Created By: LukeTheNuke on April 27, 2011 Last Edited By: LukeTheNuke on May 8, 2011

Precise Correction

When one character states a quantity, and is quickly corrected by another.

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This trope can take a variety of forms, but always involves one character stating some quantity in the form of a number, and being quickly corrected by another.

It can be used to establish backstory.
  • Revenge of the Sith:
    Anakin: "You owe me, and not for saving your skin for the tenth time."
    Obi-Wan: "Ninth time."

It can be used to establish some amount as fantastic or unthinkable.
  • The Lord of the Rings
    Grima: "Even if [Helm's Deep] is breached, it will take a number beyond reckoning, thousands, to storm the keep."
    Saruman: "Tens of thousands."

It can be used for comedic effect.
  • Short Circuit
    Newton: "Can you believe it's been five years since I've driven?"
    Ben: "I would say ten."

There are more examples, but this is just to give you the basic idea.

  • Transformers pilot
    Spike: "Wheeljack wasn't kidding when he said it would blow up in 60 seconds!"
    Wheeljack: "59.99 to be exact..."
  • Star Trek (2009)
    Kirk: "What would you say the odds are on our gettting out of here?"
    Spock: "It is difficult to be precise, Captain. I should say approximately 7824.7 to one."
    Kirk: "Difficult to be precise? 7824 to one?"
    Spock: [Correcting him] "7824.7 to one."
    Kirk: "That's a pretty close approximation."
    Spock: "I endeavour to be accurate."
    Kirk: "You do quite well."
  • It's A Terrible Life
    Ed Zeddemore: "You have to burn the remains. Okay, this next part gets a little gross. Sometimes you might have to dig up the body. Sorry."
    Harry Spengler: "It's illegal in some states."
    Ed Zeddemore: "All states."
    Harry Spengler: "Possibly all states!"
  • Uptown Girls
    Ray: "You're late."
    Molly: "By like a second!"
    Ray: "Three and a half minutes."
  • The Social Network
    Delpy: "The site got twenty-two hundred hits within two hours?"
    Zuckerberg: "Thousand."
    Delpy: "I'm sorry?"
    Zuckerberg: "Twenty-two thousand."
    Delpy: [to herself] "Wow."
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • April 28, 2011
    LordAaronus
    Spike: "Wheeljack wasn't kidding when he said it would blow up in 60 seconds!"

    Wheeljack: "59.99 to be exact..."

    -- Transformers pilot
  • April 28, 2011
    TooBah
    ^Agreeing with Lord Aaronus. You could add to your description: "It can be used to show someone to be rediculously precise in their calculations." Star Trek gives us this:
    Kirk: "What would you say the odds are on our gettting out of here?"
    Spock: "It is difficult to be precise, Captain. I should say approximately 7824.7 to one."
    Kirk: "Difficult to be precise? 7824 to one?"
    Spock: [Correcting him] "7824.7 to one."
    Kirk: "That's a pretty close approximation."
    Spock: "I endeavour to be accurate."
    Kirk: "You do quite well."
  • April 28, 2011
    Octagon8
    The correction often is made with Ludicrous Precision.
  • April 28, 2011
    LukeTheNuke
    Like I said, context can vary wildly. Those two examples show how exact and precise those characters insist on being.
  • April 28, 2011
    jaytee
    • From Arrested Development, Michael sees Maggie Lizer for the first time in awhile. He says it's been almost a year since they last met and Maggie replies that it's actually been eight and a half months. As she sets down a box to reveal a very pregnant belly, Michael says he "could have sworn it was a year."
  • April 28, 2011
    Premonition45
    Data often does this on Star Trek The Next Generation.
  • April 29, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    Does it have to be a number?

    • From Mac Hall:
      Micah [finding out his ex-girlfriend said his penus was small on the internet]: A globe-spanning network of millions of dollars in communications technology, and it's being used to slander my junks.
      Matt: Technically, your junks have been libeled.

    • From Lady Knight:
      Keladry [in response to a bribe]]: That's blackmail!
      Responder: Actually it's extortion, blackmail entails-- (is cut off)
  • April 29, 2011
    Thebes
    From Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
    Scott: I got a bad haircut right before me and my big ex broke up, but that was so long ago I can barely remember.
    Narrator: Scott is acutely aware that his last [...] haircut took place exactly 431 days ago, 3 hours before his big breakup. He's been cutting his own hair ever since.
  • April 29, 2011
    Thebes
    ^Uh, I didn't write that. Why does it say I wrote that?
  • April 29, 2011
    LukeTheNuke
    All my examples had amounts. If you stray away from that then you run the risk of this idea becoming about any character correcting anything.
  • April 29, 2011
    troacctid
    If the trope is correcting with an exact amount, then you probably meant Precise Correction, not Concise Correction (which would mean you corrected them very laconically).
  • April 30, 2011
    LukeTheNuke
    I used "concise" because usually the correction happens quickly and in few words. Like above, Saruman didn't say "Actually, a more realistic figure for the number it would take to storm Helm's Deep is 10,000."
  • April 30, 2011
    c0ry
    But "concise" is not a defining or even necessary feature of the trope, and the title implies that it is in fact *the* defining feature.
  • May 5, 2011
    LukeTheNuke
    You know, I think you're right. "Precise Correction" is a more accurate description of this trope. Apparently it's not that noticeable in media due to a lack of examples :(
  • May 5, 2011
    pureWasted
    Supernatural episode It's A Terrible Life.
    Ed Zeddemore: You have to burn the remains. Okay, this next part gets a little gross. Sometimes you might have to dig up the body. Sorry.
    Harry Spengler: It's illegal in some states.
    Ed Zeddemore: All states.
    Harry Spengler: Possibly all states.

    Also from Supernatural, episode Long-Distance Call:
    Dean: Mrs. Waters, withholding information from the police is a capital offense. [Sam clears throat.] In some parts of the world, I'm sure.

  • May 6, 2011
    LukeTheNuke
    Uptown Girls
    Ray: You're late.
    Molly: By like a second!
    Ray: Three and a half minutes.
  • May 6, 2011
    originalhobbit
    • From The Social Network:
      Delpy: The site got twenty-two hundred hits within two hours?
      Zuckerberg: Thousand.
      Delpy: I'm sorry?
      Zuckerberg: Twenty-two thousand
      Delpy: [to herself] Wow.

  • May 8, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Doctor Who: The Doctor does this to himself several times over the series. One that sticks out is when he returns Rose to London a mere 12 hours after they've left - then realizes his mistake and runs after her, correcting that they'd actually been gone for 12 months. Everyone thought she was kidnapped, and a lot of people thought her boyfriend Mickey had killed her.
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