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Frequently Asked Questions:
When To Rename A Trope
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When To Rename A Trope:

 151 Troacctid, Sat, 27th Aug '11 11:06:53 PM from California
IMO, the distinction between an "Unclear" title and a "Confusing" title is just pedantic. Unclear titles confuse people. Confusing titles are unclear. Whatever. If there's a distinction, it's not one that's relevant to any renaming process.

I keep a thesaurus on my desk, and it even lists "confused" as a synonym for "unclear". So...seems pedantic. *shrug*
Rhymes with "Protracted."
 152 Triple Elation, Sun, 28th Aug '11 2:00:58 AM from Haifa, Isarel
Diagonalizing The Matrix
In this context, "Unclear" means "does not make people think of the trope". "Confusing" means "makes people think of something that is not the trope". The second claim is stronger and if it is true, you can expect misuse. The first not necessarily.

To wit: if I name a trope about passive-aggressive behavior "The Watermelon Samba" after a scene from some show that featured the trope, people are not likely to mistake it for something else. The context will give it away that it's not an actual dance and no actual watermelons are involved, and the idea of this trope being Exactly What It Says on the Tin is ridiculous to begin with, and so on. But you can definitely make a case for the title being unclear.

Maybe "misleading" is a better word than "confusing" here. Less ambiguous.

edited 28th Aug '11 2:03:01 AM by TripleElation

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 153 Spark 9, Sun, 28th Aug '11 12:15:15 PM from Castle Wulfenbach Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
If Eddie states that wicks inside T Vtropes aren't significant, then we should clearly point that out. I think it's a very good point: using inside links that we wrote to support a trope name that we made is clearly circular reasoning.

Regarding (pre-) existing terms, it is not all that hard to check. A widely used term will generally have an article on That Other Wiki, or Know Your Meme, or Urban Dictionary, or some similar site. Simply put, if you cannot find evidence on the 'web that a term is (pre-) existing, then it clearly isn't. In my opinion, anyone who claims a term to be (pre-) existing should supply evidence thereof.

I also believe that a google count can give a reasonable indication on whether a term is widely used. Of course there's no strict cut-off point, but some terms get millions of google hits whereas others gets a few thousand only. That's a pretty clear difference. For instance, if someone claims a meme is "as widely known as AYBABTU" then showing that the meme has a few thousand googles is pretty obvious evidence to the contrary.

Finally, I don't think that mandating Wick Checks is a good idea. While certain arguments clearly do require evidence (e.g. in the form of a wick check), others really don't. This just leads to the old chestnut of "abuse or GTFO". For example, if a trope is named after a spoken sentence, or named after a character, then this violates our naming guidelines regardless of what a wick check says.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
 154 Madrugada, Sun, 28th Aug '11 12:17:56 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
If someone claims "misuse" a wick check is the only way to support or disprove it. That's a simple fact. You can think it';s being misused all you want, but a wick check will either provide evidence that it is being misused or that it isn't. There is no other way to address a claim of "misuse".
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 155 Spark 9, Sun, 28th Aug '11 12:28:54 PM from Castle Wulfenbach Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
[up] Yes, but if the claim is "unclear" (as e.g. the case with Fan Myopia trope names) then whether or not it's misused isn't really the point, and "misuse or GTFO", while a common response, is not a very useful one.

I believe you once wrote a definition of "objectively bad trope names", in that no word in the trope name gives any indication of what the trope is about. If a name is objectively bad, then it should be preemptively fixed regardless of misuse. I feel this would be very useful to add to the renaming guidelines.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
The entire point of these guidelines is to point out that we don't know what makes a name work, so there's nothing bad enough to merit an automatic rename or an automatic anti-rename. Character named tropes are bad, but lots of wicks and inbounds are good. If it has both, nobody gets to say "This is obviously a bad name, we're renaming it and you're stupid to think otherwise, " but neither can they say "This is obviously a good name we're not renaming it and you're stupid to think otherwise."

The entire point of this thread is to get some renaming guidelines to cut down on all the yelling on both sides.
 157 Spark 9, Sun, 28th Aug '11 12:39:33 PM from Castle Wulfenbach Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
[up] I'm not saying that e.g. a character-named trope is an automatic rename, but I am saying that in such a case the way to go forward is a crowner, not demanding a wick check. In certain kinds of discussionn, wick checks simply aren't relevant.

Btw I edited the sandbox to reduce the header text; I believe guideline pages should be short and to-the-point. Feedback welcome, of course.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
And I'm just saying that renaming is a serious matter, and wick checks such a useful tool, that requiring one before doing anything rash would be helpful. For example, take a character named trope. Saying "this is a character named trope, those are bad, we should change this" has nothing to do with misuse, true. But lack of misuse is still a good reason not to rename a trope period, despite the name failing on other accounts. It's not a direct refutation, it's just another point for the anti-rename side.

EDIT: Oh, and good move pulling the nested bullet points out of the beginning, but I think the rest of the stuff you took out should be put back. The point of those lines was, again, to try and cut back on the yelling. I didn't revert it, I'll wait for more input.

edited 28th Aug '11 12:50:33 PM by Discar

 159 Spark 9, Tue, 6th Sep '11 3:36:21 AM from Castle Wulfenbach Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Okay, so can we replace the outdated guidelines by this draft? Or do we need to vote on that? There hasn't been much discussion in the last weeks.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
 160 Troacctid, Tue, 6th Sep '11 11:43:33 PM from California
I vote in favor of the swap.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
I still say the bits Spark took out are important. They're a warning sign: This is Serious Business on the wiki, so don't be inflammatory.
 162 Triple Elation, Wed, 7th Sep '11 8:44:25 AM from Haifa, Isarel
Diagonalizing The Matrix
I think it's ready for TPTB to do any final changes they see fit and swap it.
Pretentious quote || In-joke from fandom you've never heard of || Shameless self-promotion || Something weird you'll habituate to
 163 Troacctid, Mon, 12th Sep '11 8:07:57 PM from California
Are we ready yet?
Rhymes with "Protracted."
Made a minor edit.

Do we need a crowner here, or just wait for a mod to approve?
 165 Troacctid, Mon, 3rd Oct '11 5:17:04 PM from California
I don't think anyone's raised any objections. Are there any objections?
Rhymes with "Protracted."
At the very least, we need mod approval. I'm going to holler for someone to take a look.
 167 Camacan, Mon, 3rd Oct '11 7:11:49 PM from Australiatown
Looks good to me.

I think the "starting a vote early in the thread is not advisable" bit could use more emphasis since running a crowner too early can mess things right up, as described.

This is a bit petty but the section "What happens after you bring it up: Discussions, Crowners and Resolutions" could use a little breaking up. If folks are going to glaze over, it's there. Maybe split into subsections Initial Discussion, Crowners, Resolution.

 168 Spark 9, Sat, 8th Oct '11 3:22:35 PM from Castle Wulfenbach Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
I'm thinking it may be useful to point out where a wick check is useful (e.g. when a trope is claimed to be abused), and where it is not (e.g. a line-of-dialog trope name).

Also, I've added a note to the "established term" part, suggesting that it's recommended to prove that a term is established (instead of just claiming so). Are people okay with that?

Special trousers. Very heroic.
 169 Troacctid, Sat, 8th Oct '11 4:10:27 PM from California
I can't think of a case where wick checks don't add useful information to the discussion.

Eh...Trope-As-A-Placeholder, I guess.

Can we make the swap, and start making these tweaks on the main page where they're necessary?

edited 12th Oct '11 8:03:32 PM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
Diagonalizing The Matrix
A page and a half ago we were talking about putting "whatever the arguments are, you must have a wick check" in there, and now there's a suggestion to put "when discussing arguments XYZ, don't even bother with the wick check, it's meaningless".

I dunno, either of these just seems to invite less productive discussion and more rules lawyering.
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 171 Spark 9, Fri, 14th Oct '11 6:43:03 AM from Castle Wulfenbach Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
[up] Well, the point is that too many TRS threads get bogged down by the meta-discussion of "we're not allowed to rename anything without abuse!" "yes we are!" "nuh-uh!" "yuh-uh!" and so forth.

It would be nice if this could be resolved somehow.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
 172 Triple Elation, Sat, 15th Oct '11 2:53:58 PM from Haifa, Isarel
Diagonalizing The Matrix
We have a list of arguments for renaming. None of them have a "this argument doesn't count without misuse" disclaimer. That's good enough for me. If someone thinks the disclaimer is still there implicitly, well, they're wrong.
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 173 Marq FJA, Sat, 15th Oct '11 3:30:25 PM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
I turn your attention to Red Baron and Black Eyes of Crazy's current TRS threads, where a few someones recently threw the "I want to see some evidence of actual misuse" as counter-arguments to renaming.
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 174 Triple Elation, Sat, 15th Oct '11 4:46:14 PM from Haifa, Isarel
Diagonalizing The Matrix
Well, you can't blame them. Our guidelines sanction that behavior. Recall that the stuff in the sandbox is still in the sandbox. Huh. I see that this was edited into the actual page four days ago. I remembered it being locked and thought it would take mod action to switch it in...

Anyway, it's not so much that I'm deadly against having "hey, this is a valid argument in spite of misuse" in there as much as I fear that the ensuing excrementometeorological phenomenon will not be worth the hassle.

Maybe we can put a line above the arguments which says, "we used to have a phase where pro-rename arguments were automatically invalid without proof of misuse. We're not doing that anymore." I'm just worried that even if we do that it doesn't prevent people from saying "I want to see some actual misuse", and then what are you going to do? Tell them to STFU and look at the guidelines? Isn't that what we were trying to get away from in the first place?

edited 15th Oct '11 5:52:36 PM by TripleElation

Pretentious quote || In-joke from fandom you've never heard of || Shameless self-promotion || Something weird you'll habituate to
I think lack of a pattern of misuse attributable to the name definitely counts as an argument against renaming it - surveying the wicks covers a much larger portion of the hivemind than threads in TRS and what seems obtuse to one person may be perfectly clear to everybody else.
Yeah, unwritten rule number one: follow all the unwritten procedures. - Camacan
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