Forum:UnNews Style Modifications

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Note: This topic has been unedited for 1224 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not add to unless it really needs a response.

I made a few. Most notably:

  • Making it all seem a little less stringent in some places, to allow for more creative exploration. This was largely done with a picture from Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Removing the rule about "not cracking wise in the sources." This was added relatively recently by Spike, and prior to its addition, false citations were fairly commonplace as an additional source of humor potential (Zim himself stated he used to use them all the time). This rule, in my opinion, veered too close into encroaching on a writer's creative "wiggle room" and is highly unnecessary. Plus, the reasoning that Spike uses to support it, is that false sources "bully the reader," seeming to forget that the sharpest satires often rely on both misdirection and absurdism, two legitimate and prolific comic techniques.

Putting these changes out here in the forum, as per the Freedom of Information Act requires me. Transparent adminning! If there is some sort of great community opposition to this, then I will undo the changes. In closing: Rules < Funny. --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 02:16, April 13, 2011 (UTC)

I looked at the Style Guide for the first time ever. It's disgustingly huge. Nowhere else on Uncyclopedia do we have so many guidelines on style; it's nearly the size of HTBFANJS. Can't we trim it down somewhat? And I approve of the Pirates of the Caribbean picture.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 03:02 Apr 13, 2011
Fortunately I see that it wasn't always this way. Makes one wonder if the nearly 400% size increase was entirely necessary.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 03:06 Apr 13, 2011
As always, I agree... to an extent. Rules < Funny, but we have to remember that, without rules to break, things aren't funny; they're absurd. I'm of the opinion that the rules aren't rules, per say; they're guidelines that should be followed unless you have good reason to ignore them. UnNews is a parody of Wikipedia's news section and should therefore mimic its style whenever possible to better contrast the instances where it doesn't in order to make these anomalies even better. If we just say "Screw the rules, I do what I want" all the time and throw the rules and styles out the window, all we'll be left with is absurdity.
What I'm saying in a nutshell: Tread carefully down this path, for here be dragons. ~ Humbuck Talk 04:25, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm definitely for getting rid of the thing about sources. Jackofspades (talk) 04:32, 13 April 2011
The issue with that is that the current chief of UnNews doesn't possess the same mindset. Every time someone someone ventures even remotely outside the guidelines, Spike points it out on your userpage, admonises you, and "fixes" the article. Having guidelines is not bad, I'm not opposed to that at all. But to enforce them with despotic abandon in each and every instance is going a bit too far. The source rule is an example rule that had been creatively stifling and unapologetically enforced, and is thus my prime target for elimination. --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 04:34, April 13, 2011 (UTC)
Zombiebaron: Guidelines are rules without fangs. ~ Humbuck Talk 05:06, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
No. Guidelines are suggestions meant to set the overall tone of the site. Everybody interprets them differently, and each interpretation is valid. Rules cannot be interpreted or broken. Uncyclopedia doesn't have very many rules, but we have a lot of guidelines. -- Brigadier General Sir Zombiebaron 05:36, April 13, 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, but there is still a problem when people interpret guidelines as rules. Phrasing guidelines as boldface absolutes is one way to narrow the gap between rules and "guidelines," and it's a method that the style guide often exploits. --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 05:45, April 13, 2011 (UTC)

Just do what I do when I write an UnNews article: Mention Anderson Cooper somewhere. MegaPleb Dexter111344 Complain here 05:16, April 13, 2011 (UTC)

It's best when you do it in the title, like with UnNews:Anderson Cooper wanted in Egypt and UnNews:Child named "Anderson Cooper" following Egyptian protests, I assure you. MegaPleb Dexter111344 Complain here 05:23, April 13, 2011 (UTC)

Can we please...

...stop italicizing quoted material in UnNews stories (and elsewhere), please? It looks like crap. —Unführer Guildy Ritter von Guildensternenstein 12:15, April 13, 2011 (UTC)

Where we left it last summer (in getting rid of the boldface) was that this is an author option. I think it does look like crap, especially when authors fail to italicize the quotes or trailing punctuation and they float off into space. Spıke ¬ 14:15 13-Apr-11
The italicizing was one of the oddest things I saw when I came to Uncy and UnNews, and I've never used them. Ought to be a few thousand words in the guideline asking people never to use them. Aleister 13-4-'11
I like it. Suits my attention span. I don't have to worry about forgetting what I'm reading while I'm reading it that way. 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 16:17, 13 April 2011
So I says to the guy "Italics help visually separate the text and the quote." Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 02:42, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
But the guy replies "Italics, however, are most often used to emphasize words, which might draw too much attention to the quote," to which I reply, "To each his own." ~ Humbuck Talk 02:49, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
"Well, if the quote ends up too emphasized..." I say "...then bold the rest to [over]compensate.' Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 03:16, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
"Italics are also never used for that purpose anywhere but here," said Guildensternenstein, "properly, they are used to emphasize words that warrant emphasis. Words that are spoken are already set apart by quotation marks, God damn it." —Unführer Guildy Ritter von Guildensternenstein 03:47, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
(Though I suppose when it comes down to it I don't care all that much.) —Unführer Guildy Ritter von Guildensternenstein 03:52, April 14, 2011 (UTC)

Wow, Aleister, the spelling mistake in the link in your signature yielded a username that does in fact exist... what a coincidence. He/she was even before your time, but, judging by their contributions, they've not been around for too long. Schamschi, 21:39, April 19, 2011 (UTC)

My response to Froggy

(Moved here from his talk page)

Presumably you were watching me give advice to Jokerman about how to improve his two UnNewses of yesterday, referencing the Style Guide; and instead of clarifying to him or to me, you went straight to the Guide and modified the text I was asking him to read--throwing in some name-calling in the Change Summary.

As before, the issue is not what veterans can get away with but what rookies should be told. The Style Guide--already accused of being too long--mentions both at the start and at the start of the relevant section that it is "ignorable," and does not need more text to this effect. Randumbo in UnNews sometimes works, but we know what will result from inviting n00bs to dabble in it, and it's called Illogicopedia. Likewise, an {{Original}} UnNews that uses the Sources to send the reader to YouTube or to a random article does a disservice to the reader who is trying to understand where the story is coming from, just like an irrelevant headline or the use of wrong categories. We don't need to encourage new authors to screw with the navigation tools.

You will no more be bound by the Style Guide than, say, by the Uncyclopedia policy on signatures. So please stand down and let me try to turn these pikers into un-Journalists. Spıke ¬ 14:15 13-Apr-11 orig. 13:35

Nice work all around, imnho, and a good response from SPIKE, who does try to train new journalists and turn them into right-wing zealots. I never read the style guide, so won't start now, but if a new moron comes along and figures out how to turn his IP into a user name, and then thinks he's a journalist by putting reporting on Chuck Norris's battle with obesity (Oprah), we are lucky to have someone who is willing to ask them to at least put an (R) after Norris's name. Besides that though, ignorable becomes a good word to remember. Aleister 16:04 13-4-'11
You make good points, but I still take issue with the citation rule. The style guide is a good pointer for noobs, but it's still observed as a rule book by the chiefs, you and Zim. You've made considerable edits to many articles by long-standing contributors to conform to those standards, most of which are reasonable, but some that cross over the line into toe-stepping (such as the citation rule). --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 17:35, April 13, 2011 (UTC)
Is your issue with the guide, then, or with how it's treated? Most of the stuff is there for a reason, including the citations thing. Encouraging the noobs to do things that generally take a certain amount of skill to pull off is most unwise, just in general. Once they're at a point at which they can do so, however, chances are they'll realise that it is just that - a guide - and ignore it accordingly. The rest of us could of course do to treat it accordingly as well, but that is another matter entirely.
Which brings me back to my main point. Where's the Jello? 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 18:23, 13 April 2011

You people are all idiots.

TKF, you never follow rules except when it suits you, and that's usually to bully someone. Kindly stop pretending you care. Anyhow, I reverted your additions before I even saw this thing, but better would probably be to go over the entire thing and remove even more and concisify the rest. Someone else can do that, though. Someone else not involved, preferably.

Spike, you're way too picky. Be a dear and stop being so picky, will you? These things can work; better than to tell people not to do them is often to point them in the direction of where they are done well and just crush folks' spirits that way, instead, because they could never do it so well. On that note, think we could talk Flamingo into doing some unconventional news?

Everyone else, whaddya say we dump these two in a ring of jello, arm them with giant plastic spoons, and place bets as they battle to the death? 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 16:26, 13 April 2011

Also, before you even think of questioning me, I'm always right. And I do know better than everyone else. That is all. 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 16:27, 13 April 2011
Lyrithya, is this what you were after? --Black Flamingo 00:08, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
I love you, man. 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 02:06, 14 April 2011
The TSA is doing cavity searches behind the Airport Hardees. Just saying. Perhaps a jello ring could be added to pass the wait time. ----K evilLips MUN,CM,NS,3of7 16:31, April 13, 2011 (UTC)
UnNews isn't broke as far as I can see..so why this forum? There are plenty of other places (like the UnDictionary section) that are showing signs of severe neglect. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ® (Orate) 17:12, April 13, 2011 (UTC)
TKF does partake in something akin to trolling, but he often occasionally has a better grasp of how Uncyclopedia works than anyone else here. You shouldn't have reverted those edits.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 17:19 Apr 13, 2011 This post was a complete trap and I fell for it.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 17:30 Apr 13, 2011
Also, Zombiebaron, guidelines aren't rules, but when some asshat decides to start enforcing them as rules, editing others' work as rules, and generally acting as though those rules are indisputable, then we have issues.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 17:20 Apr 13, 2011 No wait, this one still applies. FU SPIKE  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 17:39 Apr 13, 2011
Basically yeah. Also I've trolled a lot in the past, but I'm fairly serious about this. If I'm calling out anybody right now, it's because I believe their motives conflict with the most basic spirit of the site. --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 17:37, April 13, 2011 (UTC)
Well, that's good, but need I speak plainly for a moment to remind you all that this thing is a style guide, not a humour guide, style rulebook, or any other weird combination of the lot? Because Spike's treating it as one thing, you're treating it as another, and neither are what it even is. 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 18:07, 13 April 2011
Which is why we should VFD it!  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 18:08 Apr 13, 2011
Or maybe we should just... er, wait, dammit, I already VFDed you. So much for that idea. 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 18:25, 13 April 2011
I'm actually arguing that a style guide is exactly what it should be. It doesn't need to coach authors to follow specific comedic rhythms, which is how much of it is currently written. --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 18:45, April 13, 2011 (UTC)
Then you won't mind if I revert your partial revert of my partial revert of your original modifications? 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 21:36, 13 April 2011
Only if you mind that if I slightly adjust your partial revert of my partial revert of my original modifications. --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 02:45, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
Well, here's hoping you don't mind my removing that along with about 30% of the entire document. 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 03:40, 14 April 2011
Depends on which 30% it is. --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 20:18, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
The 30% over which I'll happily get into a revert war. 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 01:41, 15 April 2011

Lyrithya is right, you know.

Really guys, you write a whole forum about the sources at the bottom of UnNewses? Let's talk about kittens, or Mohammed, or sausages. Sir SockySexy girls Mermaid with dolphin Tired Marilyn Monroe (talk) (stalk)Magnemite Icons-flag-be GUN SotM UotM PMotM UotY PotM WotM 22:37, 13 April 2011

The real goal

It is not about the format or usage of UnNews Sources sections. It is, under cover of technical modifications to the Style Guide, to bristle over my stewardship of UnNews since Zim ulator abdicated as a result of the last round of the same thing.

Froggy's assertion about what is "the most basic spirit of the site" and Skully's assertion that Froggy knows "how Uncyclopedia works" is as arbitrary as my opinion on what UnNews should be. Uncyclopedia works in a number of ways. Mainspace is generally lovable chaos, with hundreds of humor strategies and multiple articles on the same subject with conflicting facts. But articles that do nothing but barf randomness get killed on VFD or exported to Illogicopedia. In HowTo: and Games: we accept lower quality, and as noted, UnDictionary is nearly abandoned.

UnNews has generally run smoothly for the eight months since our last drama-fest, the Front Page every day is at a caliber to match The Onion, there is always fresh content in UnNews Audio, and if it isn't the tightest ship in the Uncyclopedia fleet, I'll work harder.

My goal is not to write a rulebook and compel people to obey it. My goal is to amuse the reader, and to use the Style Guide to communicate (and debate) how to achieve that. Of the reader we know nothing except that he speaks English, he follows the real news, and he probably wants to laugh at an alternate take on the real news. Notably, my goal is not to amuse the author who seeks instant publication of his essay on how "I sneezed" or my testicle seems to have become detached.

Now what I think is happening here is that authors for whom a graphic Front Page feature is more difficult to achieve than it used to be, and whose articles I sometimes userspace or take to VFD are, again, bristling. You have by default dumped a job in my lap; I am doing it with a vision; and the vision is to make UnNews and the Front Page look just like AOL or Yahoo until the reader thinks about what he's reading and it slaps him in the face. UnNews is different, but still within the bounds of the many things that go on in this site. Spıke ¬ 23:56 13-Apr-11

Your constant assertion that articles with a certain bent exist only to "amuse the author" is incredibly close-minded. Your vision is admirable, but it really seems like you're on a crusade to make the "slap in the face" as gentle as possible. --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 01:44, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
So you're saying that people are afraid to tell you that you suck? --Hotadmin4u69 [TALK] 01:48 Apr 14 2011
So you're saying you have a small penis, and to compensate you go around telling people how to write?  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 01:50 Apr 14, 2011
I don't like bad smells either. 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 02:04, 14 April 2011
Self indulgence, randumbo - whatever, is better suited to a user page or if it's good, the main space. UnNews is different and - crucially - requires a writer to tackle a subject in a different way. I admit one of my influences is Private Eye magazine in the UK which will put a current news story and turn into a version of a fairy tale you don't remember reading before. That's why linking to a real news source is important as that anchors the story in the Here and Now. Perhaps in a year's time, the story will not be very funny but that can happen on the main features pages. How many times do new writers come here and fill articles up with Chuck Norris, Oscar Wilde etc - unaware that those references are now considered to be UnFunny? Spike has done an excellent job looking after (not controlling) the UnNews pages and we will all lose if this current forum persuades him that he is better off elsewhere. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ® (Orate) 11:17, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
If someone is abusing a site's facet to write unfunny material, then they can simply be pointed to HTBFANJS and given tips on improvement. Anything more is easily toe-stepping and unfair to the original author; if you give him time to work on it and he doesn't, then it would be okay to improve on your own. And about the sources: I agree with using them for Here and Now when Here and Now is an issue. Many times with UnNews, the concept is not tied to the Here and Now (hence it gets the Original tag) but that doesn't mean sources must be eliminated entirely. You can keep the original to let people know it isn't related to a real event (though reading the article most times ought to be telling enough), then add fake sources as additional areas for jokes and clever linking. --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 20:11, April 14, 2011 (UTC)

My Take

SPIKE ever-so graciously invited me to bloviate in this conversation, and now I'm finally arsed to do so. As a n00b and an aspiring UnJournalist, I take much interest in the UnNews and this discussion. I like what SPIKE is doing trying to raise the bar on UnNews quality, but he may take it a bit too far. He wants UnNews to look like CNN or Yahoo or AOL at first glance (although it is my understanding that UnNews was intended to be a parody of Wikinews) and for articles to be polished and look like real news. That is admirable in its own right. However, if you do seem to hover outside of the Guidelines, he does come off a bit brash on your userpage in trying to tell you to fix it (it is also my understanding that he does this to established users and not just n00bs like myself). Also I would appreciate it if we were given more than 2 hours or so to fix them before they are fixed (some of us have a life outside of Uncyc). And the quality standards could be lowered a bit, though high enough to avoid "randumbo" or "Illogicopedia" as the other users in this discussion have reference. Nonetheless, despite a few minor complaints, I like what SPIKE is doing trying to make the UnNews a better place, then say the infamous Game: namespace and some of mainspace and whatnot. Many thanks for listening reading.--JokerhatRespond 14:01, April 14, 2011 (UTC)

141 years ago Abe Lincoln was shot down like a dog. Just sayin'. RIP Mr. President, and turn the lights out when you leave the room. Oh, back to the subject. SPIKE has done such a good job at UnNews that we don't remember to remember it. This forum is turning into a SPIKE forum, so I'll say that when Zim had his nervous breakdown and donned that bird mask, SPIKE only shook his head for a moment before taking up the post of UnEditor and has made UnNews, as he said - with the help of Funnybony and dozens of great writers - a rival to the Onion for those "in the know" about both publications. The world's greatest newspaper could not have gotten this far without SPIKE. Jokerman is a very good new writer. The best way to write some UnNews stories, I've found, is to do so in user space and polish them there until they're ready. SPIKE has sent some of mine back to userspace, all for the better. UnNews isn't really like mainspacing an article, the page immediately takes the number one position on the UnNews list, and if it is not quite ready then the new article turns an unfinished or unpolished face to the public, who often spit on it. So hopefully everyone wants the stories to be of good quality, and it seems that SPIKE has assured that. In those cases when he userspaces something which he thinks isn't worthy, but many other people do, he is overruled and the story usually goes up for feature (thus is the faith of SPIKE, who must wander in the desert kicking at scorpions from time to time). But in the vast majority of cases he is right in his assessement that a story needs more work. And in many cases he does that work himself. And now my thoughts turn back to Mr. Lincoln, whose crime in life was marrying a wacko and then not taking a mistress or three. A man to be pitied, not pennied. Aleister 16:12 14-4-'11
I agree with most of what's been said so far. SPIKE is (pun intended) rough. I think he's edited close to all of my UnNewses at some point or another and I won't pull any punches here, my list of grievances is long. He's pissed me the fuck off for deleting three words in the article and then replacing them with synonyms or just to press the enter key. He's basically hijacked articles. He's done complete rewrites. I don't know how many times I've rolled my eyes after SPIKE had been at one of my articles.
With all that said, what he's doing for UnNews can't be fathomed. His high expectations have made the quality of the articles top-notch and consistent. His frequent editing/user-paging makes certain that news stories (which are all visible on the Main Page or the UnNews site) don't suck entirely, or are at least readable, or are at least not a disgrace to Uncyclopedia.
I think that a lot of the grief SPIKE's been taking lately comes from the fact that UnNews stories are not, in fact, like Uncyc articles. UnNewses are topical, and basically disappear from the face of the earth once they get bumped off the "Latest News" section or the "In the News" part of the Main Page. Unlike regular articles, which can be kind of blah without anyone noticing them, UnNewses are on the front page all the time and, therefore, have to be quality articles as soon as they're put up there. The author can't post it then worry if it's good; the visibility of the story on the site should make the writer think twice before posting it, but, this being a Wiki, that doesn't always happen and SPIKE's policing prevents that.
Yes, I think that SPIKE could be a bit more lax about minor edits and just accept that writers have different styles. Yes, it is his high expectations and his insistence that UnNews should look legitimate that make it so, well, legitimate. ~ Humbuck Talk 21:15, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I just had to log on to point out that UnNews is, mostly, too fucking legitimate and consistent. It bores the fuck out of me. OK, back to retirement. Byes! -- Style Oranssiviiva Guide 06:33, April 15, 2011 (UTC)

Why: The Fuck Are We Arguing About This?

If an article sucks that much, fucking VFD it. If it doesn't, live with the author's work and just acknowledge that people have different tastes and styles and fingerprints and shit. I don't know, I've had a pissy day, and I read through this forum and ejvbsdjkgfvbmjgbsjgbdjkh Explode fire Explode fireNeon Green Hammer And Sickle - Not particularly sincere, Sir ColinAYBExplode fireCUNExplode fireVFHExplode fireWhoringExplode fireMore Whoring Explode fireat23:19, Thursday 14 April 2011 - Neon Green Hammer And SickleExplode fireExplode fire

Love, you're forgetting one key detail. This place is an incarceration of morons. Key among them is a certain someone whom I've been trying not to say nasty, nasty things involving earthworms... yum, earthworms. Don't you like earthworms? 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 01:34, 15 April 2011

Ehm...

If anyone cares to hear my opinion, then they can read on, if not, I suppose they can ban me ;) First, I think everyone should back off and stop giving spike a hard time :) Secondly, I think everyone should now invent lots of jokes and make fun of spike cause sometimes he takes things way way way way way toooooooooooooo seriously. But, giving him a hard time, not cool, cause yes, unnews is one of the only things any of my friends ever read on this website if I send them a link. His suggesting and editing are really good (though no one would say that his delivery of criticisms could lose a little of the punch in the face you feel when reading it). His suggestions are fine, editing really good, he dedicates way more time than is humanly normal to the website, his moving to user space is a good idea when he suggests, and if there is a discussion he is always fair about it (with one throbbing exception I can think about in the past ;) SPIKE is suggesting guidelines and nothing more. Read:Guidelines. If someone wants to write something really different, I doubt spike would fight that if someone persisted. He's never acted as nor assumed any dictatorial role and I agree with 99% of what he does. But by all means make fun of him for how seriously he takes things. What a dork!!! But you cant knock down someone for suggesting good guidelines --ShabiDOO 02:45, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. The main problem is everyone is taking things too seriously. SPIKE can take UnNews a bit too seriously. But now everyone else is taking him too seriously. As someone who's gotten a reputation as "the serious" one, when I suggest that everyone lighten up, maybe it's about time it happened. ~ Humbuck Talk 02:51, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
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