Forum:Encyclopedia cliches

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Please consider User:SPIKE/Cliches, covering sentences that begin with affectations like "Scientists have determined that..." as a new Section 7.1 in UN:HTBFANJS. Spıke Ѧ  02:27, October 11, 2009 (UTC)

I dunno. If I'm trying to write all encyclopedic and I want to say something POV that would break the tone, I'll use a weasel word or a lead-in like that to soften the impact. —Syndrome (PenisPenisPenisPenisPenis) 03:02, October 11, 2009 (UTC)
Uncyclopedia's a parody of wikipedia. Shouldn't we use wikipedian cliches to, you know, parody wikipedia? - T.L.B. Baloon WotM, UotM, FPrize, AotM, ANotM, PLS, UN:HS, GUN 16:56, Oct 11
Not routinely! If you clearly intend to parody Wikipedia, and it is clear what you're doing, a thoroughly nerdy paragraph should be funny, like a whole lot of noise citations. But journeyman bad writing, not to parody Wikipedia but simply because some newbie thinks that's the way it's supposed to be done, is simply bad writing, and one goal of UN:HTBFANJS is to stamp out bad comedy. (Somewhere, it should take aim at weasel words too!) (I don't claim this response makes the case for my proposal, only that it rebuts your question.) Spıke Ѧ  23:25, October 11, 2009 (UTC)
The way I see it is, cliches, while certainly not an ideal way to write, do accomplish one thing. They tend to ground whatever you're writing or saying in a way that makes it seem familiar. It's the same reason that sports commentators and business executives use cliches. - T.L.B. Baloon WotM, UotM, FPrize, AotM, ANotM, PLS, UN:HS, GUN 00:24, Oct 12
Sports and business cliches are notorious as bad English. Again, cliches might not rise to the level of a further policy statement in UN:HTBFANJS (I don't yet see any ardor for my proposal) but not because they are good English. Unless they are part of the joke, a joke is better told without them. Spıke Ѧ  00:53, October 12, 2009 (UTC)
If I'm doing a takeoff of a rapper, I'm going to try to sound like a rapper. If I'm doing a takeoff of George W. Bush, I'm going to try to sound like George W. Bush. If I'm doing a take off of Wikipedia, I'm going to try to sound like Wikipedia. WHY???PuppyOnTheRadio 06:29, October 19, 2009 (UTC)
What does Wikipedia sound like? Wheezing? Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 07:36, October 19, 2009 (UTC)
According to popular media, we're talking about using clichés because you are lazy, not because you are parodying. By the latest reckoning all the rules in HTBFANJS have been broken in articles that I like and for valid reason. Remember HTBFANJS is a guide, not a rulebook. Pup t 09:58, 19/10/2009

In the recent unanimous VFD vote to delete In Flames, RomArtus cited, among other things, the following text, which includes an encyclopedia cliche: "According to various estoric [sic] sources, In Flames started out as a collabaration of a Lunar Strain of Nordics...." Assuming the paragraph were funny, wouldn't it be more funny without the first five noise words, a gassy assertion that what follows has been proven true by a method you cannot expect to understand? No one has stood with me against this type of bad writing...but some of you seem to know it when you see it. Spıke Ѧ  21:43, October 13, 2009 (UTC)

According to reliable sources, this is a very important issue. -OptyC Sucks! Icons-flag-us CUN22:19, 13 Oct
More important than H1N1?! Gasp!-Almost Sir Random Crap
I think this thing you're talking about is more of an effect of bad writing than a cause. The article probably sucked regardless of lead-ins. --Pleb SYNDROME CUN medicate (butt poop!!!!) 22:25, October 13, 2009 (UTC)
It surely did. Encyclopedia cliches are neither a cause nor an effect of bad writing, just one more way to do it. OptyC: regarding UN:N, also known as no one here gives a bleep, yes, I am getting the message. (Even yours, though, would have been more clear and direct without the illustrative use of an encyclopedia cliche!) See you again for the next earth-shaking crisis. Spıke Ѧ  01:43, October 14, 2009 (UTC)
You're assuming I wanted to be more clear and direct instead of "clever" and "funny". Not that I was any of those things. In any case, I think I'm going to like this guy. -OptyC Sucks! Icons-flag-us CUN19:08, 15 Oct

I agree

Up to a point. Clichés are often used as they are an extremely easy way to develop a particular point. The occasional use of them is a tool in our tool kit. But the overuse of them tends to make my eyes bleed. The problem is you can't say Let's get rid of all the clichés without first defining what they are. However, we generally can see the overuse of a cliché in something that we read, and can then get out the pitchforks and march on the castle, but on an individualised basis. Pup t 02:59, 15/10/2009

Senator, I'm pleased You agree, even though the gist of your message is that no one here, still, gives a bleep, at least as far as making a change to UN:HTBFANJS. I did define what they are. The proposal was not to get rid of all clichés, it was to advise new users to get rid of all of a certain type of cliché, one that starts a sentence, pompously, about how unarguable X is, before getting around to stating X. It may indeed suffice to root them out piecemeal, but I keep tripping over them--haven't found any that added humor--and I sought to keep some of them from being born. I don't mind losing this debate (not even unanimously), but will patiently defend the proposal when you argue against something that it was not. Spıke Ѧ  21:15, October 15, 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I missed the definition. In which case, why don't you just add them to HBTFANJS? Looks okay to me, except I would remove the (all of the time) as avoiding them says that you avoid them. All of the time is redundant and a little heavy handed. Pup t 00:48, 16/10/2009
This is remarkable: Given that just about everyone here has said that the cliché problem does not rise to the level of modifying UN:HTBFANJS, I am to thank them for their time, then just go off and modify it anyway? (Did you used to be one of my bosses in the computer business? Do you get "plausible deniability" if I do rogue editing?) Although a month ago I slipped in an edit, that the prohibition of unfunny, large numbers should include unfunny percentages that add up to more than 100%, I brought this issue to the Forum because it's bigger. I will not take your encouraging comment as a mandate to change UN:HTBFANJS.
The "(all of the time)" in the heading of proposed Section 7.1 was supposed to be a funny counterpoint to "(some of the time)" in the heading of existing Section 7, but I see your confusion and it's better left out. Spıke Ѧ  01:46, October 16, 2009 (UTC)
As someone said to me when I suggested changing something in the Beginner's Guide/Overview, "It's a wiki. If you think your change will improve it, change it. And if it is terrible it will be changed back." But I think the only relevant objection to the change is that it will make no positive difference. The people who are guiltiest of this crime are those that haven't read HTBFANJS anyway. Pup t 02:27, 16/10/2009
As an additional to this, emc did something a while back on the way that an article should be written - a style guide as it were - so I'd also have a look at that and see what it says (buggered if I can remember where to find it) and feel free to create your own personal guide to writing articles as well. Pup t 02:28, 16/10/2009
I would also have a chat to UU as well, as he is fairly on the ball when it comes to the correct use of English. ... Pup t 02:31, 16/10/2009
UU has helped me in the past, and on 8-Oct, I posed the question to him and asked him to start a thread such as this if he thought it apt. His user page immediately branched out in ribald and more entertaining directions; on 10-Oct, I took down my request and started this thread myself with these hilarious results.
I'll put a link in UN:HTBFANJS to the proposal, which will remain in my userspace. This will inform new users who seek it, without portraying it as consensus opinion. Spıke Ѧ  03:06, October 16, 2009 (UTC)
Oh yeah - I did see that, and totally meant to respond. But with all the traffic my talk page tends to get, I must have forgotten to get back to you. Sorry. I think my response would have been along the lines of Puppy's comment about the people guiltiest of the crime. But in my own, inimitable idiom, natch. --UU - natter UU Manhole 18:09, Oct 16
“Iz wiki.”

He may be an utter gobshite, but he's right. -OptyC Sucks! Icons-flag-us CUN16:30, 16 Oct

Doo wut?
The change to UN:HTBFANJS is made--also deleting a recent "quotation" in the intro that "fart jokes are always funny"--If even 1% of the people who saw it took it at face value, there would have been much repair work to do.
Puppy, while you are buggered to remember where emc's private style guide is stored, I'm buggered to go look for it. Regarding writing my own one to answer questions no one has asked, look for me instead to buy an APBA game and use dice to replay the entire 1964 National League. Cheers! Spıke Ѧ  16:48, October 16, 2009 (UTC)
Did your father bugger you as a child? Where the Wild Colins Are - LET THE WILD RUMPUS START! 20:21, October 16, 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I stopped looking at this while trying to get out another PLS entry. HowTo:Tune up an article was what I had in mind, and there are a few good links from here to other relevant style guides. To date I believe I have broken every single one of these rules. Pup t 03:58, 18/10/2009

The sequel

So, I made the change to UN:HTBFANJS, Mordillo arrived and undid it, making the valid point that the article should not identify individuals or papers in their namespaces. I reverted him, hoping to advise him via change Summary to come here and read this--but he went on to make unrelated changes to the same document, so the revert took him by surprise. He has now read this page and says he needs to think about it. Of course, I am now typing with one hand, the other one having been bitten off in the mean time!  :)

I have no idea what this means the resolution of the issue is, and can only marvel that I have spent the entire bleeping day editing multimedia documents, on this and two other issues, for the sake of communicating with total strangers. (I suppose it gets even worse over on Second Life.) Spıke Ѧ  21:02 16-Oct-09

PROTIP: Don't revert the admins. That's just asking for trouble. Necropaxx (T) {~} Friday, 23:10, Oct 16
Wise but true! But he had clearly not read this. I wanted to slow him down until he had; not override him. And, again, I hoped he would read the change Summary. Have been instructed personally. I am despairing of the process of sensing the consensus by writing a document and hoping the right people read it in time (then Watching ALL their talk pages, including false alarms, in case someone says something decisive somewhere). Spıke Ѧ  23:24 16-Oct-09

I think Mordillo's being a bit overly cautious. I agree that there should be no trace of vanity in HTBFANJS, but I also think its pretty obvious that your reference isn't vanity. It's just a link to a page which happens to be in your userspace (and not the first userspace article to potentially become "official" by any means. UN:JOB anyone?). You could mainspace your page (and tag it ignorable policy) or simply merge it into HTBFANJS itself therby avoiding this altogether. -OptyC Sucks! Icons-flag-us CUN23:27, 16 Oct

Or even easier, you could just copy/paste your page into a subpage of HTBFANJS. Voila, problem solved. -OptyC Sucks! Icons-flag-us CUN23:30, 16 Oct
Me? Overly cautious? /me takes penis out of burning candle. Never. Also, the problem with this item of yours that it's isn't clear enough, in my opinion, to non native English speakers. I'd say, simplify it and add it to HTBFANJS itself, and we're all good. You can also make it a subpage of HTBFANJS in order not to overload the main page. ~Jewriken.GIF 23:34, October 16, 2009 (UTC)
That explains the burning penis smell in here. Worst. Air freshener. Ever. Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 04:06, October 18, 2009 (UTC)
You have an issue with your sausage being well done? Pup t 04:08, 18/10/2009
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