Ambiguous Name (New Alt Names crowner 10/5/2015): Mac Guffin Girl

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Living MacGuffin gets confused with MacGuffin Girl and vice versa all the time. It's a big rat's nest of tropes.
I see problems with Living MacGuffin too.
Living MacGuffin is the supertrope. If a MacGuffin Girl gets referred to as a Living MacGuffin, that's not misuse because it's technically correct—all MacGuffin Girls are Living MacGuffins, that's how supertropes work. If MacGuffin Girl is used where it should just be a Living MacGuffin, then that's misuse of MacGuffin Girl, not Living MacGuffin.

edited 5th Oct '13 12:51:39 PM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
Er, no. A Living MacGuffin is a person who is desired by the hero or others and is not in immediate danger. Kinda like the girl who lives across the street.

I think this might be a problem with Missing Supertrope, like Discar pointed out.

edited 5th Oct '13 1:04:31 PM by MikuruFan

Not necessarily in immediate danger.

From the YKTTW:

This a character similar to the MacGuffin Girl, The President's Daughter, The Dulcinea Effect, and the Distressed Damsel, perhaps a Super Trope.

I'm trying very hard to see where this is not the Distressed Damsel. The only way I can see this working is if you emphasize the fact that this is a character who is not necessarily in distress, just sought-after for some reason.

Living Macguffin, perhaps?

It's named like a supertrope. It's used like a supertrope. It was originally intended like a supertrope. The laconic describes it like a supertrope. The description is...poorly written and Example as a Thesis-ish, but isn't incompatible with an interpretation of it as a supertrope.

Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
The laconic also says "You will find your princess, who everybody wants, HERE"

And what YKTTW are you reading? The one I see linked, The Helen of Troy, says the person is kidnapped. Huge definition change from what was intended.
Summary of YKTTW:

Troper A: *post YKTTW*
Troper B: This would work better if it's a trope for a character who isn't necessarily in distress, just sought after. Basically a Living MacGuffin.
Troper C: Note that the example you started with wasn't really in immediate danger.
Troper D: (Also, Trope Namer Syndrome.)
Troper A: Good points. *launch as Living MacGuffin*

I guess you could ask the original sponsor about it if you really wanted (he's still around), but I don't think it's ambiguous.

(A princess who everyone wants is a Living Macguffin, so that's not a contradiction.)

edited 5th Oct '13 1:33:18 PM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
The problem is that the current definition of Living MacGuffin is much narrower than the name suggests. It's not simply "a MacGuffin that's alive", it's "a person who is extremely desirable for one reason or another (but not because they've been kidnapped because that'd be Damsel in Distress, or because they're tied to someone who is themselves important because that'd be The President's Daughter, or because they have unique special powers because that'd be Holy Child)"

That's why the proposal in the crowner just ignores all the current, convoluted relationships and just starts from scratch.

edited 5th Oct '13 3:32:03 PM by NativeJovian

That's a description problem, not a definition problem. We know what it means—it's just poorly explained. Whoever wrote it up wanted to clarify what made it not a duplicate of those other tropes, but wasn't clear on the supertrope-subtrope relations and made them seem mutually exclusive (which they aren'tnote ). Drop a "necessarily" next to the nots, and poof, confusion's gone. Mission accomplished.

Or, look at it another way:

  • The title is perfect for the supertrope we want. [tup]
  • The examples and wicks all universally match the definition of the supertrope we want. [tup]
  • Everyone already assumes it means the same thing as the supertrope we want. [tup]
  • The current description is so close to the supertrope we want that it needs only a few minor tweaks to the syntax to get it where it needs to be. [tup]
  • The current description is wonky and poorly-written enough that it needs to be rewritten no matter what we do. [tup]
  • It has hundreds of wicks and inbounds already. [tup]

Can't imagine why we'd want to scrap it and start over from scratch when we already have exactly what we need lying right there in front of us. Is there any drawback?

edited 5th Oct '13 5:13:58 PM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
Why can't we just do what the crowner says? It's at +11 with a 4.67:1 ratio. That's a pretty damn solid result.
I agree that starting over is the best choice. It should clear confusion that would persist even after cleanup.
Hmm. I interpret Living MacGuffin as being the supertrope already, but I can concede that there's room for debate on the matter.

The crowner calls for making a new supertrope. What say we do that by making Living MacGuffin into the supertrope? Quick, easy, and lets us redirect our work elsewhere instead of going through 400+ wicks and changing them all. [awesome]

edited 5th Oct '13 9:53:22 PM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
Because Living MacGuffin's current definition is also under the outline proposed by the crowner (under the name Mundane Macguffin Person, but those are really just placeholders anyway), which leaves us the choice of redirecting Living MacGuffin to the definition of what it used to be (Mundane Macguffin Person) or to what the name sounds like it should be referring to (the generic Macguffin Person supertrope).
64 SeptimusHeap6th Oct 2013 01:41:46 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Note that since this is a Page Action crowner, you can always add new options.
65 Earnest6th Oct 2013 10:01:44 AM from Monterrey, Mexico , Relationship Status: Gay for Big Boss
Happy puppy
Hi y'all, YKTTW author and launcher of Living Macguffin here.

At the time, I had just watched The Hangover and was really confused over which, if any, trope covered Doug's MacGuffin status in the plot. Since he didn't fit any of the existing tropes at the time I made the YKTTW and it got developed much like Troacctid describes (and I can't help but feel a bit like a crusty ancient when you say "still around" after looking at the ykttw's 2009 date wink). It was pretty much intended to be the umbrella for the "character as questable MacGuffin" trope, though in hindsight I could have made the subtropes feel more included as such in the description. I just wanted subtrope examples to go to their respective pages.

And yeah, it was meant to be pretty flexible. Bill of Kill Bill being a great example of a Living Macguffin who is searched for because of negative traits.

edited 6th Oct '13 10:02:33 AM by Earnest

Now that you mention it, these commonly mistaken tropes don't seem to link to each other.
The crowner says "Exact names to be determined." so I see no problem in calling the supertrope "Living Macguffin". This means less work.
But Living MacGuffin is one of the tropes that are involved in the confusion. Keeping the name would keep misuse from those who do not know the definition has changed.

edited 14th Oct '13 12:30:18 PM by mikurufan

What misuse would this be?

edited 14th Oct '13 3:54:45 PM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
All the misuse that we've been talking about for the last three pages, Tro.
No, no, I mean where's the misuse for Living MacGuffin? We've seen misuse of its subtropes, but there's no evidence that Living MacGuffin is misused. It hasn't even had a wick check.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
Living MacGuffin is said to be the supertrope. The definition is someone who is sought by the protagonist, but usually not by the antagonist. Helen of Troy is an example. Any other use is misuse.

edited 14th Oct '13 4:12:28 PM by MikuruFan

Maxims Of Trope Philosophy explains where I'm coming from pretty well. (Probably could have saved some time by linking to it sooner. tongue)
Rhymes with "Protracted."
Living MacGuffin as currently defined is not a supertrope, it's simply a poorly named sister trope to the other tropes in the family. The reason people misuse it as a supertrope is because the name is misleading. The name suggests "a MacGuffin that is alive", but the definition is much narrower than that.
[up] This.

Alternative Titles: Hostage Mc Guffin
5th Oct '15 8:01:18 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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