Clean up needed: Exactly What It Says On The Tin

Deadlock Clock: 1st Oct 2011 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [82]
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Surprisingly Straightforward Title sounds good.
Should we split it up into "real" (i.e. title) examples and in-universe examples, remove the in-universe examples, or do nothing? I, for one, find it annoying that they are mixed together.
Don't listen to the negative ones; their arguments are irrational.
28 SeptimusHeap30th Mar 2012 02:24:46 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
[up]That is Trope Repair Shop business.
This tiny forest is where all the action is!
I really appreciate the efforts of whoever, a few days ago, cleaned up a ton of non-examples.

A LOT of people don't understand this trope. I keep seeing non-examples added all the time. I had to delete one just today where someone mistook "Man on a Ledge", about a man who's helping a woman escape an abusive relationship, as an example of this trope because "it's about a man, on a ledge", which is most definitely is not.

I added a comment right at the beginning of the article, in comment notation (so it's only visible when people go to edit), that says "if it needs explanation beyond the title, it's not an example of this trope", but I seriously doubt it will help much. I think people would genuinely think "it contains this element, so the title really does explain it" and miss the point.

Anyone have any ideas how to fix this so less people will add non-examples? Maybe rewriting the comment to say "If there's more complexity beyond what the title suggests, it's not this trope" or even rewriting it to say and in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS? Is there anything that can really help prevent misuse of this trope? Add a "BEFORE YOU ADD EXAMPLES, READ THIS FIRST"?

Please give me ideas. I'm tired of seeing this trope misunderstood and abused.
Dragon Writer
When a name is popular because of misuse, it's b-r-o-k-e-n. With a capital B.

edited 14th Apr '12 9:51:54 AM by Stratadrake

This tiny forest is where all the action is!
I think we can fix this though. We have to make it unmistakeable to those who edit this trope article what this is and isn't. I think a commented-out ALL CAPS message that demands people read it first might get attention.

If that's the case, what should the message be?

Dragon Writer
It still won't (necessarily) change how it's getting linked from other pages.
This tiny forest is where all the action is!
That's true. Anyone want to help clean up the wicks?
34 Tarlonniel15th Apr 2012 08:47:41 AM from Metropolis , Relationship Status: Tweaking my holographic boyfriend
looks at related tab

heart seizes up

I'll do what I can.
Gone to Faerie, no forwarding address.
This tiny forest is where all the action is!
Thanks. I'm watching this article and tossing off any edit that doesn't actually match the description (which, sadly, is most), and any effort to deal with this is very greatly appreciated.
Dragon Writer
^ It will help if you track your numbers. Even if you only report the difference in # links between your chosen start and finish range (i.e. the number you cleaned up), that gives us concrete data about how it is (not) getting used correctly.
This tiny forest is where all the action is!
I don't understand what you mean. I'm very confused.
Dragon Writer
It's a way to establish a misuse percentage if you don't have time to document every last one you scanned.

  • Write down the # wikilinks that currently appears on the Related page.
  • Start scanning some # of articles. Fix misuse as it appears.
  • When done, refresh the Related page and note the new number.
  • Subtract it from the original number; this is the number of bad links (articles, anyway) that you fixed.
  • Compare it to the total number of articles you checked to get a percentage over that range.

For example: If there are 300 wikilinks to start, you pick a range of fifty articles, analyze and fix as needed, and there are now 270 wikilinks after you're done, you fixed (300 - 270) 30 articles, and out of a range of 50, that's 60%.
39 Tarlonniel15th Apr 2012 01:54:35 PM from Metropolis , Relationship Status: Tweaking my holographic boyfriend
Math? I like where this is going. grin

I'm going to try and finish the "A"s today. I haven't been keeping track, but I'll start from where I'm at now. The numbers won't be completely accurate if anyone else is working on the list but that's probably not important (and there are so many "A"s that the error will probably be small in any case). I'll edit this post with the result when I'm done.

Edit: Stopping at the anime block. I'm not a fan of the genre and need a little recovery time before tackling it. The stats for today were 228 wicks reviewed, 53 sent packing - 23%.

Edit 2: Finished the A's and ended up at 20%.

edited 16th Apr '12 6:46:20 PM by Tarlonniel

Gone to Faerie, no forwarding address.
40 MadMan40009619th Apr 2012 09:12:13 PM from Massachusetts , Relationship Status: My own grandpa
I'd recommend either a rename or an outright Trope Transplant.
Catch me where? See my profile!
I'm going to fix wicks, starting with the "F"s.

EDIT: I had to axe 18 out of 55 (~ 33 percent).

edited 28th Apr '12 6:24:04 PM by TheThnikkaman

I think the description and notes make it horribly hard to judge whether a title is Exactly What It Says on the Tin or not - and the laconic version doesn't help either. It can all essentially be boiled down to trying to explain how Exactly What It Says on the Tin means that the title tells you basically everything relevant there is to know about the work, in a very convoluted fashion which just betrays the fact that this is a line that's hard to know where to draw.

It seems to me that this trope is just The Same, but More of something like the Surprisingly Straightforward Title trope proposed above (i.e. a simple, blunt, unimaginative title that sums up the premise/plot of the work pretty neatly), and this ipso facto leaves the issue of when More is More enough to qualify vague and subjective.

IMO this problem of inherent subjectivity renders this trope pretty much useless in its current state.

edited 27th Jul '12 7:26:41 PM by spellraiser

The description is even contradicted by the Playing with section:

  • Straight: A film called Bob Becomes a Zombie is about Bob becoming a zombie.
  • Exaggerated: The film is called A Guy Named Bob Is Bitten By a Zombie And Turns Into One Himself and this is literally all that happens in it.

Here, Straight seems to be Suprisingly Straightforward Title, while Exaggerated seems to be what the description for Exactly What It Says on the Tin attempts to go for - or at least it leans much more in that direction than towards the Straight example. So basically this just confirms that Exactly What It Says on the Tin is trying to go for being an exaggerated version of itself.

Is seriously no one else seeing this or interested in it?

edited 31st Jul '12 7:48:05 AM by spellraiser

44 SeptimusHeap13th Aug 2012 01:28:02 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
That falls under "Unclear Description" and should probably warrant a TRS look-over.
This tiny forest is where all the action is!
I agree. I have this trope on my watchlist, and I keep seeing borderline examples added to it, but I'm not always sure which should be tossed. I always toss with an edit reason, but still, should we be accepting examples of things like "Rindir's Staffs is run by Rindir and sells staffs"? Or should it be limited to show/game/book/etc titles?

I do think the parts in bolded red are what make the trope what it is, and I think they should be kept, to emphasize that this is indeed about a title where the title literally tells you everything you need to know. Everything. Many examples that had to be removed didn't do that.
I want to add an example in, but I'd like to know if it is as obvious to normal folks as it is to me:

From 1790: Anti-Pugilsm, or the Science of Defence Exemplified in Short and Easy Lessons, for the Practice of the Broad Sword and Single Stick. Whereby Gntlemen May Become Proficients in the Use of These Weapons, Without the Help of a Master, and be Enabled to Chastise the Insolence and Temerity, so Frequently Met With, From those Fashionable Gentlemen, the Johnsonians, Big Bennians, and Mendozians of the Present Day; a Work Perhaps Better Calculated to Extirpate this Reigning and Brutal Folly than a whole Volume of Sermons

Also, I think we need to define what a premise is, since people do not seem to get it. (I just deleted a opulent of Star Wars entry because the titles are not obvious. Death Star, seriously?)

edited 15th Aug '12 5:28:40 AM by IraTheSquire

Late to the discussion, but I want to note that there is a movie called "Man on a Ledge" which actually is about a man on a ledge. Perhaps whoever added the example meant this movie but linked it incorrectly?
This tiny forest is where all the action is!
It's about a lot more than a man on a ledge though. Like, what happens in the story? Why is he on the ledge, what other kinds of things happen, are there flashbacks that lead up to why he's there, etc.

Snakes on a Plane is about pretty much nothing but snakes being on an airplane. And the way people deal with them, etc. Fighting them off, trying to get rid of them, pretty much the whole movie takes place on a plane and involves snakes. Because of that, the title literally tells you everything you need to know.

But without more context, Man On a Ledge sounds like it doesn't belong.
I think the problem is mainly that Exactly What It Says on the Tin has the intuitive meaning "content-describing title", while the trope actually means "premise-explaining title".
Don't listen to the negative ones; their arguments are irrational.
50 Madrugada25th Oct 2012 08:17:37 PM , Relationship Status: In season
Anything tagged as Exactlywhat It Says On The Tin should have a title that does both: explains the premise and describes the content.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.

Total posts: 82
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