Main This Troper Discussion

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11:10:02 PM Aug 31st 2017
edited by TommyTiger
Guys, the fact that people still use "I", "This Troper" and all in non-opinion (as we know, DMOS, Fridge, WMG and Headscratcher pages are the exception) pages bothers me. Maybe we should make this rule more strict?
07:07:01 AM Sep 1st 2017
The rule is fairly strict. They're plain not allowed. Or do you mean banning people for it?

The problem isn't the strictness, it's that we simply can't catch every single misuse.
12:40:09 AM Sep 2nd 2017
No, I do not mean banning. That would be Disproportionate Retribution.
11:07:02 AM Sep 2nd 2017
edited by TommyTiger
My issue isn't that people use it, it's that sometimes people see cases of "I"/"This Troper" right in front of their nose, and prefer not to delete them because "comedy". Take a phrase in the Family-Unfriendly Death/Film page (which probably has a lot of visitors):

"Did I mention that he screamed all the way through the scene?"

Yup, no one bothered to erase it before I did.
10:33:45 PM Feb 28th 2014
And yet, people continue to use "this troper" with reckless abandon. I wish there was some way to automatically delete instances of "this troper." That phrase appears on almost every page, especially in YMMV sections.
08:42:25 AM Oct 26th 2014
YMMV is by definition a subjective experience, therefore it has its own page separate from the main wiki page. There are also, IMO, some perfectly legitimate instances particularly in case of say, video games, where you can only describe something completely unexpected through personal experience.

While I agree it should be avoided if at all possible, it's hardly the worst crime you can commit to a trope article, as an example turning pages in to self demonstrating articles I feel make them mostly rubbish, trying to desperately be funny (see: Jokers and Deadpool) and usually lacking any of the worthwhile information it should have. Some of them are good, but in the definite minority.
08:58:59 AM Oct 26th 2014
First person is not allowed on YMMV pages either - just to clear up that misconception.
10:00:18 AM Apr 7th 2016
Is it allowed on Headscratchers and WMG pages? Surely you need to use first person to convey opinions there.
10:59:07 AM Apr 7th 2016
No? Why would you?
05:43:24 PM Apr 21st 2016
I don't mean the use of "This troper", but actual uses of first person. Especially on Headscratchers pages, it seems important so that other viewpoints are clearly defined and it doesn't look like one solitary, no-identity omnipresent editor is having a conversation with "itself" and constantly changing opinion, offering counterpoints, etc.
12:13:02 PM Aug 25th 2016
"First person is not allowed on YMMV pages either - just to clear up that misconception. "

Well that's just idiotic and whoever made that rule should rescind it. "Here, have a page where to describe subjective experiences... But don't, because it's not allowed."
02:41:51 AM Aug 26th 2016
A minor correction:

"Here, have a page where to describe subjective experiences... But don't use the first person to do so, because it's not allowed."
11:17:41 AM Oct 29th 2016 "pertaining to or characteristic of an individual; personal; individual:" "relating to properties or specific conditions of the mind as distinguished from general or universal experience. "

Pray tell, how do you describe subjective experiences without using first person?
02:40:48 PM Jan 20th 2014
Okay. This might be a bit off topic, but does anybody know how the code for "This Troper" works? I am not looking to use the code for any other tropes, but am simply curious as to what makes the red link be displayed even when the page does exist. Does any administrator know? If no one knows on this discussion, do you know where I could go to find out? Thanks!
03:54:28 PM Jan 20th 2014
... why? Long story short, it's a deliberate red link
06:29:30 PM Dec 11th 2011
Everyone, I am "This Troper". You are all that troper.

06:49:35 PM May 18th 2011
So the article's history has been deleted and the article is greatly shortened. Can anyone explain why this is the case? (Note: I've never liked the term "This Troper" to begin with, but I'm just wondering about the cut.)
06:21:15 AM Jun 17th 2011
Perhaps this has something to do with it?
10:04:39 AM Jun 17th 2011
No, someone put it on the Cut List and it got cut for some reason. The history of cut pages is now wiped.
02:03:39 PM May 14th 2011
Regarding the proposed cut: I strenuously object to it. There was and is no consensus to get rid of the page. It will leave a positive obscene number of broken links — This Troper has over 1000 inbounds.
07:57:43 PM Jan 10th 2011
Okay. I'm not sure anyone considered, seeing as discussion's gone on for paragraphs upon paragraphs, but who cares? Does it really matter if a phrase is used or not?
03:51:50 AM Dec 25th 2011
The law is the law: "this Troper" is a verboten phrase. There is no leeway in this case: the law is absolute!
08:30:38 PM Jan 6th 2011
Could someone with the ability to edit this page change: "you should never really need to use This Troper, you could just use "I", or your handle." to "you should never really need to use This Troper; you could just use "I" or your handle."? Thank you.
10:14:03 PM Aug 4th 2010
edited by berr
I just had a thought which may help shed some light on a possible solution.

  • We can tell that most tropers do not use "I" or their handle.
    How? Because a lot of pages would look terrible if we followed that advice, and most people do not, because:

a. Because non-potholed use of berr makes no sense grammatically on a collaborative text, e.g. outside of forums, or even on the forums (right here, for instance) hence the use of This troper (berr) or this troper (berr) instead. That's gotta be how it originated!

"I", on the other hand, looks fine on forums where posts are identified, but not if it's used excessively, or in the namespaces, because...
b. Because there is no grammatical tradition of distinguishing "I" and "I" in paragraph mode, e.g. it makes no sense grammatically on a collaborative text, and looks like bad writing on a text by a single author.
"I think bl abla bla. What do you think?"
I think you got the wrong guy.
"For me, I don't know." Justin looked pensive.
c. Even in segregated thread mode such as forums, excessive use of the written "I" comes across as hostile and impolite. "Well I think..." even if it wasn't meant that way. This is simply an observation.

d. Polite expressions were created to avoid points a, b, and c. (e.g. "the people assembled here" "my fellow troper" in place of "you"). That is why people use them. The reason why Congressmen say "the senator" is not only because they're pompous, but because the collected speeches and such form a collaborative transcript. Originally, these debates (think Plato's Dialogues) were intended to serve the exact same purpose as a wiki — a coherent narrative with multiple authors.

Ergo, the solution I suggest is this, which we could call the Three Rules Of Me:

1. Cease the use of This Troper as a direct WikiWord expression.

  • I.e. blank this page and turn it into a redlinked redirect to a separate page explaining all this (see below)

2. Remain explicitly neutral on the use of "this troper" (non- camel case) in contexts where first person is appropriate:
  • Either idiomatic (generic or not strictly anecdotal; similar to "one does not" i.e. "subjective" tense, and "not" the subject of a sentence.)
  • Or explicit (Troper Tales, etc.) due to legibility of the entire page (see above for how most people construe the phrase "I" in a document)
  • Or in contexts where it is colloquial and Just for Fun.

3. Encourage the use of This Troper as an indirect pothole as its intended purpose

linking to the troper's contributor page (if they have one),

Like so:

This troper

or so

This troper (berr)

and deprecate any and all other potholes that do not fulfill the newly stated purpose of identifying known contributors in areas like TT, JBM, and in the forums where appropriate (like in this very post).

This will have the added benefit of preventing misuse, because This Troper will become a phrase and not a trope,

and usage as a pothole would be passively reserved to people who care enough to create a Troper page for themselves.

This would not be elitist since unknown contributors would still be able to use it (not as a link) in place of "I" where appropriate (see point 2. above)

We should also create a page entitled This Troper Is You (i.e. "this troper means you") to explain to people who don't know what the expression means, since this page would no longer exist,

What do you guys think? If this is a possible compromise, seeing as how it seems to fit in with what is and is not currently within the pale of acceptable conduct, and would make both sides happy (I think) I'd be willing to volunteer to create draft versions of two pages like the ones mentioned above, for others to edit.

Or if you want, I can take this to the forums as a proposal, but only if I can get some feedback so it doesn't come across as one jerkoff's opinion out of the blue.  *
03:41:00 PM Aug 15th 2010
No. We don't need it. Your whole argument for using This Troper hinges on the fact that everyone will refer to themselves in third-person. Which I repeat is not necessary. Hey, here's an example of a Troper Tales entry.

  • I remember once when blahblahnobodycarestheend. -Kris Mahai

See? Why not just sign your name? Or put it at the beginning, if you want.

As a response to your actual proposals:

1. No. This Troper isn't blanked for a reason. The main problem of usage is in main articles and we want people to understand why it should not be used there. It's been blanked before, and it was brought back for a reason.

2. I couldn't care less. I think it's stupid, and I don't care if people use it. However, I don't think we should encourage it. Being neutral on the subject encourages people to use it because they think the wiki as a whole doesn't care and it would eventually escape into the main wiki.

3. No.

Take it to the forums if you want, but you wouldn't be supported. Admins and mods tend to frequent Trope Repair Shop as well, and they would very likely not support this at all. Sorry. *shrug*
05:54:32 PM Aug 15th 2010
edited by berr
You object to people using This Troper to pothole their Contributor pages in parts of the wiki where first person is allowed? That, my friend, is just over the top and certainly not No Just No. You seem to have dismissed the various points pro and con I mentioned with No Just No which is sort of like replying with So Yeah or You Suck.

Tolerating usage is being neutral on it. It does come off as disdainful toward others, however. What skin off your back is it how someone addresses something in the subjective?

The other issue is that there are legitimate contexts for using such an expression in main articles, although restricted to idiomatic expressions and subjective trope examples. A campaign to completely suspend disbelief that the Wiki has a single author by removing all indications of multiple authorship, even if the context is not first person, seems a little over the top unless one wants to adopt Wikipedia or term paper manual of style.

I can see why you'd be tempted to ban the expression completely due to its coincidental use in natter, but you might as well ban the word "Actually" as well, since a sentence beginning with the word Actually is usually Natter.

On edit: in any case it appears we're not far apart on point #2, and you say the status quo is more liberal on the issue than point #1, where I was suggesting an orange linked This Troper and a fixed redirect to a Rules page explaining when it is not okay to use the first person, so I was trying to come up with a possible solution that would be a reasonable consensus and wouldn't just make it seem like there was a problem with the term itself.

In any case, I'm not the only person who feels this way, so I'll leave it at that.
06:53:12 PM Aug 16th 2010
edited by KrisMahai
Sorry, you're right. I think I was so frustrated from cleaning 'This Troper' Natter out of pages that I wasn't really willing to listen to what you have to say. I misunderstood you; you're saying that examples of acceptable potholes would be like "This troper feels that...", right? I don't have a problem with that as long as it stays on Troper Tales/Wild Mass Guessing/Just Bugs Me/Sugar Wiki pages.

However, I'm still of the opinion that in no case is This Troper acceptable on the Main wiki. You say that it could be used for idiomatic expressions and subjective tropes, but idiomatic expressions are generally Natter and subjective tropes can easily be explained without referring to yourself in any way, as in "In some parts of the fandom [example]". "This Troper thinks that [example]" is unnecessary, irritating, and gives the impression that said troper is the only one who thinks that. Additionally, making it appear as if said troper is not the only one that thinks that involves rewriting the sentence and removing This Troper, or adding Natter with something like "This Troper thinks so too!"

You say this seems Wikipedia-style to you, and as the Main Page says, we're not Wikipedia. We are, however, a wiki. Wikis are meant to look like they're written by one person, so 'This troper', 'I', and 'Actually' are all disapproved of.

Now, about orange-linking This Troper. I personally believe it should stay red-linked. The general consensus across the wiki is that This Troper is something we're trying to stamp out. Anything else will inevitably encourage it.

And technically, the site only has a few actual rules. Everything else is guidelines to prevent other tropers from having to clean up after bad editors afterward.
08:34:02 PM Jan 6th 2011
I think we should change them to orange links just so it's immediately obvious that it's not a page needing to be created. Purple might also work, or any other way to instantly distinguish between "Start this page" and "Don't use this!". Maybe a double strike?
08:56:18 PM Jan 6th 2011
Orange links are the color of special administrative links (like Cut List.) It would have the advantage of making that wikiword less readable on the main page and discouraging its use on main pages.

Maybe a violet-link?
09:24:36 AM Jul 11th 2010
Hey, random suggestion here. Is it possible for whatever code makes This Troper a redlink even though it exists to not be active on Troper Tales, Headscratchers, and Wild Mass Guessing pages where it's more acceptable?
02:28:13 PM Jul 11th 2010
But on those pages, you're supposed to just use your name or say "I" since they're personal stories anyway.
12:43:30 PM Jul 14th 2010
Which is exactly why This Troper needs to be killed. TT, IJBM and WMG are perfectly fine with using your name or I.
05:29:20 PM Jul 14th 2010
Yeah, well, it's gonna be a thing. Just because you can use proper first-person on those pages doesn't mean everyone will, some people actually like the phrase "this troper". A sense of community or something. (not me. but some people. somewhere. probably.)
10:01:19 AM Jul 22nd 2010
edited by berr
The fact that this thread exists demonstrates that this is a contested issue. There is a consensus for when not to use This Troper, or more precisely, first person. But it makes no sense to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Locked Pages claims: This Troper: Attempts to make it self-demonstrating that undermine the point behind the article as well as attempts to rewrite the definition out of a misguided belief that saying it's okay on that page will all of the sudden change the prevailing attitude. It's simply not wanted at all outside of designated areas.

In short, some but not all Tropers feel that it never be used but there is no consensus for banning it, as established by the fact that This Troper is an idiomatic expression unique to, characterized by, and ubiquitous on this site. I.e. part of the community. It's not like it's some kind of "Common n00b mistake" imported from elsewhere. (Although Fast Eddie & co. are of course to be thanked for creating this community, it has to be allowed its quirks, right?)

Locking the article may be legitimate, until there is some sort of consensus, but this notion that "you're supposed to say your name or X" on those pages where first person is warranted is highly circular and demanding. Simply to avoid using a phrase that some (but not most or all) Tropers apparently find distasteful (for reasons I cannot fathom)

Obviously use of the phrase in articles should be restricted to idiomatic expression or subjective examples (non-person-specific), wherein it actually alleviates the chronic loss of the first person that every term-paper writer experiences. The notion that Tropers should self-identify everything they post is like saying we shouldn't use pronouns either, sort of like the "adjectives are bad writing" prescription of many (derided) grammatical textbooks.

What if This Troper redirected to an article on When Not To Use First Person?
10:58:37 AM Jul 22nd 2010
edited by berr
For instance an article on When Not To Use First Person could explain that idiomatic use of the first person may be okay, in rare instances, but only when it can be taken as collective first person, under the impression of a collaborative-voice author, (e.g. for subjective examples or just plain idiomatic expressions) and use of the first person to refer to you and you alone should be confined to the other pages like Headscratchers.

I think eliminating a useful expression will not eliminate Natter, and it will not eliminate the need to root out improper use of the first-person, only make it harder to find.
06:48:51 AM Jul 23rd 2010
"some (but not most or all) Tropers apparently find distasteful (for reasons I cannot fathom)"

The reason probably being that they've seen so much natter starting with "Actually This Troper thinks..." that there is an unbreakable association in their minds.
09:23:13 PM Aug 4th 2010
edited by berr
Ironic because the vast majority of people use it in places where it makes sense, (or some harmless subjective idiom). That's how became popular. We might as well ban the word "Actually" and "However". It's easier to find natter by searching that words.

What this troper really dislikes  ** is folks lecturing on how "you should use your name or I." In the face of all evidence to the contrary that it's a comfortable vernacular that is unique to this wiki. We could ban sentences w/ no subject too.
03:30:08 PM Aug 15th 2010
I have yet to see a place on the main wiki where an example or comment could not be improved by removing This Troper. If it's being used before an idiom, the entire comment is probably worthless Natter and easily removable while not decreasing the quality of the article in any way.

By the way, it is discouraged to start entries with 'Actually' or 'However' because we're well aware it leads to natter. This Troper tends to have a bigger deal made out of it because it's not used in regular spoken language and is more obnoxious to look at.

I don't have a problem with people using This Troper in Troper Tales or the like, even if I don't really see a point in it. I'm just sick of seeing it in main pages where it frequently clogs the page with Natter. Which I then have to remove.

By the way, attempting to depersonalize an argument when your name is at the top doesn't really work. It's pointless, irritating, and makes you look insecure in your own argument. Stop it.
08:16:12 AM Aug 24th 2010
edited by billybobfred
Well, on Troper Tales it's no longer  * a Troper Tales "red link that is actually grey". It's not a Troper Tales "blue link that is actually maroon" either.

It's just red. That's even more confusing.

never mind that it is red because i clicked it. it is a "red link that is actually grey".
07:12:44 PM Jun 9th 2010
The problem with this page as it stands now is that it is extremely condescending. It doesn't speak in a way that indicates that we are following consensus, but rather in an authoritarian tone.

The thing is, such a tone is incompatible with wiki, where no one user's opinion is more authoritative than another's. Any user has the ability to see a rule and think it is stupid, and never follow it. We see it all the time here.

You guys lament dealing with things with kid gloves, but that's exactly the social skill needed in a collaborative project such as this. If you take the gloves off, there's no reason they can't do the same. And look around. There are more people using This Troper than there are people removing it. A constant edit war is good for no one.

Now I'd go in and fix it, but I really want to get consensus from you guys first. But I'd love it if we could keep the firmness, but make it more lighthearted.
02:56:27 PM Jul 1st 2010
I second this, though I don't think that banning "This Troper" completely is a good idea. (See my above argument)
03:15:39 PM Jul 1st 2010
Yeah, as I've mentioned before, this whole page makes it sound like we're being scolded like a naughty child. I dunno about you, but that's not going to inspire me to follow a rule if that's the way it's presented to me.
11:16:07 AM Apr 5th 2010
edited by tracer
*sigh* ... This Troper remembers when "We're a hell of a lot more informal than that" actually meant something, dog gone it.
01:11:15 PM Apr 14th 2010
I don't know, there's a lot of other things that would show a decay of informality than this. I mean ... if "This Troper" stuff is done in an article out of humor, that's cool by me.

More often than not, though, I see a whole bunch of "This Troper/to be fair/actually ..." used to contradict an example. It's like watching Congress debate a bill. Why do that when you can just edit things so that they're correct?
06:37:46 PM May 31st 2010
Good point. If it's blatant trolling/vandalism, delete it. If you think it should be changed but need consensus, put something in the discussion page (or, for more major changes, Trope Repair Shop). If you're making a joke, This Troper is entirely appropriate.

Back on topic, deleting the page will just create more chaos. Just include it as an advisory about proper usage of This Troper (or lack thereof), like we did with Complaining About Shows You Don't Like.
08:41:45 PM May 31st 2010
Problem with "This Troper" as a joke is's rarely funny to anyone except "This Troper". A lot of "jokes" tend to just be piles of natter that never stop growing, whether they had This Troper or not.
07:16:20 PM Jun 9th 2010
The problem is that too many people want to equate rarely with never, and try to wikilawyer the rest of us.

And that jokes are not funny to everyone, so if we allow people to remove them just because they don't like them, we'd have none.

Well, we would except those of us fixing things will never catch up with the people just adding stuff. This place is way too big for the small number of us to patrol.
05:24:33 PM Mar 28th 2010
What if the entry itself is subjective and literally cannot be written without talking in first- or second-person? (Your Mileage May Vary comes to mind) It feels odd to cut out an entire entry like that just because there's no way to say it without using first-person.
10:15:41 AM Mar 29th 2010
Second person is fine on TV Tropes and used frequently, such as the example you provided. First-person is a problem because it implies an anecdote from someone the reader doesn't know.

First-person is also fine on anything except the main trope pages - because obviously "It Just Bugs Me!" should be something that bugs YOU.
01:45:27 PM Mar 29th 2010
edited by Fool
Yes, but anything that's subjective is pretty impossible to say without using first-person, and if you don't, it sounds really arrogant, since you're basically saying that your opinion is fact. For example, someone says "The soundtrack is awesome", and then another person says "Your Mileage May Vary; This troper/I thought the soundtrack was terrible", but the second entry is deleted because it contains "this troper". It's like Poochy.EXE said above; it's destroying something that's probably fine in and of itself just because it contains "this troper". This is especially problematic because there is really no way to say something like that without using the first-person, and if you just say it like it's fact, that can come off as extremely arrogant and self-centric. Whenever I see a "this troper", I really don't mind it; this wiki is not some hive mind, it's a collaboration of individuals. I don't understand why people don't like that idea. If it's abused and unnecessary, then yes, that's bad, but I don't think the phrase itself should be demonized just because it makes the wiki feel like it's made up of individuals rather than a hive mind. Honestly, the whole thing just confuses me.
08:25:22 PM Apr 16th 2010
I've run into this on occasion, where I've had a valid example, but could not think of a way to phrase it that didn't involve saying "I" or "me" or something of the sort. Oftentimes, if you go ahead and add the example, but minimize your use of first person, another troper, who may think of a better way to phrase things that eliminates first person entirely, will come along and fix the phrasing, but leave the example. And since a wiki is a collaborative thing, I'm okay with that solution.
09:31:22 AM May 2nd 2010
edited by Fool
I've tried that. They delete the whole thing. There are simply some phrases that are impossible to write without using the first person.
08:40:59 PM May 31st 2010
I'm sorry, but there's no legitimate example on any of these pages (aside from those that explicitly ask for the users personal anecdotes) that needs to be written in first person. If you're example can't work without's not an example, it's a personal anecdote that adds nothing to the trope. If you feel the page needs to have Troper Tales, feel free to create a Troper Tales page for the trope and add as many personal stories to that as you'd like. When I have the time, I've made Troper Tale pages on trope that seem to have a lot of personal stories on them.
02:53:54 PM Jul 1st 2010
(Sorry I haven't been following this for a while)

While your explanation makes sense, by that logic, why do we have subjective tropes like Crowning Music of Awesome and Wall Banger that are allowed to be added to the main page? I really, really hate it when people state their opinions as fact, so I am inclined to state my opposite opinion, yet I get squashed because I used first person while the previous person gets to keep their opinion as the lone example there, simply because they said it first.

That's the main reason I'm against the banning of "This Troper". I can understand everything else, but subjective things need to allow first person or they break down fast.
09:06:47 PM Aug 4th 2010
Rebochan, this is incorrect. There are perfectly legitimate idiomatic expressions that require the use of the first person to talk subjectively. One might call it the "universal or non-specific" first person.
09:24:13 PM Mar 12th 2010
Why is This Troper now on the Cut List?
03:24:53 AM Mar 13th 2010
It's because of a definition drift.
02:15:07 PM Mar 13th 2010
How so?
05:51:15 AM Mar 16th 2010
edited by AugustoTheEvilWalnut
It's not because of definition drift. Somebody thought if we deleted it people would stop using the term.

This completely ignores the history of the term, the content of the page and the way people behave. We need something to advise against bad first person insertions. This information has to be somewhere. We have to explain the problem somewhere. Complaining about how some unfair doodoohead deleted you insertion is nothing to do with this page and not going to be solved by it being gone, people making it a wiki word is not because of the content on this page and isn't going to stop them using "I" or "This editor" or "IMO".

If the problem is that people don't read the frakking page then deleting it won't make a damn bit of difference. We can't make the Bluenose Bowdleriser suddenly start thinking, we can't make the It's All About Me guy suddenly become humble.
06:24:55 AM Mar 19th 2010
Trying to kill a meme through brute force is stupid, since people will just use other memes in their place (and 90% of all the text on the site is jokey and casual, so people who don't live and breathe TV Tropes are going to get the wrong impression. And they sure as hell aren't going to gravitate towards and heed an angry sounding "don't do this" page.) Like a few other people have said here, if you see a comment that offends "the rules," then just edit it yourself without the rage and lectures. This isn't high school.
07:22:32 PM Mar 6th 2010
edited by Poochy.EXE
(Edit: Oops, I meant to post this as a reply, not a new topic.)
03:33:15 PM Mar 5th 2010
edited by berr
Similar phrases could and would pass muster in more formal publications in Real Life. Scientific Journals.

We should be able to find some middle ground that allows for limited use of This Troper in some situations.

Can't we all just get along?

Also, see the newly created archives for a bit on Bluenose Bowdlerizing at bottom.

Seems there's a bit of bluenose at work trying to eliminate Natter by associating all instances of the first person with Natter, and trying to eliminate the trope associated with it. That is a category error.

For starters, Is This Tropable?? Yes.

It is a notable feature of this website and going on a campaign to get people to stop using the phrase entirely seems counterproductive.
07:24:07 PM Mar 6th 2010
edited by Poochy.EXE
I agree, and I have an idea for a new set of guidelines:

1. Try to avoid using the phrase "this troper" where it can be easily avoided, such as the situations that the page already lists.

2. If you see an instance of "this troper" and you can think of a way to reword the text to make it better without the use of "this troper", do so. If not, just leave it alone.
07:50:28 PM Mar 6th 2010
edited by Micah
That sounds very reasonable and all, but I seriously have yet to see a sentence using "this troper" which couldn't be improved by removing it. Except for the ones that belong on Troper Tales anyway.

I don't know, maybe they're out there somewhere, but until I'm convinced of their existence you're going to have difficulty making me believe we need a policy to protect them.

(The invocation of scientific journals seems off-point to me. The problem with This Troper isn't one of formality; it's one of scope. Journal articles are to some degree about their authors—or at least they're about something their authors have been doing. Wiki pages aren't, and can't be.)
10:44:41 PM Mar 6th 2010
The problem isn't protecting the use of "this troper". The problem is keeping people from overreacting to it.

The current policy all too often gets interpreted as "If you see an instance of 'this troper', nuke it from existence by any means possible, even if it means physically blowing up the server's hard drive which contains the offending phrase." Some of the edits I've seen remind me of Clarkson on Top Gear removing a picture from the Cool Wall by taking out a chainsaw and cutting out the section of the wall holding it, only they're not funny and extremely obnoxious.

I try to avoid the use of the phrase in article text myself, including when I bother to re-word an existing entry. But (unlike some others I've seen), I don't go around deleting entire paragraphs of perfectly good information just because they contain "this troper" once, nor do I make the sentences' grammar so bad as to make it unreadable.
05:11:54 AM Mar 11th 2010
We have, like, three rules, and "don't use the first-person" is one of them. It's not a lot to keep straight. If you can't even bother to follow one of the very few rules we have, why should it be assumed on good faith that your contribution has merit to it?

People who use the first-person are just making a mess that someone else has to go and clean up later. Getting angry at the hardworking editor who comes by and fixes the problem because they didn't handle it with their delicate kid-gloves strikes me as silly.
10:33:42 PM Mar 11th 2010
Most of the time, when I have to take out a lot of information surrounding a "This Troper" entry, its because the information wasn't perfectly good. It was usually something along the lines of "This Troper would like to note that she knows a Tsundere in real life. And she is a total barfburger." That's just plain natter. I also tend to remove blatant non-examples that are just personal opinions with no substantiation beyond This Troper feeling so ("This Troper thinks Vanille is totally obnoxious."). Again, more natter.

On the occasion that "This Troper" is not necessary but the example is good, I reword it ("This Troper doesn't understand why Vanille is not listed as Beware the Cute Ones, especially after Disc 6." to "Vanille's actions on Disc 6 more than qualify her for this trope.")

There is no reason an example should have This Troper's input.
01:26:40 AM Mar 12th 2010
edited by berr
If TV Tropes were a conventional encyclopedia, we'd have to remove all humor and non-independently attested tropes. The object is not to obscure the fact that it is a collaborative work. As such, there are legitimate uses of the phrase just as there are legitimate phrasings that involve second-person. Those legitimate uses do not include Natter, of course. As such, make This Troper an article warning against natter. Declaring the phrase itself verboten is silly.

As mentioned, Is This Tropable?? Yes... Is it worth having an article about? Yes. If you're going to go hardcore on all use of the first person (which does not <==> natter) you'll have to go hardcore on irreverent trope titles that do not describe their subject in technical terms, and irreverent trope articles that have a point of view. (Yes, I'm kidding about that part.)

If you prefer, imagine This Troper to be a collective noun, since it is after all a wiki.

Not all uses of first person are Troper Tales. Uses that exist to couch weasel words can be removed as natter, but that is not a function of the word itself.
07:49:27 AM Mar 12th 2010
I don't follow your logic. We're not a serious, encyclopedic work, so we allow a lot of leeway on jokes and humor and silliness. We're still a collaborative project, however, and as such the individual examples should be written from a non-personal perspective. Therefore we forbid the use of the first person in trope examples. We can do both of those, and have for quite some time with success.
07:36:06 AM Mar 13th 2010
edited by Poochy.EXE
"We have, like, three rules, and "don't use the first-person" is one of them. It's not a lot to keep straight. If you can't even bother to follow one of the very few rules we have, why should it be assumed on good faith that your contribution has merit to it?"

This is EXACTLY the attitude I was talking about.

I have seen contributions with both merit and an unnecessary use of "this troper". For example, something along the lines of "<series> has this several times. The ones that jump out at this troper are..." The rest of the paragraph legitimately belonged. Yet someone came along and deleted the entire paragraph just because it had "this troper" in it, when it could've been easily reworded to "<series> has this several times. For example..."

Also, I am not getting angry at editors who try to fix it "because they didn't handle it with their delicate kid-gloves". I'm irked because the fixing is done with Tim Taylor's idea of "repair." A dishwasher that cleans plates and then flings them across the living room is a bigger problem than a dishwasher that simply won't wash. And "not using delicate kid-gloves" is a ridiculous understatement, it's more like "burning down the whole city trying to roast a turkey because you tried to light the oven with rocket fuel."
11:26:35 AM Mar 19th 2010
Deleting one example isn't "burning down the whole city." Someone contributed without following the rules. If someone who's already spending hours fixing pages wants to do the extra work to edit that contribution instead of just removing it then they're free to, but they aren't required to and they shouldn't be.

Have you ever tried to clean up a big page before? It's a lot of hard, mind-numbing work, but the wiki wouldn't be able to exist without people doing it. I don't understand how you can attribute blame to the people doing the work to keep the wiki looking good while somehow lionizing those who don't follow the rules and leave messes that need to be cleaned up.

TL;DR: If you think those examples are worth saving then get on your long rubber gloves and fix the pages yourself. If you can't be bothered to do that, then don't demonize the people who do because they're not doing it your way.
06:02:23 PM Mar 19th 2010
I've seen This Troper used well when someone is unsure about the merit of an example. It seems to me that in those cases, the next person to come along that knows about the work can just remove the example or write it without This Troper depending on how it fits.
06:26:14 PM Mar 19th 2010
That's still poor writing and if the request isn't written well, nobody will figure out how to fix it. So you'll have the same "This troper thinks that this show he can't remember may have been an example" entry hanging around for months. If you're not sure about an example, there are discussion pages on every single page on this site. Ask there. I just delete examples that do this and put them on the discussion pages where they belong.
07:14:23 PM Mar 21st 2010
edited by Poochy.EXE
@Shrikesnest: I am fixing those pages myself. And don't try to ad hominem and strawman me. I'm annoyed at the people who do sloppy cleanup because I end up doing more work to fix those pages than I would've if they had not tried to fix it first. It's gotten to the point where they're creating more work to do.

I am not lionizing those who abuse the phrase, either. As I have already said, I agree that it should be avoided on main pages as a guideline. The problem I'm talking about is when the measures taken to solve the problem only create more problems, as commonly seen with Copy Protection / DRM. Piracy is bad, sure. But anti-piracy measures that physically damage the CD drives of legitimate users is worse. Not to mention those laws that are meant to prevent child abuse, but end up being used to convict a teen for on child pornography charges because she took nude pictures of herself.

And yes, deleting one example isn't "burning down the whole city." But if it's a legit example, it's perhaps burning down one building. Now, deleting a couple dozen examples, and introducing horrible grammatical mistakes to another dozen to make them impossible to understand, is burning down a couple dozen buildings, which makes for a small town.

(And yes, I do mean impossible to understand. As in, on multiple occasions, I have had to go into the page history to see what the example previously said so I could understand it enough to fix it. Four different tenses to describe the same event gives my mind compiler errors trying to parse it. It looked like they had Time-Travel Tense Trouble without the Time Travel, basically.)

Edit: On second thought, if the thanks I get for trying to clean up messes is "shut up, you have no right to complain about people making your work needlessly hard," then forget it; I quit. You do whatever you want with "this troper" abuses, and I'll just stop wasting my time cleaning up after both the Bluenose Bowdlerizers and the "this troper" abusers. Deal?
04:16:22 PM May 3rd 2010
I would like to point out that we have bigger problems than This Troper. There are multiple pages with major organization issues. And I have seen proper uses of it aside from Troper Tales, too. It works well on Subjective Tropes. So Yeah.
05:25:33 PM May 3rd 2010
I don't see how eliminating something explicitly spelled out as bad writing is preventing other organization issues from being addressed. When I have the time, I usually zap This Troper and rearrange the page for organization.
09:45:01 AM Jul 22nd 2010
edited by berr
This Troper is a legitimate and uncontroversial phrase for certain uses of the first person. It is avoideing first person in non-idiomatic phrases (i.e. explicit reference to ones' self) that is the issue. It's a matter of descriptive grammar vs. prescriptive grammar, in a context where the limitations of first person on a wiki are well understood If some Tropers including Fast Eddie feel it is explicitly bad writing in all circumstances, that doesn't make a consensus on such a drastic action. It is like saying the singular they is "explicitly spelled out as bad writing" in a grammar textbook when in fact there is no consensus on the subject, but there is consensus that it should not be used in certain circumstances. Big difference.

I find this attitude of "I delete anything that is bad writing" frustrating. I have not been here for years and years, but I've cleaned up enormous pages a few times and had to rearrange everything and remove ungrammaticisms, and I've taken care not to eliminate worthwhile content. It comes with the territory of editing... In the case of This Troper, it is a trademark phrase associated with the site. Its meaning is clear and its improper use is what should be restricted, not try to eliminate its meaning. I was especially amused to read that the reasons for locking this page and I Am Not Making This Up (where there was an actual consensus due to rampant phrase abuse) was that "it was fast becoming a trademark expression associated with this site." As if that were a bad thing...
12:38:34 PM Jan 16th 2013
"Troper" is an arbitrary, tacky term that people here only use because they think that's how you're supposed to talk here. They think it's the form. I wish the article would mention this so that we could discredit it entirely.

And yes, it is absolutely bad that it's become a trademark of the site, as is constantly using proprietary, insular buzzwords to describe things like "the villain" and linking to tropes related to offhanded comments. There is such a thing as bad writing. There is such a thing as deterring new users. There's loads of terrible or offputting writing all over the website, and this is part of it.
12:40:14 PM Jan 16th 2013
...I just replied to a three-year-old post.
12:54:35 PM Jan 16th 2013
You made me laugh. Thanks!
12:54:45 PM Jan 16th 2013
12:58:58 PM Jan 16th 2013
Closer to two-and-a-half-years, really.
12:07:31 AM Jan 22nd 2013
Not helping... just saying.
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