Administrivia Zero Context Example Discussion

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12:17:44 PM Mar 22nd 2016
Are there exceptions where it makes sense to have a zero-context example?

For instance, I saw one entry under a character page where the trope Cat Girl was listed, with nothing else on that line besides "Cat Girl". The essential meaning was that the character is a Cat Girl...and I'm not sure there's anything beyond that to really say in that case that doesn't look like Word Cruft.

If we are supposed to have more than just the trope name in cases like this, what should we add after the trope name?
09:17:43 AM Mar 23rd 2016
Nope. There should be an explanation of what attributes this Cat Girl has, for example.
09:33:09 AM Mar 23rd 2016
Thanks for the clarification; I really didn't know what ought to happen in that context.
10:34:12 AM Mar 23rd 2016
Does she have cat ears? Tail? Feline behavior? Punny Name? Like to drink milk?

What about the character is cat-girl-like.
03:49:13 AM Dec 4th 2015
What if how a work/character fits a trope is already explained in their description? Should you repeat the explanation again next to the trope, even when (which it usually is) listed right under the description on the exact same page?
08:34:30 AM Dec 4th 2015
02:55:07 AM Dec 25th 2015
Thanks :D
10:43:39 AM Jan 6th 2014
edited by
Could someone add a link to Pages Needing Example Context?
12:41:24 PM Jan 6th 2014
Done. In the future, please make edit requests in this thread.
10:21:46 AM Dec 12th 2013
Is it just me or are a lot of classic game pages prone to Zero Context Examples? Even though many of those pages were written ages ago when ZCE's weren't as frowned upon, it looks extremely tacky to see five examples with no context, and nothing else.
07:15:10 AM Oct 24th 2013
edited by
As this is an Administrivia/ page, I don't want to alter content without asking first, so here goes:

  • A few weeks ago someone pointed out that just putting "Natch" as the description is very common; unless the list is felt to grow too long, should this be added?
  • The "[Name], and HOW!" line had a note that sarcastically replied with "'How', indeed?" that was recently removed. I personally liked the note, but putting it back would be instigating an edit war. Would it be acceptable to reinsert the note in some form or other?
  • I realise that plural redirects are a big no-no on this site, but Zero-Context Example is, in my experience, almost never used in singular form. I noticed someone put up a redirect for the plural form; is it alright to use it? As I mainly proofread around here, I constantly link to this page in the edit reason box, and writing "Zero-Context Example entries" or "Zero-Context Example s" is kind of awkward.
10:13:23 PM Oct 24th 2013
  • No comment on "Natch," but if the list is too long, we can always put it in a folder.
  • Two edits don't constitute an edit war. It's the third edit you need to watch out for. I'm not a big fan of that note, though.
  • {{Zero Context Example}}s produces Zero Context Examples. That's probably what you're looking for.
02:26:59 AM Oct 25th 2013
From what I've seen, the curly braces don't work in the edit reason box. I might be wrong, though. Regardless, someone made a redirect for the plural form a few months ago.
06:06:56 AM Oct 25th 2013
Curly braces do work in the edit reason box, but they're trickier than wiki words so people are more liable to mess them up accidentally.
10:50:26 AM Sep 28th 2013
What is the forgiveness rate for those tropers who are trying to help expand the size of a page by adding in as many tropes as they can spot but are generally poor at explaining them?

Spotting a trope and marking it down is a lot simpler than trying to explain how it is appropriate. For those with a bit of a mental block on writing clear explanations it is simpler to let others help fill in context without worrying that their work will be snuffed out whenever it is not filled out quickly enough.

For admins to block incomplete work can come across as being petty to those editors who have put their effort in. If a work is becoming too heavy with zero context examples is a request for more wiki magic love not an appropriate first step? Can there not be a timed period of grace for allowing new content to settle through collaborative effort before the dreaded percentage signs come out?
12:07:39 PM Sep 28th 2013
edited by
Some tropes lend themselves better to zero content than others. Some really, really need an explanation. For instance Alliterative Name isn't too bad. However some tropes like Metroidvania, which was posted to the Antichamber page and removed make almost no sense to people who haven't read the trope.

If a person sees a trope, identifies it and can take the time to post it to TV Tropes, they can certainly put that thought in their head into a few words - or say why they are putting in a ZCM in the edit reason.

Yes, some folks aren't good at that, but we also have tropers who are rushing to be the first to "tag" a page with the trope before anyone else does and are posting Zero Context Examples not because they can't, but because they are in a "race".
08:56:50 PM Sep 22nd 2013
edited by
I keep typing "Zero Content Example" instead of context. My brain keeps using it because there is no content or context - the two words have similar meanings here. Maybe we should have a redirect on Zero Content Example?
12:40:53 AM Sep 23rd 2013
I do this too. I'll set up the redirect.
01:02:29 AM Sep 23rd 2013
12:46:20 AM Sep 14th 2013
Okay, the admins are getting WAY too overzealous about these "zero-context examples." I've seen an admin on a character page comment out Alliterative Name even though it was on a CHARACTER PAGE and the name is just a couple lines up! I've also seen them comment out appearance-related tropes on character pages even though the entry is accompanied by a picture that makes the applicability of the trope clear. Can the admins please stop treating tropers as if they're complete idiots?
01:52:11 AM Sep 14th 2013
There is, or should be, more to appearance tropes than just a picture of a character. You need to explain how that aspect of the character's appearance ties in with their characterisation or whatever, because that's what the trope is.
06:44:55 AM Sep 14th 2013
edited by
Some tropes do lend themselves better to Zero-Context Example, but even though we are all supposed to leave high school with knowledge of alliteration some folks may have gone a few or many years without thinking of alliteration. Also, we have teens and newer tropers who may see the ZCE's and think they are acceptable and saves them a bit of typing. You're educating by putting the explanation, and saving folks from a Wiki Walk.

It looks like Captain Obvious, but it doesn't take much to say something like:

And you know what? If this sort of thing really annoys you, when you see a Zero-Context Example and you think "Well, the admin is going to axe that one" simply add the needed content. It's our job as Tropers to not only add things, but to improve.

Admins are busy, have lives off of TV Tropes and are volunteers, and they have a lot of site here to monitor. It's a lot easier for them to simply cut out ZCE's than look up the trope and write up an explanation.
01:36:57 AM Sep 23rd 2013
I can imagine a case where Alliterative Name isn't a ZCE: Stan Lee used a lot of them, to remember the Loads and Loads of Characters better.

In other cases, though...
02:24:16 PM Sep 23rd 2013
It could be - if there are Loads and Loads of Characters, and just one Alliterative Name the reader shouldn't have to review all the characters in their head for the one.
10:59:52 AM Oct 27th 2013
Given how often an alliterative name has some significance to the story, even if it's just a significant monogram, then note that down and explain any other context that can be added.
12:34:31 AM Sep 16th 2014
edited by
The entire "Wrong!" part of the description is subjective in the first place and comes across less as an educated statement and more "because I say so" and feels more like an enforced case of Viewers Are Morons.

Pages are being absolutely hacked apart into a wall of %s in recent months to the point some character pages are almost damn near empty. Working to append examples with context is one thing, black holing them entirely is pointless.

In fact, the main purpose of the constant renaming of tropes was supposed to be for the very purpose of letting their title better explain themselves.
02:25:17 AM Sep 16th 2014
edited by
It's wiki policy. I would not mind a rewrite of the initial section though.

Anyhoo, the reason why we catalogue trope examples at all is because they can give us insights on how the trope is used. But a trope name is never enough information for that purpose.
11:28:27 PM Sep 12th 2013
edited by
It seems that this would be a great article to start off with a Self-Demonstrating Article of:

Zero-Context Example, just Zero-Context Example
07:35:48 AM Aug 24th 2013
edited by
So let's you say you're working on a Character page and for whatever reason the weapons have their own section. If the weapon has a name, and the name is clearly the title of their own section, couldn't you put Named Weapon without anything after it?

Come to think of it, this page only has specifies guidelines for works and trope pages, not Character pages.
07:54:38 AM Aug 24th 2013
For what reason ever should weapons be treated as characters?
08:36:36 AM Aug 24th 2013
That's as bad as having a photo of a character and then just listing Significant Green-Eyed Redhead with no justification. Try explaining how it earned its name.
10:20:26 AM Sep 28th 2013
edited by
To answer Lord Gro; Universal Person is referring to the character pages for the Roosterteeth web animation RWBY.

All the significant characters have decidedly strange, mix and match, personalized, named, weapons. I felt that it was neater and more appropriate to list the tropes relating directly to those weapons in a separate section under the characters wielding them. The main character's weapon - Crescent Rose - has over twenty tropes relating specifically to itself and not it's wielder, as such it is a lot like a character in of itself. Keeping the two sections separate but together is both appropriate to the work and well organized. They are extensions to the characters which reflect their personalities. Tropes such as Small Girl Big Gun remain with the character whereas Ace Custom, Blade On A Stick or Theme Naming are listed under the weapon.

There is the question's context but whether it helps the discussion is another matter.
11:13:11 PM May 26th 2013
edited by
EDIT: What would separate a Zero-Context Example from an example that doesn't need context? It goes without saying that someone on a work's page may not be familiar with the work, but for examples that can be spotted even by a complete layman (i.e., BFS when describing a character that's shown using a sword as big as they are in promotional material, Hot Chick In A Badass Suit when talking about a female lawyer in a crime drama, what have you), does context still need to be added?
08:26:22 AM Jul 4th 2013
I agree. For example, what happens if there is an example like this on a work page:

What else can you add? "[character name] likes to fight"? That's the description of the trope. "[character name] killed 352 people throughout the work in swordfights"? That seems like an unnecessary detail.

Or even better, what about genre descriptions? Let's say the work is Steam Punk, so you list it on the work page. What else do you need to explain? If you read the description of the work, you should probably have deduced the genre, else there is something wrong with the description, not the example.
01:11:20 AM Jul 26th 2013
edited by
^^ There's no such thing as "an example that doesn't need context". In both cases you mentioned the reader would have to leave page they're on to see those tropes play out. We don't want that. It's a distraction, there's no guarantee they'll actually do that, and the reader shouldn't have to leave the page they're reading to understand what you're saying.

^ Well, yes you would add detail like that. Every trope can be used a magnitude of different ways. We want to document those cases to show that. Also, when writing an example it's best to assume that the reader hasn't read the work or the trope you're listing, that way it's clear to everyone. Stuff like this is covering in our How to Write an Example page, please read it.

As far as Steam Punk goes, it's largely defined by the technology in the work so give a brief overview of that.
11:07:20 AM Oct 27th 2013
edited by
There is always context. For example;

  • Action Girl: Pauline demonstrates this when she is tied to the railroad tracks by Dick Dasterdly, a scenario typically ending in her being rescued by Dudley Doright. This time, however, she works her own way loose (dislocating her shoulder in the attempt), then hops up and kicks Dudley square in the family jewels.

You claim she is an action girl. Show some evidence.
10:08:20 AM Dec 8th 2012
How about this, people? If you see a Zero-Context Example, why not try *adding some context*?
12:16:13 PM Dec 8th 2012
Because not everyone knows every show in existence and not everyone is sure how exactly the trope applies?
07:17:08 AM Nov 18th 2012
What about physical description tropes, like Dark-Skinned Blonde or Bob Haircut? I mean, do we really need entries on character pages like:

Isn't that really self-evident?
09:15:43 AM Nov 18th 2012
The trope isn't just the physical appearance, though. Something like Alliterative Name has to be an alliterative name with meaning or it's not an example. Bob Haircut needs expansion like "she cut her hair like this to rebel" or "it shows that she's still living in the twenties".
07:44:43 AM Feb 20th 2013
Even if the character just happens to have a bob haircut? There are a lot of physical tropes that can't help but be Zero Context Examples because no explanation for them is given in-universe.
12:28:12 PM Feb 20th 2013
If the character just happens to have a bob haircut, with no reason like her or the writers wanting to express something, it's not an example of a trope and should be removed.
12:25:41 PM Feb 23rd 2013
edited by Arawn444
Then the majority of the characters in the Anime section of Bob Haircut should be purged. And what about something like Pointy Ears, the laconic for which is simply that they have pointy ears.
06:31:28 AM Aug 10th 2012
I've noticed some examples on various tropes where a person, date, or even location ("local") is not identified. Would that be zero context (or close)?
02:05:43 PM Sep 3rd 2012
edited by SeanMurrayI
Are the missing details relevant to where or how a particular trope appears or functions in the work? If so, then yes.
03:31:07 AM Jun 10th 2012
edited by SeptimusHeap
09:00:57 PM Mar 6th 2012
Should Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement add for exception?
09:57:33 AM Apr 6th 2012
edited by SeanMurrayI
You wouldn't normally leave a link to Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement in a page description unless there was a reason to remind editors to be cautious when editing a page. And if there is a reason, you should convey that very reason to readers.

Reminding editors to be cautious when editing a given page without explaining what exactly they need to be cautious about doing isn't very helpful to anybody.
10:38:55 AM Jan 15th 2012
Just a FYI reminder that this article was previously known as X, Just...X, one of its common manifestations.

I've also taken the liberty of adding Weblinks Are Not Examples and "Type A/B/C" as additional variants, among others.
10:21:24 AM Dec 12th 2013
edited by
(oops, meant to start new thread)
09:15:36 PM Jul 24th 2011
Need to add "'nuff said." ... 'nuff said.
04:00:03 PM Feb 21st 2011
Is this going to get deleted anytime soon?
08:53:04 AM Feb 18th 2011
Wasn't this redlinked before? Why was it blued?
12:23:30 PM Nov 21st 2010

"Why is it here?" Really? Because it's part of the administrative policy and a predefined message.
12:50:49 PM Nov 21st 2010
But we have a bunch of other pages that do that like Not Self-Explanatory.
01:05:12 PM Nov 21st 2010
edited by SomeSortOfTroper
Then we'll combine them or we'll work on the titles or something. But what this page is not is a page that we do not want on this wiki or a page that we would not take down without discussion and the appropriate action to a cut being declined is not putting it back on. Just think about it and you might discover why that is not going to work.

Also Not Self-Explanatory describes a different sort of information. Is there linkage between them? Yeah, there's also a discussion above this, why don't you try using that.
07:22:48 PM Nov 22nd 2010
If you shouldn't pothole to it why does it exist?
12:46:47 PM Aug 13th 2010
I took the liberty of deleting a large number of lines that linked to this page. The undetailed entries are gone, while I kept the ones with detail. I've also found a few pages which use this trope as a person's name; eg, 'Jack. Just Jack'. I left those alone as well.

Must we keep this trope? Or can, for a compromise, like This Troper, make this article redlinked?
01:25:52 PM Aug 13th 2010
The page is supposed to tell tropers that they should avoid using, not only X, Just...X, but anything in that form — the X could be replaced with any trope or work, and it's equally bad potholed or not. And at least this one can't be openly abused like Please Elaborate was — it can only be potholed...
04:56:43 PM Aug 13th 2010
Cut request denied because we need somewhere to explain why we hate this.
08:12:09 PM Aug 13th 2010
Could we give it a new name that doesn't lend to potholing? No Example Is Self Explanatory? You have to admit that the bluelink is contributing to the problem.
11:06:35 AM Aug 14th 2010
That's what Not Self-Explanatory is for, though.
02:45:48 PM Aug 14th 2010
We seem to have these recurring meta-meme problems where generic phrases (I Am Not Making This Up, Take That!, So Yeah, X, Just...X, maybe Incredibly Lame Pun) are being shoehorned into Pot Holes because some people think it's funny, even though for all practical purposes it's a lazy in-joke.

I think having an explanation somewhere to explain "why we hate this" is a good idea if we want to put a stop to this cycle, but localizing it to X, Just...X will only work until that meme is completely eradicated. Then it will come up again with another innocuous phrase and once more we will get angry shouts of "the wiki is RUINEDFOREVER"!

So, new idea- I just wrote up a page called Potholing Policy, with a section for X, Just...X and whatever other tropes we want to put down there. What if X, Just...X redirected to that, or for that matter, we can link that page to anything else to assist in curbing these memes. How about it?
04:50:03 PM Aug 12th 2010
Has to be one of the most annoying things on the Wiki. Cut.
09:44:04 PM Nov 25th 2011
This page is warning against X, Just...X. Cutting would do more harm than good.
12:19:20 PM Aug 12th 2010
Delete this article? It's as bad as So Yeah.
01:02:40 PM Aug 12th 2010
In light of the fact that So Yeah was cut, and this page literally consists of nothing but instructions to the effect of DON'T POTHOLE THIS, yeah, let's send it to the Cut List.
01:24:17 PM Aug 8th 2010
Would it be fine to Pot Hole here if we give a description afterward?
05:21:11 PM Aug 4th 2010
edited by SantosL.Halper
Should there be a message that discourages potholing to this article (e.g. Bob. Just Bob)?
07:21:36 PM Aug 4th 2010
edited by SomeGuy
The article already pretty much says that any way but directly.

Eh, adding a direct discouragement can't hurt.
06:25:36 PM Apr 8th 2010
edited by
Please, delete this. It was accidental.
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