Created By: Xtifr on October 21, 2012 Last Edited By: Xtifr on December 17, 2012
Troped

Bold Explorer

A Seeker in search of new vistas, new lands and new worlds.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

Indexes: Characterization Tropes, Seekers, Action Adventure Tropes, Older Than Dirt


“Something hidden. Go and find it.
Go and look behind the Ranges --
Something lost behind the Ranges.
Lost and waiting for you. Go!”
-- "The Explorer", Rudyard Kipling

The urge to explore is as old as Mankind, and in every generation, there are those who feel compelled to seek out new worlds; to see what lies beyond the horizon. It's easy to dream, but unknown lands can be dangerous, so only the boldest are willing to live that dream. Tales of these bold explorers are a favorite topic for fiction.

Before history even began, bold explorers (and the settlers who follow them) had reached almost every habitable land on the planet. Our oldest surviving tale, The Epic of Gilgamesh features the bold explorations of Gilgamesh the King, making this Older Than Dirt. In the Age of Exploration, starting in the early Renaissance, Marco Polo (re-)discovered China, Columbus (re-)discovered America, and Magellan found a way to circumnavigate the globe.

Though most of the world is considered explored today, the rest of the universe still beckons, and this is a common trope in both Historical Fiction and Science Fiction. This trope was extremely common in early Interplanetary Voyage stories--some of which actually date back to the above-mentioned Age of Exploration.

Only the bold need apply. Those who, through no fault of their own, are kidnapped to or ship-wrecked on new lands, or who are merely bad navigators, do not qualify, though their subsequent actions may prove them to be examples.

Note that this is such an ancient trope and so very much a case of Truth in Television that there is little to be gained from mentioning Real Life examples, as most people can probably think of dozens. A Historical-Domain Character can go under the proper medium.

May overlap with The Pioneer, who is specifically looking for a new home, though it's more usual for pioneers to follow the explorers. Compare Gentleman Adventurer and Adventure Archaeologist.

Examples:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
  • In Vinland Saga, Leif the Lucky is the man who found Vinland, though he's now old and retired.
  • Allen's Disappeared Dad was this in The Vision of Escaflowne. In fact, his frequent absences and the fact that he never returned from one of his voyages are the source of Allen's massive Daddy Issues.
  • Mendoza in The Mysterious Cities of Gold is a charismatic explorer who claims to be the one who brought Esteban to Spain as a child, and now wants him to return and use the power of the locket to help find the titular cities.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
  • The Magic Voyage is the heavily fictionalized account of how Christopher Columbus boldly set off to prove that the world is round.
  • The Wallace & Gromit short film, A Grand Day Out has Wallace & Gromit off to explore the moon, which turns out to be made of green cheese.
  • In Pocahontas, John Smith's explorations of the new Virginia Territory are how he met Pocahontas in the first place. During the song "Mine, Mine, Mine", he sings of how he's never seen a wilder, more challenging land than Virginia and how he doesn't plan to miss any of its dangers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God takes this trope to the point of insanity, as Lope de Aguirre explores South America in search of a City of Gold, ignoring death and deprivation among his men along the way.
  • Parodied in Almost Heroes, where Hunt and Edwards want to beat Lewis and Clark, and be the first to chart a way across America to the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, neither one is particularly bold.
  • The final film in the Carry On franchise, Carry On Columbus turned the bold exploits of explorer Christopher Columbus into a silly sex farce.
  • La Vallée (a film mainly remembered because Pink Floyd provided the soundtrack) features a bunch of hippies, joined by the wife of the French consul, exploring uncharted regions of New Guinea--one of the very last unexplored places on the planet--seeking the truth about a mysterious valley marked on maps as "obscured by clouds".
  • In Fritz Lang's 1929 silent film Woman in the Moon, Helius and Professor Mannfeldt plan and lead an expedition to the moon.
  • The enthusiastic General Thayer and, to a lesser extent, Dr. Cargraves and Jim Barnes, in the classic SF film Destination Moon.
  • Dave Bowman, Frank Poole, and the deceased crew of the Discovery in 2001: A Space Odyssey, who are on an expedition to explore strange findings near Jupiter.
  • The aptly-named Explorers features a trio of kids who manage to build a spaceship, and then boldly set off to hunt for aliens.
  • Commander Peter Quincy Taggart, the bold Captain Kirk Expy from the titular Show Within a Show in Galaxy Quest.
  • The recon team sent through to explore the worlds on the other side of the Stargate in Stargate.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh explored many new lands, defeating monsters and bringing home their treasures. Any actual Trope Maker is probably lost to history, so this is likely as close as we'll ever get.
  • The Vinland Sagas tells how Leif Ericson's explorations led him to become the first European known to have set foot on North America. (The popular theory that Leif's father, Erik the Red, discovered Greenland, however, is not supported by the sagas, nor by any other historical evidence.)
  • The Travels of Marco Polo is a biographical (and somewhat confused) recounting of the Italian explorer's 13th-century expedition to the Middle-East and China. It was a block-buster hit in its time.
  • Voyage dans la Lune (1657) by the Real Life Cyrano de Bergerac, casts Cyrano himself as the first explorer to the moon. Although there were earlier stories of people visiting the moon, the use of a non-magical method of transportation (fireworks) has led some to classify this as one of the very first works of true Science Fiction.
  • In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, Professor Challenger is a man of science who has no hesitation to set off and explore a mysterious plateau in the Amazon.
  • Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon has Michael Ardan, who persuades the Gun Club to build a hollow shell that can carry him (and some others) to the moon.
  • In H. G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon, when James Cavor discovers a material that blocks gravity, he quickly decides to set off and explore the moon.
  • In Poul Anderson's Polesotechnic League stories, David Falkayn is an aristocrat who would rather be out exploring new worlds than sitting in comfort on his home planet.
  • A somewhat fictionalized (but reasonably realistic) Christopher Columbus in Orson Scott Card's Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus.
  • In the Red Mars Trilogy, John Boone becomes a world-wide hero after leading the first expedition to Mars.
  • In the Priscilla Hutchins series, Hutch herself is a borderline case, but a more clear-cut example is George Hockleman, a rich entrepreneur in Chindi who hires an Academy ship, and the use of Hutch, to go chasing alien interstellar radio signals in the hope of making First Contact.
  • In Allen Steele's Coyote, Carlos Montero sets off to explore the new world of Coyote while the rest of the colonists are still settling in and trying to learn the local dangers.
  • Most of the inhabitants of Gateway Asteroid, in Gateway, were this, although some were there out of pure desperation. Still, it takes more than a little hutzpah to climb into an ancient alien craft, set the controls at random, and push go. Especially when you have no idea how long the voyage will take, and thus how much food and water you should bring.
  • Subverted in Robert Sheckley's short-story, "The Minimum Man". The Planetary Expedition and Settlement Board has tried using the classic bold explorer type to discover new worlds, but these bold types aren't timid enough, and tend to overlook obvious dangers that make newly discovered worlds unsuitable for colonization, so now they're going the opposite way, and choose the accident-prone hapless nebbish Anton Perceveral to be the first of a new breed of explorers.
  • In Labyrinths of Echo, Sir Manga Melifaro has not only traveled every continent of the known world, but also wrote a Great Big Book of Everything afterwards (in eight volumes).
  • In the prologue to Pandora's Star Earth sends a manned spaceship to Mars whose crew is extremely irritated to discover that, while they were hoofing it, a couple of garage tinkerers in Los Angeles discovered how to create stable wormholes and beat them there. Fast forward five hundred years or so, and the normally wormhole-dependent Commonwealth builds an FTL-capable exploration starship named the Another Chance, captained by the leader of the Mars expedition. (Immortality therapy was involved.)
  • The Outbound Flight duology by Timothy Zahn concerned an attempt by the Galactic Republic to mount an extragalactic expedition. Due in large part to the arrogance of the expedition's Jedi commander (though diplomatic sabotage by Darth Sidious was also involved), this expedition ran badly afoul of the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force and was destroyed by Commander Mitth'raw'nuruodo.
  • Jack Vance's Ports of Call features Myron Tany, a wannabe bold explorer who lucks out when his great-aunt, Dame Hester, receives a spaceship as part of a legal judgement, and reluctantly agrees to let him use it. Unfortunately for Myron, Dame Hester insists on coming along.
  • In Hal Clement's novel Mission of Gravity, the small centipede-like creature named Barlennan on the planet Mesklin is a bold explorer, which is what brings him to the one area of the planet where humans can visit even briefly.
  • In A. E. van Vogt's Voyage of the Space Beagle, most of the crew of the Space Beagle, especially Director Morton, the head of the expedition. (The protagonist, Elliot Grosvenor, is along as more of a trouble-shooter.
  • In the Star Wars Extended Universe, the planet Corellia was the first human civilization to get their hands on hyperdrive, which triggered a wave of bold explorers--the first humans to scout out much of the galaxy.
  • Tully the human from the Chanur Novels was a bold explorer who got lost in Compact space, captured by the Kif, and rescued by the Chanur clan.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • Most versions of Star Trek have revolved around this. Captain Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series and Captain Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise are classic examples. Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation is a more subdued version, but his second-in-command, Lt. Riker is a classic version; they both count. In Star Trek: Voyager, Captain Janeway was possibly more focused on finding her way home, but still took her mission of exploration seriously.
  • In the Blackadder episode "Potato", the bold explorer Sir Walter Raleigh returns in triumph to England, which makes Blackadder jealous, so when Sir Walter says that even he wouldn't attempt to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, Blackadder tells the court that he's going to do just that. Of course, Blackadder isn't actually bold; his plan is to sail to France and hide out, then return and claim to have sailed around the Cape. Unfortunately, the ship captain he picked for his expedition isn't capable of making it even as far as France.
  • Travelling Matt from Fraggle Rock, the first Fraggle to explore Outer Space (i.e., our world).
  • In Stargate SG-1, the whole purpose of the team was to go through the Stargate and see what they could find on the other side.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
  • Spaceman Spiff, one of Calvin's alter-egos in Calvin and Hobbes, is a bold interstellar explorer, who constantly gets captured by bizarre alien life forms (usually Calvin's parents or his teacher).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • In the backstory of the X-Universe series, the crew of the twelve-man starship Winterblossom set forth in 2045 AD to explore the newly discovered jumpgate network and find habitable worlds for colonies.
  • Skies of Arcadia: Legends has Vyse Dyne. Much of the game centers on his quest to explore all the lands of Arcadia, which is recorded in his journal entries. There's even a massive sidequest to find all 88 hidden discoveries. Vyse even lampshades it, near the beginning of the game, while he Aika, and Fina are watching the sunset on Pirate Isle:
    Vyse: (wistfully) "I want to see what's out there... to see what lies beyond the sunset."
  • The protagonists of the Uncharted Waters series can be played as such, particularly the playable characters of the Explorer background in the second game. Ernst is the best example, since his overarching quest is to explore and map the entire globe. Pietro and Joao also do a fair bit of exploring, but the former is mainly after hidden treasures, while the latter's storyline involves an equal amount of naval battles.
  • In World of Warcraft:
    • Brann Bronzebeard and later Harrison Jones are seen exploring newly opened lands.
    • One of the scrolls in Pandaria tells the legend of a Liu Lang, a young Pandaren who set out to explore the world beyond the mist riding on the back of a turtle.
  • Mass Effect is rife with these, though they seem to end badly a lot. The First Contact War came out of a group of human explorers running afoul of a turian patrol that didn't bother to explain why opening mass relays willy-nilly was a bad idea. In the games proper, two separate sidequests in Mass Effect 2 involve the discovery of a wrecked exploration vessel.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • The Peabody's Improbable History segments of Rocky and Bullwinkle featured visits to see many bold explorers, including Sir Walter Raleigh, Marco Polo, Juan Ponce de Leon, Balboa, Columbus and Magellan. Many of them turned out to be not-so-bold in person, and needed a kick in the pants from Peabody and Sherman.
  • The Simpsons episode "Margical History Tour" features Lenny and Carl as Lewis and Clark, exploring the American Northwest, and Lisa as Sacagawea, the native woman who helped them--or, in this case, tried to help them, but gets frustrated by their stupidity.
  • Commander McBragg of The World of Commander McBragg, a regular segment of Tennessee Tuxedo And His Tales, was a now-retired bold explorer who had visited some of the most remote and dangerous parts of the world--at least to hear him tell it.
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 82
  • October 21, 2012
    StarSword
    Changed Oldest Ones In The Book to Older Than Dirt. One's an index of indexes, the other is the appropriate index of tropes. (Gilgamesh puts it in the Dirt category.)
  • October 21, 2012
    StarSword
    Video Games
    • Many games offer achievements for visiting lots of locations. Some examples are Fallout 3[[labelnote:*]]"One-Man Scouting Party" for discovering 100 locations[[/labelnote]], X3: Terran Conflict[[labelnote:*]]"Traveler" for visiting every sector[[/labelnote]], and Mass Effect 2[[labelnote:*]]"Explorer" for mapping all the planets in a cluster[[/labelnote]].

    Also, I suggest Real Life should go in a subpage, probably subdivided by century.
  • October 21, 2012
    Xtifr
    I don't think a real life section offers enough value to be worth the hassle. They aren't fictional examples, and nobody is going to need them to help understand the trope. I mentioned some in the description; that should be enough. Good point on the Book vs. Dirt, though. Thanks.

    As for the games: while they may feature explorers (possibly in the format of An Explorer Is You), I don't think the achievements qualify as an example of the trope. But I'm pretty sure I can turn those three examples into actual examples, so thanks. :)

    eta: also, hottip is deprecated in favor of note and labelnote, for future reference.
  • October 22, 2012
    StarSword
    Fixed deprecated text.
  • October 22, 2012
    Xtifr
    That's fine, but still not an example as presented. This is a characterization trope, so we need names, or something like that. I think An Explorer Is You examples might count (analogous to An Adventurer Is You), but we need details about how the PC is A) bold, and B) an explorer. Exploring the ruins of Wash.DC (Fallout 3) might count, but it's a bit borderline (maps sort-of exist), and would need details.

    eta: also, you get thrown out of the vault, so the exploration isn't so much a choice as a necessity, at least at first.
  • October 29, 2012
    StarSword
    All right, new example from same work.

    Video Games
    • In the backstory of the X-Universe series, humanity built and launched the twelve-man starship Winterblossom in 2045 AD to explore the newly discovered jumpgate network and find habitable worlds for colonies. The trip ended up a year longer than planned thanks to the navigation systems on the Winterblossom getting confused. When they finally did return, they reported finding plenty of habitable worlds, none of which supported any life more advanced than moss.[[note]]This turned out to be due to the Ancients modifying the gates near Sol into a closed loop to isolate humanity, whom they judged dangerously intelligent for having independently built two jumpgates on their own.[[/note]]
  • October 30, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^ Ok, so who is the bold explorer here? This isn't Exploration. (I thought about doing Exploration, but wasn't sure it was really a trope.)

    eta: The crew of the Winterblossom might work, but the example needs a little more focus on the actual trope, and less side-stuff.
  • October 30, 2012
    StarSword
    Yeah, maybe there isn't an example there (or at least, the X-Encyclopedia doesn't give enough information for it). But it seems this may be a trope that's very vulnerable to Trope Decay.
  • October 30, 2012
    Xtifr
    I don't know; the name seems fairly clear. Can you suggest improvements in the name or description that would make things clearer? In any case, I generally curate my own tropes.

    Also, I'm sure there's dozens, if not hundreds of good examples out there, and having lots of good examples for people to imitate seems like the best way to help avoid trope decay.

    In any case, it does sound like the crew of the Winterblossom could fit. I just don't think we need all the extra information about the Ancients and stuff. Write the example to focus on the trope, and I'll gladly accept it. Or, if you prefer, I'll take a stab at it, based on the information you've provided--there's probably enough there, even though I'm not familiar with the work.

    eta: and of course, Playing With examples are fine; I already have a couple. The important thing is that this is a character trope.
  • November 12, 2012
    Xtifr
    I know there's one who gets mentioned in Discworld footnotes every so often, but I can't remember his name, or even in which specific books I should go hunting.
  • November 13, 2012
    Koveras
  • November 16, 2012
    MiinU

    Video games

    • Skies of Arcadia: Legends has Vyse Dyne. Much of the game centers on his quest to explore all the lands of Arcadia, which is recorded in his journal entries. There's even a massive sidequest to find all 88 hidden discoveries. Vyse even lampshades it, near the beginning of the game, while he Aika, and Fina are watching the sunset on Pirate Isle:
      Vyse: (wistfully) "I want to see what's out there... to see what lies beyond the sunset."
  • November 16, 2012
    MorganWick
    If they weren't already being used on the show pages, the full Opening Narration from TOS or TNG would probably be best for the page quote.
  • November 17, 2012
    JonnyB
  • November 18, 2012
    TonyG
    Travelling Matt from Fraggle Rock, the first Fraggle to explore Outer Space (i.e., our world).
  • November 19, 2012
    Tallens
    You may also want to compare Adventure Archaeologist.
  • November 21, 2012
    Koveras
    • In Labyrinths Of Echo, Sir Manga Melifaro has not only traveled every continent of the known world, but also wrote a Great Big Book Of Everything afterwards (in eight volumes).
    • The protagonists of the Uncharted Waters series can be played as such, particularly the playable characters of the Explorer background in the second game. Ernst is the best example, since his overarching quest is to explore and map the entire globe. Pietro and Joao also do a fair bit of exploring, but the former is mainly after hidden treasures, while the latter's storyline involves an equal amount of naval battles.
  • November 21, 2012
    StarSword
    Literature:
    • In the prologue to Pandoras Star Earth sends a manned spaceship to Mars whose crew is extremely irritated to discover that, while they were hoofing it, a couple of garage tinkerers in Los Angeles discovered how to create stable wormholes and beat them there. Fast forward five hundred years or so, and the normally wormhole-dependent Commonwealth builds an FTL-capable exploration starship named the Another Chance, captained by the leader of the Mars expedition. (Immortality therapy was involved.)
  • November 21, 2012
    StarSword
    Literature:
    • The Outbound Flight duology by Timothy Zahn concerned an attempt by the Galactic Republic to mount an extragalactic expedition. Due in large part to the arrogance of the expedition's Jedi commander (though diplomatic sabotage by Darth Sidious was also involved), this expedition ran badly afoul of the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force and was destroyed by Commander Mitth'raw'nuruodo.
  • November 26, 2012
    jatay3
    Really it overlaps with a lot of things. A bold explorer might for instance be a spy, an Intrepid Merchant, a missionary, a diplomat or any combination thereof. Historically few explorers were just explorers. Most had some reason besides finding out things.
  • November 28, 2012
    Tallens
    A lot of the great explorers were looking for new trade routes.
  • November 28, 2012
    Tallens
    • Brann Bronzebeard and later Harrison Jones are seen exploring newly opened lands in World Of Warcraft.
  • November 28, 2012
    Xtifr
    Any suggestions for a page image?
  • November 29, 2012
    StarSword
    My first thought was that painting of Christopher Columbus arriving in the New World.
  • November 29, 2012
    Xtifr
    "That painting"? No idea what you're referring to.

    I was thinking that a flag-planting ceremony, possibly with conquistadors, might be good. Something that really gives you the feel that this is people arriving somewhere new, and not just a routine voyage.
  • November 29, 2012
    StarSword
    ^This is the one I was thinking of. Found it in my Spanish textbook.
  • November 29, 2012
    Xtifr
    Oh, yeah, that works.
  • November 29, 2012
    shimaspawn
  • November 30, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^ Sounds more like Adventurer Archaeologist. I'm not sure it really fits here, which is why I didn't include Indiana Jones in the first place. But I'm willing to discuss it. There is that whole exploring jungles thing, so maybe Indy and Daring Do do fit. What do others think? I was thinking of this as more of a "finding the new..." than "finding the lost...", but I'm willing to listen to counter-arguments.

    eta: the alternative may be to make this a supertrope of Adventurer Archaeologist, but I still think Daring Do might fit better in the subtrope even in that case.
  • November 30, 2012
    Tallens
    • In Stargate SG 1, the whole purpose of the team was to go through the Stargate and see what they could find on the other side.
  • November 30, 2012
    StarSword
    ^That applies more to the Stargate movie than to the TV series. SG-1 and AT-1 were exploration teams, true, but it was exploration with a specific goal (i.e. finding advanced technology to defend the planet with).
  • December 1, 2012
    Xtifr
    I added the film. Should I add the show(s) as well? I'm leaning towards yes, but I'm interested in what others, who may be more familiar, think.
  • December 1, 2012
    StarSword
    SG-1 probably counts (exploration and First Contact are their primary jobs, in contrast to, for instance, SG-3 which is a pure combat unit). Haven't seen enough of Stargate Atlantis to really know. Stargate Universe probably isn't an example; their focus is mostly on just surviving.
  • December 1, 2012
    Goldfritha
    Sounds like a subtrope of In Harms Way.
  • December 1, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^ What, this trope!? Or were you referring to something in the prev. comment?
  • December 1, 2012
    Tallens
    @Star Sword A specific goal? What difference does that make? Most exploration is in fact done with a specific goal in mind. I noted earlier that a lot of the most well-known explorers were looking for more profitable trade routes.
  • December 1, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^ He already said he thinks it counts. My hesitation was really about whether defensive exploration counts as bold exploration. But I think there's enough agreement that SG 1 counts that I'll just add it.
  • December 1, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    I don't think the split infinitive comment belongs in the page quote. It is editorializing, and strongly taking the linguistic descriptivist side. (A linguistic prescriptivist would probably say that it should be "to go boldly", and that show intro making a grammatical error does not make the error "perfectly correct"... that is a descriptivist position.)

    I think TVT taking sides in an ongoing debate is a bad idea.
  • December 1, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^ A) There's no debate. Every linguist and lexicographer in the world agrees it's fine, and even such notable prescriptivists as Strunk & White and Fowler say it's correct. B) It's just a footnote. You won't even see it in the final page unless you actively click on it. C) It's amusing, and D) I want it there as a preemptive strike against any misguided, poorly educated folks who might try to argue that this should have another page quote because Roddenberry's grammar was "bad".
  • December 1, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Whether splitting infinitives is okay may be settled, but there is a debate over whether something being used prominently makes it correct. That's (^) all great and gives some good reasons to make a comment about split infinitives but the sentence should be something different. "See? Split infinitives sound fine" or something. Just not "this reminds us it's fine", because it doesn't.

    That sounds like "Gene Roddenberry shows us how it's done" anyway, poor style. :)
  • December 1, 2012
    StarSword
    I dunno 'bout all that, but I'd be inclined to remove it on basis of it being off-topic.
  • December 1, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^ I phrased it the way I did because I didn't want it to sound like I was lecturing on the topic, and I thought that calling it a reminder made it more amusing. Saying "See? Split infinitives sound fine" sounds more lecture-y to me, and far less humorous, and misses the point that it's not about sounding ok; it's that all the experts, prescriptive and descriptive alike, agree that it is ok.

    Anyway, something about mountains and molehills come to mind here. It's a tiny, tongue-in-cheek comment that won't even be visible on the final page unless you click the note. If you can come up with another way to put it that is A) equally humorous, and B) doesn't sound lecture-y, and C) doesn't miss the point, I'll happily consider it.
  • December 1, 2012
    StarSword
    I meant off-topic in the sense of it not having anything to do with the trope.
  • December 1, 2012
    MorganWick
    "I want it there as a preemptive strike against any misguided, poorly educated folks who might try to argue that this should have another page quote because Roddenberry's grammar was "bad"."

    Is there anyone like that on the wiki?

    As I suggested before, if we're going to use that quote I'd rather use the whole schpiel if it weren't for the whole schpiel's use on the show pages.
  • December 2, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^^ Whoops, my reply was aimed at rodney, not you. Sorry. In any case, it's off-topicness is why I made it a footnote.

    ^ Yes there are people like that on the wiki. And yeah, the whole quote would work just if weren't already in use elsewhere, but this part really seems to the part most relevant to this trope. Plus, it's pithy. And it's the part that uses the word "bold". :)
  • December 2, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Why is mentioning it at all making a mountain out of a molehill?

    I think there is a problem with that "tiny, tongue-in-cheek comment". It's inappropriate for the TV Tropes Voice. Of course you can disregard me...
  • December 2, 2012
    MorganWick
    I think you're really being myopic here. If we can't use the whole quote, I'd rather not use it at all; a tiny sound bite like that isn't really in keeping with what we look for with quotes, and I'm not sure it's in keeping with the spirit of "no duplicate quotes". And I still find it hard to believe that someone would be so much of a Grammar Nazi that they would throw out a quote for using what they perceive to be bad grammar (especially "nitpicky English teacher" grammar), but I really don't think it's worth including something anyone can see just to take a swipe at them. Remember, TV Tropes is for the readers, not the editors.
  • December 2, 2012
    Xtifr
    I think that footnotes about good grammar are always on-topic on TV Tropes. More than a footnote, no, but this is just a normally invisible footnote. Those frequently cover tangential topics. And I have no idea what you mean by "taking a swipe at them". It's not taking a swipe at anyone. It's a plain, neutral statement of fact. I'm don't see that as "inappropriate for the TV Tropes voice".

    I certainly won't object if someone proposes an another quote though. I just don't see the supposed problems with this one as justifying this huge derail. Solutions are much more useful than vague, unfocused complaints.
  • December 2, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    You can easily take swipes with neutral statements of fact. (Anyway, I dispute that it's a fact :)

    Three independent lines of reasoning don't like that quote/comment, nobody else has defended it, and you still think it's okay unless something better is suggested?
  • December 2, 2012
    Xtifr
    Morgan's complaint is about the quote itself (and is the most reasonable complaint, and one I find myself tending to agree with). Starsword merely thought it might be off-topic, which I addressed. The only one actively complaining about the footnote is you. And as for whether it's a fact: find a single reliable source that says otherwise. Strunk & White is the god of American prescriptivists, and Fowler the god of UK ones, and both of them approve it, as do both the Chicago and AP style guides. Prescriptivists all. And, of course, all descriptivists (Oxford, Webster, etc.) approve. So good luck with that.
  • December 2, 2012
    MorganWick
    "I think that footnotes about good grammar are always on-topic on TV Tropes. More than a footnote, no, but this is just a normally invisible footnote. Those frequently cover tangential topics. And I have no idea what you mean by "taking a swipe at them". It's not taking a swipe at anyone. It's a plain, neutral statement of fact."

    The problem is that it's in a note, which may be "normally invisible", but whose presence is visible in the form of the little "note" indicator, which can be clicked on to open the full note, regardless of whether they care about it, and as the only reason you're including it is as a preemptive strike against anyone who would object to the quote on grammar grounds, 99.99% of readers won't care or even know why it's there. If you really, really feel the need to tell that sort of uber-Grammar Nazi not to remove the quote, you can comment it out in the source.
  • December 3, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Please stop replying to an imaginary opponent who says it's wrong to split infinitives. Okay, whatever. That isn't what I mean.

    The note says "reminding us that the split infinitive is perfectly correct". It's not a fact that it reminds us of that. A reliable source to support that would be, like, a dictionary; the entry for descriptivist will say something like "usage makes things correct". That is an opinion. I don't think TV Tropes should express one.
  • December 12, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^^ If preventing removal were my only reason, you'd have a good point, but it's not. I think the footnote is informative, useful, and mildly humorous. Of course, if we remove the quote, then there's no reason for the footnote, and I'm currently inclined to remove the quote for the reasons you brought up earlier, so this whole digression is probably moot.

    ^ I'm not sure why you keep bringing up descriptivists. That has nothing to do with this. Prescriptivitists claim (and some have always claimed) that the split infinitive is perfectly correct. Descriptivists, on the other hand, are scientists, and they classify usage, rather than using vague terms like "correct" (though they have no hesitation to say "incorrect", even for things that people say fairly regularly). Dictionaries are written by descriptivists. And here's what the American Heritage dictionary has to say:
    "...In some contexts, the split infinitive is unavoidable, as in the sentence We expect our output to more than double in a year."

    Is an actual dictionary a reliable enough source for you? (Why you don't think Fowler, Strunk and White, The Chicago Manual of Style, or the AP Style Manual aren't reliable sources I cannot fathom.)
  • December 12, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    I. Don't. Care. Whether. Splitting. Infinitives. Is. Correct. Please read for comprehension. You're fighting an argument nobody is making. Again.

    The note is snarky, opinionated, and clearly shoe-horned. It expresses a descriptivist position (the position that usage makes things correct). It is "shows us how it's done" in thin disguise.

    Three different lines of reasoning think the comment and/or quote should go, and nobody else thinks either one is a good idea. It doesn't matter if you don't like the reasons. I didn't say "three lines of reasoning you agree with".
  • December 12, 2012
    StarSword
    I think the quote is good, but not the comment. Xtifr's the first person I ever met who actually cares whether or not "To boldly go" is grammatically correct. It's the line Gene Roddenberry chose to use, period. Whether or not Grammar Nazis like it is not germane to the trope.
  • December 13, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^^ It is not a descriptivist position! How many times do I have to say it! It is a prescriptivist position! How many prescriptivists do I have to quote before you begin to comprehend that? You seem to have a straw-man view of descriptivism that has no bearing on reality, and keep trying to assign views to them that no well-educated descriptivist would ever hold. Descriptivists talk about how and when things are used, and I've never seen an actual descriptivist say anything but "it's controversial, and common in some dialects, but almost non-existent in others, and should probably be used with caution, though it is occasionally unavoidable." It's the prescriptivists that are (almost universally now, among well-known, well-respected prescriptivists) saying it's perfectly correct.

    The Elements of Style, probably the most respected style guide in America (and one universally loathed by descriptivists) says it's ok, and always has. Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage, probably the most respected style guide in the UK, says it's ok, and always has.

    I'm not saying you have to agree or disagree that it's correct. I really don't care about that. I'm saying that you are wrong to call it a descriptivist position. It. Is. A. Prescriptivist. Position. And as long as you keep trying to construct Straw Descriptivists, I will continue to correct you.

    ^ Sorry, I think Morgan's right that it's a dupe.
  • December 13, 2012
    Tallens
    Can we quit arguing about the quote and get back to discussing the trope itself?
  • December 13, 2012
    CrimsonZephyr
    In Star Wars lore, this is the kind of thing Corellia was known for. It was the first human civilization to develop the hyperdrive, and used that technology to scout out much of the galaxy.
  • December 13, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Stop. You don't understand. Seriously.

    "Usage makes things correct" is a linguistic descriptivist position. Prescriptivists think rules make things correct.

    It is not a neutral statement of fact.
  • December 13, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^^ Is Corellia a planet? And would I be correct in assuming that this comes from the Expanded Universe? I'd prefer to have one or more named individuals, since this is a character trope, but if you don't have any names, I can probably make that example work.

    ^ No, "usage makes things correct" is a grotesque and misleading oversimplification of a descriptivist position, and completely irrelevant, since the comment never said anything about usage making it correct. You invented that notion and then tried to argue against it, in a classic straw-man ploy. What I actually wrote was prescriptivist, pure and simple.
  • December 13, 2012
    Mauri
    Maybe it is just an off the hat idea but here comes an example: Video Games:
    • The reason you play video games. To look not only into stories but also on all the scenarios and vistas you can in them.
  • December 13, 2012
    StarSword
    ^^Yes, Corellia is a planet, and yes, that info comes from the EU.

    ^Xtifr already vetoed a few video game examples I suggested that would better fall under an as-yet-unbuilt An Explorer Is You trope.
  • December 13, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^ Thanks, ok, I'll add the example.

    And yeah, a game can't really guarantee the "bold" part unless it's an NPC or something.
  • December 13, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    "...the comment never said anything about usage making it correct..."

    It does, in fact, say that. It says "Reminding us that..." It doesn't remind us that. (Unless usage reminds us that things are correct.)

    Please consider the possibility that 1) I have a good point, and 2) the reason you disagree is not because I am wrong.

    v Because my description was called "grotesque and misleading" and the comment was removed with the implicit (explicit before removal...) message "but not because of rodneyAnonymous's line of reasoning". It would be more upstanding of me to just let it go, but hey :P That is a really bad attitude.
  • December 13, 2012
    StarSword
    ^He already removed both quote and comment. Why are we still having this discussion?
  • December 13, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^^ Wow, that's really a stretch, dude. If I quoted "to whom it may concern", and commented that it reminds us that "whom" is a perfectly valid word, would you think I was making a descriptivist argument? The fact that I'm pointing at a use doesn't mean I'm saying the use makes it correct. It reminds us by existing and being correct. Just as with "to whom...". So, no, I don't think you have a good point.

    ^ I think the answer to your question can be found here. :)

    (Also, I've been adding examples about twice as often as I've been posting comments, so the trope isn't actually languishing because of this digression.) :)

    eta: argh, actually important question: which category should the Star Wars example go in if it's from the EU? Doesn't EU usually go under Literature?
  • December 13, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    k
  • December 13, 2012
    Xtifr
    Sorry, that makes absolutely zero sense to me. Are we even speaking the same language? If I showed a picture of a pretzel with the comment, "reminding us that things can be twisted", would you think I was claiming that things are only twisted if we make them that way?
  • December 13, 2012
    Chabal2
    John Smith in Pocahontas.
  • December 13, 2012
    Tallens
    I think Star Wars EU covers several mediums, actually. Books are a large part of it, but there're also comics and, of course, video games.

    Another one from Warcraft.
    • One of the scrolls in Pandaria tells the legend of a Liu Lang, a young Pandaren who set out to explore the world beyond the mist riding on the back of a turtle.
  • December 14, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^ I still need to put the EU example somewhere. I did find an article about the planet on Wookiepedia, but it didn't really help me decide which media category to use (though it did help confirm that the example belongs here). I'm leaning towards using Literature, but if anyone has a better idea, I'm all ears.

    I did add your other example.

    ^^ Was John Smith really an explorer? I thought he was just a colonist. Haven't seen the movie, though... Never mind, I was able to get enough off The Other Wiki to confirm. Still needs context, but I might be able to fake it if necessary. :)
  • December 14, 2012
    Tallens
    ^John Smith during the song "Mine, Mine, Mine" sings of how he's never seen a wilder, more challenging land than Virginia and how he doesn't plan to miss any of its dangers.
  • December 14, 2012
    StarSword
    The SWEU usually gets put under literature since the majority of the material is in the novels.
  • December 15, 2012
    Xtifr
    Ok, both examples added, and now we're up to 49. We obviously need at least one more! :)
  • December 16, 2012
    Tallens
    We need some hats too. I've seen some YKTTW that don't have half as many examples as this one with a full set of hats.
  • December 16, 2012
    Xtifr
    Not actually worried about hats. They're not actually required, although a lack of hats generally signifies that a trope needs more work. Still, hats are completely unreliable. I've seen tropes that should not be launched get five hats (and get sent back to YKTTW after this was noticed), and I've seen tropes with two or three hats get launched with no problem. There's a forum thread for discussing potentially premature launches if you see one you're not certain about.

    I think this is a really common trope, so I'd like to have a whole lot of examples. I'll launch it when I think it's ready, but I'm happy to have it sit here a little longer. At least nobody's nagging me to launch yet! :)

    eta: I do actually think it's just about ready to launch.
  • December 16, 2012
    StarSword
    @Tallens: I think we had a few hats pulled during the argument earlier, as I seem to remember it being up to four at some point.
  • December 17, 2012
    Xtifr
    Yeah, and I still haven't given it a hat myself, and I'm the sponsor! :)

    (Still hoping for one last example so I can say I launched a trope with 50.)
  • December 17, 2012
    StarSword
    Here's one for you.

    • Mass Effect is rife with these, though they seem to end badly a lot. The First Contact War came out of a group of human explorers running afoul of a turian patrol that didn't bother to explain why opening mass relays willy-nilly was a bad idea. In the games proper, two separate sidequests in Mass Effect 2 involve the discovery of a wrecked exploration vessel.
  • December 17, 2012
    CompletelyDifferent
    • The Doctor from Doctor Who, is at heart an adventurer out to see everything the universe and time-stream has to offer.
  • December 17, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^ I'm...not convinced that's an example. And not just because it seems like almost every episode I see is set in London. :)

    I think there's enough examples of out-and-out explorers out there that we really don't need to include every adventurer who happens to like seeing new places when it comes up. I think this is abusing the spirit of the trope, but I'll ask the panel.

    Panel?
  • December 17, 2012
    Generality
    No, the Doctor doesn't qualify as an explorer. Almost all the places he visits are previously settled. (And if not, something alien comes along soon enough)
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