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11th Oct, 2017 07:57:47 AM

...Really if it's the character not the title being used it shouldn't be a Pot Hole in the first place.

Fighteer MOD
11th Oct, 2017 08:34:01 AM

Franchise titles can be italicized if they are also the official name of a work. When referring to the Public-Domain Character in a general sense, they should either not be linked or should link to that article instead.

11th Oct, 2017 08:47:06 AM

^^ This is not a pothole. It's a regular wick anyone could find on a trope page when several examples from that franchise are listed. Like so:

  • Sherlock Holmes:
    • Example from book 1
    • Example from book 4
    • Example from book 7

It can also appear in single-level bullets when the show has the same name as the protagonist. Would the protagonist's name be italicized when it contains the link to the work?

  • This trope happens in the second film adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, when Watson...

Edited by Gosicrystal
11th Oct, 2017 09:09:39 AM

I think the point here is that you are referring to the work, not to the character, in those examples. So it should be italicized or not just as any other work. The fact that the work has the same name as the character is irrelevant.

On the other hand, if you're referring to the character, then the name should not be linked to the show or to the franchise, as has already been pointed out.

So it would be something like "In the film adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes says..." (the first instance of the name refers to the work, the second to the character). Nevermind that it's clumsy English, that's intentional to make the point.

11th Oct, 2017 09:19:27 AM

^ Got it. Examples of this kind are all over the place and I never knew whether to leave them be or add italics markup.

11th Oct, 2017 11:55:58 AM

I tend to fix them the way Gnome Titan suggests, although you don't necessarily have to repeat the entire name. For example: "In the film adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, Holmes says..."

11th Oct, 2017 10:13:29 PM

There is no book called "Sherlock Holmes". Whether one is referring to the franchise, Sherlock Holmes, or the original literary character created by Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, neither was ever the title of a story or novel.

So if you're talking about a film adaptation there really shouldn't be a link at all, unless the link is actually to a work page for a film titled Sherlock Holmes.

11th Oct, 2017 11:16:58 PM

I think we all know that, though I was using Sherlock Holmes as an example without thinking about the fact that it's a bad example. I should have used a different book which actually has the same name as the protagonist, I suppose. The OP was explicitly talking about the franchise, though.

Edited by GnomeTitan
12th Oct, 2017 05:05:20 AM

Sherlock Holmes is just the first example of Protagonist Title that came to my mind. Other examples would be VideoGame.Max Payne and Theatre.Hamlet.

Edited by Gosicrystal
12th Oct, 2017 07:04:24 AM

Those are much better examples, yes. "In Hamlet, Hamlet tells Ophelia to get into a nunnery."

Edited by GnomeTitan
12th Oct, 2017 07:47:09 AM

A common practice I see in trope pages would render ^ as "Hamlet tells Ophelia to get into a nunnery". I guess I should change that kind of examples into "The titular character of Hamlet tells Ophelia to get into a nunnery", or what you said. I mean, Hamlet is known by pretty much everyone, but there are obscure shows with a Protagonist Title where it's not that obvious what show the example is talking about because you think they just used a pothole, la "Ben takes advantage of this trope in chapter 2 when he...".

Edited by Gosicrystal
12th Oct, 2017 09:15:02 AM

^Yes, that's common practice, and it's often used even if the name of the work is not the same as that of the work. So if the example was about Ophelia rather than Hamlet himself, Ophelia would be potholed to Theater.Hamlet.

This practice is frowned upon, because the example should name the work and not hide it in a pothole. I think that even if the character has the same name as the work, it's a pothole and that it should be avoided. Of course, it's not quite as confusing, but it's still confusing for the reason that started this thread: since "Hamlet" is not in italics, it's not clear that the link is to the play rather than to a page about the character. And, as you note, it may not even be obvious that there is a work with the same name as the character.

Edited by GnomeTitan
12th Oct, 2017 08:56:32 PM

Comic book examples are particularly bad about this, as every character will be a Pot Hole to the character's work page, and it's often impossible for a non-fan to figure out which work actually published the example.

13th Oct, 2017 10:01:18 PM

One reason to make sure the work is listed in the example is so Ctrl F can help tropers see if the example is already there. If it’s potholed, at best it gets annoying.

15th Oct, 2017 07:45:30 AM

Don't say "the titular character". Say "In Hamlet, Hamlet blah blah blah." Or just start the example with the name of the work:

  • Hamlet: Hamlet blah blah blah.

15th Oct, 2017 11:54:36 AM

"The eponymous character" is a more accurate term than "titular" anyway.

16th Oct, 2017 01:29:06 AM

@Dark Hunter: Actually, I think titular is more accurate, since it specifically refers to the title of something, while eponymous can involve anything. (The eponymous president honored by the George Washington Bridge, for example.) It's true that titular is also slightly ambiguous, since it can also mean "in title only", but contrariwise, eponymous is much more obscure and opaque. "Titular" sounds enough like "title" that someone unfamiliar with it can probably guess what it means. "Eponymous" will send people scrambling for their dictionaries. Really, though, it's probably best to avoid both.

Fast Eddie tried to ban "titular" for a while, but when people started using "eponymous" instead, his head nearly exploded. That was not the result he wanted! :)