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More clarification apparently necessary: Mac Guffin get usage counts

 51 shimaspawn, Sun, 23rd Jan '11 2:33:01 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
I think ccoa idea is more split the page into Lucasian Mac Guffin and Hitchcockian Mac Guffin and then just have MacGuffin as an index of all the various MacGuffin types.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 52 Madrugada, Sun, 23rd Jan '11 2:34:53 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Ah. That would work. It would mean that every single wick has to be changed to one or the other though, rather than only needing to change some of them...

edited 23rd Jan '11 2:35:49 PM by Madrugada

'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
I found she did an actual strawman with Douchie, in that her argument was weak (the old "well this guy has a degre" line), so needed a counterargument that was even worse to make her's look good.

Only partly. I think, since the degree in question would be film studies. And making Douchie look bad is just par for the course.

Diagonalizing The Matrix
[up][up]That, and from now on not specifying which type of MacGuffin we are talking about would be sloppy taxonomy. We'd basically end up in a state where using the pre-existing term for something is deprecated, and we encourage instead using our more elaborate neologisms which are twice as long.

edited 23rd Jan '11 2:49:04 PM by TripleElation

Pretentious quote || In-joke from fandom you've never heard of || Shameless self-promotion || Something weird you'll habituate to
 55 ccoa, Sun, 23rd Jan '11 2:54:49 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
True, but it's either that or we have to choose sides over which definition of MacGuffin is more "correct", which I don't really feel we're qualified to decide. Terms do evolve, but sometimes the evolution doesn't stick.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
 56 Madrugada, Sun, 23rd Jan '11 3:05:18 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
The original definition gets the original term. The guy who is most widely connected with trying to redefine it gets his name hung on his variation. MacGuffin and Lucasian Mac Guffin
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 57 Dragon Quest Z, Sun, 23rd Jan '11 4:00:28 PM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
[up][up][up][up]I know that, but using him as the other side argument was the strawman part.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
It sounds workable to create Lucasian Mac Guffin, add it to the list of subtropes on MacGuffin, and move the suited examples into the new article. The text of MacGuffin is right for the classic definition, which is the sense most often used.

edited 23rd Jan '11 4:17:57 PM by FastEddie

Goal: Clear, Concise and Witty
 59 ccoa, Sun, 23rd Jan '11 4:21:06 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
But he's not the only one using the new definition, is he? A quick Google search shows that the new use for the term, while not as widespread as the original, is gaining ground. For example, the Wikipedia article for MacGuffin and this article from Wise Geek.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
We're just adding a modifier to the word to make a distinction. Sort of what we do. I guess Empowered Mac Guffin would be a more direct modifier.
Goal: Clear, Concise and Witty
 61 Some Sort Of Troper, Sun, 23rd Jan '11 4:55:58 PM Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, she is imaginary
Lucasian is wrong because we're putting thing in people's mouths. In fact, all I can find is that Hitchcock said that people shouldn't really care about the MacGuffin while Lucas said they do which is not the point of our split and that they say basically the same thing: interchangeable thing which gets everybody to act about it.

I say we name it after me. Several years doing original research and study, that earns me at least a PhD in tropology.

I like Empowered Mac Guffin because it not only has the power to start the plot but to end it.
Don't just tell us the facts; tell us the memes, tell us the archetypes, tell us the catchy ideas and symbolic roles that get planted in pe
 62 Madrugada, Sun, 23rd Jan '11 5:10:36 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Empowered MacGuffin is good.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 63 ccoa, Sun, 23rd Jan '11 6:47:17 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
*shrug* Okay, I don't really care enough to argue the point. Empowered MacGuffin is a good name.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
I still think a soft split is better because creating new names for a term that people already have a name for will just lead to more confusion. Whether it be Lucasian MacGuffin or Empowered MacGuffin, people use MacGuffin for both the original and new version. Explaining, in extreme detail, what has happened to the term will probably work better than any full split would accomplish.

EDIT: If anything The Nostalgia Chick video proves that there are going to be no end of debates on the subject.

edited 23rd Jan '11 7:38:33 PM by KJMackley

Fallen Paladin
Empowered Mac Guffin is excellent.
You always take us with you when you go
 66 Kor Khan, Mon, 24th Jan '11 7:33:36 AM from The Sun's Orbit
Teapot
I can understand the desire to keep the original definition for the main trope page, as it has precedence both on TV Tropes and outside of it. Normally I would agree with such a judgement, what with Grandfather Clause and everything.

However, the one problem is that the MacGuffin according to the "Lucas Definition" is more general and inclusive. All "classic macguffins" also fall under the "lucasian" definition, so it is perhaps a little misleading to split off the "empowered macguffin". It is not a term that is really used yet, and would basically be defined as "all macguffins (according to the new definition) except the ones that already fall under the old definition".

Admittedly, splitting off the "empowered macguffin" would be easier to do on this wiki, but my gut instinct suggests making the more inclusive term the Super Trope.

 67 Madrugada, Mon, 24th Jan '11 9:02:03 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
However, the one problem is that the Mac Guffin according to the "Lucas Definition" is more general and inclusive. All "classic macguffins" also fall under the "lucasian" definition,

I'm not following you here. The classic definition is "it doesn't matter what the thing is. It could be changed to anything else and not affect the story significantly" The Lucasian definition is "Some aspect of the particular item does affect the story in a significant way." "Doesn't matter" isn't a subset of "Does matter". (Technically, "does matter" isn't a true subset of "doesn't matter" either, so the more correct relationship between them is trope-and-mutation, or sibling tropes; rather than super- and sub-trope. But I think that's more complex than we need to get.)
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 68 Kor Khan, Mon, 24th Jan '11 10:12:31 AM from The Sun's Orbit
Teapot
Maybe I've interpreted it the wrong way, but I thought the macguffin according to Lucas' definition is: "Object whose main function is to drive the plot by being desirable to the main characters and antagonists, regardless of whether or not it does anything important to the progress of the plot". That would mean it includes all macguffins that fall under the Hitchcock definition (like the eponymous Maltese Falcon or the suitcase in Pulp Fiction), as well as the Holy Grail, the Death Star plans, etc.

If we created a new trope like Empowered Macguffin, then it would be mutually exclusive with the Classic Macguffin, but it would still be a new concept that falls more under an "everything else" type of definition, rather than being analogous to any preexisting conceptions.

Dragon Writer
"Lucasian" ... gah, that sounds awkward. I'd take George Mac Guffin or Georgian Mac Guffin over that anyday (though as an alternative it's hardly any better).
 70 Native Jovian, Mon, 24th Jan '11 11:13:54 AM from Orlando, Florida
Yes, this sounds about right:

MacGuffin: "Object whose main function is to drive the plot by being desirable to the main characters and antagonists."

Hitchcock's MacGuffin: "Object whose main function is to drive the plot by being desirable to the main characters and antagonists, does not actually do anything within the story and is only a prize to be fought over. Usually has vaguely defined uses at best."

Lucas's MacGuffin: "Object whose main function is to drive the plot by being desirable to the main characters and antagonists, usually does something useful and is almost always vitally important at climax of narrative. Generally has more concrete explanations of why it is useful and use must be demonstrated."
 
I can buy those divisions. A problem the wiki has for this sort of thing is management of the examples. Having a page for classic and for empowered gives us a way to segregate examples and also gives us a specific handle for the distinction we wish to talk about without having to restate the distinction everywhere we wish to use it.

Looks like it comes back around to the super-trope model, then. Zeta's descriptions on the MacGuffin page, with the two paragraphs about the two flavors being extended to include an invitation to see the full write-up on Classic Mac Guffin and Empowered Mac Guffin.

I believe all the present examples on MacGuffin would go in one of the two 'flavored' pages.
Goal: Clear, Concise and Witty
 73 Madrugada, Mon, 24th Jan '11 12:07:37 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
It does look that way.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 74 Fighteer, Mon, 24th Jan '11 12:11:58 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Sorry to barge in here, but doesn't Sword of Plot Advancement have a significant overlap with our Empowered MacGuffin? Hmm, never mind, it seems to be a much more focused subtrope. I recall the debate over it a long time ago to which I suggested the current name.

edited 24th Jan '11 12:12:40 PM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
 75 Dragon Quest Z, Mon, 24th Jan '11 12:13:07 PM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
And thus Eddie has decreed a reasonable solution, or at least solidified the solution that we were working on anyway, which still gets this done sooner.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
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