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Two Tropes In One: Oral Tradition get usage counts

SUMMARY:

The old Oral Tradition was a medium and several genres merged into one page, and Mythology and Myth And Legend redirected to it. We agreed to split this page.

Oral Tradition has been redefined as a medium in which a work is not written or otherwise recorded in any way. We're now writing new pages for the genres.

(By definition it is basically impossible to trope an unrecorded work, so I assume that nothing troped or used as an example on this wiki can actually be Oral Tradition.)

Still To Do:


THE ORIGINAL OPis here 

edited 12th Jun '13 8:27:58 AM by ArcadesSabboth

SUMMARY:

The old Oral Tradition was a medium and several genres merged into one page, and Mythology and Myth And Legend redirected to it. We agreed to split this page.

Oral Tradition has been redefined as a medium in which a work is not written or otherwise recorded in any way. We're now writing new pages for the genres.

(By definition it is basically impossible to trope an unrecorded work, so I assume that nothing troped or used as an example on this wiki can actually be Oral Tradition.)

Still To Do:


THE ORIGINAL OPis here 

edited 12th Jun '13 8:27:58 AM by ArcadesSabboth

Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
 2 Louie W, Fri, 27th Jan '12 2:47:08 PM from Babycowland
Loser
Your suggestions seem reasonable to me. In respect to your second point, I wonder if changing the sentence to "most of the oldest stories have their roots in this ancient tradition" would help address that problem.

As for your third point, I think we could change the example heading to "the mythology of the cultures below often have taken form in Oral Tradition" and maybe help fix some of those problems. Another option would be to only list the names of works (e.g., The Odyssey) and avoid listing cultures altogether.

It seems to me that the subtropes that are currently redlinks should probably be taken to YKTTW and made into indexes since I cannot find any existing indexes that would fit those tropes.

edited 27th Jan '12 2:51:16 PM by LouieW

"irhgT nm0w tehre might b ea lotof th1nmgs i dont udarstannd, ubt oim ujst goinjg to keepfollowing this pazth i belieove iN !!!!!1 d
The trouble is that "ancient tradition" means very little. It doesn't refer to a medium, a culture, a genre, a time period, or anything else that those works have. It's weasel words. And some of those myths aren't ancient at all — the Kalevala was written in the 19th century, and Hindu Mythology continues to produce new works to this day, being a living relgion. The various Native American myths were likewise only written down in the last few centuries, except in Mesoamerica.

The mythology list is a symptom of people confusing the Oral Tradition medium with the Mythology genre, and that has already led to lots of problems that I've had to clean up on The Oldest Ones in the Book. I really think Mythology needs its own genre page, separate from this one.

I do think it's worthwhile to say that Oral Tradition is almost certainly the oldest medium of human expression, and although it isn't something that can be preserved long-term (except by converting it into some other medium) it's likely that most myths, legends, and folktales have oral origins from before they were written down.

I agree on the idea of a Mythic Tropes index, though I hope it doesn't become an exhaustive catalog like The Oldest Ones in the Book.

edited 27th Feb '12 9:50:31 AM by ArcadesSabboth

Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
I agree with all of your points.

Another consideration for improvement:

Currently, "mythology" is used on this wiki as an umbrella term that contains what I would prefer to call "heroic legend". I don't know whether mythology technically excludes heroic legend (the distinction between "myth" and "legend" is fuzzy), but to me, "mythology" translates more as "stories about gods and cosmology" (such as Theogony) rather than "epics about ancient heroes" (such as The Iliad).

Maybe we could reflect this by making a new genre index "Mythology and Heroic Legend".

edited 4th Feb '12 2:16:40 AM by LordGro

It's perfectly possible to admire building a cannon to destroy the moon, whilst lamenting the act of destruction.
By the way, Mythology is apparently a redirect for Oral Tradition. That should change.
Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
Here's the start of a draft for a new Mythology genre page — please help me improve it:

Mythology is a genre of works, one of the oldest genres recognized (that is, codified as a genre) today, and is also a major contributors to the origin of the Fantasy genre. Though often thought of as a "dead" genre that only contains ancient works, mythology exists in most religions and cultures, and continues to be invented and reinterpreted all the time. The genre is generally divided into myths and legends, although the differences between them are fuzzy, subjective, and somewhat culture-specific.

Mythology has been passed around using several different media: while the genre certainly began with Oral Tradition, it also includes Literature, Music, visual artworks, and Theatre.

Because bodies of mythology have huge numbers of authors and are continually developed over centuries or millennia, any given story is likely to come in multiple versions, so internal contradictions are inevitable and can cause Continuity Snarls. Most religions do not have a defined canon that accepts some stories and excludes others. Because cultures, religions, and theology change over time, myths and legends from different centuries may handle the same subjects, deities, and human characters in very different ways, leading to constant Adaptation and re-interpretation. For this reason, it is not a good idea assume that any story is Older Than Dirt just because it's mythical.

Myth

In English the words "myth" and "mythology" are often used to mean "widely believed falsehood" or "total fiction, " which is why many people object to using such words for their own culture. However, the older meanings of these words lack the negative connotations. "Mythology" is also the study of myths and legends, and as a genre myths are not defined as false or untrue. The reality behind myths is usually theological subject, especially when divine figures are involved.

(to be commented out: This page is not the place to give your opinions or discuss whether any particular myth is true or false.)

Myths are sacred narratives dealing with subjects such as deities, God, acts of creation, the afterlife, the nature of human souls, and the origin of good and evil. They may tell a Creation Myth or Just So Story, express theology and cosmology, or relate themes and tropes to human nature. Most cultures and religions have some mythic narratives, though people both within and between traditions differ in how literally or metaphorically they interpret and believe their myths.

Non-narrative works about theology and cosmology are sometimes also considered to be myth or mythology, even if nobody turned them into an entertaining story yet.

Legend

Legends are often closely related to myths, and may be connected to them in works and larger narratives, but they may also wander from culture to culture more independently. They're mostly about human heroes and ancestors rather than religious concepts. However, it is important to note that the idea of distinguishing religious and non-religious stories and concepts is a recent one — before the Industrial Revolution and the development of modernism and secularism, religion as such did not exist separately from culture in general, and all stories had some of what we would call religious themes.

Legends may concern the ancestors of a particular culture or family, or the origin of a human group, institution or practice. They often also cover much of what we call history today.

Folklore

Some witty text.

Fairy Tales

Some witty and brief text.

List of works pages for myths, legends, and fairy tales:

(Much of the works list from Oral Tradition would be moved here.)

edited 27th Feb '12 9:52:41 AM by ArcadesSabboth

Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
I'd ditch the big bold warning about Please, No Natter (if you need to draw attention to a note that's intended for the editors, not the readers, it should be in comment code, not Bold Inflation) but otherwise, yeah, sure, looks fine.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
Demoniac Daikaiju
If i recall correctly, the name Oral Tradition was chosen over Mythology because a lot of people disagreed with the labeling of various religions (IE: The Bible) as "Myth" as you described.

I'm mildly worried that even with the excellent separation you mention, the highly religious will still bitch about it and reverse this change.

I don't mind, but I worry.
Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.

[up]If necessary, I'll ask for the page to be locked. The Bible is already locked to prevent flame wars and vandalism. I wouldn't like having to do that, but I don't think this wiki should be putting up inaccurate, misleading pages just to pre-emptively satiate extremists who don't tolerate any discussion of their religion.

Any reasonable person would at least read the page and see that "myth" has more than one meaning and isn't automatically a synonym of "fiction."

edited 20th Feb '12 9:11:26 PM by ArcadesSabboth

Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
There is a great deal of overlap between the people who would so object, and unreasonable people. Mythology usually means "religion nobody believes in anymore", though.
Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
The word has two different meanings, neither of which is a synonym for "oral tradition."

It's also erroneous to think that, for example, the ancient Greek and Norse religions don't have people anymore. They do. They aren't dead.

I'm not interested in seeing this wiki treat any particular religions as superior to others just because they have more vocal/loud members. Nor do I want to see pages of utter misinformation, like this one.

edited 21st Feb '12 7:36:49 AM by ArcadesSabboth

Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
Demoniac Daikaiju
Indeed, no rational person would.

But I'm just saying that The Fundamentalist exists as a trope in real life and we should be at least aware of it and prepare for their fervor.
Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.

I know. If vandals are causing problems, the solution is to speak with the mods and if necessary, lock the page.

edited 21st Feb '12 7:58:59 AM by ArcadesSabboth

Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
My points regarding the draft:
  • This page should probably also discuss the term "folklore", or the distinction/relationship between "Myth"/"Legend" and "Folklore". Our current page at Folklore is actually about a Video Game of that name (which will eventually have to go to the VideoGame/ namespace).
  • You wrote:
Most religions do not have a defined canon that accepts some versions or stories and excludes others.
I wonder if this is actually true. It depends obviously on your exact definition of religion, but many religious denominations, e.g. the Christian Churches, indeed attempt to create a canon of accepted writings and teachings that aims to at least reduce Continuity Snarl.
  • It should be made clear that not every legend is heroic legend. There is folk legend, religious legend (e.g. the Christian legends of Saints), and probably others.
  • I think you overemphasize the connection between (heroic) legend and "religion". Beowulf, the French chansons de geste, Nibelungenlied are all heroic legend cultivated within a Christian culture, but they have little to do with Christian thinking or morality. Heroic legend often survives the transition from one "religion" to the other relatively unharmed (other than myths about gods), because it is about humans primarily and thus is less likely to violate new dogmas of theology. For example, the Christian Middle Ages still believed in the historicity of the Trojan War, even though they did no longer worship the gods who figure in The Iliad.
The reason I set "religion" in quotation marks here is that I think the term "religion" itself is somewhat vague and problematic, as our idea of what is "a religion" is itself formed by our own cultural and religious background. Polytheistic paganism (whether Greek, Norse or Celtic) does not really meet the criteria of what most Westerners (whose concept of "religion" is founded on Christianity) would recognize as "a religion".

edited 22nd Feb '12 4:54:09 AM by LordGro

It's perfectly possible to admire building a cannon to destroy the moon, whilst lamenting the act of destruction.
The terminology of "religion" is indeed problematic, and I attempted to address that the modernist, secularist, Western division between secular and religious parts of culture is recent and not universal. Should I emphasize that more?

The thing about "canon" is that it is mostly just an Abrahamic idea. Even in Buddhism, you don't generally see the same emphasis on dividing all known sutras into "truth" and "heresy." Religions that aren't historically attributed to prophets are usually unconcerned with the Abrahamic concept of canon, to my knowledge.

It seems to be related to the distinction between practice/praxis-oriented religions, vs. religions that are oriented towards belief/doxy. The latter are mostly Abrahamic, Gnostic, or related to those, and outside of religions attributed to prophets the focus on belief is especially uncommon. Maybe in written religions, theology and myth are more often written down, with practice more often perpetuated through direct example — if so, distinctions between orthopraxy (accepted practice) and heteropraxy ("heretical" practice) have less impact on the "validity" of sacred texts in practice-oriented religions.

Not that this is a hard-and-fast division, but there are a lot of misconceptions floating around about what "all relgions" are like based on the assumption that they all resemble Christianity.

Regarding legends and folklore: I am quite unfamiliar with those subjects and you seem to be more knowledgeable. Are you willing to give a shot to drafting the sections for those? I can put this into YKTTW or a sandbox so others can edit it (though I don't really know how to use YKTTW).

And yeah, Folklore, huh. That needs to be migrated, it probably has a ton of wrong wicks.

edited 27th Feb '12 9:55:21 AM by ArcadesSabboth

Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
OK, I tried to improve the wording a bit. Clearly I am not a master of the witty, entertaining writing.

VideoGame.Folklore was migrated (thank you, I-forgot-your-username!), and I made a simple disambig at Main.Folklore, though I don't know what the disambig index is called. The description for folklore could go either there or on Mythology.

Before splitting Oral Tradition there needs to be a crowner. Is it too soon to start one?

edited 25th Feb '12 2:54:27 PM by ArcadesSabboth

Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
Okay, seems I wasn't quite consistent in first saying that religions tend to create a canon of orthodoxy, and then criticizing the "religion" term for being monotheism-centred.

I copied your draft over to Sandbox.Myth Legend And Folklore (working title). I'll try to upgrade it. Anybody is welcome to contribute, though.

I don't know about the crowner. We could vote on whether to split Oral Tradition, but we can't offer an alternative yet.

edited 28th Feb '12 2:30:32 PM by LordGro

It's perfectly possible to admire building a cannon to destroy the moon, whilst lamenting the act of destruction.
Awesome, thanks! So, to create a Sandbox you just create a wiki page like normal, but in the Sandbox namespace?
Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
 19 Louie W, Tue, 28th Feb '12 9:41:49 PM from Babycowland
Loser
Arcades Sabboth,
Awesome, thanks! So, to create a Sandbox you just create a wiki page like normal, but in the Sandbox namespace?
Yep, that is all there is to it.

By the way, I would be glad to make a crowner for splitting Oral Tradition, but I wanted to make sure I knew what tropes you were proposing it be split into. If it would be easier for you to just make the crowner yourself, feel free to do that instead.
"irhgT nm0w tehre might b ea lotof th1nmgs i dont udarstannd, ubt oim ujst goinjg to keepfollowing this pazth i belieove iN !!!!!1 d
I made the crowner here: [1]
Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
Bumping for votes and Sandbox contributions and opinions. Especially on how to minimize edit wars over "myth" and The Bible.
Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
 22 Meta Four, Sat, 31st Mar '12 2:17:07 PM from riding the wave
I think it's time to figure out which of the items on the Oral Tradition index/list should move over to Myth Legend And Folklore. Here is my initial suggestion for how to divide it:

Myth Legend And Folklore: Largely Religion and Myth

Myth Legend And Folklore: Largely Legend, Folklore, and Fairy Tales

Oral Tradition

edited 2nd Apr '12 9:30:09 PM by ArcadesSabboth

Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
Just a point — Norse Mythology has its origins in Oral Tradition.
The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
 25 Majin Gojira, Tue, 3rd Apr '12 7:00:30 AM from Philadelphia
Demoniac Daikaiju
See, that's the thing that's largely been sidestepped. Pretty much all the book based traditions began with an oral component at the bare minimum, creating so much overlap as to have the distinction be moot.
Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.

Single Proposition: Oral Tradition
28th Feb '12 9:47:03 PM
Vote up for yes, down for no.
At issue:
Should we split Oral Tradition?

Proposal to split this page into the medium Oral Tradition (for works transmitted orally), and the genre Myth, Legend, and Folklore, based on the draft at Sandbox.Myth Legend And Folklore.
Total posts: 105
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