jargon that I couldn't understand. Because old TV Tropes wasn't meant to be an academic reference, it was entertainment. You see something like "The Paolo", think "What the heck is this?", and click the link like a sucker and end up wasting half the day repeating this. Plus using ultra-obscure nerdy jargon is a big clue that this isn't meant to be taken too seriously.

The new TV Tropes cleaned all that up in an attempt to appear scholarly, but it isn't fooling anyone. All it did is make it drier and less entertaining, and doesn't hide it's still basically a series of long lists detailing stocking fetishes.

Ravens_cry
2011-11-01, 11:50 PM
Tropes, or whatever you want to call them, are tools.
They can be used poorly or well, but you can't make much, if anything, without them.
TV Tropes is fun to browse as it can give you ideas for visual media to watch, written media to read, and aural media to listen to.
It is also a nice encapsulated way to follow one of the oldest dictum of art: "To steal from one source is plagiarism; to steal from a thousand is research." Perusing the examples, ideas can start to percolate. "What if I took this,and added it to this, but did it like this? Would that be fun? Entertaining? Intriguing?"
The "Did Not Do the Research" pages and related tropes are good for checking over your own ideas and assumptions. And, hells ,some of it is just good to read for a giggle. Getting Crap Past the Radar can be delightfully surprising, though one Animaniacs example still makes me shake my head in wonder how it was gotten away with.
In short, TV Tropes is fun, informative and often enlightening wiki.
Now if only they could get rid of the pesky time dilation effect that makes minutes spent inside equal hours outside, it would be the perfect website to peruse in spare time.

Lord Seth
2011-11-02, 12:27 AM
But the new names are rarely descriptive in the first place, and in any case you still have to read the article.You don't think "Badass Decay" is infinitely more clear than "Spikeification"? You don't think "Romantic False Lead" is far more understandable than "The Paolo"? You don't think "Hypercompetent Sidekick" explains what it is far better than "The Radar" does? You don't think that "Hopeless Suitor" is more understandable than "The Daisuke"? The new titles all tell you right off the bat what it's about, whereas you didn't really get anything from the old ones even if you did recognize the character they referred to.

Ravens_cry
2011-11-02, 12:36 AM
Well, where there is nerds, there is nerds who decide to get all hipster about it. "Yeah, I liked TV Tropes before it went mainstream."

Mauve Shirt
2011-11-02, 05:20 AM
I think we were talking about Deadpool when I used the term.
I think Nerd-o-rama's idea is right. There are people who read TV Tropes and think they know everything. But I was using it in the correct sense. My only "crime" was having learned it from a site that is mostly for entertainment.
I learn some of my science from Cracked, but no one gives me grief about that. :smalltongue:

Kato
2011-11-02, 07:03 AM
I'm not going to say the new names suck but I liked quite a few of the old ones... "you don't know who Spike is?" Too bad. "You didn't watch the second Digimon series?" Well, you are not nerdy enough. GET OFF MY SITE, you average person!

No, to be serious, when someone claimed Xanatos' Gambit was totally incomprehensible because s/he didn't know who or what a Xanatos was and s/he only knew Gambit from the X-Men character I a) wondered what that person was doing in his childhood if s/he didn't know Xanatos and b) how someone who's presumably a native English speaker doesn't know what a gambit is if I know it.
Given, Gargoyles is kind of outdated now and it's not a classical Shakespearean work or anything but you might as well say we need to change Soylent Green... wait what, this was changed? Er... how about... The Arthur Dent? The Brigadier? The Kirk? The Nth Doctor? Some things even though the names are not self-explanatory unless a certain level of nerdiness is assumed yet they (I hope) will not be changes because the people are famous enough to maintain tropes by themselves. I don't want The everyday man in Space, The good Military Officer, The Man with a Thousand Faces (which is a trope already I think) in my tv tropes...
Also, if you don't know a trope, half the fun is going there, start reading, find another trope you don't know, go there, read, find trope... repeat ad infinitum.

Yuki Akuma
2011-11-02, 07:23 AM
That's called "fundamental attribution error" (alternatively, "correspondence bias") there, Kato - assuming that because you had access to everything you had access to when you were young means that anyone who didn't was doing it wrong. :smallwink:

I never saw Gargoyles when I was younger, for instance. I only know who the hell David Xanatos is from reading TV Tropes.

(Also, "Soylent Green" was changed because the trope really didn't have anything to do with the trope namer - the movie itself wasn't an example, so why name the trope after it?)

(Of course, the new name is a Venture Brothers quote, but at least it's somewhat more comprehensible. ... And they reworked the trope to make Soylent Green an example.)

Trazoi
2011-11-02, 07:34 AM
My first take was Xanatos was a reference to the Greek god of death Thanatos, 'cause I'm a huge square. (I didn't see Gargoyles either).


Given, Gargoyles is kind of outdated now and it's not a classical Shakespearean work or anything
On my brief stint on TV Tropes I mainly helped with Image Picking, and my experience was that being a classical reference wouldn't make much difference. The ugly flip side of Everything Is Notable is that Nothing Is Reputable. Goethe and Swift are on the same level as webcomic fanfiction.

Morty
2011-11-02, 07:42 AM
TVTropes is a fun casual read and can lead to discovering new books, movies, shows et cetera. It has also helped me discover all sorts of fun trivia about the works I like.
It's not, however, any means of serious literary analysis and it gets problematic when people try to use it like it was some sort of authority, even if the trope they use as a cudgel is grossly misused.
It gets even worse when tropes are treated like quick and easy recipes for success - something you just have to put in your work for it to become instantly good.
Oh and for the record, I too had never even heard of Xanatos before reading TVTropes. I'm honestly not sure if Gargoyles were aired in Poland ever, much less when I was a child.

Howler Dagger
2011-11-02, 07:44 AM
) wondered what that person was doing in his childhood if s/he didn't know Xanatos

Living a life without Xanatos?

I mean seriously, Who the heck is Xanatos? Tropers assume that everybody has been exposed to the exact same media, and whine whenever someone complains that they never have seenn or read it ANYTHING about that show/movie/whatever. "Spikeafication" was okay when TVTropes was still mostly buffy-based, but when it got popular, "badass decay" made more sense to a lot of people.

Prime32
2011-11-02, 08:03 AM
Living a life without Xanatos?

I mean seriously, Who the heck is Xanatos? Tropers assume that everybody has been exposed to the exact same media, and whine whenever someone complains that they never have seenn or read it ANYTHING about that show/movie/whatever. "Spikeafication" was okay when TVTropes was still mostly buffy-based, but when it got popular, "badass decay" made more sense to a lot of people.See also "What the heck is a tsundere and why does it need a trope? I've never heard of it."

Kato
2011-11-02, 08:29 AM
Oh come on guys, I wasn't entirely serious. Of course I am aware there are people who don't know Gargoyles (still, they are missing out) but I like tv tropes to reference more or less popular media since it IS about media. If every title was terribly obscure that would be different but such iconic characters in there own right... and if it gets people to start watching a good show to realize what a trope is about... even better!

Yuki Akuma
2011-11-02, 08:38 AM
Gargoyles only seems popular to you because you hang out on sites where people who like things like Gargoyles tend to congregate. :smallwink:

(Also: 'tsundere' is a term used in anime fandom a lot, and TV Tropes likes to use terms actually used by fandom before making up its own words. And 'Bipolar' doesn't really fit.)

Psyren
2011-11-02, 08:56 AM
"Xanatos" is just a cool villain name whether you're familiar with Gargoyles or not. This dovetails with the trope's common usage by morally questionable practicioners. By contrast, heroes are more prone to use the Batman Gambit or Indy Ploy. It all fits together rather well.

And Tsundere is such a well-known trope in Japan that various manga and anime actively invoke it. Not to mention that Yuki is right and the concept doesn't translate well to any one English word or phrase. (Similar to "nakama" and "Yamato Nadeshiko.")

Traab
2011-11-02, 09:09 AM
I watched the gargoyles series and I missed the reference to xanatos. I thought it was talking about some videogame villain or something. I had a real lightbulb moment when I made the connection there. "OH YEAH! Now I remember!" I honestly never made the connection between him and the idea of plans within plans where no matter what you do he wins.

Yuki Akuma
2011-11-02, 09:28 AM
"Nakama" has a perfectly acceptable English translation - "Comrade". Which is why "nakama" is no longer a trope title. It's a concept that has existed for thousands of years and isn't just native to Japan.

"Yamato Nadeshiko" is a Japanese cultural thing, so of course it's got a Japanese name. The hint is the "Yamato". It's basically the Japanese cultural ideal of a perfectly beautiful housewife. (A literal translation would be "Japanese Large Pink", which is just silly.)

Arminius
2011-11-02, 09:32 AM
I don't really see the problem with TV Tropes. Like Wiki, I have learned a great deal of interesting things from it. I have also discovered a number of good books, movies, shows, and webcomics through it. As I see it, knowledge is knowledge. As long as it is correct, it doesn't matter where you learned it. I am glad TV Tropes exists. It has made me less ignorant and expanded my mind in new directions. Heck, it is how I first discovered the Order of the Stick. I'm just judging from the posted exchange, but the OP's friend strikes me as an elitist.

Psyren
2011-11-02, 10:02 AM
"Nakama" has a perfectly acceptable English translation - "Comrade". Which is why "nakama" is no longer a trope title. It's a concept that has existed for thousands of years and isn't just native to Japan.

See, even you messed it up. Nakama is stronger than merely "comrade." It carries implications of them being almost family, and you being willing to go through a great deal of pain, or even lay down your life, to protect them. "Friend" and "Comrade" don't capture that at all. A phrase like "Facebook Nakama" is exactly as ridiculous as it sounds.


The hint is the "Yamato".

Gee, had no idea, thanks for clearing that up.:smallsigh:

And you're still wrong besides. "Housewife" is a much more 2-dimensional, even demeaning term and does not capture the strength of will required to be a YN.

Boiling these tropes down to an english word or two simplifies them beyond all accuracy - hence, it's easier to simply use the names from the culture where they were born.

Arminius
2011-11-02, 10:17 AM
See, even you messed it up. Nakama is stronger than merely "comrade." It carries implications of them being almost family, and you being willing to go through a great deal of pain, or even lay down your life, to protect them. "Friend" and "Comrade" don't capture that at all. A phrase like "Facebook Nakama" is exactly as ridiculous as it sounds.
Actually, Comrade does have this meaning. It is traditionally a status/address between soldiers, and in this sense would imply a level of brotherhood, where you would indeed be willing to go through a great deal of pain and be willing to lay down your life to protect them. The meaning got somewhat muddied because the Communists started to use this as a form of address between themselves, largely because it implied a brotherhood of humanity and did not have the class distinctions of Mr. and Mrs.. It's political connotations have caused it's meaning to be more dependant on context these days, but it's traditional meaning is still in active use.

Psyren
2011-11-02, 10:30 AM
Actually, Comrade does have this meaning. It is traditionally a status/address between soldiers, and in this sense would imply a level of brotherhood, where you would indeed be willing to go through a great deal of pain and be willing to lay down your life to protect them.

To me, that would be "comrade-in-arms" rather than merely "comrade" - and even then would be inadequate to encompass nakama, as the former implies a battlefield/conflict situation whereas nakama is applicable to a broader variety of instances.

Yuki Akuma
2011-11-02, 11:26 AM
To me, that would be "comrade-in-arms" rather than merely "comrade" - and even then would be inadequate to encompass nakama, as the former implies a battlefield/conflict situation whereas nakama is applicable to a broader variety of instances.

'Comrade' means exactly the same as 'nakama'.

Words can have multiple definitions, you know. One of 'Comrade's definitions means exactly the same thing as 'nakama'.

The concept of 'nakama' is not restricted solely to Glorious Nippon, remember. Other cultures have the same concept, and their own words for it. 'Comrade', for instance, is the English word for it. :smallwink:

The Glyphstone
2011-11-02, 11:32 AM
Not to mention it's rather Japanocentric to assume that the Japanese were the only, or even the first, people to come up with the concept of 'friends as close as family'.

EDIT: Samurai'd.

Knaight
2011-11-02, 11:39 AM
Not to mention it's rather Japanocentric to assume that the Japanese were the only, or even the first, people to come up with the concept of 'friends as close as family'.

EDIT: Samurai'd.

Particularly when China is right next door. Its not Japan which generated the phrase "Wives and Children are like clothing, they can be discarded; Brothers* are like limbs, and you need your limbs". On a side note, I'm very glad I don't live in ancient China.

*In this case, comrades that aren't within the family

Arminius
2011-11-02, 11:44 AM
To me, that would be "comrade-in-arms" rather than merely "comrade" - and even then would be inadequate to encompass nakama, as the former implies a battlefield/conflict situation whereas nakama is applicable to a broader variety of instances.
Comrade is not limited to the military, though that is, I believe, the origin and most common use. Any tight knit group could be considered comrades. Once again, that useage has lessened due to communist usage, but is still valid.

I am not really familiar with the intricacies of Japanese, so I am going off google, which brought up the urban dictionary definitions and the One Piece wiki. Judging from the two, Nakama seems to refer more to close knit groups. One Piece particularly seems to be in the context of a crew, which is well within the boundaries of comrades. If the group meaning is the correct meaning in Japanese, comrade seems a perfect translation.

If the word does not refer to group members who all have this closeness with each other, but between two individuals who are simply close friends with no common cause or interest between them, a better English term would be "boon companion". Boon companion is verging on the archaic these days, and probably will be archaic by the time I am an old man, because modern Western society tends to stigmatize close male friendships as inherently homosexual(and in turn a stigmatizes homosexuality), and does not think non-romantic friendships are possible across sexes. Both "boon companion" and comrade are gender neutral, but historically have applied only to male relationships due to the historic segregation of the sexes. As the culture becomes less bigoted, the meanings of both will/have expand(ed) to include both sexes.

If Nakama has both the group and individual meanings, dependant on context, translations should probably be on a case by case basis, since Nakama is more vague than the corresponding English terms. The article on Nakama should probably be made into a header explaining the contexts, have sub-catagories of Japanese works for each context, and links to articles on the English meanings, since they are more precise.

Yuki Akuma
2011-11-02, 11:52 AM
Nakama has already been renamed with an English title (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TrueCompanions), because the moderators realised that the term is universal and using Japanese words for universal tropes is ridiculous on an English-language wiki.

It even has sub-tropes!

Kato
2011-11-02, 11:53 AM
'Comrade' means exactly the same as 'nakama'.

Words can have multiple definitions, you know. One of 'Comrade's definitions means exactly the same thing as 'nakama'.

The concept of 'nakama' is not restricted solely to Glorious Nippon, remember. Other cultures have the same concept, and their own words for it. 'Comrade', for instance, is the English word for it. :smallwink:

Yes, both mean basically the same thing. Still, the thing is... a comrade is, even ignoring the meaning it got from communism in it's military sense is someone you depend your life upon whether you like him or not. You are forced to be brothers with your comrades, if you like them or not you will do what you need to keep them save and you expect the same from them.
Even though the 'ideal' comrade is your closest friend and more important yuo you than even family or love, that is only true in the rarest sense.

Nakama the way it is portrayed mostly by One Piece and further adopted by anime fandom is something far beyond that, beyond a brother in arms, beyond family but to the highest peek of admiration a person can feel for another short of love.
Of course, that's an ideal way to think of it as well but since comrade as a trope would hardly work to give that kind of impression I have no problem adapting a new term for it and Nakama fits just fine.

Yuki Akuma
2011-11-02, 11:55 AM
Look, no matter what Kaizoku Fansubs tells you, 'nakama' is not some special magical relationship that's different to comradeship.

The word 'comrade' does not have connotations of forced relationships.

Arminius
2011-11-02, 12:10 PM
Yes, both mean basically the same thing. Still, the thing is... a comrade is, even ignoring the meaning it got from communism in it's military sense is someone you depend your life upon whether you like him or not. You are forced to be brothers with your comrades, if you like them or not you will do what you need to keep them save and you expect the same from them.
Even though the 'ideal' comrade is your closest friend and more important yuo you than even family or love, that is only true in the rarest sense.

Nakama the way it is portrayed mostly by One Piece and further adopted by anime fandom is something far beyond that, beyond a brother in arms, beyond family but to the highest peek of admiration a person can feel for another short of love.
Of course, that's an ideal way to think of it as well but since comrade as a trope would hardly work to give that kind of impression I have no problem adapting a new term for it and Nakama fits just fine.
That sounds, very much identical.:smallconfused: Many military units probably are just a group of people who have to put up with each other until the war is over, or clubs may only have a single interest in common and not particularly like each other. Comradeship is meant to be that same level or respect and brotherhood that Nakama seems to mean. Just because an ideal is rarely met does not mean we need to rename it to another ideal that means the same thing.

Kato
2011-11-02, 12:16 PM
Look, no matter what Kaizoku Fansubs tells you, 'nakama' is not some special magical relationship that's different to comradeship.

The word 'comrade' does not have connotations of forced relationships.

Have you ever been a soldier? Being in an army IS forced relationship. You ARE forced to be supportive of your comrades even if you would rather strangle them to death. It's an essential part of a comrade-in-arms that you are forced to be his friend, simply put. And about meaning given to comrades by communist Russia we don't even need to talk, I think.
Nakama to a Japanese speaker might be just the same, not sure what Japanese Self Defense Forces call their brothers in arms, possibly nakama, too, so it's just the same for them but... well, I guess we could start over the whole discussion of whether there is a difference between a Nakama and a comrade but let's go back to something more general.
An English speaker knows, or should know what a comrade is. Or at least have a general idea of it. But it's certainly not exclusively that what anime fandom thinks of when they hear nakama, even though , yes, I know, it's just a normal Japanese word, but that's not what these people think of but they think of a much more specific and much closer relationship than comrades.
Of course you could go and ad a few words to closer describe what kind of comrade you mean OR you could just ad a new word to your dictionary (not saying nakama should be in the dictionary, just talking in general) because language changes. And sometimes we adopt new words, just like German language is including more and more English terms even though we could use/adopt/create German ones. What's so wrong with expanding a language by adopting new terms?
Once in a while I have/witness discussions about 'geek' and 'nerd' which are not sure whether outside the US or outside English peaking countries or whatever often perceived as different where as an American uses both interchangeably if I say 'geek' to another German person he knows I mean something different than 'nerd'.

Wow, this post is getting longish, sorry. Long story short: In Japanese, yes, nakama is really nothing else than comrade for an English speaker but among non-Japanese anime fans if you say nakama they know you mean something much more than comrade (see problem earlier) without further explanation. And I guess it's something many people can disagree on but I have no trouble adopting my language for it to be as convenient as possible as long as I know who I'm talking to.
That this doesn't necessarily applies to tv tropes is true but if someone just doesn't care to look up a trope because he doesn't know what it means... dunno... I explicitly click on tropes I don't know what they are about to find out but I guess that's just me.

Psyren
2011-11-02, 12:20 PM
Even if I cede "nakama" (I'm not, but even if I did), equating "Yamato Nadeshiko" to "housewife" is patently absurd.

Yuki Akuma
2011-11-02, 12:23 PM
Even if I cede "nakama" (I'm not, but even if I did), equating "Yamato Nadeshiko" to "housewife" is patently absurd.

I specifically said it's untranslateable as it's a cultural thing relegated entirely to Japan.

Seriously. Come on. Do you just skim my posts looking for things to argue with? :smalltongue:

Lurkmoar
2011-11-02, 12:29 PM
Look, no matter what Kaizoku Fansubs tells you, 'nakama' is not some special magical relationship that's different to comradeship.

The word 'comrade' does not have connotations of forced relationships.

They changed 'Nakama' to True Companions. Probably for similar reasons you've outlined. The trope names will probably change over time, Vizzini Gambit is now Out Gambited.

But seriously, OP don't bring it up around that friend. You'll rarely win an argument, but you can always annoy someone. Now that you know he has a pet peeve, you can use it to your advantage. :smalltongue:

On that note, I doubt I'd ever dislike TVtropes unless they started redirecting to various shock sites. It's how I found OotS after all.

Mewtarthio
2011-11-02, 12:32 PM
Here's my thought on it: If it's strictly a Japanese cultural thing, go ahead and use the Japanese term. If it's not (and Japan does not have a monopoly on friends willing to lay down their lives for each other), use the primary language of the wiki--ie, English. It doesn't matter if nakama really means all you say it means and no English term comes close to the definition; if someone unfamiliar with the term sees the title is Japanese, they're not going to intuitively guess its meaning and they're likely to assume it's a Japanese thing.

Psyren
2011-11-02, 01:58 PM
I specifically said it's untranslateable as it's a cultural thing relegated entirely to Japan.

Except it's not relegated entirely to Japan, as several of the examples on that page are from outside Japan (including a real actual western woman.)

You can translate anything, it just takes more words for some concepts.


Seriously. Come on. Do you just skim my posts looking for things to argue with? :smalltongue:

If you recall, I started this whole back and forth by agreeing with you. You responded by arguing with me. (Seriously.)

Ravens_cry
2011-11-02, 02:22 PM
Yes, the concept is hardly just limited to Japan, but, so far, the Japanese term for it is the most succinct way of describing it without taking up a paragraph.
Which, incidentally, is what the trope description is for.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-02, 02:28 PM
Regarding Trope Name Decay...

While not that every old-since-changed-name was really great the reason for the changes I think are fundamentally faulty. The drive to be accesible is besides the point. When I saw "Xanatos Gambit" initially I did not immediately recall Gargoyles. Gargoyles is fairly obscure as far as cartoons go. 90s cartoons are only well remembered to a fairly specific demographic and Gargoyles is far from the most prominent there even there. It is not an accessible title for a trope.

But it is a MASSIVELY cool title and makes you want to click on the link to read the description to find out just what a Xanatos Gambit is. Its the sort of thing that drives the site and is what made it so much fun. I used the past tense because its simply not as fun anymore with the drive to make trope accesible an obvious. There's nothing obvious or really descriptive about Chekov's Gun and Macguffin, and those tropes are professional jargon that predate the site by decades at least.

Now I'm not saying every change has been bad. Spikification is a good example of one that had numerous problems. For one thing Spike's case (while I'm not a big Buffy fan so I may be wrong) reminds me more of Villain Decay and Good Is Dumb then exemplifying the trope. However perhaps more importantly it was an awkward made up word, even when you clicked on it you didn't get that moment of dawning comprehension at its brilliance upon find out where it came from. It smelled like people wanting to related everything to Joss Whedon. However I'd be the first to say that that last reason would be a horrible cause to rename Big Damn Heroes.

Problem is I don't think that the majority of changes meet the standards for changing. Are your really telling me that "Artistic License X" is better then "You Fail X Forever" because I'll be the first to say the changed name reeks of Political Correctness Gone Mad. Oooh no we can't have a snarky title about horrendous science errors people might be offended. Except I'd say generally we are not. People have always known that writers cannot do science or otherwise ignore it. Artistic license just doesn't feel weighty enough for flying through a black hole to time travel. Artistic license is more like mysteriously never getting cut by glass while going through a window, possible but unlikely versus flat out impossible. And above all it just lacks the magic of something that grew organically from the site's development, as opposed to something that was calculated to be "better"

I could go on an on. Its not one sided but tvtropes has definitely experienced They Changed It Now It Sucks. I know I realized I would never quite enjoy the site as much as the day they changed the funny meme joke title of Boat Lights to the utterly bland and unmagical Mismatched Eyes. Boooorrrinng.

Lord Seth
2011-11-02, 03:10 PM
Yes, the concept is hardly just limited to Japan, but, so far, the Japanese term for it is the most succinct way of describing it without taking up a paragraph.So...using a foreign word that requires you to find out what it means is more succinct than using an actual English word with the same connotations that people know of already?
Are your really telling me that "Artistic License X" is better then "You Fail X Forever" because I'll be the first to say the changed name reeks of Political Correctness Gone Mad.Personally I'd say I don't like either. The former is too forgiving, the latter is too snarky. I'd personally prefer one that just indicates it doesn't quite work with our scientific knowledge without passing judgment on whether it's acceptable in this case or not.


Artistic license just doesn't feel weighty enough for flying through a black hole to time travel.Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, we don't actually know what would happen if someone were to fly into a black hole. Based on that, I can't see how it would be "incorrect" to have it be time travel, alternate universes, or Sparkly Funtime Fairy Land. Considering all the other cases where authors can get science wrong, it seems odd to use this as your example.

Psyren
2011-11-02, 03:35 PM
So...using a foreign word that requires you to find out what it means is more succinct than using an actual English word with the same connotations that people know of already?

What's wrong with not automatically knowing what something means? I daresay presenting the cultural elements undiluted, and encouraging intellectual curiosity among the visitors to that site, is by far the superior option.

I mean, god forbid - you might click on a link and learn something new. The horror!

warty goblin
2011-11-02, 03:42 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, we don't actually know what would happen if someone were to fly into a black hole. Based on that, I can't see how it would be "incorrect" to have it be time travel, alternate universes, or Sparkly Funtime Fairy Land. Considering all the other cases where authors can get science wrong, it seems odd to use this as your example.

What happens when you fly into a black hole is simple: at some point the gravitational differential over the length of your body exceeds the tensile strength of your flesh, blood and bone and you are gravitationally elongated to death. How exactly this happens is very complex (and unpleasant) material physics problem that I don't know how to solve, but it'll certainly happen.

edit: although you'd probably be unconscious by this point owing to said gravitational differential's unfortunate effect on your blood pressure.

(Technically of course a black hole could be small enough to not have a sufficiently steep gravity well for this to occur. However such a black hole would, I suspect without doing a lot tedious calculation, be so small one could not fall into it. Even should you come across a black hole of a size where you could approach it without being stretched to death, anything you put across the event horizon isn't coming back since it would have to be accelerated beyond lightspeed to escape. Also, since physical interaction travels at lightspeed, it strikes me as plausible that anything below the EV would essentially be severed, in which case falling through would be like having your body cut off at the point it passed the EV. Whether or not you'd feel it is an interesting question, because of course nerve signals travel slower than lightspeed and hence may not be able to reach your brain.)

If you mean what happens to matter when put into a black hole, that is unknown. Space does strange things I'd need to be in a very different Ph.D. program to understand when the curvature goes essentially infinite.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-02, 03:43 PM
So...using a foreign word that requires you to find out what it means is more succinct than using an actual English word with the same connotations that people know of already?Personally I'd say I don't like either. The former is too forgiving, the latter is too snarky. I'd personally prefer one that just indicates it doesn't quite work with our scientific knowledge without passing judgment on whether it's acceptable in this case or not.

I'd be open to having taken a third option with the like of "X Does Not Work That Way" expanded in meaning.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, we don't actually know what would happen if someone were to fly into a black hole. Based on that, I can't see how it would be "incorrect" to have it be time travel, alternate universes, or Sparkly Funtime Fairy Land. Considering all the other cases where authors can get science wrong, it seems odd to use this as your example.

Well almost by definition you can't fly through a black hole, which is more of a problem then the time travel aspect. Gravity crushing you and time dilation makes even entering one rather weird.

And it was an particular references to Abrams!Trek because where "black hole" seems to just be tacked on to a completely different anomaly in the name of being vaguely familar to an (assumed) ignorant audience as opposed to coming up with a Technobabble term for its particular Negative Space Wedgie.

Coidzor
2011-11-02, 03:49 PM
So, the other day I was discussing something with a friend, I don't remember what exactly, some bit of media. I used the term "lampshading", he glared at me like I was some sort of pathetic thing and said "TV Tropes." So what? First of all, hanging a lampshade is a real thing, I could have learned that phrase from Wikipedia. "But you did learn it from TV Tropes." Again, so what?
Does anyone else react this way when someone references a trope or something they learned on that website in a real life conversation? Why?

Aside from people who want to be snobs who look down on anyone who admits to using the internet recreationally, no, not really. I notice far more people taking TV tropes too seriously and trying to use it and memes to form a sort of newspeak in order to exclude others than people who set out to try to be elitists and scorn the entire thing.

Short case, this person is not actually a friend if he treats you like that, more than likely.


Yes, the concept is hardly just limited to Japan, but, so far, the Japanese term for it is the most succinct way of describing it without taking up a paragraph.
Which, incidentally, is what the trope description is for.

Well, hey now, there's a very succinct, convenient word for them that's readily understood by any English speaker. It's just also a swear word more often than not.

Yuki Akuma
2011-11-02, 03:54 PM
If you recall, I started this whole back and forth by agreeing with you. You responded by arguing with me. (Seriously.)

I responded disagreeing with you because you added something to the discussion that I disagreed with.

I agreed with you on Yamato Nadeshiko not being translatable. I do not at all and will never agree with you that nakama isn't.

See? It's possible to agree on some topics and disagree on others!

Ravens_cry
2011-11-02, 04:01 PM
Technobabble can be done well.
After all, if you got someone, even an educated someone, from the mid-19th century and talked to them about "splitting the atom" and "programming a computer" the former would be a contradiction in terms, atoms thought to being being, and literally meaning, "indivisible" and the latter making no sense either as a computer was a profession and and program was only a noun.
Well done technobabble can give the impression of jargon concerning laws and applications that are not of our own world.

So...using a foreign word that requires you to find out what it means is more succinct than using an actual English word with the same connotations that people know of already?
What word though? 'Housewife' is a more general trope, practically "People use Chairs" level, while 'Yamato Nadeshiko' is more about about a certain set of ideals and their use in characterization. T
aking a word from a foreign language for a concept that already exists but doesn't have a single term has a long history in English.
For an extremely obvious example, we could say "Pleasure from another's discomfort", but schadenfreude works as well.

Elder Tsofu
2011-11-02, 04:10 PM
I typed in the Swedish equivalent of the only true happiness (skadeglädje, as described above) into a dictionary and got "malicious pleasure (glee), schadenfreude ". The first seem to fit quite well, while the second sound German to the point it is almost Swedish.

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-02, 04:11 PM
I typed in the Swedish equivalent of the only true happiness (skadeglädje, as described above) into a dictionary and got "malicious pleasure (glee), schadenfreude ". The first seem to fit quite well, while the second sound German to the point it is almost Swedish.

We got the word from German, I am sure. Remember that 50% of out language is medieval German.

Shadow of the Sun
2011-11-02, 04:20 PM
Nakama has already been renamed with an English title (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TrueCompanions), because the moderators realised that the term is universal and using Japanese words for universal tropes is ridiculous on an English-language wiki.

It even has sub-tropes!

While not trying to argue the point (I think the rename was a good thing), I find it amusing that you were trying to replace a Japanese word with a French one.

Yuki Akuma
2011-11-02, 04:31 PM
What?

Comrade is English.

First use in English: 16th century. Originally from French and Spanish.

This is what English does. It takes words from other languages and mutates them. This doesn't make them less English.

Shadow of the Sun
2011-11-02, 04:36 PM
Yuki: I'm not saying I disagree. English is definitely a big stealer of words and such.

I just found it amusing- not saying it makes you any less right.

Psyren
2011-11-02, 04:38 PM
See? It's possible to agree on some topics and disagree on others!

Yet when I do it, I'm "skimming your posts" or whatever nonsense you said. This subdiscussion has run its course though.

Arminius
2011-11-02, 04:44 PM
What?

Comrade is English.

First use in English: 16th century. Originally from French and Spanish.

This is what English does. It takes words from other languages and mutates them. This doesn't make them less English.


Yuki: I'm not saying I disagree. English is definitely a big stealer of words and such.

I just found it amusing- not saying it makes you any less right.
We are the Anglophones, lower your shields and surrender your vocabulary(and tea). Your linguistic and culinary distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.

Ravens_cry
2011-11-02, 04:49 PM
We are the Anglophones, lower your shields and surrender your vocabulary(and tea). Your linguistic and culinary distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.
Darn tootin'!

Hazzardevil
2011-11-02, 04:53 PM
Your mom has long carbon-hydrogen chains.


Oh god, not the mods too.

Anyway, on a [somewhat] tangent, a discussion less serious and more slightly sarcastic rants about Tvtropes. Tvtropes fought back by saying it is a forum filled with trolls and stuck up somethingorothers. Please do not let this thread devolve into that.

Coidzor
2011-11-02, 04:57 PM
Anyway, on a [somewhat] tangent, a discussion less serious and more slightly sarcastic rants about Tvtropes. Tvtropes fought back by saying it is a forum filled with trolls and stuck up somethingorothers. Please do not let this thread devolve into that.

So you're saying don't discuss TV Tropes or they'll create a page dedicated to character assassination? :smallconfused:

Trazoi
2011-11-02, 05:25 PM
So you're saying don't discuss TV Tropes or they'll create a page dedicated to character assassination? :smallconfused:
If you diss them and tick off the top moderators personally like Something Awful did then this isn't too far off the mark (although they're more likely to lock or delete your page). The mods really hate that place at the moment; there was a kerfuffle over the Lets Play page due to its strong SA references.

Coidzor
2011-11-02, 05:26 PM
If you diss them and tick off the top moderators personally like Something Awful did then this isn't too far off the mark (although they're more likely to lock or delete your page). The mods really hate that place at the moment; there was a kerfuffle over the Lets Play page due to its strong SA references.

Oh the internet, that now I have to worry about people with too much time and vitriol on their hands coming after me for observing that the internet is being the internet again. :smallsigh:

Lord Seth
2011-11-02, 05:30 PM
What's wrong with not automatically knowing what something means?You're creating a strawman. What I'm saying is that there's no need to stretch into another language if you can express the same thing in your own language just as simply.
While not trying to argue the point (I think the rename was a good thing), I find it amusing that you were trying to replace a Japanese word with a French one."Comrade" is a thoroughly English term. You can't even say that it's the same as a French word, because the associated French word is camerade. It's like saying that "computadora" isn't a Spanish word because it has its roots in other languages.
What word though? 'Housewife' is a more general trope, practically "People use Chairs" level, while 'Yamato Nadeshiko' is more about about a certain set of ideals and their use in characterization.I was referring to Nakama.

Trazoi
2011-11-02, 05:48 PM
Oh the internet, that now I have to worry about people with too much time and vitriol on their hands coming after me for observing that the internet is being the internet again. :smallsigh:
I had to re-read that several times to figure out which actors are TV Tropes, Something Awful, me, or you. I think it works in almost every combination. :smallwink:

Ravens_cry
2011-11-02, 06:00 PM
I was referring to Nakama.
Ah. My mistake.
Well, Comrade in this sense has unfortunately been diluted by its use as a universal honorific under certain governmental systems in my opinion.

Yuki Akuma
2011-11-02, 06:21 PM
It's been used like that since 1884, and yet people still recognise the other non-diluted meaning.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-02, 06:23 PM
Ah. My mistake.
Well, Comrade in this sense has unfortunately been diluted by its use as a universal honorific under certain governmental systems in my opinion.

I'd say that's true, also I'm not sure if in actual use is quite... right to get what nakama is trying. Then again I don't speak Japanese so I'd have to wonder how much of this idea is just anime fans putting on airs since 99% of them don't speak Japanese either.

If I'd been changing I'd probably have gone with "The Party" or maybe "The Crew" for the trope myself.

Lord Seth
2011-11-02, 06:24 PM
Ah. My mistake.
Well, Comrade in this sense has unfortunately been diluted by its use as a universal honorific under certain governmental systems in my opinion.Has it really been, though? I didn't even know the association until I read Animal Farm. The term might not be used that much, but, in my experience at least, it's lost a significant amount of the stigma that supposedly was attached to it.

Trazoi
2011-11-02, 06:29 PM
I'd say that's true, also I'm not sure if in actual use is quite... right to get what nakama is trying. Then again I don't speak Japanese so I'd have to wonder how much of this idea is just anime fans putting on airs since 99% of them don't speak Japanese either.
I don't speak Japanese either so I'm curious about this too. Is it actually a connontantion of the word in Japanese culture or is it just from its use in one work (One Piece?)?

Otherwise you could go with the Aussie and call them true mates, although the rest of the world would think that's a shipping trope.

Ravens_cry
2011-11-02, 06:50 PM
It's been used like that since 1884, and yet people still recognise the other non-diluted meaning.
Recognize, perhaps, but if someone called you their comrade, would you immediately think they considered you family in all but blood? That might make a good trope title, as awkward as it is: In All But Blood.
The famous St. Crispin's Day speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAvmLDkAgAM) is an attempt to evoke that feeling.

Weezer
2011-11-02, 07:06 PM
Ah. My mistake.
Well, Comrade in this sense has unfortunately been diluted by its use as a universal honorific under certain governmental systems in my opinion.

In fact the word comrade (more specifically the Russian word Tovarishch which translates as comrade) was used as that honorific precisely because of the sense we are talking about. The first uses of comrade in the context that became honorific were in fact using the word in the "family in all but blood" context. Then it was used so universally that it lost some meaning, but it's original use in that context was only because it had that meaning to begin with.

Frozen_Feet
2011-11-02, 07:36 PM
Ah. My mistake.
Well, Comrade in this sense has unfortunately been diluted by its use as a universal honorific under certain governmental systems in my opinion.

... and nakama is often used from co-workers or sport team members. Why doesn't that dilute the Japanese term?

Yuki Akuma
2011-11-02, 07:57 PM
The word crops up a bit in anime, shounen especially. One Piece just puts a lot of focus on those sorts of relationships - in fact, it appears to be the only positive relationship it's possible to have in that story.

Coidzor
2011-11-02, 08:04 PM
I don't speak Japanese either so I'm curious about this too. Is it actually a connontantion of the word in Japanese culture or is it just from its use in one work (One Piece?)?

Otherwise you could go with the Aussie and call them true mates, although the rest of the world would think that's a shipping trope.

IIRC, the old boon companion sorta mostly works.

Trazoi
2011-11-02, 08:25 PM
IIRC, the old boon companion sorta mostly works.
It's a little archaic sounding, although Boon Buddies sounds like it would make a great cartoon.

I do sort of agree that renaming tropes to names that are easier to understand at first glance is a good idea, and weeding out weird naming choices like The Toblerone is a good thing. My beef is that the replacements are almost always so bland and dull due to the process demanding they be chosen by committee. Even Nakama suffers from this - True Companions doesn't have much punch. The site feels like it's being Beigeified, a process which someone would suggest they rename Concise But Dull and they would end up renaming Accurate But Uninteresting.

Ravens_cry
2011-11-02, 08:32 PM
In fact the word comrade (more specifically the Russian word Tovarishch which translates as comrade) was used as that honorific precisely because of the sense we are talking about. The first uses of comrade in the context that became honorific were in fact using the word in the "family in all but blood" context. Then it was used so universally that it lost some meaning, but it's original use in that context was only because it had that meaning to begin with.
Yes, that is precisely what I meant by its dilution; it has to be diluted from some meaning after all.

... and nakama is often used from co-workers or sport team members. Why doesn't that dilute the Japanese term?
It does . . .in Japan, but TV Tropes is an English language website. Personally, given the preciseness of what it refers to and the universality of the situation, I think Nakama is a worthy loan word addition to the English language, whatever the dictionaries say so far. Maybe or maybe not a good trope title, but an excellent loan word.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-02, 08:50 PM
... and nakama is often used from co-workers or sport team members. Why doesn't that dilute the Japanese term?

If so then I could actually support the trope change. From my own experience while such a case can be true its far from a reality especially co-workers are only rarely more then people in a place. Though Japan supposedly likes to foster some more loyalty... yeah I'm putting this into anime fans going off of shows like One Piece then any reality.

Trazoi
2011-11-02, 09:12 PM
It does . . .in Japan, but TV Tropes is an English language website. Personally, given the preciseness of what it refers to and the universality of the situation, I think Nakama is a worthy loan word addition to the English language, whatever the dictionaries say so far. Maybe or maybe not a good trope title, but an excellent loan word.
Maybe in close circles, but I don't think it would catch on generally. It's not like something like "karoshi" (working yourself to death) where English doesn't have the right sort of word already. We've got loads of words for types of friendship. And while "comrade" might have associations with certain governments, I can't shake "nakama" used as a general English word as an anime fan thing.

Ravens_cry
2011-11-02, 09:22 PM
We shall see, :smallsmile:English is fun like that.

Worira
2011-11-02, 09:41 PM
Recognize, perhaps, but if someone called you their comrade, would you immediately think they considered you family in all but blood? That might make a good trope title, as awkward as it is: In All But Blood.
The famous St. Crispin's Day speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAvmLDkAgAM) is an attempt to evoke that feeling.

You know... I actually really like that as a trope name. I think it's substantially better than either True Companions or Nakama (especially nakama, because that's just being bad at translating).

Traab
2011-11-02, 10:30 PM
You know... I actually really like that as a trope name. I think it's substantially better than either True Companions or Nakama (especially nakama, because that's just being bad at translating).

I actually agree, In All But Blood. Its a great description of the meaning behind the word, and it has a draw to it. If I saw a link with that title, id be curious to read it. And plus, since it isnt the japanese word, it feels like its more open to non anime works as well.

Ravens_cry
2011-11-03, 02:42 AM
Heh, glad you like it.
Maybe we should go on the TV Tropes forum to recommend it.

Feytalist
2011-11-03, 03:39 AM
I had always thought of that particular device as best exemplified by the Three Musketeers. They even provide that page's image. In the western world, they should be almost universally recognised, especially by their "One For All and All For One" motto.

If you want to go for a literature allusion, that might be one of the best choices.

SiuiS
2011-11-03, 03:59 AM
So, the other day I was discussing something with a friend, I don't remember what exactly, some bit of media. I used the term "lampshading", he glared at me like I was some sort of pathetic thing and said "TV Tropes." So what? First of all, hanging a lampshade is a real thing, I could have learned that phrase from Wikipedia. "But you did learn it from TV Tropes." Again, so what?
Does anyone else react this way when someone references a trope or something they learned on that website in a real life conversation? Why?

I have a friend who will occasionally string together a bunch of tropes into a sentence, and it irritates me. It irritates me because his behaviors make it apparent he thinks he's clever just for knowing trope names, and it's right up there as using a witty quote as a substitute for wit for me. When it's me and him I don't care so much, but around people who have no idea what he's talking about, it's very annoying. The point of talking is to convey meaning; if sounding smart is more important to somepony than saying something meaningful, I get all antagonistic.

That is probably about it. I've seen other folks get upset because they feel using tropes is a shortcut. Instead of detailing your thoughts on an antagonist, you just say he's a magnificent bastard? You've just cut an otherwise meaningful conversation down to a forgettable soundbyte, thanks.

Or at least, that's what I assume. That's an extension of my own irritation, at any rate; mileage and variance and all that.

The rest of the conversation is beyond my purview. I like that last bit, though.

Knaight
2011-11-03, 04:20 AM
I have a friend who will occasionally string together a bunch of tropes into a sentence, and it irritates me. It irritates me because his behaviors make it apparent he thinks he's clever just for knowing trope names, and it's right up there as using a witty quote as a substitute for wit for me. When it's me and him I don't care so much, but around people who have no idea what he's talking about, it's very annoying. The point of talking is to convey meaning; if sounding smart is more important to somepony than saying something meaningful, I get all antagonistic.

If criticizing the insertion of nomenclature from a particular piece of media - which TV tropes certainly qualifies for - one ought to avoid doing the exact same thing, particularly when relevancy is a concern.

Aotrs Commander
2011-11-03, 05:11 AM
If criticizing the insertion of nomenclature from a particular piece of media - which TV tropes certainly qualifies for - one ought to avoid doing the exact same thing, particularly when relevancy is a concern.

*snerk*

He probably didn't even realise he was doing it, you know. Posting in ponythread does that to most lesser mortals... Poor fellow.

Trazoi
2011-11-03, 05:19 AM
That is probably about it. I've seen other folks get upset because they feel using tropes is a shortcut. Instead of detailing your thoughts on an antagonist, you just say he's a magnificent bastard? You've just cut an otherwise meaningful conversation down to a forgettable soundbyte, thanks.
Although that is what any set of specialist terminology sets out to do - encapsulate a complicated thought into a single term to make it easy to discuss. If you're not talking with someone who knows the terminology (i.e. non-tropers) then you're leaving people out of the loop and generally being rude. But if everyone knows what the terms mean then it's perfectly fine to use them as a shortcut, since that's what they're for.

Of course all someone says is "This character is meant to be a Magnificent Bastard but is more of a Smug Snake" and refuses to describe why, then it's pretty superficial analysis. (Those two tropes are weird. I'm not sure how happy I am with tropes that could be a failed application of another trope, but in other circumstances could be deliberate).

Coidzor
2011-11-03, 05:51 AM
Of course all someone says is "This character is meant to be a Magnificent Bastard but is more of a Smug Snake" and refuses to describe why, then it's pretty superficial analysis.

Indeed, refusing to actually talk about something after bringing it up is independent of knowledge of tropes, and is generally a fairly rude thing to do.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-03, 09:03 AM
My major grievance with the "Magnificent Bastard" article is that the trope namer, Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel (as described by General George S. Patton in the film, er, Patton) isn't the type of "Magnificent Bastard" the article talks about. He was more like a tragic anti-hero or anti-villain. The article in general is about villains like Lex Luthor etc.

Frozen_Feet
2011-11-03, 09:17 AM
It does . . .in Japan, but TV Tropes is an English language website. Personally, given the preciseness of what it refers to and the universality of the situation, I think Nakama is a worthy loan word addition to the English language, whatever the dictionaries say so far. Maybe or maybe not a good trope title, but an excellent loan word.

Precise? My observation is that nakama is anything but precise, being a very broad word that can be applied to a wide range of friendly relations. The connotations people perceive the word carrying seem to me to arise more from the context it's used in, not the word itself. Contrast and compare several English words which can have similar connotations in specific situations - for example, in the cry "but I thought we were a team!", the word "team" implies much more than simply being part of the same group.

Psyren
2011-11-03, 09:26 AM
blah blah nakama blah. The underlying point was that native language titles work better for some tropes, with the narrative paragraph working to convey the meaning to a foreigner. However muddy an illustration of this nakama may be, Yamato Nadeshiko's example is beyond reproach.


*snerk*

He probably didn't even realise he was doing it, you know. Posting in ponythread does that to most lesser mortals... Poor fellow.

That is highly disturbing and one of many reasons why I avoid that thread.

Traab
2011-11-03, 09:39 AM
blah blah nakama blah. The underlying point was that native language titles work better for some tropes, with the narrative paragraph working to convey the meaning to a foreigner. However muddy an illustration of this nakama may be, Yamato Nadeshiko's example is beyond reproach.



That is highly disturbing and one of many reasons why I avoid that thread.

Its really the ponly reason i avoid it.

Kato
2011-11-03, 09:58 AM
Oh my god, the pony lovers are spreading their believe to other threads even though they already have 30 (thirty!) threads of their own. Someone stop them or this will be Pony Discussion soon... :smalltongue:

Also, on a note on the Nakama thing... it's not that I care that much about the title but the thing with True Companion is that it kind of sounds like it is opposed to some False Companion which really has nothing to do with the trope. In All But Blood has a nice ring but I don't know if it would be understood out of context.

And to discuss something else from the old Nakama business...


My major grievance with the "Magnificent Bastard" article is that the trope namer, Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel (as described by General George S. Patton in the film, er, Patton) isn't the type of "Magnificent Bastard" the article talks about. He was more like a tragic anti-hero or anti-villain. The article in general is about villains like Lex Luthor etc.
Meh, there are many tropes which titles if those are quotes or something like that do not perfectly match what thy describe. Magnificient Bastard is one of them, of course, but I don't think it's much of a problem.
The BIG problem is that MB is by now a trope associated with about any villain that is halfway competent, as many other tropes tend to get overused so much you might as well stop listings examples what happened to a few already.

Traab
2011-11-03, 10:04 AM
Meh, there are many tropes which titles if those are quotes or something like that do not perfectly match what thy describe. Magnificient Bastard is one of them, of course, but I don't think it's much of a problem.
The BIG problem is that MB is by now a trope associated with about any villain that is halfway competent, as many other tropes tend to get overused so much you might as well stop listings examples what happened to a few already.

I agree here, it seems like, since most villains are utter failures every time they go up against the hero, any time a bad guy gets even a partial victory he is instantly boosted to magnificent bastard level simply because he doesnt totally suck. Same thing for xanatos gambit. Any time the bad guy gets something he wants, "OOOH! That was a xanatos gambit!" No, no it wasnt. The hero just failed to stop him briefly. Not because it was planned so deeply and to cover every contingency, but because the hero is a moron who gets by on heart and determination. A 6 year old can out plan him.

Nerd-o-rama
2011-11-03, 11:02 AM
My major grievance with the "Magnificent Bastard" article is that the trope namer, Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel (as described by General George S. Patton in the film, er, Patton) isn't the type of "Magnificent Bastard" the article talks about. He was more like a tragic anti-hero or anti-villain. The article in general is about villains like Lex Luthor etc.

Rommel's an anti-villain from history's perspective in terms of his politics, but in terms of his tactics, plans, and strategies, he's a good example of what I figure the trope originally intended.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-03, 11:22 AM
Rommel's an anti-villain from history's perspective in terms of his politics, but in terms of his tactics, plans, and strategies, he's a good example of what I figure the trope originally intended.

Actually, lately is has been discussed that he has been over-rated as a strategist, partially thanks to German propaganda during the war and to the British officer Bernard Law Montgomery, who respected Rommel and wanted to make himself look good. Certainly, there were several German officers who were just as good or better than Rommel, but they fought in the Eastern Front, which wasn't as glorious. (In hindsight, as well as in German propaganda back then, since the Eastern Front was generally too gritty to be reported back to the home front.)

A fitting description I've seen used for Rommel is "savant". He was brilliant at tactics, for example his improvised use of 88 mm Flak guns to be used as anti-tank guns during the invasion of France, since French tanks actually generally had better armour than current German tanks. Or that he allowed tanks to fire even while driving, because even though they didn't hit anything they scared Entente soldiers. However, he ultimately failed the North African campaign because of his lack of understanding of logistics and his arrogant disregard of other officers' opinions.

I see what you mean though.

dehro
2011-11-03, 12:41 PM
I do dislike it when people constantly reference to tropes, because it seems to me they're not making an effort to speak for themselves..it's like if I said "diplodocus" to talk about animals with a long neck and then pointed you towards a dictionary/encyclopedia if it so happened that you didn't get the reference or know the animal in question...either because I can't be arsed to explain it to you and prefer to treat you with condescendence, or because I'm not all that intelligent and refer to the encyclopedia to explain things better than I ever could.
then there's the smug "oh, that's a *insert random trope*" whereby you'll always find someone dismissing something you like and talk about with a modicum of enthusiasm, basically looking down on it for not being creative enough to escape to the labelling trope of the moment.
newsflash: there cannot ever be anything truly new and never seen before in literature, cinema or music. everything can be "reduced" to a trope or list of tropes. everything has been done already in one or the other form. it doesn't take away from the quality of the product which does not depend (at least not solely) on adhering or not adhering to one or the other trope.

what bugs me ultimately is that more often than not tropes are used to "diminish" something (or possibly even make fun of it) that someone else has put a lot of effort into writing or otherwise creating.
also, the sheer quantity of tropes that exist (or pretend to exist..I get the feeling people lately just come up with a funny name, slap it onto something and "make a trope" for the sake of making the trope..not because it's actually identifying something vastly recurrent) kind of makes it not worthwile anymore to identify something as being example of said trope

were there not enough figures of speech?? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figure_of_speech)

I don't mind the occasional use or identification of something as an example of a trope..and have had a few good laughs reading the tvtropes website..but that's as far as I go.

deuterio12
2011-11-03, 02:59 PM
also, the sheer quantity of tropes that exist (or pretend to exist..I get the feeling people lately just come up with a funny name, slap it onto something and "make a trope" for the sake of making the trope..not because it's actually identifying something vastly recurrent)


This. A thousand, billion times this.

It's even more hilarious when people go all smug posting tvtrope links as if it automatically justified their argument, and then it turns out said link actualy contradicts them, like that time some tvtropes fan insisted The Legend of Zelda was an RPG, and then the tvtropes page of said game explicitly classifies it as action-adventure.

Kato
2011-11-03, 03:05 PM
This. A thousand, billion times this.

It's even more hilarious when people go all smug posting tvtrope links as if it automatically justified their argument, and then it turns out said link actualy contradicts them, like that time some tvtropes fan insisted The Legend of Zelda was an RPG, and then the tvtropes page of said game explicitly classifies it as action-adventure.

It's not tv tropes fault there are stupid people visiting the site...

Same thing for people who use tropes and don't want to explain them. It's fine using a trope, if both people know what it means it saves time to explain things but jerks will be jerks nothing will stop them from being it. Well, not removing tv tropes, anyway.

Weezer
2011-11-03, 04:35 PM
I think that there are two distinct uses of TV tropes, one valid and one invalid. The valid use is to use it as a part of an analysis, as shorthand for a specific idead. You still need to support your use of the trope with argumentation. The invalid use is to use tropes in leiu of actual analysis.

Coidzor
2011-11-03, 06:57 PM
My major grievance with the "Magnificent Bastard" article is that the trope namer, Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel (as described by General George S. Patton in the film, er, Patton) isn't the type of "Magnificent Bastard" the article talks about. He was more like a tragic anti-hero or anti-villain. The article in general is about villains like Lex Luthor etc.

I think it's more how Patton viewed him as a magnificent bastard and such villains are supposed to make the viewer view them that way, so there's a difference in direction vis a vis the 4th wall.

averagejoe
2011-11-03, 09:38 PM
Holy late reply batman!


You don't think "Badass Decay" is infinitely more clear than "Spikeification"? You don't think "Romantic False Lead" is far more understandable than "The Paolo"? You don't think "Hypercompetent Sidekick" explains what it is far better than "The Radar" does? You don't think that "Hopeless Suitor" is more understandable than "The Daisuke"? The new titles all tell you right off the bat what it's about, whereas you didn't really get anything from the old ones even if you did recognize the character they referred to.

No, I don't. They are certainly more literally descriptive, but clearer? In what way? The tropes on the site are almost entirely made up of complex and esoteric observations about media; that's why most of the tropes are paragraphs-long articles and not five word descriptions. "Badass Decay," and, "Romantic False Lead," take the opposite tact of, "The Paolo," or, "Spikeification," - they're so generic that they're almost meaningless. It's easy to say that they're clearer names when you already know what they're referring to, but, "Romantic False Lead," can mean so many things. At the end of the day, I still have to read the article to understand what they're talking about.

Like I said, it is more literally descriptive, and probably easier to pick out the ones you want when looking at a list of them, which would be fine if it was a scholarly source. But, frankly, the articles aren't well written enough for the site to be that. And, heck, people who write professionally are rarely so morose when discussing their profession. Some of the weirdest, most outlandish, most needs-explaining-est terms I've heard have come from writer's workshops or books on writing. To borrow a phrase from a movie, categorizing tropes in such a way isn't celebrating media, it's mourning it. The attraction of TVTropes was always that it was a sort of celebration of the media of a certain subculture. If it can't offer that, what does the site have to offer? If everything is blanded down so it can be most easily digested by as many people as possible, what possible motivation does one have to read it?


Well, where there is nerds, there is nerds who decide to get all hipster about it. "Yeah, I liked TV Tropes before it went mainstream."

From the position of this post, I can only assume it was directed at me. If not I apologize.

I have no idea how popular TVtropes is or isn't compared to with what it used to be. My complaint is one of structure and aesthetics, not of... well, whatever it is people are complaining about when they don't like popular things.

Thanqol
2011-11-03, 09:54 PM
Oh my god, the pony lovers are spreading their believe to other threads even though they already have 30 (thirty!) threads of their own. Someone stop them or this will be Pony Discussion soon... :smalltongue:

There are 40 Dominic Deegan threads and the the webcomics forum is hardly Dominic Deegan swamped.

No, we don't need to convert your threads to pony discussion. You will end up coming to us.

averagejoe
2011-11-03, 09:59 PM
There are 40 Dominic Deegan threads and the the webcomics forum is hardly Dominic Deegan swamped.

No, we don't need to convert your threads to pony discussion. You will end up coming to us.

The first deegan thread was created five years ago. The first pony thread was a year ago. The pony threads still win in terrifying-ness, I think.

Thanqol
2011-11-03, 10:06 PM
The first deegan thread was created five years ago. The first pony thread was a year ago. The pony threads still win in terrifying-ness, I think.

Shhh, I'm trying to lull him into a false sense of security.

Traab
2011-11-03, 10:15 PM
I have no idea how popular TVtropes is or isn't compared to with what it used to be. My complaint is one of structure and aesthetics, not of... well, whatever it is people are complaining about when they don't like popular things.

The hipster complaint basically works like this. They only like something because very few people have ever heard of it. Once it becomes well known and starts gaining popularity, they abandon it and go elsewhere. They dont like the trend itself as much as they like feeling as if they are on the bleeding edge of new things. Its an elitist thing, "Im so cool I find new things to follow that noone else knows about yet." If a new style of music is created, a hipster will love it... until it makes the top 100 charts. After that its "too mainstream" I doubt your average hipster would watch a youtube clip with more than 10k views.

Trazoi
2011-11-03, 11:07 PM
For me it's not so much a hipster thing as a life cycle thing. A few years back TV Tropes was in the growth phase, where tropes were exploding into life and the site felt alive. Now it's in the consolidation phase where all the major works have been troped leaving the administrator types who like to edit. It's the same sort of thing that Wikipedia went through.

SiuiS
2011-11-04, 01:04 AM
If criticizing the insertion of nomenclature from a particular piece of media - which TV tropes certainly qualifies for - one ought to avoid doing the exact same thing, particularly when relevancy is a concern.

True. But that wasn't what I was criticizing. My concern is with using jargon as a substitute for actual communication to give yourself a false sense of legitimacy. I do not feel someone is smarter because they can say Nakama or Xanatos Gambit. Those that do feel they are smarter for sying these things irritate me.

I will be honest and say that the knee jerk "stop speaking in code you jerk" thig is not a behavior I want to encourage in myself though. I'm just admitting it's there.


*snerk*

He probably didn't even realise he was doing it, you know. Posting in ponythread does that to most lesser mortals... Poor fellow.

It was actually intentional. What surprises me is that 'someone' in the above paragraph wasn't autocorrected. The O and P buttons are so close together... I tend to catch my finger heading for P and just let it run it's natural course unless intervention is truly needed.


Although that is what any set of specialist terminology sets out to do - encapsulate a complicated thought into a single term to make it easy to discuss. If you're not talking with someone who knows the terminology (i.e. non-tropers) then you're leaving people out of the loop and generally being rude. But if everyone knows what the terms mean then it's perfectly fine to use them as a shortcut, since that's what they're for.

Of course all someone says is "This character is meant to be a Magnificent Bastard but is more of a Smug Snake" and refuses to describe why, then it's pretty superficial analysis. (Those two tropes are weird. I'm not sure how happy I am with tropes that could be a failed application of another trope, but in other circumstances could be deliberate).

That's closer to what I mean. I understand the purpose of a trope name is shorthand; if the purpose of a conversation is to delve into the long version however, shorthand is iritating. And yes, frequently asking about what the hay a twenty Xanatos pileup is usually just gets a "go read tvtropes dot com." Which isn't helpful.

And yes, during conversations where everyone is informed (to the moon with you all, it's going to take me dedicated effort to start typing pony again!) we use whatever shorthand works. The question was specifically when addressing those without a clue, wasn't it?

Hm. On furher thought, no. It was jut about some guy having a hate-on for tv tropes. Ironically, that behavior is just as upsetting; I guess it's the unearned smugness and the unnecessary scorn involved.

Deth Muncher
2011-11-04, 01:13 AM
Hell, I used TVTropes in class the other day because my professor mentioned trope in the literary context, and accepted that she'd know what I was talking about.

For reference, I was saying that the main character in the 18th century British novel "The Female American" was a Mary Sue.

SiuiS
2011-11-04, 01:54 AM
I do dislike it when people constantly reference to tropes, because it seems to me they're not making an effort to speak for themselves..it's like if I said "diplodocus" to talk about animals with a long neck and then pointed you towards a dictionary/encyclopedia if it so happened that you didn't get the reference or know the animal in question...either because I can't be arsed to explain it to you and prefer to treat you with condescendence, or because I'm not all that intelligent and refer to the encyclopedia to explain things better than I ever could.
then there's the smug "oh, that's a *insert random trope*" whereby you'll always find someone dismissing something you like and talk about with a modicum of enthusiasm, basically looking down on it for not being creative enough to escape to the labelling trope of the moment.
newsflash: there cannot ever be anything truly new and never seen before in literature, cinema or music. everything can be "reduced" to a trope or list of tropes. everything has been done already in one or the other form. it doesn't take away from the quality of the product which does not depend (at least not solely) on adhering or not adhering to one or the other trope.

what bugs me ultimately is that more often than not tropes are used to "diminish" something (or possibly even make fun of it) that someone else has put a lot of effort into writing or otherwise creating.
also, the sheer quantity of tropes that exist (or pretend to exist..I get the feeling people lately just come up with a funny name, slap it onto something and "make a trope" for the sake of making the trope..not because it's actually identifying something vastly recurrent) kind of makes it not worthwile anymore to identify something as being example of said trope

were there not enough figures of speech?? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figure_of_speech)

I don't mind the occasional use or identification of something as an example of a trope..and have had a few good laughs reading the tvtropes website..but that's as far as I go.

That's a good point. Perhaps I'm Overly associating the behaviors of people I know who use tvtropes with the use of tvtropes in general. It is indeed that sneering sense of dismissal that infuriates me.

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-04, 02:05 AM
The hipster complaint basically works like this. They only like something because very few people have ever heard of it. Once it becomes well known and starts gaining popularity, they abandon it and go elsewhere. They dont like the trend itself as much as they like feeling as if they are on the bleeding edge of new things. Its an elitist thing, "Im so cool I find new things to follow that noone else knows about yet." If a new style of music is created, a hipster will love it... until it makes the top 100 charts. After that its "too mainstream" I doubt your average hipster would watch a youtube clip with more than 10k views.

It is especially funny to watch when you know the person in question has been pushing said trend himself (aka "you GOT to check out this Site / Band / Author") and when all his friends are turned on to the thing he tried to turn them on to, he abandons it because of the reasons you state above.

averagejoe
2011-11-04, 02:25 AM
The hipster complaint basically works like this. They only like something because very few people have ever heard of it. Once it becomes well known and starts gaining popularity, they abandon it and go elsewhere. They dont like the trend itself as much as they like feeling as if they are on the bleeding edge of new things. Its an elitist thing, "Im so cool I find new things to follow that noone else knows about yet." If a new style of music is created, a hipster will love it... until it makes the top 100 charts. After that its "too mainstream" I doubt your average hipster would watch a youtube clip with more than 10k views.

Odd. I mean, popularity isn't always unimportant, i.e. when it's a TV show I like, I hope it's popular so it will get renewed for a new season. Or, when it's a TV show I like but I suspect might end up going on too long, I hope it's unpopular. But I guess what you're talking about is more of an image thing.

You'll forgive me. Social movement's tend to pass me by. My friends explained the whole hipster thing to me once but I didn't really get it except for superficially. I'm still not convinced I've met one in real life yet.

Knaight
2011-11-04, 02:44 AM
You'll forgive me. Social movement's tend to pass me by. My friends explained the whole hipster thing to me once but I didn't really get it except for superficially. I'm still not convinced I've met one in real life yet.

You're a moderator for a forum for a major webcomic. Obviously, you are just too mainstream to meet.

Nerd-o-rama
2011-11-04, 08:55 AM
This. A thousand, billion times this.

It's even more hilarious when people go all smug posting tvtrope links as if it automatically justified their argument, and then it turns out said link actualy contradicts them, like that time some tvtropes fan insisted The Legend of Zelda was an RPG, and then the tvtropes page of said game explicitly classifies it as action-adventure.

That was me, and I was actually trying to prove you can make a publically editable wiki say anything you want. However, I underestimated the attentiveness of whomever appointed himself chief editor of the Legend of Zelda page of that time, who reverted my change rather quickly. For reasons I hope are obvious, I conceded the argument.


Hell, I used TVTropes in class the other day because my professor mentioned trope in the literary context, and accepted that she'd know what I was talking about.

For reference, I was saying that the main character in the 18th century British novel "The Female American" was a Mary Sue.

That's another thing that predates TV Tropes. "Mary Sue" as a term has been around since the 70's or 80's (the phrase originated in Star Trek fandom), and Mark Twain was criticizing James Fenimore Cooper for writing Gary Stus (among numerous other literary sins) a hundred years before that.

Feytalist
2011-11-04, 09:06 AM
It's important to remember that TVTropes is not the only or even the original source of literary allusions such as these. Nor has it the sole mandate on naming tropes. Many, many tropes and their names have existed long before the website itself. It is possible to have been exposed to these ideas through other means, such as Lit courses for instance.

Reading through the whole damn mess does not impart some sort of exclusivity.

Traab
2011-11-04, 09:14 AM
You're a moderator for a forum for a major webcomic. Obviously, you are just too mainstream to meet.

Agreed, he is a conformist of the highest degree, just look at his NAME! Obviously he is walking hipster kryptonite. Pretty sure they tend to explode when they wander too close. Tell me joe, have you noticed people randomly bursting into flames when they get within 100 feet of you? It was probably a hipster. :smallbiggrin:

The Glyphstone
2011-11-04, 09:52 AM
People sometimes burst into flames when they get too close to me. And by 'burst into flames', I mean 'start clawing at their face while blood streams from their eye sockets before they douse themselves in gasoline and light themselves on fire to end the torment'...

dehro
2011-11-04, 10:29 AM
Holy late reply batman!



No, I don't. They are certainly more literally descriptive, but clearer? In what way? The tropes on the site are almost entirely made up of complex and esoteric observations about media; that's why most of the tropes are paragraphs-long articles and not five word descriptions. "Badass Decay," and, "Romantic False Lead," take the opposite tact of, "The Paolo," or, "Spikeification," - they're so generic that they're almost meaningless. It's easy to say that they're clearer names when you already know what they're referring to, but, "Romantic False Lead," can mean so many things. At the end of the day, I still have to read the article to understand what they're talking about.

well..yes..quite..but isn't that true of figures of speech too? who knew what a simile or a metaphor was before reading the definition? it's called learning things.

let's take the show Friends, trope namer for "tastes like feet".. you're going to need to have seen the episode it comes from to understand the reference (better yet if you've seen the bloopers), and even then each and every one of the examples in every cathegory, use different wordings to describe something that may well be said "it tastes horribly".. it's not like everybody has started to use the exact expression.
so not only do we learn that something which is very much a common occurrence whenever something goes wrong in the kitchen is now a trope..and one that needn't exist.... we also don't get it unless we know the source, so we're still going to have to read the article.
unless we just go with the litteral meaning of the words and say something tastes like feet, which need not be a trope to convey the message..effectively negating the need for smug elitism ā la "you don't know the trope, so you're not getting it" ..
true..I don't know the trope but it doesn't need a genius to figure out you don't like my creme brulée if you say it tastes like feet.
so what's the point of making a trope about it? wasn't it much simpler to say "tastes like feet" is a metaphor, something we all should know from school?

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-04, 11:16 AM
I do dislike it when people constantly reference to tropes, because it seems to me they're not making an effort to speak for themselves..it's like if I said "diplodocus" to talk about animals with a long neck and then pointed you towards a dictionary/encyclopedia if it so happened that you didn't get the reference or know the animal in question...either because I can't be arsed to explain it to you and prefer to treat you with condescendence, or because I'm not all that intelligent and refer to the encyclopedia to explain things better than I ever could.
then there's the smug "oh, that's a *insert random trope*" whereby you'll always find someone dismissing something you like and talk about with a modicum of enthusiasm, basically looking down on it for not being creative enough to escape to the labelling trope of the moment.

There's a trope for that: Tv Tropes Will Ruin Your Vocabulary (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TVTropesWillRuinYourVocabulary)

I generally drop tropes because I explicitly wish to invoke them and lure people into looking them up. And coming back a few days later.Thus invoking another trope. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TVTropesWillRuinYourLife)

Muahahhahahaha!

averagejoe
2011-11-04, 02:24 PM
Agreed, he is a conformist of the highest degree, just look at his NAME! Obviously he is walking hipster kryptonite. Pretty sure they tend to explode when they wander too close. Tell me joe, have you noticed people randomly bursting into flames when they get within 100 feet of you? It was probably a hipster. :smallbiggrin:

I just thought my years of trying to develop psychic powers were finally paying off. I guess it's back to square one on that.


well..yes..quite..but isn't that true of figures of speech too? who knew what a simile or a metaphor was before reading the definition? it's called learning things.

Right, and that's my point. If you have to read the article either way, why go with the boring one?

dehro
2011-11-04, 03:09 PM
Right, and that's my point. If you have to read the article either way, why go with the boring one?

because you're likely to already know that one and not need to "learn it"..I expect one encounters metaphors in just about any kind of formal education, even at basic levels.
because it encompasses a much broader range of similar examples than your average "specialized trope" does.
because it is much more likely that other people will actually know what you mean without having to be de facto forced to get online/go search for something they will most likely never again need to know.
because people talked about these matters a long time before tvtropes (or most other tropes) existed..and they managed just fine, which means that the english language already provides us with plenty of tools, without having to resort to smug elitist ones.
if I want to sit in on a conversation where I don't understand anything that is being said, I'll go to a conference on quantum physics.. and I'll sit there with an empty glass with a paper umbrella in it..I'll have asked for it.
when I'm debating stuff I do have the confidence to say I know a thing or two about, such as for instance a tv-show I watch or a book I've read, I would like to be able to do so without being forced to browse a website just to be able to keep up with the conversation.

Traab
2011-11-04, 05:02 PM
I just thought my years of trying to develop psychic powers were finally paying off. I guess it's back to square one on that.



Right, and that's my point. If you have to read the article either way, why go with the boring one?

My point of view is this. If you use the "boring" one. You can click on the link with at least a general idea of what it entails, and the info on the link fills in the gaps. So romantic false lead at the very least implies that it doesnt have anything to do with high explosives. The Daisuke on the other hand, if you havent watched the anime, you dont have the slightest fricking CLUE what that could mean. It could be anything from a good thing, to a bad thing, to a personality trait, or a plot device. The Daisuke means NOTHING to those who dont already know who that is. Romantic false lead however, you can get the gist of by reading the title. No special knowledge required to piece that together.

Whiffet
2011-11-04, 08:03 PM
Another reason to go for clearer trope names: it will (hopefully) cut down on the false or completely unrelated examples added to a page. I've read that the page It's Been Done, when entitled The Simpsons Did It, had a bunch of "examples" that only followed the literal trope title. I was blissfully unaware the site existed back then and didn't see it myself, so it might not have been that bad, but I bet it was a nightmare trying to keep the page clear.

Lord Seth
2011-11-04, 11:19 PM
My point of view is this. If you use the "boring" one. You can click on the link with at least a general idea of what it entails, and the info on the link fills in the gaps. So romantic false lead at the very least implies that it doesnt have anything to do with high explosives. The Daisuke on the other hand, if you havent watched the anime, you dont have the slightest fricking CLUE what that could mean. It could be anything from a good thing, to a bad thing, to a personality trait, or a plot device. The Daisuke means NOTHING to those who dont already know who that is. Romantic false lead however, you can get the gist of by reading the title. No special knowledge required to piece that together.Well, actually, Romantic False Lead used to be The Paolo. The Daisuke was the former name of Hopeless Suitor. Your point still stands, but I did want to correct that.

Though to be honest, I'm having a lot of trouble seeing how the new names are any more or less "boring" than the originals.

Trazoi
2011-11-05, 12:43 AM
Though to be honest, I'm having a lot of trouble seeing how the new names are any more or less "boring" than the originals.
I'm fond of a good "The X" type name because it's got personality to it, and when you're in trope mode it's fun to see a whole bunch of them together when they're from wildly different media. I didn't like some of the badly chosen ones, like "The Mario" which if you were familiar with Mario almost certainly didn't mean what you thought it did. But if the character was a prime example of the trope I kind of liked them.

Those types of names also had an advantage is that they could be refined or expanded to mean exactly what the site wanted them to mean. With a descriptive name like "Romantic False Lead" you're stuck with whatever is covered by the name. And then there's issues with whether that name really does cover exactly what is covered by the trope - what exactly is a "false lead", someone who appears to be a protagonist but isn't? A name like "The Paolo" trades obscurity at first glance for some flexbility about definition. And it's got more pizazz. :smallwink:

Coidzor
2011-11-05, 01:14 AM
People sometimes burst into flames when they get too close to me. And by 'burst into flames', I mean 'start clawing at their face while blood streams from their eye sockets before they douse themselves in gasoline and light themselves on fire to end the torment'...

Don't be so hard on yourself. Your popcorn's not that bad.

averagejoe
2011-11-05, 01:40 AM
My point of view is this. If you use the "boring" one. You can click on the link with at least a general idea of what it entails, and the info on the link fills in the gaps. So romantic false lead at the very least implies that it doesnt have anything to do with high explosives. The Daisuke on the other hand, if you havent watched the anime, you dont have the slightest fricking CLUE what that could mean. It could be anything from a good thing, to a bad thing, to a personality trait, or a plot device. The Daisuke means NOTHING to those who dont already know who that is. Romantic false lead however, you can get the gist of by reading the title. No special knowledge required to piece that together.

Yeah, I said as much. But I don't use TVTropes to reference things. Before I did that, the articles would have to move away from superficial observations of stuff some people kinda like. That's what I'm trying to say - I don't have anything against such a naming convention, but it works against the site's strengths. Names that were clearly just made up by some people without much forethought, along with the, "There is no such thing as notability," philosophy all gave the site a unique charm and laid back tone, and that's why it was fun to read through the articles. I don't have any reason to need to pick something like, "Romantic false lead," off a list.

Fiery Diamond
2011-11-05, 02:22 PM
I'm fond of a good "The X" type name because it's got personality to it, and when you're in trope mode it's fun to see a whole bunch of them together when they're from wildly different media. I didn't like some of the badly chosen ones, like "The Mario" which if you were familiar with Mario almost certainly didn't mean what you thought it did. But if the character was a prime example of the trope I kind of liked them.

Those types of names also had an advantage is that they could be refined or expanded to mean exactly what the site wanted them to mean. With a descriptive name like "Romantic False Lead" you're stuck with whatever is covered by the name. And then there's issues with whether that name really does cover exactly what is covered by the trope - what exactly is a "false lead", someone who appears to be a protagonist but isn't? A name like "The Paolo" trades obscurity at first glance for some flexbility about definition. And it's got more pizazz. :smallwink:

I just want to say: how is that an advantage? That's an inherently BAD thing! Ambiguous, malleable terms are generally useless.

In any case, TVTropes is a fun time waster, you can learn some interesting information there, and I certainly like their no-such-thing-as-notability motto; I do believe some random stick figure webcomic should be given just as much weight as Shakespeare (no, that wasn't tongue in cheek, I'm actually rather sick of literary elitism). But I'm on the side of those who are in favor of the clearer names. Daisuke is a name. It tells me nothing. The IDEAL trope name would be funny/witty/catchy AND informative, if you can't manage that then at least be iconic about it (like in Xanatos gambit, where the trope namer is pure distilled essence of the trope), and if you can't manage that either than stick with something that at least conveys something of what it's about. The thing you don't want is to have a trope name that communicates nothing, especially ones like Spikeafication which can miscommunicate ("so that means making something cooler and eviller by adding spikes, right?") and are not the only trope that could be associated with the trope namer either.

Trazoi
2011-11-05, 05:32 PM
I just want to say: how is that an advantage? That's an inherently BAD thing! Ambiguous, malleable terms are generally useless.
I explained that really badly. I meant that a trope with a symbolic name like The X has flexibility at defining time to be limited to exactly what needs to be defined, whereas an explanatory title has to cover what's in the name. If someone is a romantic false lead, then they're a Romantic False Lead, despite what the blurb in the trope page says. I'm babbling because I can't think of a decent example where that would be an issue with that trope. :smallbiggrin:

As to why that's an issue, it sort of depends on why people are putting things in TV Tropes to begin with, something I'm sure about. Is it an attempt to analyse storytelling to find the building blocks and techniques that go into telling them, or is it merely a listing of some stuff that happened in some media more than once?

Gnoman
2011-11-05, 08:59 PM
To clarify why I dislike the push for descriptive names, I'll use a specific example. Fairly recently, a group of editors decided to "clean up" the Cult Classic section. One group tried to to eliminate any work from the page that didn't meet some standard of quality or other (to fit the "classic" part of the name.) A second group tried to push through a name change on the grounds that "Cult Classic" was an inherently subjective concept, and had to either be renamed to something bland and inoffensive or moved to YMMV. Both groups had less than a dozen members, and when the debate attracted the attention of more editors, both were thoroughly squashed because the term predates the website by decades. This illustrates a fundamental truth of the website. Much of the push for change comes from a relatively small number of contributors (the attempted axing of ALL "Real Life" sections on the wiki last year, for example, was almost universally reviled.)

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-05, 10:12 PM
To clarify why I dislike the push for descriptive names, I'll use a specific example. Fairly recently, a group of editors decided to "clean up" the Cult Classic section. One group tried to to eliminate any work from the page that didn't meet some standard of quality or other (to fit the "classic" part of the name.) A second group tried to push through a name change on the grounds that "Cult Classic" was an inherently subjective concept, and had to either be renamed to something bland and inoffensive or moved to YMMV. Both groups had less than a dozen members, and when the debate attracted the attention of more editors, both were thoroughly squashed because the term predates the website by decades. This illustrates a fundamental truth of the website. Much of the push for change comes from a relatively small number of contributors (the attempted axing of ALL "Real Life" sections on the wiki last year, for example, was almost universally reviled.)

Following on this I randomly found there is discussion to rename The Red Baron (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RedBaron), which derives from a cross-cultural icon of military achievement.

Can anyone say you wouldn't understand what the Red Baron is or why going with some merely descriptive title is somehow better.

averagejoe
2011-11-05, 10:56 PM
Following on this I randomly found there is discussion to rename The Red Baron (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RedBaron), which derives from a cross-cultural icon of military achievement.

Can anyone say you wouldn't understand what the Red Baron is or why going with some merely descriptive title is somehow better.

And, see, that article is a good example of what's great about the site. It isn't even a real trope beyond just, "Has a nickname." The article is just to talk about really awesome characters who have nicknames. Which is slightly silly and a lot of fun.

Trazoi
2011-11-05, 10:59 PM
Following on this I randomly found there is discussion to rename The Red Baron (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RedBaron), which derives from a cross-cultural icon of military achievement.

Can anyone say you wouldn't understand what the Red Baron is or why going with some merely descriptive title is somehow better.
Given what that trope means, if they do decide to go with a bland descriptive rename it would be ironically hilarious.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-05, 11:37 PM
Hmm.

We already have "Ace pilot".

Maybe "Enemy Ace Pilot"? (Yes, the reference to the DC Comics comic is intended. :smallamused: )

Or "Worthy Opponent Pilot"? :smallconfused:

Or my personal favourite: "Fantasy antagonist to comic strip dog". :smalltongue:

averagejoe
2011-11-05, 11:45 PM
Or my personal favourite: "Fantasy antagonist to comic strip dog". :smalltongue:

This would actually be pretty great. It gets the official Average Seal Of Approval.

McStabbington
2011-11-06, 10:49 PM
I agree here, it seems like, since most villains are utter failures every time they go up against the hero, any time a bad guy gets even a partial victory he is instantly boosted to magnificent bastard level simply because he doesnt totally suck. Same thing for xanatos gambit. Any time the bad guy gets something he wants, "OOOH! That was a xanatos gambit!" No, no it wasnt. The hero just failed to stop him briefly. Not because it was planned so deeply and to cover every contingency, but because the hero is a moron who gets by on heart and determination. A 6 year old can out plan him.

It doesn't help that the meaning of Magnificent Bastard, at least as described by TVTropes, has changed since the page first came into being. Once upon a time, Magnificent Bastards were those villains that won through charisma, derring-do and luck to get their victories rather than through planning for every contingency. In that respect, Chessmaster and Magnificent Bastards were two entirely distinct tropes: you could tell which one a villain was by whether they relied on their intellect and planning (Chessmaster) or strength of personality (Magnificent Bastard), regardless of the fact that many Chessmasters are highly charismatic and many MB's are quite intelligent.

Now, however, the Magnificent Bastard has just grown into a villain uber-alles trope designed to celebrate villains that fans love. It is supposed to apply to villains that combine the traits of the manipulative bastard, the chessmaster and trickster, which leaves the distinction between "Magnificent Bastard" and "Villain Sue" entirely subjective to whether the viewer thinks the villain has jumped a shark.

It's a shame, because once upon a time, the trope was actually able to select out a narrow subset of villains and actually say something about why they were challenges for the protagonist. I actually wrote an entry on the MB page many years ago about why Little Bill Daggett from the Western Unforgiven was a Magnificent Bastard: he actually has a speech in the film where he admits that there are other men out there who could kill him, but fights are always about doing as much as you can to rattle the other guy and then play the odds, and he has such a combination of skill and presence that he's never lost. Moreover, that attitude is backed up the whole way through the film, as Little Bill never actually draws until the very end because everyone sees him and thinks, quite prudently, that there are better options to dueling the man. That entry has nothing to do with what the Magnificent Bastard is now stated to mean, however, because Little Bill was quite explicitly never one to rely on a plan being flawless and going off without a hitch.

Griemont
2011-11-06, 11:04 PM
For my part, while I love TV Tropes, I can't stand the hyperbolic writing that seems to characterize its contributers more than anything else. The "Crowning _______ of Awesome" pages and the like make me cringe just thinking about them.

Also I highly dislike when people add "no that's wrong" comments under entries (though God knows I've been strongly tempted to add them many times, mostly on the Mohs Scale of Rock Hardness page), but I actively correct those whenever I see them, so.

Trazoi
2011-11-06, 11:46 PM
Also I highly dislike when people add "no that's wrong" comments under entries (though God knows I've been strongly tempted to add them many times, mostly on the Mohs Scale of Rock Hardness page), but I actively correct those whenever I see them, so.
I can't bring myself to significantly edit or delete other people's trope entries either because it's hard not to feel like a jerk doing that, even if they're clearly wrong or the entry doesn't belong. My biggest peeve is aversions, because they're almost always pointless - if something doesn't use the trope, then it doesn't use the trope - you don't have to list it. Although I did like the one for Intelligent Gerbil (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IntelligentGerbil) that listed the webcomic Narbonic, because while Narbonic doesn't use the Intelligent Gerbil trope it does have an actual intelligent gerbil.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-06, 11:55 PM
Also I highly dislike when people add "no that's wrong" comments under entries (though God knows I've been strongly tempted to add them many times, mostly on the Mohs Scale of Rock Hardness page), but I actively correct those whenever I see them, so.

Hit the edit button, highlight the entry, hit Delete/Backspace.
The most effective solution to all of Tvtrope's woes.

Followed by writing a the correct entry if needed. If not oblivion is a fitting end for such things.

We'd still have Rape the Dog if more people did this. Its like people are scared to offend other people on the internet or something.

Gnoman
2011-11-07, 12:10 AM
More because they're afraid of getting into an edit war. Especially when an editor is a fan of one of the works that have somehow developed a massive hatedom and hate dumb (for example, a large number of tropers seem to consider the works of Tom Clancy to consist solely of godlike Republicans solving all the world's problems before breakfast while brainless Democrats and foreigners whine about it) , it's pointless to simply delete a vitriolic, highly biased, and inaccurate post on the subject because someone will simply revert it. It can seem much more practical to simply attempt to point out why the post is wrong.

Mewtarthio
2011-11-07, 12:26 AM
it's pointless to simply delete a vitriolic, highly biased, and inaccurate post on the subject because someone will simply revert it. It can seem much more practical to simply attempt to point out why the post is wrong.

We're talking about an edit war here. Somehow, I doubt that the vandal in question is just waiting for a nice, rational argument to change his vandalous ways.

Fiery Diamond
2011-11-07, 12:50 AM
I can't bring myself to significantly edit or delete other people's trope entries either because it's hard not to feel like a jerk doing that, even if they're clearly wrong or the entry doesn't belong. My biggest peeve is aversions, because they're almost always pointless - if something doesn't use the trope, then it doesn't use the trope - you don't have to list it. Although I did like the one for Intelligent Gerbil (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IntelligentGerbil) that listed the webcomic Narbonic, because while Narbonic doesn't use the Intelligent Gerbil trope it does have an actual intelligent gerbil.

Curse you Trazoi! You linked to the blasted site! I was lucky, I managed to get away after only losing an hour and a half. Still, that's an hour and a half!

I should have known better than to click. But I still blame you. :smalltongue:

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-07, 01:14 AM
We're talking about an edit war here. Somehow, I doubt that the vandal in question is just waiting for a nice, rational argument to change his vandalous ways.

This.

Its going to be a rare case where the original editor is just sitting and waiting for someone to dare and touch his "perfect" entry. By their very nature the most egregious (take a shot) examples result from a sheer lack of knowledge about either the work or the trope in question. Ergo the person creating things that are flat wrong is not coming back soon, because that strongly implies knowledge.

Now if one is talking actual vandalism its another matter but that's not the reason trope title are blandified into boring mush.

averagejoe
2011-11-07, 02:10 AM
More because they're afraid of getting into an edit war. Especially when an editor is a fan of one of the works that have somehow developed a massive hatedom and hate dumb (for example, a large number of tropers seem to consider the works of Tom Clancy to consist solely of godlike Republicans solving all the world's problems before breakfast while brainless Democrats and foreigners whine about it) , it's pointless to simply delete a vitriolic, highly biased, and inaccurate post on the subject because someone will simply revert it. It can seem much more practical to simply attempt to point out why the post is wrong.

Wait, is this not generally true? Because the only book of his I've read is Without Remorse and those are actually more-or-less the exact words I use to describe the book to people. Like I've said what you say above before, and that seems to be entirely accurate. Except replace, "Republican," with, "Army and ex-army," replace "Democrat," with, "Russians, liberals, and people with dark skin colors," and replace, "Whine," with, "Maliciously or ignorantly endanger the lives of good, decent people." (And you can tell when the dudes are good or decent because they always, without exception open doors for ladies, even when the logistics of doing so are frankly baffling. As far as I remember, all the ladies were decent.)

Don't get me wrong, I have no opinion on the author in general, and I'm open to the idea that I just had the bad luck to read a stinker. I'm honestly just curious whether this book is generally representative of the guy.

Gnoman
2011-11-07, 02:49 AM
Without Remorse isn't really like that in itself, though it comes closer than most of his books. To put it simply, the two traitors aren't vilified for their political views at all. Even Clark sympathises with their pacifism. It's their naivete that causes them to be unsympathetic. Likewise, the Russian officer is doing little more than trying to defend his homeland. He's the "bad guy" only because he's on the opposing side as the protagonists. The drug dealers, the closest the book comes to true villians, are motivated by greed. That's my point. Clancy's books do tend to favor one political perspective, but there's very few cardboard cutouts, and virtually no strawmen among major characters. Yet, any attempt to remove the Clancy examples from pages like Straw Liberal, Strawman Has a Point, and similar pages results, within an hour, with a revert, becuase the Hatedom for his work is so prevalent.

Coidzor
2011-11-07, 03:17 AM
Hit the edit button, highlight the entry, hit Delete/Backspace.
The most effective solution to all of Tvtrope's woes.

Followed by writing a the correct entry if needed. If not oblivion is a fitting end for such things.

We'd still have Rape the Dog if more people did this. Its like people are scared to offend other people on the internet or something.
...

...

Wait. Does that mean we've found that not only do the people who spawn tasteless jokes about Political Correctness actually exist but also what they do with their free time? :smallconfused::smalleek::smallsigh:

averagejoe
2011-11-07, 03:33 AM
Without Remorse isn't really like that in itself, though it comes closer than most of his books. To put it simply, the two traitors aren't vilified for their political views at all. Even Clark sympathises with their pacifism. It's their naivete that causes them to be unsympathetic. Likewise, the Russian officer is doing little more than trying to defend his homeland. He's the "bad guy" only because he's on the opposing side as the protagonists. The drug dealers, the closest the book comes to true villians, are motivated by greed. That's my point. Clancy's books do tend to favor one political perspective, but there's very few cardboard cutouts, and virtually no strawmen among major characters. Yet, any attempt to remove the Clancy examples from pages like Straw Liberal, Strawman Has a Point, and similar pages results, within an hour, with a revert, becuase the Hatedom for his work is so prevalent.

See, I'm not even focused in on the politics, it was more the, "Invincible main character who solves everything before lunch," thing that struck a chord. I mean, if Clancy was dead set on giving Kelly a girl's name, I think Mary would have been more appropriate. Or possibly Sue. (And, yeah I know Kelly is unisex in some places but then I wouldn't have been able to do a thing.)

I dunno, I'm not going to debate the virtues of the book with you - at least, not in this thread - but I will say that I don't really think one has to be a member of a hatedom to take those points of view. There were, at the very least, some poorly thought out decisions made in that book.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-07, 03:58 AM
See, I'm not even focused in on the politics, it was more the, "Invincible main character who solves everything before lunch," thing that struck a chord. I mean, if Clancy was dead set on giving Kelly a girl's name, I think Mary would have been more appropriate. Or possibly Sue. (And, yeah I know Kelly is unisex in some places but then I wouldn't have been able to do a thing.)

John Clark is the maximum end of the competence spectrum in the books. However it is fairly rare in Clancy books that problems can be solved before lunch, because they revolve around complex political situations where no matter how badassed he is won't really resolve the problems.

Sum Of All Fears is a good one for where all the protagonists essentially fail and only "win" by managing to not make things epic scale worse. Debt of Honor (easily the most ridiculous scenario) ends with an eerily familiar disaster despite "victory" being achieved.

Weezer
2011-11-07, 11:45 AM
I'd say that Tom Clancy's books are more characterized by realism vs idealism (in the Political Science sense). The idealists are shown as naive and often the reason the situations get out of control, while the realists are the ones who come in and save the day.

Personally I think that the big failing of his books is that they kept upping the ante each time, with Jack Ryan and co. doing more and more ridiculous stuff to solve increasingly out there problems.

Nerd-o-rama
2011-11-07, 12:48 PM
There are two things you need to check before reading a Tom Clancy novel and expecting it to be good:

1) Was it written before the fall of the Soviet Union
2) Does it mention Jack Ryan in a major role

As far as I can tell, Debt of Honor (1994) is where he went off the deep end and never recovered.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-07, 01:01 PM
I will just read them as Alternative History. :smalltongue:

The return of the "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" was quite ludicruous, but Clancy wasn't alone being afraid of Japan taking over the world at that time.

Is there a similar hatedom against other thriller writers, like John le Carré, Graham Greene, Robert Ludlum, Graig Thomas (Firefox :smallbiggrin: ) etc? I know Ian Fleming receives a lot of criticism, but it usually is pretty much well-deserved.

Gnoman
2011-11-07, 02:39 PM
Clancy's certainly not the only such Hatedom on the site. It's simply the example I used to illustrate the problem as I see it.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-07, 04:59 PM
I understand the predicament.

averagejoe
2011-11-07, 06:16 PM
John Clark is the maximum end of the competence spectrum in the books. However it is fairly rare in Clancy books that problems can be solved before lunch, because they revolve around complex political situations where no matter how badassed he is won't really resolve the problems.

Sum Of All Fears is a good one for where all the protagonists essentially fail and only "win" by managing to not make things epic scale worse. Debt of Honor (easily the most ridiculous scenario) ends with an eerily familiar disaster despite "victory" being achieved.

Hmmm, I actually thought the Sum of All Fears had a fairly cool premise, and I came very close to liking the movie (which lost me somewhere in the late middle).

The Glyphstone
2011-11-07, 06:58 PM
The problem with Tom Clancy (nowadays, at least) is that the rights to his name are owned by, right now, Ubisoft, who uses ghostwriters to crank out stuff 'by Tom Clancy'.

Mewtarthio
2011-11-07, 07:07 PM
Wait, does Tom Clancy the person still write books? Because I mostly consider "Tom Clancy" to be a brand these days.

Gnoman
2011-11-07, 08:02 PM
He does, as far as I know. You can identify a Tom Clancy-brand book or work if the cover reads Tom Clancy's whatever. AFAIK, the Jack Ryan jr books are still written by him. In any case, the Hatedom I mentioned is toward his older Ryanverse books.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-07, 08:38 PM
He does, as far as I know. You can identify a Tom Clancy-brand book or work if the cover reads Tom Clancy's whatever. AFAIK, the Jack Ryan jr books are still written by him. In any case, the Hatedom I mentioned is toward his older Ryanverse books.

Which is non-sensible because his work gets better the farther you go back by general agreement.

Gnoman
2011-11-07, 08:50 PM
Quite true. The trouble is that, for example, people seem to mistake Elizabeth Elliot and President Fowler as a Straw Feminist and a Straw Liberal. In both cases, their actual politics are rarely touched on, it's their personal flaws that make them antagonists. EE is vain, ambitious, and overconfident, which leads to her being utterly incompetent in the role she wound up playing. Fowler is too insular and cliquish, meaning he'd rather accept a flawed recommendation from Elliot than a sounder one from an outsider. There's barely a trace of straw on either of them, but, becuase they're liberal semi-antagonists in a book that tends to support a more conservative viewpoint, they are tarred with the strawman brush.

Fiery Diamond
2011-11-07, 11:06 PM
Quite true. The trouble is that, for example, people seem to mistake Elizabeth Elliot and President Fowler as a Straw Feminist and a Straw Liberal. In both cases, their actual politics are rarely touched on, it's their personal flaws that make them antagonists. EE is vain, ambitious, and overconfident, which leads to her being utterly incompetent in the role she wound up playing. Fowler is too insular and cliquish, meaning he'd rather accept a flawed recommendation from Elliot than a sounder one from an outsider. There's barely a trace of straw on either of them, but, becuase they're liberal semi-antagonists in a book that tends to support a more conservative viewpoint, they are tarred with the strawman brush.

I would assume that those who paint them as strawmen see the whole ordeal as a sort of ad hominem deal: it doesn't matter that he doesn't focus on their politics, what matters is that they HAVE those political views and that they are ALSO incompetent/flawed/whatever. Strawmen not in the sense that their political views are exaggerated and shown to be horrible, but strawmen by association of their horrible other traits with the fact that they have those political views.

I've never read his books, but such ad hominem type mockeries are not at all uncommon. Sort of a "see, I don't even need to show why these political views are bad, because only people who are bad for OTHER reasons would even have those views!" type deal. While I have no idea whether this is how things come across in his books and/or whether that was intended, I would not be at all surprised if this is how the hatedom saw it.

Gnoman
2011-11-07, 11:38 PM
A fair point, and likely how the Hatedom interprets things. However, other characters in the books pretty strongly show that this was not intended. Not going into it anymore here, as this is getting pretty far off-topic.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-07, 11:46 PM
I would assume that those who paint them as strawmen see the whole ordeal as a sort of ad hominem deal: it doesn't matter that he doesn't focus on their politics, what matters is that they HAVE those political views and that they are ALSO incompetent/flawed/whatever. Strawmen not in the sense that their political views are exaggerated and shown to be horrible, but strawmen by association of their horrible other traits with the fact that they have those political views.

I've never read his books, but such ad hominem type mockeries are not at all uncommon. Sort of a "see, I don't even need to show why these political views are bad, because only people who are bad for OTHER reasons would even have those views!" type deal. While I have no idea whether this is how things come across in his books and/or whether that was intended, I would not be at all surprised if this is how the hatedom saw it.

So you are enforcing the fallacious argument of personal failings as comments on political philosophies, to argue that character who's critical flaws personal are ad homeim attacks on any policy the source disagree with. I always liked the description of this as a verbal Escher drawing.

averagejoe
2011-11-08, 12:54 AM
Quite true. The trouble is that, for example, people seem to mistake Elizabeth Elliot and President Fowler as a Straw Feminist and a Straw Liberal. In both cases, their actual politics are rarely touched on, it's their personal flaws that make them antagonists. EE is vain, ambitious, and overconfident, which leads to her being utterly incompetent in the role she wound up playing. Fowler is too insular and cliquish, meaning he'd rather accept a flawed recommendation from Elliot than a sounder one from an outsider. There's barely a trace of straw on either of them, but, becuase they're liberal semi-antagonists in a book that tends to support a more conservative viewpoint, they are tarred with the strawman brush.

Again, I don't know if this is generally true of Clancy's writings, but what got me about Without Remorse wasn't any individual case of, "This guy is obviously a Straw Liberal," but more that every single protagonist in that book (that I remember) was either 1) US army or ex-US army or 2) female. It's not that, "Oh, these two liberals are villainous because their liberals," it's, "Every liberal in this book is villainous."

I don't know that any of this says anything about Clancy's views or anything. Honestly, from a deconstructionist viewpoint that book had so many problems that there's a certain amount I'm willing to just ascribe to bad decisions on the author's part. Like... okay, here's a good example. There's a bit in Without Remorse where this middle eastern doctor accosts one of the female supporting characters being all like, "Oh, look I'm middle eastern so I treat all women badly," and generally acting stereotypical, all so our hero can show his machoness by hurting that guy and making him back off. Meanwhile I'm reading it going, "No Tom Clancy! Don't do that! It's a terrible idea!" Now, I don't think this makes him racist, I think it means he put something in his book that he didn't really think through the implications of (or something, I'm not a mind reader). But at the same time I can certainly see why someone might get that idea.

Fiery Diamond
2011-11-08, 01:18 AM
So you are enforcing the fallacious argument of personal failings as comments on political philosophies, to argue that character who's critical flaws personal are ad homeim attacks on any policy the source disagree with. I always liked the description of this as a verbal Escher drawing.

I'm not arguing anything; as I said, I've never read his books. But such ad-hominem-esque attacks DO exist, and I'm suggesting that the hatedom possibly views his books as having them, whether they actually are intended or would otherwise seem to exist in the books to an objective observer or not. Obviously those who engage in writing books deliberately employing that sort of ad hominem approach are being fallacious and, in my opinion, foolish, but that doesn't mean that such authors don't exist. Nor does it mean that someone might not see such an argument where it wasn't intended.


Edit: I could be wrong, but you seem to be saying that I'm enforcing a fallacy by suggesting that others are (possibly wrongly) believing that someone is using a related fallacy which incorporates the thing you think I'm enforcing. Which, pardon me, makes absolutely no sense. Regardless of how fallacious something is, the thought process and flawed reasoning still exists amongst members of humanity, and acknowledging that it exists and drawing possible hypothesis for why the hatedom would say the things they say based on accepting that the fallacious reasoning exists in some people cannot be rationally construed as support of said fallacious reasoning.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-08, 01:54 AM
Like... okay, here's a good example. There's a bit in Without Remorse where this middle eastern doctor accosts one of the female supporting characters being all like, "Oh, look I'm middle eastern so I treat all women badly," and generally acting stereotypical, all so our hero can show his machoness by hurting that guy and making him back off. Meanwhile I'm reading it going, "No Tom Clancy! Don't do that! It's a terrible idea!" Now, I don't think this makes him racist, I think it means he put something in his book that he didn't really think through the implications of (or something, I'm not a mind reader). But at the same time I can certainly see why someone might get that idea.

Well I will say that he's not afraid to pull punches, however umm on the example of middle easterners treating women badly.... well do I have to make this point? Yes not ALL of them (and in degrees by location, Saudi versus Turk is a big difference) but that doesn't make automatically an invalid potential depiction either for a real world Values Dissonance.

And while not perfect by any means the guy was writing about Islamic terrorism and the potential damage relatively few people could cause in the 90s. I don't want to call it prophetic but well he got a lot more relevant for awhile there. (On the other end Debt of Honor is so off base its silly, but not the only case I've seen from a peculiar part of the 90s)


I'm not arguing anything; as I said, I've never read his books. But such ad-hominem-esque attacks DO exist, and I'm suggesting that the hatedom possibly views his books as having them, whether they actually are intended or would otherwise seem to exist in the books to an objective observer or not. Obviously those who engage in writing books deliberately employing that sort of ad hominem approach are being fallacious and, in my opinion, foolish, but that doesn't mean that such authors don't exist. Nor does it mean that someone might not see such an argument where it wasn't intended.

Yes but for this case its not really so. Or that would be a outright hostile interpretation. Not that the books are apolitical, because such a thing is impossible at the levels it uses, but Sum of All Fears for example if it had a general political message would be "Hey watch out for Islamic terrorism, its more of a threat then you might think."

Which isn't so unreasonable in hindsight for being written in the 90s is it?

averagejoe
2011-11-08, 02:28 PM
Well I will say that he's not afraid to pull punches, however umm on the example of middle easterners treating women badly.... well do I have to make this point? Yes not ALL of them (and in degrees by location, Saudi versus Turk is a big difference) but that doesn't make automatically an invalid potential depiction either for a real world Values Dissonance.

And while not perfect by any means the guy was writing about Islamic terrorism and the potential damage relatively few people could cause in the 90s. I don't want to call it prophetic but well he got a lot more relevant for awhile there. (On the other end Debt of Honor is so off base its silly, but not the only case I've seen from a peculiar part of the 90s)

Yes, but it's problematic when the only faucet of the guy's character, and his only role in the story, is to be a stereotype. There are real life examples of middle easterners treating women badly, and it would be dishonest to avoid this; however, I'm very confident that no middle easterners exist for whom treating women badly is all there is to them. It's not the fact of the sexism, it's that the only reason this guy existed was to be sexist and foreign - the only reason he existed was to be objectified - so that our hero could defeat him and show what a swell guy he was without the audience questioning any of it. And that's dishonest, ignorant, and self destructive no matter how relevant Islamic terrorism is.

Gnoman
2011-11-08, 04:27 PM
Actually, that isn't the only facet of that character. He's also arrogant and incompetent. The purpose of the character is to give Kelley a means of connecting with the nurse who will eventually become his wife.

The thing that you have to remember about Without Remorse is that it's basically a Mack Bolan homage intended to fill in the hints given to Clark's background in Clear and Present Danger and Debt of Honor. By itself, it's one of the weaker Ryanverse books.

Horrorshow
2011-11-08, 08:48 PM
Back on topic.

Why does TV Tropes suck? This is why:

http://www.youtube.com/user/CrazyGoggs

Coidzor
2011-11-08, 10:40 PM
Back on topic.

Why does TV Tropes suck? This is why:

http://www.youtube.com/user/CrazyGoggs

...Oh dear. I feel ill now.

Kato
2011-11-09, 03:47 AM
...? So, there are stupid people on tv tropes. I'm shocked. Just don't go to the troper tales. EVER.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-09, 11:03 AM
Back on topic.

Why does TV Tropes suck? This is why:

http://www.youtube.com/user/CrazyGoggs

What is this I don't even :smalleek:

Gnoman
2011-11-09, 01:30 PM
...? So, there are stupid people on tv tropes. I'm shocked. Just don't go to the troper tales. EVER.

Can't anyway. They axed the section.

Lord Seth
2011-11-09, 01:44 PM
...Oh dear. I feel ill now.At the stuff from TV Tropes that's shown, or the fact that someone actually spent time making videos about them?
Can't anyway. They axed the section.Hrm...while Troper Tales was a fairly dumb place, at the same time I'm worried that doing this will just recreate the problem that Troper Tales was created in the first place to fix: People putting those personal experiences on the main pages and clogging things up.

Kato
2011-11-09, 03:57 PM
Well... if we talk about the quality of information... since tv tropes is a free editing page it would be impossible to keep it clean. I'd say troper tales was a good place for the people who feel the need to tell their stupid stories and removing it was a bad idea... but there are so many other problems it's not really funny anymore :smallwink: You can't really fix tv tropes to make it an excellent side but I can still enjoy it.

Prime32
2011-11-09, 04:14 PM
Well... if we talk about the quality of information... since tv tropes is a free editing page it would be impossible to keep it clean. I'd say troper tales was a good place for the people who feel the need to tell their stupid stories and removing it was a bad idea... but there are so many other problems it's not really funny anymore :smallwink: You can't really fix tv tropes to make it an excellent side but I can still enjoy it.And even without the creepy stuff you get this:


Trope
People have been known to do this.

Troper Tales: Trope
- This troper does this.
-- Really? This troper does it too!
--- This troper does it more.
- I've got to be the only person who does this
- This troper does it with five people at once while riding a rollercoaster. True story.
- I like cheese
-- Me too!
- I've got to be the only person who does this
- I do this with pride.

You people are anonymous. Your posts tell us nothing whatsoever. You might as well as have posted "Yes" over and over. :smallmad:

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-09, 04:16 PM
At the stuff from TV Tropes that's shown, or the fact that someone actually spent time making videos about them?Hrm...while Troper Tales was a fairly dumb place, at the same time I'm worried that doing this will just recreate the problem that Troper Tales was created in the first place to fix: People putting those personal experiences on the main pages and clogging things up.

Nahh... Troper Tales shouldn't have existed in the first place and is indicative of a compromising attitude where none is needed. Stuff that goes in there should be just deleted, or maybe put under a YMMV trope if there's enough of a fandom consensus on something. No such thing as notablity does not be every random thought deserves a place.

Swing mightily the sword of editing and deletion!

Lord Seth
2011-11-09, 04:54 PM
Stuff that goes in there should be just deleted, or maybe put under a YMMV trope if there's enough of a fandom consensus on something.Sure, you can delete it, but the problem is it keeps cropping up. Troper Tales nicely forced it all onto a page that you're not going to look at unless you want to, whereas now I fear it'll creep back onto the main pages and have the same issue again.

Coidzor
2011-11-09, 05:18 PM
^: The only possibility is to change the culture of the community to not be tolerant of such things, which'll probably take a bit of time and cause some flare-ups from diehard holdouts that can't take a systematic effort to get them to conform or leave, as far as I can tell.
At the stuff from TV Tropes that's shown, or the fact that someone actually spent time making videos about them?

Both. And that people would willingly post and believe some of those things in the absence of duress.

Even with anonymity, you'd expect some basic tact to tell them that they shouldn't admit to wanting or planning to commit rape.

Trazoi
2011-11-09, 05:32 PM
Sure, you can delete it, but the problem is it keeps cropping up. Troper Tales nicely forced it all onto a page that you're not going to look at unless you want to, whereas now I fear it'll creep back onto the main pages and have the same issue again.
It shouldn't be an issue if there's a directive to clean up that stuff as it crops up. There might be the occasional Troper Tale worming its way onto a page but they can't be a massive build up before it becomes glaringly noticeable.

The Troper Tales pages were an open invitation for people to throw irrelevant creepy rubbish up on the site. It didn't even matter if you never read them - the mere fact you can see that the page exists for every trope is enough to creep you out. There's some tropes in there that are creepy enough by the lavish care tropers put to filling out examples, they don't need the extra creep factor by having Troper Tales pages attached.

warty goblin
2011-11-09, 05:44 PM
Nahh... Troper Tales shouldn't have existed in the first place and is indicative of a compromising attitude where none is needed. Stuff that goes in there should be just deleted, or maybe put under a YMMV trope if there's enough of a fandom consensus on something. No such thing as notablity does not be every random thought deserves a place.

Swing mightily the sword of editing and deletion!

Actually I'm pretty sure that every random thought deserving a place is the inevitable, nearly encouraged, endpoint of not having any such thing as notability. If the lower bound on importance doesn't exist, everything from the secrets of the universe to the exact RGB color code of the three thousand and fifty-third pore, counted radially, on my left ear, is fair game.

Standards are a good thing. Let's have and enforce them.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-11-09, 08:57 PM
You know... I actually really like that as a trope name. I think it's substantially better than either True Companions or Nakama (especially nakama, because that's just being bad at translating).

I concur wholeheartedly.

Mauve Shirt
2011-11-10, 06:47 AM
Troper Tales is kind of idiotic, but everyone wants to talk about themselves. The need to share everything is a compulsive thing that everyone on the internet comes here to do. Best to let them do it off the main page, or they'll just clutter it up in the examples like they used to. You don't have to click on the little icon that takes you there, you know. The website says it has no notability, and as many of you have said it's not supposed to be a super serious resource. It never was, as far as I can tell. It's a community of media nerds.

Tectonic Robot
2011-11-10, 09:19 AM
I... I kind of like Tv tropes... I think it's cool...

There are weird people everywhere, guys. I mean, everywhere. And it's cool to browse through...

Fiery Diamond
2011-11-12, 03:16 AM
Actually, the "no such thing as notability" was the one aspect of TVTropes that I honestly respected. Wikipedia is full of itself and has overzealous editors who delete things for very little reason. I understand the desire for standards, but anyone who truly uses Wikipedia as a scholarly source (rather than, for example, following the citation links to find actual scholarly sources) is being a fool. TVTropes is more honest; if it exists in media (or is a book or movie or show or comic), then if someone wants to put it up and talk about it, they don't have to worry about whether it appeared in the New York Times or some other "unaffiliated" source, they can put it up and talk about it.

As an example: "elements" in fantasy (fire, water, ice, earth, wind, lightning, and many more). There used to be a Wikipedia page on that which provided some useful descriptions about different "elements" used in fantasy and how they were often related to each other or to personality types. It got deleted because it didn't really have any substantial citations; it was just a compiling of information gleaned by watching/reading/playing lots of fantasy. TVTropes provides the perfect environment for that kind of page to exist with it's "no such thing as notability" approach.

Tiki Snakes
2011-11-12, 09:22 AM
Yeah, for all it's volume, Wikipedia is often suprisingly useless when you actually want to look something up. TV tropes has it's field of info and the no-notability thing is a godsend on a lot of it.
Likewise, if I want to know something about internet culture or history I end up having to sift it out of the nonsense that is Encyclopedia dramatica instead.

The idea that the fact that I and other people want to be able to find out about a topic does not make it noteable enough to exists is something I always found faintly offensive.

Also, I'm no expert, but I suspect that a large proportion of the more colourful troper tales, (Not that I ever read any of them) were simply trolls.

Trazoi
2011-11-12, 08:13 PM
The "no such thing as notability" rule is great for removing any hesitation for people to put a reference to their favourite thing in the wiki and to avoid the annoying Wikipedia deletionist issue.

However when I used to help out by finding images for the Image Picking subforum it did get used to block suggestions. You couldn't rely on any familiarity with the work, how classic the example was, or argue that the image should be given extra weight because it's from the trope namer, because there's "no such thing as notability". Images keep getting more literal or simply cut as an unrepresentable trope.


Also, I'm no expert, but I suspect that a large proportion of the more colourful troper tales, (Not that I ever read any of them) were simply trolls.
It's hard to sort the trolls from the genuine. Look around the forum and you'll see a few of the regulars are consistently... colourful.

Wardog
2011-11-12, 08:40 PM
Following on this I randomly found there is discussion to rename The Red Baron (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RedBaron), which derives from a cross-cultural icon of military achievement.

Can anyone say you wouldn't understand what the Red Baron is or why going with some merely descriptive title is somehow better.

Actually, I think "The Red Baron" is one of the more badly-named tropes. It suggests to me that it is either refering to the real Red Baron, an expy of him, or a fictional character notably similar characteristics (e.g. infamous enemy ace pilot).

The actual trope meaning, "badass character who is only known by his nickname", while a plausible meaning, isn't (IMO) the most obvious one, and if you were to describe such a character as "The Red Baron", I wouldn't know what you were talking about (if I hadn't read teh Trope page).

On the other hand, I do agree that renaming "You fail X forever" to "Artistic license - X" was a bad move, especially as (IMO) describing something as "artistic licence" is more at least as much a value judgement than the former. (Getting something factually massively wrong is objective; describing it as artistic licence is effectively saying it is justified).

Shadow of the Sun
2011-11-12, 09:16 PM
Well, the shift to artistic licence - X from You Fail X Forever was because tropers would end up putting ANYTHING that didn't agree with biology or physics or whatever in there as if the author had legitimately made a mistake. With Artistic Licence, they've made it so you can add examples without directly implying that the author made a mistake, instead saying that "This disagrees with field X".

So while it might be less objective in some ways, it does have the advantage of making authors who ignore physics for actual legitimate artistic reasons can be listed without implying that they did so because they simply didn't know.

Doug Lampert
2011-11-28, 11:42 PM
Give him a sneer and say, "Well, you dont exactly have room to talk considering how fast you recognized it. Done a few link marathons have we?" Or hit him with a brick. Both should make him shut up if you do it right. :smallbiggrin:

If we're coming up with ideal responses then "What's TV tropes?"

Seriously, he's the one who appears to think that any knowledge of the term is a reference to TV tropes, which means (a) he reads TV tropes, and (b) he is an idiot since TV tropes didn't invent the term and makes no such claim.

If getting terms from TV tropes is snear worthy then he's the one who should be sneared at.

Using the term in no way implies knowing anything about TV tropes, but thinking it comes only from TV tropes both means you are familiar with TV tropes AND means that it is likely that you are not really familiar with language, theater, and literature.

"What's TV tropes?" and then act baffled that he'd think some internet wiki is where you got the term from.


No, to be serious, when someone claimed Xanatos' Gambit was totally incomprehensible because s/he didn't know who or what a Xanatos was and s/he only knew Gambit from the X-Men character I a) wondered what that person was doing in his childhood if s/he didn't know Xanatos and b) how someone who's presumably a native English speaker doesn't know what a gambit is if I know it.

Gargoyles first aired when I was 20, so I somehow survived childhood without it, as did billions of other people.

I was of course watching Warner Brothers cartoons as a child like any reasonable person.

(b) I can't help you on. Gambit is a term you should know from chess if nothing else.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, we don't actually know what would happen if someone were to fly into a black hole. Based on that, I can't see how it would be "incorrect" to have it be time travel, alternate universes, or Sparkly Funtime Fairy Land. Considering all the other cases where authors can get science wrong, it seems odd to use this as your example.

You're wrong. :)
Black holes are a prediction of physical theory, the same theory that says they EXIST also says what happens if you fly into one.
(a) For any reasonable sized hole the tides rip you apart. For a galaxy sized black hole you might live.
(b) For any non-rotating hole you disappear from the universe and are never seen again (time dilation makes this strange, but the effect is the same) although Hawking decay may mean that some of the mass-energy does eventually escape. But a non-rotating black hole is very unlikely to exist.
(c) For a rotating black hole it gets complicated depending on your course, but amusingly enough one of the solutions to the general relativity equations dealing with black holes involves a course where you leave the black hole prior to your entry (AKA time travel), most physicists don't believe in time travel, so they invent quantum feedback loops to stop this sort of thing (or just count on (a) above to stop this from happening).