23rd Oct: It's time for the Second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest! Details here.
This is an encounter for the editing game we're putting together. Visit this forum thread to join the fun.Description: The puffy-chested individual standing in front of you does not seem to realize you're there. He's busy admiring himself in a hand mirror. image◊ Tropedex says: This Troper. The self-absorbed editor. This Troper is convinced that his personal experience and opinions are of utmost relevance to all trope pages, and will post his antics as examples for the rest of the world to see. The origin of This Troper's habit of referring to himself in the third person is shrouded in myth. Legends have it that in the Golden Age of the empire of Troperyll, the high editors permitted and encouraged this practice, and this infraction against the Tao of Trope brought a great crashing cataclysm upon them.''
Narrative: You approach cautiously, but it's as if you're invisible to him. "Hello?", you say to him. He spins in your direction. For a moment you think that now he's finally noticed you, but the distant gaze in his eyes seems to suggest otherwise. "There was this one time This Troper used the word hello," he says. "In fact, he uses it very often, and knows many people who do." You blink, nonplussed. "What? Who are you talking about?" He seems to ignore you, his gaze firmly planted in the mirror reflecting his face back to him. "Talking," he mumbles. "This Troper is averse to talking, usually being shy, but will sometimes launch into a full-on speech when it's a subject he really cares about." You begin to suspect that something is very wrong. You pull out your Tropédex and point it at this person. The Tropédex gives a few blips and blops. "Cataclysm," This Troper whispers. "This Troper learned that word when he was in the third grade." You start realizing that all his mumblings and whisperings are actually edits. Oh, this can't be good. At this rate he'll bring a cataclysm upon the both of you! What do you do?
(Change all instances of "This Troper" to "I".) It takes a while, but finally you are done with it. Now at least these edits look like they were written by a sane human being. You look on the fixed edits with pride. "I believe that Mr. Example is really a solid example of this trope". "I can't believe we haven't mentioned The Placeholder Show yet!", "In my opinion the best example would be Captain Example". Content, you start walking to the next door, and suddenly an angry voice booms in your head... "Where do you think you are going?" You pause. Did you imagine it? "I am greatly disappointed in you," the voice continues. "Do you see nothing wrong with these edits now? This is a wiki, meant to be readable, meant to inform! We can't have everyone spouting their own personal opinions and anecdotes, drowning out the essential examples, the ones that matter! Even if an example is valid otherwise, there is no sense in appending "In my opinion" before it. Do you know what that is? That is Word Cruft! They made you an editor without teaching you about Word Cruft?" Oh, man. Yes, there was a lesson about that, but you were sort of carried away the night previous playing this very engaging match of Unreal Tournament, and you overslept. When you asked what was taught people vaguely said it was "nothing, just some self-evident stuff about not using unnecessary words". Who'd have thought it'd come up here! "Clearly you have a long way ahead of you before you can become an editor," the voice says dispargingly. "You had better retrace your steps and find somewhere safe. You can't handle this." GAME OVER
(Delete all his "This Troper" edits with extreme prejudice.) Phew. This took a while, but finally you managed to track all of This Troper's edits down and delete them. You stand there, sweating, edit scalpel in hand. This Troper just stands there dejectedly, eyeing his mirror in disappointed gloom. You start walking to the next room, open the door and OH F$@*. This room is FULL of THESE TROPERS. They walk their zombie-like walk towards you and you turn to run back the way you came only to find the angry editor whose edits you've just deleted blocking your way, mouthing, "This very sad Troper does not understand why you deleted his edits? This Troper is angry! Why did you do it? Why?!". You try to push your way past him, but can't; you're completely exhausted from all the editing. These Tropers from the room you just came into start divebombing you, all the while mumbling "This Troper believes that Final Fantasy VII is overrated", "This Troper is shocked that we haven't mentioned Dr. Example yet" and so forth and so on. Where have you gone wrong? Your last thought has to do with the last lecture that you've disregarded so carelessly, the one in which the lecturer stressed that some problems are too powerful and too persistent to handle alone with the edit scalpel. You struggle as they pry the scalpel from your hand and use it to cut your skull apart. The last thing you see is them stuffing a small mirror into your hand and reaching for your exposed brain— This troper thinks that there is no need to keep going on this adventure. This troper now sees the error of his ways and knows better. THIS TROPER LIKES PIE. GAME OVER
Yep, this is a biggie. Just the edit scalpel won't do here, and chasing down all these edits is too much for one person. You grab the select few which caught your attention. You delete the ones which are just personal anecdotes and take away all the "In This Troper's opinion..." and "seems obvious to This Troper" from the otherwise valid examples. After each wave of the edit scalpel, you take care to explain yourself in the edit reason. "Please limit yourself to examples from fiction," you write in the summaries of the first type. For the second, you write various variations on "referring to yourself in the example pages is depracated, please just talk about the tropes directly". When it seems you're starting to get tired, you leave it and take a rest. Phew! You did your best, but there's no end in sight. What to do? Suddenly there is a tap on your shoulder. You turn around to see several of your fellow editors. "Wow, am I glad to see you guys," you say. "Where are you from?" "We usually hang by the Trope Repair Shop," they say, "When some trope page seems to have some serious problem, we sit down there and figure out what to do with it. When this mess started we were just in the middle of a meeting to decide whether to rename a trope. So we decided to go out on patrol to see what happened, and then we heard the ruckus of someone hacking away with a scalpel, so we came. What's going on here?" You explain the situation to them and give them the gist of what you've been doing with the edits. They nod and spread, tackling the rest of This Troper's edits. In a few minutes they're done. This Troper looks around in bewonderment. "You mean... This Troper is not supposed to talk about This Troper?", he mumbles, puzzled. "No," you say, "It's not that sort of wiki." "Oh!", he says. "Huh. This Troper didn't know that. This Troper is sad now." And he leaves. Phew, that was a close one. "Here, have this," one of the Trope Repair Shop guys says, handing you a single segment of a metal chain. It seems to be brimming with tact, somehow. "It's a Courtesy Link. If you're ever in a situation one editor just can't handle, activate this. It creates a thread in the Trope Repair Shop with a link to where you are, so when we're back from patrol we see it and can jump in to help." Wow. That's useful!