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Misused (YKTTW name crowner): Heroes Prefer Swords get usage counts

@ccoa The YKTTW seems to already be attracting the kind of examples you're talking about despite being named Swords Are Heroic.

edited 1st Jul '12 3:13:05 PM by abk0100

Zero-content examples is one of the hazards of the YKTTW process (and in the wiki, too, for that matter). I also think the confusion during the start of the discussion hurt it. And the laconic is terrible.

edited 2nd Jul '12 1:25:26 AM by kjnoren

Yeah, I made a comment about the laconic but no one seems to have noticed it. It should just be something simple like "swords are used to connote heroism."

 179 Troacctid, Tue, 3rd Jul '12 1:20:17 PM from California
I don't see why you'd restrict it the cause-and-effect to just one direction. "Swords and heroes are associated with one another." Which came first, the hero or the sword? Who knows? We can't read the author's mind—all we can see is that there's a link between the two.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
 180 lu 127, Wed, 4th Jul '12 2:50:39 PM from the Forest of Thorns Relationship Status: Loves me...loves me not
Crowner looks one-sided.
小さく揺れた向日葵
Yeah. Though I have yet to see a single argument why Heroes Prefer Swords is preferable besides "it sounds better".

I haven't seen much of an argument against the name either. Even if the argument that it would encourage misuse holds water, I don't like the idea of picking the worse name just to save us the effort of cleaning up an example every now and then.

 183 ccoa, Thu, 5th Jul '12 8:29:25 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Now and then? The misuse of the Weapon of Choice tropes is massive, as I pointed out pretty early in this thread.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
That the alternative is far more useful and expressive isn't an argument against it?

Heroes Prefer Swords is a list. Swords Are Heroic is drama. This can be demonstrated by having a character that inverts the tropes. Inverting Heroes Prefer Swords is a hero who uses another weapon than a sword. Inverting Swords Are Heroic is a character who isn't heroic but has a sword.

Sword-breaking ceremonies, which happen in both real life and in fiction, doesn't say anything under Heroes Prefer Swords. Under Swords Are Heroic it neatly falls under the trope inversion, ie the implication is that the owner of the sword isn't heroic or fit to be a leader.

The fact that the regalia of many monarchs contains swords is nicely explained by Swords Are Heroic. It's not a choice (ie a preference) that the regalia contains a sword - it's tradition. Likewise, it's very common that the hero receives a sword, it's not a choice on their part but from the people around them.

Yeah, still don't see any arguments for Heroes Prefer Swords.

Phrases of the format "Xs prefer Ys" are usually meant to imply a set of standards, "Gentlemen prefer blondes" being the obvious one. It doesn't literally mean "when given a choice, X will pick Y." It means "Xs won't settle for anything but the best, which is Y." That's why the phrase, and the word "prefer" in general, is used so often in ads. "I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer BRAND NAME beer."

If you think about it that way, it's actually very fitting. It's kind-of saying "Heroes are too good for anything less than a sword." And that's how the trope is treated by creators. Daggers are fine for lowly thiefs, axes and maces are okay for big dumb brutes, and a ranged weapons suits The Chick, but for The Hero, only a sword will do.

edited 5th Jul '12 12:03:37 PM by abk0100

Let me first note that English is my second language, so it might very well be that I miss things, and quite possible I'm unaware about or misses fine connotations.

First, I've never seen that interpretation of "prefer", and when I check the (quite limited) dictionaries and concordances I have access to right now I can't see it there either.

Second, even if that interpretation is valid in modern English, it will still add another level of interpretation to the trope name and description before we get to the meaning of the trope.

Third, even if we assume the interpretation is correct and understandable, then the trope would become the following chain of symbolic logic: Heroes wants the best; Swords are the best weapons: Heroes wants to use swords.

And swords are the best weapons wouldn't have anything to do with heroism, but more with Katanas Are Just Better, but applied to swords in general.

(I've also noted that every time I make an argument that seems to me well-reasoned and cogent in this thread in preference for Swords Are Heroic, tropers will vote that down and Heroes Prefer Swords up, so maybe I'd better shut up now. [lol])

Even if it is pointless because of the crowner, I'll try to explain why I think the name works.

Yes, "Heroes prefer swords", could be taken literally. "A hero will choose a sword if he has the option."

But the specific way it's phrased, with the word "prefer", it makes me think more of a catchy slogan. That phrase is almost an advertising trope on its own. I think "Gentlemen Prefer Hanes" might be the Trope Codifier. (later on it was "A Lady prefers Hanes)

They aren't trying to literally say "If you put a gentleman in a store, they will always pick Hanes." They're just trying to associate "gentlemen" and "Hanes, " in your mind. So that when you go to the store, you'll think "I want to be a gentleman, so I guess should buy Hanes."

In the same way, readers will probably understand that Heroes Prefer Swords isn't literally about Heroes preferring swords. It sounds more like "If you want to be a Hero, you'd better have a sword." or "You're not a hero without a sword." And that's actually pretty close to what the trope is.

I dunno. I could be the only one who thought of it that way, and everyone else is just voting for Heroes Prefer Swords because it sounds nicer.

 189 ccoa, Fri, 6th Jul '12 12:35:01 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
I feel obligated to point out that people are already using this trope as "character who uses a sword". So, no, people are not making that[up] association.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
I don't actually know why that is misuse. If the hero of a story uses a sword (I assume that's what you mean), why shouldn't that be included?

I totally agree that if we were marketing swords "Heroes Prefer Swords" would help attract buyers. But that's not our goal. If anything, it's the opposite - we want to attract fewer users, in that we want to deter all unnecessary misuse. We don't want people using this tropes for "swords are good" or "swords or cool" - or, worst of all, "a sword is present."

I totally agree that if we were marketing swords "Heroes Prefer Swords" would help attract buyers. sad C'mon, dude, don't be like that.

edited 6th Jul '12 1:12:56 PM by abk0100

Wait, no, I mean that sincerely. You have a good point - "heroes prefer swords" means more than the literal statement that heroes choose swords over other weapons. Yours was the first and only actual point in favor of the name. But that additional meaning isn't the one we're going for. Similarly, I don't think we should call any trope "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."

 194 Troacctid, Fri, 6th Jul '12 7:37:04 PM from California
Though I have yet to see a single argument why Heroes Prefer Swords is preferable besides "it sounds better".
In fairness, that's a perfectly good reason.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
But not an independent reason. It's only a point to consider when the name's already acceptable. Masters Of Sex sounds better than Swords Are Heroic as well, but we still have zero reason to choose it as a name.

 196 Troacctid, Fri, 6th Jul '12 10:17:40 PM from California
It's only a point to consider when the name's already acceptable.
Right. So it's a point to consider. tongue
Rhymes with "Protracted."
When the name's already acceptable. Which it isn't, absent other justification.

The one point that's been made in favor of Swords Are Heroic I disagree with. It isn't any more clear or accurate. You can describe this trope as "swords are heroic, " or "heroes always use swords, " or whatever. It doesn't matter. The trope is just about the strong connection between swords and heroes in fiction. It doesn't need to be any more specific than that. You could name this Sword Hero and it would still fit.

No. The trope is about how the sword is USED TO SHOW the character as heroic and a leader. We don't want a list of heroes who use swords. That's what we had before we started this thread.

The only problem I had with the old page was the video-game specific description it had.

Also, the YKTTW description sort of contradicts the laconic - it starts out with "Want to know who is The Hero and The Leader of a group? Look for the guy with the sword!" and then goes straight into the history stuff.

Is anyone actually running the YKTTW? It hasn't been edited in days.

Alternative Titles: Deprecated Weapon YKTTW
21st Jun '12 9:21:06 AM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
At issue:

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