I'd say, as someone who's never been confident enough to link a "You fail X forever", but has read more than his fair share, that the more negative formulations lead to greater enjoyment for the readers of the examples for the following reasons:
1) The snideness and strength of the trope name ensure that tropers feel compelled to justify WHY the show fits the trope. This results in more content and information for the reader.
2) Snide remarks from people who are educated enough to spot these kinds of errors tend to be intelligently, wittily formulated. Whereas a dry statement of "There Was A Mistake Here." doesn't encourage the same fun style.
3) Because it's so strong, if it isn't well-justified, fans of the show will edit it out quickly. I can't see a "Biology Goof" that doesn't really belong getting corrected half as quickly as a "Biology Does Not Work That Way".
That's what I think, anyways.
As to cutesy vs. mean: Again, Eddie, you are taking your personal opinion on what is inherently a subjective matter, and telling everyone that they must hold to this standard, or they are wrong. I personally think "X does not work that way" is quite cute. It's humorous, it's hard for me to imagine anyone using it seriously. "You goofed" actually sounds more serious to me, if only because I can imagine it being used in a perfectly serious discussion by someone who very genuinely dislikes something that I said or did, but is trying to hide this behind a thin veneer of cuteness. I'd much prefer my hypothetical mistake to be pointed out to me by someone saying "X does not work that way!" in an exaggerated tone of voice, than by someone waving their finger at me and going "tut, tut, you've goofed there!" If nothing else, the latter sounds more condescending.
Fast Eddie: "None, really, if the question in the crowner doesn't address the actual issue rather than the popularity of some option."
The popularity is still a pretty good reason to keep it.
If we assume that the voters, who represent of our readers in the crowner, are not complete trolls who intentionally picked up the more hostile option, their choice probably means that they didn't find it that snide-ish to begin with.
Also, again, what Girlyboy said.
No character-named tropes, Trombley!
Edit: Meh. Again, I think main question is: Is this discussion re-open-able or not? Is the arguing we are doing now potentially going to lead to a change, or is it too late?
Oh, it is open.
Failures of fact are not tropes, really. They just occur frequently. If a particular fact is frequently failed in the same way, then we have something that resides in a number of brains at the same time, qualifying it to be a trope, or at least memetic.
The fallacy (how the fact is failed) is the interesting thing. I think the focus on the error by any of the suggested titles isn't doing anything to address the issue, really.
Perhaps what is needed is to back all the way up to the individual examples and to apply some "is it a trope" tests. If they are, then they should get a page of their own. Elsewise, they are not what we're here for.
I'm honestly going to agree with mmysqueeant. X Goof sounds far more negative than X Does Not Work That Way. The former imples Serious Business and something you'd give in a real argument trying to demean someone or something. The latter is a rather lighthearted meme that pokes fun at mistakes yes, but does it in a way that everyone can have a laugh about it. It's less inherently negative.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
-Philip K. Dick
@Eddie: That's a good point, but a tall order. Is Did Not Do The Research a trope, really? Is the very fact of some writer not doing research before writing a work a trope, or is it just, you know, a thing that happened? Perhaps only specific, common ways of Not Doing The Research are tropes.
Is Hollywood Science a trope? It's just a collection of stuff that adds up to, basically, "sometimes works of fiction are not realistic." By the common definition that this wiki usually tries to stick to, it probably doesn't really count as a trope in itself, though, again, specific examples of Hollywood Science might.
But then, does anyone want to change these things or remove them from the wiki?
Faster-Than-Light Travel is a trope because it is a specific device, often used in fiction. It is also a case of Artistic License - Physics. But it's not the lack of realism that makes it a trope.
One could argue, then, that if you wanted to group Faster-Than-Light Travel under a super-trope, picking a super-trope that amounts to "everything that is a mistake in physics" would not be the most logical way to do so. Because it's not the fact of it being a mistake that makes it a trope, or that tells us anything interesting about how it's used in fiction!
I'm largely playing Devil's Advocate here, though, in that I believe these pages should be kept largely unchanged, as interesting facts about works of fiction, even if they aren't technically tropes.
Edit: Ironically, now that I look at it, FTL is actually not listed under "Physics Goof." But that's neither here nor there.
Hmm. How about Imaginary X? Imaginary Sex Ed, Imaginary Biology, etc.
That works pretty well as not being condemnatory and it also lends itself to there being some sort of pseudo-biology that has rules and facts only apparent from examining fiction. Works very well as a super trope, so if there some commonalities in groups of examples, they can be pulled into a new article about the trope they describe.
Imaginary X does somewhat imply an entire system of fictional physics/biology/whatever.
That would be a good trope, but it would be rather different from the current "collection of random mistakes that fit under largely the same field of science."
Imaginary Physics, for example, would make me think of Minovsky Particle, not of a sci-fi author making some random mistake somewhere.
That's not necessarily that bad a thing, I suppose, but I dunno.
The fact is, in order for the name to meet the all-powerful "clear" criterion, it has to indicate that there is an factual error (Imaginary X doesn't quite cut it on this count). At this point, I think we can all agree that there's no way to do this without someone, somewhere, crying negativity.
What we're really debating here is how we should present our attitudes on that negativity. "Goof" (to me) implies a "Ha-ha, you got Argenfargles wrong." mentality. "Does Not Work That Way" is a "No! Don't you get it? Argenfargles do not work that way!" And of course, "Fail Forever" goes "You idiot! You fail Argenfargles forever! Never write about them again!"
All three are negative. We just get to choose which one (or take a fourth option).
edited 14th Nov '10 9:05:56 AM by TotemicHero
Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie.(Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
Alternative Titles: You Failfix
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.
We are looking for the correct pattern to replace the "You Fail X" titles.