Created By: moocow1452 on December 25, 2011

Short-Hand Trope Naming Conventions

How to not get stuck on a new trope title.

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K. So I took a day, gave it a thunk, and I'd like to apologize to the team here and the greater wiki for my actions. I tried to defend my position in what I saw in a reasonable matter on now established protocol, but that lead to a lot of people taking up my banner who were nowhere near as reasonable. So I got out of dodge and gave the admins a headache on Christmas Eve when they had to put out the fire I started and left behind. So, that happened and I admit that I was responsible. yay.

So, I'm going to something incredibly stupid and try to try again, not hijacking someone's thread and trying to get the defensive high ground, but just as the problem we have and how I see it. That problem being, the habit of throwing out Stock Phrase names and arguing schematics about what would be the proper way to phrase it for way longer than the trope requires. We got lazy naming new tropes after Stock Phrases, and the way I see of us getting out of this is to get even lazier, take the titles we get, and come up with a rule of thumb on how to fix them instead of getting stuck in Development Hell over what to name these things.

I'm personally thinking since dialog titles are normally commentary on the trope rather than the trope itself, our best bet for a patch is to try and make our titles more present tense, focusing on the trope as opposed to the fallout. Looking For The Year as opposed to What Year Is It?, Washing Your Mouth Out With Soap as opposed to Wash Your Mouth Out With Soap, and even Letting The Wookie Win instead of Let The Wookie Win. I know it's not that great at the moment, but it's what I got, and solves a little bit of the problem for a lot of the tropes instead of going case by case. Assuming it's it's totally useless, I still want to know if anyone has input on what a rule like that could be, seeing as it could be a huge boon to the wiki if we could get a quick fix to this massive issue.
Community Feedback Replies: 7
  • December 25, 2011
    I'm a bit shocked to find that the YKTTW discussions were given a hard delete. Since I was on Christmas for the past two days, I'm a little curious to know (in broad strokes) what happened.

    When you say "present tense" and list examples with verbs ending in -ing, this is technically known as a "gerund" -- the noun derivation of a verb. It is generally used to reference the act of applying or performing the verb.
  • December 25, 2011
    ^ Long story short, it turned into a whole bunch of whining and bashing about the naming guidelines/rules, TRS regulars, and Fast Eddie.
  • December 25, 2011
    It's not the discarding that surprises me, it's how it got purged outright from the database.

    A few quick things about Naming A Trope that come to my mind are:

    • Titles ending with "Syndrome", "Effect", or to a lesser extent "Moment" are almost guaranteed to be opaque. (See Trope Namer Syndrome)
    • Titles starting with "The" not only tend to be opaque character references, but also confuse examples of the trope with references to its Trope Namer. (IMHO this should be an automatic reason for renaming)
  • December 25, 2011
    ^ I suspect it was purged because someone restored it after FE had discarded it.
  • December 26, 2011
    ^Yeah, my bad. I dug it up because I wanted clarification on what the mods thought about the impact of the new system on the Yuktew, and I perceived that by discarding the conversation, they were voiding the issue.

    Regarding the issue at hand, the purpose here is to get a quick list together on how to fix titles as opposed to knowing what a bad title is and killing it dead. I know that's more of a social problem than a logistics one, but if we had a tool or a method that could make better titles until of noing them down until one gets through on mutual okayitude, I think we would be better off for it. A couple mutually agreed upon do's in addition to the big don't.

    So far I got:
    • Aim for the present tense to keep the convention before the example, and as a quick fix to the noun rule.
    • 2 out of 3 unbiased tropers should pick up the reference if you don't spell out the trope in the title.
    • Avoid "X" based tropes, X being popular interpretations of iconic characters and things.
    • Snowclones work when they work, and don't when they don't. Don't force it, but show 'em if you got 'em.
    • All preliminary lists of guidelines need at least five listed to establish credibility.

    How does that look so far?
  • December 26, 2011
    What is that rule about five for guidelines?
  • December 26, 2011
    ^ I wanted a fifth rule so that there would be five rules. Looks better than four, IMO, but we can work with it.

    Also, it means a lot that you're posting here, Eddie. Thank you.