Talk:Think Tank

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edit Pee Review

Humour: 6 OK, this is, right now, a good idea waiting to be a good article. You've made a start, you've got the ideas, and bits are beginning to click into place, but you're a way off the finished product right now. I'll get to the meat of where I think you can add stuff at the bottom, but to begin with, I think you have two tendencies I struggle with myself:
  1. You understate your jokes and punchlines, or you're too subtle with the handling of them. For instance, "Think tanks, like a several-ton white knight, come in to substitute common sense and obfuscation where ignorance, rapine, and poisoning of the wells once flourished. In doing so, think tanks use the tools of their particular trade: reading, writing, rhetoric, and a 120 mm gun." Here, you're losing the impact of the misdirection by downplaying it a little. Italics, bold text, a line break after, something to draw attention to the change of focus on the last point there and show it's absurdity. To me, I always worry that feels too much like a "badum tisch" musical sting after a joke or something, but generally, these help your article by giving the jokes more room to breathe, and making sure people don't miss them so easily.
  2. You tend to over-employ that expansive vocabulary of yours. Yes, it can be very amusing to elaborately explain simple concepts in over-verbose fashion, but it's important that you don't over-do it (unless it its the sole point of the article, which it isn't in this case), or if you do, undermine it for more comedic effect by following it with a very blunt restatement to highlight the fundamental absurdity of the over-elaborate explanation that preceded it. Or put it in English so the rest of us can understand, Einstein. (That kind of thing, anyway). Personally, I love taking a stroll through the idiosyncrasies of the English language, but too much of it can put people off, unless it's leavened with some snappy lines to keep their interest.
Concept: 8 Hmm, this is an interesting thing. I'm almost doing a Boomer here, and starting with the concept. But I couldn't be bothered to re-organise the table, so you'll have to take my word for that. I'm rating concept first because at the moment, I feel it's a good concept waiting to work as an article. You've got ideas, and you've got the vocabulary, but this is currently lacking something, and I'm going to have to try and work out what that is in the rest of this review.

Think Tanks, as a concept, is fine. Nothing wrong with starting from a pun and working it into a full blown article, and it gives you plenty of scope to play with. There's room to be absurd here, and also room to do it in a nice, serious style, heightening the absurdity. I do think you're only scratching the surface of what can be achieved here though - and I'll make a few suggestions below, as is my wont, as to how I think you can bring more to the table.

Prose and formatting: 7 I covered most of my thoughts on your prose in the homo(u)r section up there, however I'll just observe that there's little to fault here, you know your stuff. However, you do lack commas in a couple of places, most notably the first line of the "History" section - what a doozy that is!
Images: 8 Solid here at the moment. Two pics are decent, and nicely relevant, and well used. I saw Lj put that one on the request page for you, and it's not a bad job. It's also quite well used, as is the first tank pic. The tankard one feels like it's a bit superfluous at the moment, but could be made to fit much more neatly - see my comments below. Also, if this article expands a little, as I hope it will, you may need a fourth, although what you have here is a decent amount for the current length.
Miscellaneous: 7.3 Averaged.
Final Score: 36.3 OK, this is an article with plenty of potential, but it still needs plenty of work. I will add a bunch of comments below here shortly to give you pointers and ideas you can choose to use or ignore as you see fit. However, something's come up, and I need to pop out for a while, so hang on and I'll get back to this later today. Promise!

However, to sum up: keep working on this, think about your writing style as it applies to this article carefully, and you should end up with something very nice indeed. I look forward to seeing it again when you've given it a good going over!

Reviewer: --SirU.U.Esq. VFH | GUN | Natter | Uh oh | Pee 12:41, Apr 6

Okay, to start with, you have some good ideas that you need to make more of here. The main one is applying the qualities of tanks to different arenas, such as debate and policy discussion and the like. So far you've covered the big gun, and the treads, but modern tanks have so much more to offer you. Take, for example, their rapidly revolving turrets, perfect for keeping an eye on all sides of a debate, or for following the twisty arguments of a politician. Then you have night vision and infra-red heat vision, perfect for seeing through political smokescreens - not to mention the ability to use smoke themselves to smoke out more difficult dissenters. Think of a few examples like this to broaden your scope a little bit, which allows you more targets while also making the repetition when you do return to the main gun (as you should, it is the best comedy blunt instrument to apply) much funnier, and less expected.

Now, to diversify a bit, and avoid listishness - the notable think tanks section is a nice step away, and a start, but I suspect you need to use lower level headers and make each type of tank at least a paragraph in its own right. That would allow the tankard pic to work better with the article, give you a bit more room to bring more variety, and open up possible tangents. For example, the tankard - it holds liquid, yes, most stereotypically booze. Booze is of course to rational argument and intelligent debate what Bush is to, er, rational argument and intelligent debate, actually. So this particular think tank could be employed when all others have failed, and only drunk logic is left as a possible solution. Very little can stand in the face of a particularly sozzled non-sequitur, after all...

Finally, you need a good ending. Finding a good way to close an article can be quite important, and a deciding factor on how well it plays. So maybe a strong conclusions section, summing up what's gone before, with a good final line (perhaps something about gunbarrel diplomacy, or war being the continuation of diplomacy by other means, which puts the think tank in a rather unique position, or something like that but funny! ;-) ). An alternative is to consider a couple of real-world examples that either could have been improved by a think-tank's involvement, or that could only have reached the conclusion they did due to the involvement of a think tank. If ideas do not occur readily, give me a shout, I'll see if I can suggest something suitable.

Hope that gives you plenty to be going on with anyway. I enjoy reading your stuff MDL, it's always good to see people who have the same obvious love for the English language and its many quirks as I have! Keep working at it, and let me know if you'd like me to take another look.

And now my usual final bit: this is only my opinion, others are available. And good luck! --SirU.U.Esq. VFH | GUN | Natter | Uh oh | Pee 15:23, Apr 6

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