Unclear Description: In Which A Trope Is Described

Deadlock Clock: 13th May 2012 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [36]
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Would this page be more readable if it weren't a Self-Demonstrating Article? Sorry if I sound stupid, but I can't make heads or tails of it, even with the examples. In fact, because I can't tell what this trope really is, there might or might not be a lot of misuse there.

The description reads just like an example of Antiquated Linguistics, which makes it a little hard to decipher. But if I understood it properly, the trope seems to be either The Same, but More Specific of Antiquated Linguistics or a cross between Antiquated Linguistics, Exactly What It Says on the Tin and Idiosyncratic Episode Naming. But it doesn't help that the description seems to argue with it itself; I can't figure out if Point 3 misused the term Not What It Looks Like and meant Nonindicative Name, or if I misunderstood why it was even name-dropped there.

Judging by the examples, other tropers might have had trouble understanding this too, since a lot seem to have taken the trope name a little too literally or added mishmashes of the listed related tropes as examples (such as the Sailor Moon example; there really isn't any Antiquated Linguistics in there at all, if that is a building block of this trope).

I'd like help figuring out what the trope really is, but something tells me there really isn't one here at all.

edited 8th Apr '12 2:53:36 AM by NaphthaTurisas

No, you do not sound stupid. Self demonstrating tropes have their own index, and this one is there.

I can't exactly say what this trope is, though.

Post III: In Which Catbert Expounds upon the Mysteries of In Which a Trope Is Described, replete with Samples of the Style Therein Described

I don't think there is anything unreadable about it. It is about a title or subtitle which:

  • Summaries the Chapter's Events, particularly in 18th and 19th Century Fiction and Works attempting to imitate that Style.
  • Is very frequently used for comedic effect.
  • Usually starts with "In Which", "Being", "Wherein" or similar words.
  • Frequently uses things such as capitalized nouns, nouns, semicolons, colons, gerunds

Perfect Examples:

Most of the Anime and Manga examples are shoehorned in. They belong under Excited Episode Title!. In fact, they are listed on the page as being examples of Excited Episode Title!, which makes is particularly odd that they didn't just put it under Excited Episode Title!. I suspect that someone just wanted an excuse to add Anime and Manga examples. Still, there aren't that many of them. Almost all of the other examples are correct. Some of them are Zero Context Examples and would benifit from a few samples of how they use such titles, such as I provide above. However, that is a common problem on any trope page.

edited 8th Apr '12 6:28:36 AM by Catbert

4 Antheia8th Apr 2012 08:08:34 AM from Uppsala, Sweden
Ah, yes. This is one of those things where, if you've seen the trope before, the description makes perfect sense immediately, but otherwise it's really unclear.

So, move current description to Self-Demonstrating Article namespace and write an ordinary description, then?

Post V: Wherein Catbert argues for preserving self-demonstration in the main article, while making minor changes to improve the readability thereof.

I think you can just tone down the degree to which the self-demonstrating aspect is used in the main article, while still keeping some self-demonstrating features.

If anything, by making every line self-demonstrating, it is not in fact self-demonstrating, because works that use this trope don't use it in every line.

edited 8th Apr '12 10:47:39 AM by Catbert

That's a good point.[up]

Post VII: Being a post wherein Catbert suggests a possible alternative approach to self-demonstration

Maybe something along the lines of the following:

Section 1: In which the characteristics of the trope are described.


Section 2: In which comparisons to other tropes are made

See also...

Section 3: Being a list of examples of works that use this trope.

Example list

edited 8th Apr '12 11:17:36 AM by Catbert

Title, contents, including a restatement of the laconic would be self-demonstrating.
Self-demonstrating section titles only seems like a good idea. Either that or have a separate modern English version similar to The Backwards Я.

After that's done, I also feel like the definition should be cleared up or tightened a little bit. My guess is those anime examples were put in by somebody who misunderstood the description; I don't get the sense that they were shoehorned in, especially considering how varied the other examples are. I personally don't really know how much is required for this trope to take effect. Does a title qualify if it simply crosses Exactly What It Says on the Tin with Antiquated Linguistics, or is there more to it?

And come to think of it, should the Nonindicative Name point perhaps be eliminated altogether? That seems to fly in the face of the definition if I got it right. If that's it, then Nonindicative Name could be listed as more of a subversion of the trope, not put in the description as if a title that satisfies it is a straight example. I think points like that could create more confusion if they're not cleared up, so I'd really like the trope definition to be solidified a little more after we agree on how to rewrite the article.
10 Spark99th Apr 2012 03:36:30 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!

Post X: in which Spark9 suggests to add a short and simple explanation to the trope header in addition to the self-demonstration.

Hey, how about we add a short and simple explanation to the trope header in addition to the self-demonstration?
Special trousers. Very heroic.
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
[up]I'd move that towards the end of the article and change it to something like "sometimes subverted by making it a Non-Indicative Name". It definitely shouldn't say "very often"; the original form of this trope is to have the title being very much indicative of the plot, and making it a Non-Indicative Name subverts that.
It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
12 Spark99th Apr 2012 03:40:30 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
[up][up] Yeah, it's often a literary version of Trailers Always Spoil.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
13 ccoa10th May 2012 09:54:52 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Clocking due to lack of activity.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
King of Crayons

In which a Solution is proposed.

Aren't we trying to get away from using the word "Trope" as a placeholder in trope names? So, one potential solution is:

  • Rename the trope to "In Which a Chapter is Described" (or something similar).
  • Add a header that reads "In which a particular Trope is described, together with a list of examples thereof" (or something similar).
  • Rewrite the rest of the article in modern English (or something similar).


edited 13th May '12 12:35:45 PM by HiddenWindshield

I teleported home last night / With Ron and Sid and Meg / Ron stole Meggy's heart away / And I got Sidney's leg - Douglas Adams
Technically it isn't using "trope" as a placeholder, which means that "trope" is used as a variable for which any word can be substituted, but it is being self demonstrating by referring to the fact that the article in question describes a trope.
Not a placeholder.
Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.

In Which a possible New iteration of the trope Description is proposed:

If we're mostly agreed that the self-demonstration could be kept for title portions within the page, as that is the trope, then here's my proposal for a clearer description of the trope. Open for proofreading and tweaking, obviously:

In Which the Details of the literary Convention In Which a Trope Is Described shall be Disseminated

Sometimes writers like to have fun with older styles and conventions, and sometimes this extends to titles as well. In Which a Trope Is Described is a titling convention with an intentionally Retraux feel; many 18th- and 19th-century (and occasionally, early 20th-century) works had extended titles which pretty much summed up the main events of the installment.

When this trope is played straight, it's basically a pastiche or parody of what used to be a serious writing convention, and not as likely to be taken seriously today. For a title to count as an example, it has to thoroughly describe what happens using either very formal or outdated-sounding words and grammar, whether that means randomly capitalized words, semicolons instead of commas, gerunds instead of nouns (e.g. "using" instead of "usage" or "use") or stilted conjunctions and adverbs like "wherein" or "being."

By definition, any straight example of this trope is also an example of Exactly What It Says on the Tin and Antiquated Linguistics, and usually also Spoiler Title and/or Long Title. Compare with the Either/Or Title, which also has a very Retraux feel. Easily subverted if the title doesn't match up with what happens, making it a straight example of a Nonindicative Name. Not to be confused with a Word Salad Title, which is more like an inversion of this trope.

edited 21st May '12 2:45:37 PM by NaphthaTurisas

Post XVIII: In which Lu asks if this thread will move to improve the page

Any thoughts on [up]?

Wherein concurrence is given.

[up][up]That looks good to me! I like the longer, more standard description. Playful is fine, but in this case it's just killing the clarity. Especially if you aren't particularly familiar with Victorian novels or the writings that parody the style.

edited 29th Jun '12 8:10:25 AM by Escher

20 Xtifr29th Jun 2012 02:09:42 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
I like that, except that I'm not sure about the claim that any straight example counts as Antiquated Linguistics. I suppose it depends on where you want to draw the line between straight and parody, but I'm pretty sure I've seen examples like "Chapter IV: In Which Our Heroes Decide to Get the Hell Out of Dodge".
Speaking words of fandom: let it squee, let it squee.
We could add that the trope could be parodied further (yes, a parody of a parody) by crossbreeding it with Sophisticated as Hell.
22 Xtifr16th Jul 2012 03:01:59 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
I'm not convinced that examples which don't use antiquated linguistics actually count as a parody of a parody (and my example was intended as a random one—the fact that it may match Sophisticated as Hell was more-or-less accidental).

Basically, I'm asking if we really need to call it a requirement—it doesn't seem like an inherent part of the trope so much as a very common way to play it.
Speaking words of fandom: let it squee, let it squee.
23 Twentington3rd Aug 2012 03:07:01 PM from Somewhere , Relationship Status: Desperate
In which there is much staleness. Is there anything to do here?
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24 Xtifr3rd Aug 2012 09:48:29 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
Yeah, decide if the proposed new description needs any further tweaking (I already suggested one tweak which should be easy to adopt), and plug it in. Nobody seems to have objected to the basic outline provided by Naphtha Turisas. I think this is mostly a matter of not letting this fall of the radar again until this relatively simple task is accomplished.
Speaking words of fandom: let it squee, let it squee.
In which the thread is bumped.

Total posts: 36
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