Created By: tryourbreast on May 31, 2012 Last Edited By: tryourbreast on September 23, 2012
Troped

Correction Bait

People can't resist correcting anything that's wrong.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

YMMV, Audience Reaction. Do We Have This One??


"The best way to get a question answered online is to post an incorrect answer to that question."
-- Gene Spafford

Decribe Correction Bait here.

Correction Bait, a sister to Flame Bait and Snark Bait, lures you by the urge of correcting something wrong from your inner mind, and draws attention from the people by this progress.

You don't know why it's so wrong. Maybe they did not do the research, and suffered from Critical Research Failure. Maybe they knew it all along, but then decided to ignore it since They Just Didn't Care. Maybe it's done deliberately. Maybe they just want to lure you out. But whatever, you're annoyed by the wrongness, and now you can't stop your urge to correct it!

This is a Truth in Television, since somehow we all have different extents of Super OCD to become perfect, and correct every mistake we find. And bad things are usually more memorable than normal ones, which may also have contributed to it. And oh well, did we tell you that correcting others provide a form of superiority?

A form of Schmuck Bait. Sub-Trope include Grammar Nazi, Stylistic Suck, Edit War, You Make Me Sic, Gannon-Banned. See also So Bad, It's Good, The Internet Is Serious Business, Accentuate the Negative. Distracting Disambiguation, Xylophone Gag. Compare Super OCD, The Perfectionist, Flame Bait and Snark Bait. Contrast Somebody Else's Problem. May result in Hypocrite, Lets See You Do Better, "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer, Aluminum Christmas Trees.

It's also the very reason of This Very Wiki to have Repair, Don't Respond, as well as preventing Natter and Flame Bait.

Please only list in-universe examples here - some people may think every Real Life Correction Bait is intentionally done, which is not true. Also, no work is perfect - to a enough picky/smart audience, there's always something that can still be corrected, so it'll end up listing every work there.

Examples

Live Action TV
  • In one episode of Open All Hours, Arkwright put up a sign with deliberately bad grammar in the hopes that people would come into the shop to correct it.
  • In the Columbo episode "The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case", Columbo constructs the contraption the killer used to make it sound like the murder happened while he was outside the room. However, Columbo deliberately put an error into the contraption, knowing the murderer wouldn't be able to resist correcting it. See here.

Newspaper Comics
  • Dagwood once noticed a bakery with a misspelled hand-lettered sign advertising something. He went in to correct it, and came out with food. The bakery owner indicated that he had intentionally done it, and it was bringing in a bunch of business.

Sitcom
  • Discussed in the The Big Bang Theory episode "The Hawking Execution".
    Penny: I know what it means. And yes, you love correcting people and putting them down.
    Sheldon: Au contraire. When I correct people I am raising them up. You should know, I do it for you more than anyone.
    Penny: Come on, you do it to feel superior. I see that twinkle in your eye when someone says who instead of whom or thinks the moon is a planet.
    Sheldon: Or Don Quixote is a book about a donkey named Hotay.
    Penny: See, there it is, theres that twinkle.
    Sheldon: Well, I cant help it. Thats an involuntary twinkle.

Web Comics

Western Animations
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, this is Lisa's reaction when Bart describes Zorro as a history lesson come to life when they go to see a film about it.


"I can't take it anymore! It's spelled 'Describe'! How could you forget the freaking 's'?"
Community Feedback Replies: 75
  • June 1, 2012
    arromdee
    Isn't this a version of Gannon Banned?
  • June 1, 2012
    tryourbreast
    They're different: Gannon Banned focuses on some fans whose smallest mistake will trigger their Berserk Button; while Correction Bait focuses on something being popular since we, being the audience, want to correct it.

    But anyways, I'll put it here. It's related.
  • June 3, 2012
    CosmicRock
    I've definitely seen this on political blogs and websites with a response thread. Whatever the prevailing political ideology of the site and it's writers might be, it takes one comment from an opposing political view full of incorrect dates, or a misnamed piece of legislation for a flood of responses. Each response repeats the same corrections as the one prior and leaves a few condescending remarks about the author of the original post.

    I don't want to name any specific political blogs, as it may end up being flame bait to someone who doesn't believe their favorite political site could possibly have posters who behave this way, or that posters of their political leanings could ever be wrong when posting on those sites....but they pretty much all have this so long as the moderators allow unpopular or dissenting opinions to stand.
  • June 3, 2012
    elwoz
    Back in the days of Usenet, someone (I want to say it was Gene Spafford but that's probably wrong) quipped that the best way to get a question answered online was to post an incorrect answer to that question.
  • June 3, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^ That could turn into the quote thing, I think.
  • June 3, 2012
    TheEvenPrime
    ^^ You could've just attributed that quote to Spafford, we'd probably have the actual source here already! </offtopic>
  • June 4, 2012
    elwoz
    ^ Ha, I walked right into that one, didn't I?

    ^^ Yeah, and the xkcd "Someone Is Wrong on the Internet" comic for a page image.
  • June 4, 2012
    tryourbreast
    Page image done.

    After the quote is added I guess it's almost ready for launch.
  • June 8, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    One Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic involved a psychopath taking revenge on his old grammar teacher - he locked him in a cellar with a bomb and a cellphone, telling him that he will receive a text and the bomb will go off if he texts back - the text contained an error...
  • June 12, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Arguably Look Around You teeters between this and Rule Of Funny? The series is a parody of educational programming from a time gone by and most of the humour comes from the ludicrously bad science.

    reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com is a blog based on taking the Twilight series as Correction Bait.

    Are In Universe examples allowed? The only one I have right now is that episode of The Simpsons where they go to see a film about Zorro. This is Lisa's reaction when Bart describes it as a history lesson come to life.
  • June 12, 2012
    tryourbreast
    In Universe examples are not arguable, they are subjective. So the last one is okay. But I'm not sure the upper two, since it involves Real Life audience reactions (this entry is an audience reaction).

    Then again, this entry can be a big Flame Bait since Correction Bait implies that some thing is bad and wrong, which will possibly begin an Edit War (And our troper Cosmic Rock pointed out a massive one). Well, I'm not sure if it should have a No Real Life Examples Please or In Universe Examples Only - the Snark Bait has the former. Any suggestion?
  • June 13, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    tryyourbreast: did you mean objective in that first paragraph?

    I absolutely know what you mean about Flame Bait. I was thinking that maybe the reasoningwithvampires example I listed would count as evidence of someone reading a book this way, without actually declaring the book itself Correction Bait (I've never read it, so I wouldn't call that a straight example). Kind of a stretch though.
  • June 13, 2012
    surgoshan
    I think this is a subtrope, and a worthy one at that, of Schmuck Bait.
  • June 13, 2012
    CodeMan38
    Either an inversion or a subversion, I'm not entirely sure which...

    On Jeopardy, Lord Byron's poem "Don Juan" occasionally comes up in a clue. Alex Trebek reads the title to rhyme with "bruin"...and in recent years, prompted by viewers' letters, has begun adding a disclaimer that no, that's not a mispronunciation, that's actually how Byron said it.

    (I guess you could call this a case of Incorrection Bait?)
  • June 14, 2012
    tryourbreast
  • June 14, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    The x-ray at the start of Scrubs is back to front. Sarah Chalke has basically come out and said that everyone on the show knows, but they still got tons of complaints.
  • June 15, 2012
    Sheora
    The write up has a lot of cruft, questionable word usage, and grammar problems. It also links to itself a whopping four times in the description. I can't honestly tell if it just needs work or is supposed to be self demonstrating.
  • June 15, 2012
    tryourbreast
    Linking to itself doesn't seem to be a problem...

    The entry had a whole rewrite before due to the thesis thing, and it's not totally fixed yet. Also, I'm not very good at economical writing, but I'll try to do it.
  • June 16, 2012
    chunkay
    In response to the Simpsons example: Isn't bait deliberate (ie: a form of trolling) Bart referring to Zorro as a history lesson is just stupidity, he's not doing it to provoke a response from Lisa.
  • June 17, 2012
    tryourbreast
    Not really... in parallel with Snark Bait, it has nothing to do with the author side, it's just the audience side which wants to correct something wrong.
  • June 20, 2012
    Sheora
    ^^^ There really is no need for something to link to itself over and over again. Mention the title, but a link is pointless - you're already on that page, why do you need a link? Links in a description are supposed to be there for informative purposes so you can tie in relevant information.

    And I apologize for being curt earlier. I had spent too much time that night spellchecking trope pages.
  • August 1, 2012
    Amaryllis
    At first I was very tempted to tell you that it's Stylistic Suck, not Stylish Suck. Then I saw what you did there. Very clever.
  • August 1, 2012
    tryourbreast
    Well, that's what happens when you don't check what you've rewritten after editting. Anyway, it's fixed.
  • August 1, 2012
    Amaryllis
    Really, I thought that was deliberate! I'm almost tempted to suggest you change it back, to make it a Self Demonstrating Article.
  • August 1, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Except the article is about the need to correct, not the mistakes. So an article about typos would be self demonstrating with errors.
  • August 1, 2012
    tryourbreast
    If you want I can insert an obvious error and state that later as The Stinger. So it'll become self demonstrating
  • August 1, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Perhaps start with a Describe Topic Here joke, like "Decribe Correction Bait Here.", and then at the end "I can't take it anymore! It's spelled 'Describe'! How could you forget the freaking 's'?".
  • August 1, 2012
    tryourbreast
    That could be a good idea.
  • August 4, 2012
    IronLion
    • Another xkcd example involves using "affect" and "effect" in their less well-known senses to provoke an incorrect correction.
  • August 5, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    The last line in the stinger is redundant. It's already clear someone took the bait.
  • August 5, 2012
    tryourbreast
    What about now? I changed that to Just As Planned.
  • August 5, 2012
    Doxiedame
    Would it be going too far to swap the "you're" and "your" in " But whatever, you're annoyed by the wrongness, and now you can't stop your urge to correct it!" and make no mention of it?

    After all, it seems to be the most common correction seen online.
  • August 5, 2012
    tryourbreast
    That would go too much in terms of Grammar Nazi. Besides, not mentioning it may result in some tropers actually correcting it...
  • August 5, 2012
    Kayube
    Stuart Ashen once deliberately mispronounced "Amazon" a few times in a video, then pointed out that he'd done so solely to provoke people into correcting him in the comments without watching the rest of the video. (This led to a lot of deleted comments.)
  • August 5, 2012
    ShadowHog
    Image is in use on Edit War. I suggest you find another one.
  • August 5, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    I'm not sure the stinger needs a second line. The trope isn't always about deliberately setting it up.
  • August 5, 2012
    Routerie
    If it's bait, then yes, it's about something deliberately set up. Otherwise, we must not call it bait.
  • August 5, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^^^ This image definitely suits here better than Edit War. I suggest moving it here.

    ^ Not really. This entry should be compared parallelly to Snark Bait and Flame Bait, which are both not required to be set up deliberately. Besides, not every Schmuck Bait is intentional either.
  • August 5, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ I remember a Shortpacked arc about an edit war. If someone could find links, those could make a better picture (someone would also have to make an IP thread).
  • August 5, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Perhaps misspell it Corection Bait, with Correction Bait as an alt-title?

    • Real Life: Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, when talking with kids about dinosaurs, would regularly and purposely use the word Brontosaurus instead of Apatosaurus to see how long it would take some kid in his audience to correct him. Gould himself preferred "Brontosaurus."
  • August 7, 2012
    TooBah
    Under Newspaper Comics:
    • Dagwood once noticed a bakery with a misspelled hand-lettered sign advertising something. He went in to correct it, and came out with food. The bakery owner indicated that he had intentionally done it, and it was bringing in a bunch of business.
  • August 7, 2012
    Earnest
  • August 7, 2012
    Blork
    • In one episode of Open All Hours, Arkwright put up a sign with deliberately bad grammar in the hopes that people would come into the shop to correct it.
  • August 8, 2012
    elwoz
    Let's just go ahead and attribute the page quote to spaf, and hopefully someone who remembers the elder days better'n me will take the bait.
  • August 8, 2012
    Eddy1215
    Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory is made of this trope.
  • August 8, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^ Any details? I can't put that as an example.
  • August 9, 2012
    malonkey1
    The name is a little counter-intuitive. "Bait" would imply that a specific thing is begging to be corrected. Correctaholic perhaps?
  • August 9, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
  • August 10, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^^ If you compare it parallelly with Snark Bait and Flame Bait then it has no problem. The latter two are not something always begging to be corrected, too.
  • August 10, 2012
    KarjamP
    Image needs to change, though, as it's used in this thread.
  • August 10, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Or we could bring up which gets it in Image Picking.
  • August 10, 2012
    tryourbreast
    I would really want to move that image here and replace that image on Edit War with another. So Yeah.
  • August 28, 2012
    Medinoc
    The urge to correct is also often what makes the Xylophone Gag explode in its perpetrator's face.
  • August 31, 2012
    Telcontar
    There's currently a stinger with no setup -- please either reinstate the Decribe Topic Here thing or remove that stinger. Other than that and non-italicised work titles, this looks good.
  • August 31, 2012
    tryourbreast
    Hmm... I think I've accidentally removed that for some unknown reason. Fixing everything now.
  • September 1, 2012
    Rognik
    Weird idea, that might be taking the Self Demonstrating Trope idea a bit too far, but what about the name "Correction Bate"? It's phonetically the same yet obviously wrong, prompting people to want to correct it. You don't need to set it up any more, and the stinger could be correcting the name.
  • September 1, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    As much as I love the title, maybe call it 'Don't ask Dr Cooper' (Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory) or 'Doing a 'Ted'', 'No, I mean 'literally'!' or 'Mr Corrector' (Ted, How I met Your Mother).

    Both just can't help themselves.
  • September 1, 2012
    Rognik
    ^Those first three are bad since they allude to characters that not everyone will be familiar with. The third would just make things confusing, since that's a different butchering of grammar, and the last one, while generic, seems more like a character trope than this.
  • September 1, 2012
    ShiningArmor87
    No offense, but Web Comics like xkcd and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and Newspaper Comics like Blondie go in separate categories.
  • September 1, 2012
    ShadowHog
    Fast Eddie closed the IPD for Edit War saying the image stays there. However, during the IPD in question, we found a fairly suitable replacement image for this page.
  • September 1, 2012
    sigh824
  • September 2, 2012
    KeithM
    There is a real-life example (albeit not using language). One particularly mean form of booby trap is to rig the trigger to a picture on the wall that is deliberately hanging askew. Someone will always go to straighten the picture.
  • September 3, 2012
    SinisterShenanigans
    Everything looks good, but the description could use some more work. I would do it myself, but I'm not sure if the write-up is done intentionally as a Self Demonstrating Article. Otherwise, this trope is ready to launch.
  • September 4, 2012
    mythbuster
    Related to You Make Me Sic.
  • September 5, 2012
    Random888
    In the Columbo episode "The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case", Columbo constructs the contraption the killer used to make it sound like the murder happened while he was outside the room. However, Columbo deliberately put an error into the contraption, knowing the murderer wouldn't be able to resist correcting it. See here.
  • September 8, 2012
    ShiningArmor87
    Discussed in the The Big Bang Theory episode "The Hawking Execution".
    Penny: I know what it means. And yes, you love correcting people and putting them down.
    Sheldon: Au contraire. When I correct people I am raising them up. You should know, I do it for you more than anyone.
    Penny: Come on, you do it to feel superior. I see that twinkle in your eye when someone says who instead of whom or thinks the moon is a planet.
    Sheldon: Or Don Quixote is a book about a donkey named Hotay.
    Penny: See, there it is, theres that twinkle.
    Sheldon: Well, I cant help it. Thats an involuntary twinkle.
  • September 9, 2012
    Q
    @norsicnumber2nd. Trope Namer Syndrome is discouraged. The discouragement stops just short of a total ban on them. Correction bait is clear, and matches some existing similar tropes.

    @SinisterShenanigans I think the Decribe part is the only intentional self-demonstration being done. The comment brackets could be used to add a note within the source telling people which parts are actual mistakes, and which parts are self-demonstrating Schmuck Bait.

    Also, after launch, you can replace the examples header with [[noreallife]], which adds a boilerplate notice that states essentially the same thing as the current notice. The reasoning can then be explained on this page.
  • September 9, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Needs A Better Title: the current name with "bait" in the title makes me think of when characters try to expose impostors or traitors by exploiting the tendency of people to want to correct false information.
  • September 9, 2012
    tryourbreast
    No. That is just Intended Audience Reaction. Nothing to do with the title
  • September 9, 2012
    Coventry
    Real Life examples: In 2008, Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson were fined and banned from the National Park system for a year. The two had "defaced" a 60 year old sign at the Grand Canyon by correcting grammatical errors. The pair have written a book about their efforts. Their mistake was failing to get permission before changing artwork.
  • September 10, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Real Life: According to the Spotting The Thread page, Germans-dressed-as-Americans during the Battle of the Bulge were given away due to their forger's correcting an intentional error in the standard GI identity cards.
  • September 11, 2012
    ShadowHog
    Sorry for exemplifying the trope here, but doesn't the description basically say No Real Life Examples Please? At least it explicitly says In Universe Examples Only... (They seem pretty similar.)
  • September 11, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Oops, sorry.
  • September 23, 2012
    NESBoy
    Invoked by Stuart Ashen, who intentionally mispronounced the word "Amazon" as "Ah-may-zone" during his review of the Onda VK30 eBook Reader just to see if You Tube comments would correct him without bothering to watch the rest of the video.
  • September 23, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ That's not invoked. That's what's required to list an example.
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