I think it's time for me to state my opinion again.
according to the last paragraph of Troper's Law
, all disagreements on administration policies need to be backed up by reasons, which I'm going to provide in Stock Phrases
The situation here is, as far as I can tell, not too different from what it used to be: there's a group of people against the existence of Stock Phrases
. Despite the fact that said group is a minority outnumbered by most tropers standing for Stock Phrases
(long-term and newcomers alike), the fact our admin is the one "leading the charge", so to speak, is the main reason behind this story not having stopped at the reached consensus, namely the "No New Stock Phrases
That said, if the Internet Backdraft
following the hatred towards Stock Phrases didn't give it away already, there's a bunch of other reasons as of why the majority of this site's userbase defended the phrases as they did.
's main reason for wanting to get rid of the Stock Phrases
is "try to use a Stock Phrase in a sentence", because a stock phrase is already a sentence by itself
. This problem stops acting as such as soon as anyone who has problems with that tries to get a bit more creative when it comes to Conversational Troping
: for example, let's say one guy has to use "Abandon Ship
" in a sentence.
The captain then appropriately pulled an Abandon Ship.
That doesn't work, right. However, if it's something a character says, the sentence can be reworded as
The captain then told everyone, "Abandon Ship!".
... aaaaaaaaaaand you're done. See? Not only it's easy, but it's the right way to use in a sentence what essentially,
let's all deal with it, is
a trope. Fast Eddie once argued, "the trope is behind, but we want it out front", which may or may not be a valid argument. Now, for the sake of clarity, as I said before in this very discussion, "Stock Phrases
represent the kind of tropes either lampshaded with, or triggered by, a sentence that pops up often in media". Sentences such as the aforementioned Abandon Ship
(which, before you ask, is far from being the only example, mind you), are tropes that would lose their identity as such without the phrase they're most commonly associated to, because that is both the phrase and
the trope itself.
Besides, there's a lot
of other tropes that, despite their nature as non-stock-phrases, have very unclear names, which makes them a lot more of a "the trope is behind" problem that the mostly self-explanatory stock phrases don't happen to be guilty of (case in point: "All the Myriad Ways
". A noun instead of a phrase, but you'd never guess what it is about without checking the Laconic entry). Obviously, in order to avoid derailing the discussion towards this relatively off-topic subject, I'm abandoning it right now, although I thought it was worth mentioning considered what I believe to be a slight problem of misplaced priorities.
I've also been thinking a lot about Fast Eddie's "cliche hunt" argument, which is shared by other tropers as well and actually has its pros, as it might be considered the point where Stock Phrases
' detractors and supporters can reach a settlement. To give "cliche hunt" some context, for those not in the know:
"Look, why don't we just cut all the stock phrases so we can put an end to the cliche hunt? The wiki is for tropes, not for finding every instance of some damned line."
"I suppose one or two of the Stock Phrases could be saved, but the majority of them are just cliche hunting."
"What I am saying is that collections of specific lines are not what the wiki is for. Collecting lines is just cliche hunting. Furthermore, it is harmful in that we miss documenting a trope because we are missing why the line was used, which is the true trope."
While "just cutting all the stock phrases" just won't fly because it'd clash with most of the tropers' community, I actually do
believe that my own defense of Stock Phrases
, as well as that of the phrases' supporters as a whole, must not abuse said defense in order to avoid the cliché hunting in question.
I admit myself
that the line between stock phrases and the whole "cliché" part (the latter already implied with the "stock" in Stock Phrases) is blurred, but this doesn't mean there's not a line in the first place. The stock phrases are
devices used in storytelling, and occasionally might overlap with clichés when abused, but otherwise are actual tropes in their own right.
All in all, the goal shouldn't be getting rid of Stock Phrases because "they're just clichés". Some stock phrases got out of hand, all right. That's a sad, but undeniable, fact. Said fact, however, doesn't make stock phrases clichés, which is a further reason for not cutting what are tropes in the first place.
I've recently understood what exactly is the problem with Fast Eddie's interactions with the tropers' userbase. The reason behind this "clash" lies behind the very definition of a trope: Eddie's personal idea of what a trope is, what with trope redefinition in order to make it clearer, is exactly that - his own, personal idea. Which, no matter how hard anyone can wish for the contrary to be true, is outright impossible
for everyone to be the exact same one. Some may see Stock Phrases as actual tropers, some may not. Your Mileage May Vary
, in short (and YMMV about Subjective Tropes
being either actual tropes or simple subjective things, as well).
Fast Eddie's goal, shared by roughly 99% of this very community, is the noble one of dedicating a wiki to storytelling devices, but, unfortunately, that's exactly the problem: each tropers has his or her own take on the concept of trope, and therefore his or her own approach towards deciding what deserves to be a trope and what doesn't. To clarify, if I ever were to Start My Own*
wiki about a concept I have in my mind (stupid example, I know, but hopefully it's a good enough metaphor), sooner or later users would dedicate an article to what they feel as "fitting to the concept this wiki is about", and I wouldn't mind (unless the concept is excessively stretched) because it's an inevitable part of the nature of a wiki. I'm not complaining about the site's administration, as I'm perfectly fine with the cuts made necessary by The Second Google Incident
or the disabling of strikeouts for example, but this post is mostly about how if most of the site's userbase believe something to be a trope, it is
(in case you're wondering, the first three posts following the first one in this very discussion state just that: stock phrases are tropes).
Besides, I don't see anything wrong with the "No New Stock Phrases
" rule either, as most of the "trope-y" Stock Phrases
have already been covered under the eponymous index, anyway. And, for the record, forbidding parts of speech to be trope names is in direct contrast with the (current) opening paragraph of the Trope
article, that states:
"Merriam-Webster gives a definition of "trope" as a 'figure of speech.' In storytelling, a trope is just that — a conceptual figure of speech, a storytelling shorthand for a concept that the audience will recognize and understand instantly."
As one last, "trivia"-esque kind of side note, I personally use the word "cliché" to describe tropes because the term "trope" isn't used often outside of this very wiki, let alone in my own country (Italy); because of this, I refer to Tv Tropes as "the encyclopedia of clichés" whenever I talk about this site to anyone, as I use the words "cliché" and "trope" interchangeably. I consider tropes and clichés to be one and the same with the only difference being the frequence of their appearance throughout all media, which is why I don't consider clichés to be a bad thing in the slightest.
That said, going back to TV Tropes
' meaning of "cliché", I repeat once again that, while supporting Stock Phrases
' right to exist, I don't believe that said phrases' defense can cross the blurred-but-still-existing line between stock phrases as tropes and a cliché hunt meant to mirror, as Fast Eddie said, "every damned line" (and every damned cliché) in existence.
Last but not least, I want to be clear about how I wish this post of mine not to have turned out to be offensive - nor controversial - in anyone's eyes. On the contrary, I'd like to read your feedback, both positive and negative alike, in order to discuss the various points I've brought up. Any troper, Fast Eddie included, is free to tell me all kinds of nasty things.
edited 2nd Jul '12 5:37:35 PM by AlexSora89