Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/Battle of Salamis

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edit Battle of Salamis

PostMasterColonel 06:17, October 6, 2010 (UTC)

I can get this. I don't want that bitch Lyrithya beating me again. --Black Flamingo 21:06, November 27, 2010 (UTC)
Humour: 6 Hi there. You've got some decent ideas here, but I think overall it lacks focus, and could probably strengthened conceptually. I will talk about the larger problems under Concept, but for now let's just take a look at a few of your jokes.

All the stuff about dinghies seems a bit odd, and feels a bit out of place in an article about a battle, especially one where the core concept to be that they were fighting with salamis. Again this will be something I talk at length about in the Concept section, here I will just make a point about the esoteric nature of some of your dinghy-based jokes. When I read the one about "dinghy chasers" for example, I felt I was a bit out of the loop. While I kind of knew what you meant (women who are kind of like groupies to people who use dinghies?) any understanding I had was largely compiled by guesswork, as it's not something I'm really familiar with. I think you're expecting too much of the reader, who is unlikely to understand the stereotypes and in-jokes of the "dinghy-club", or whatever you want to call it. It was the same with the jokes about bumper boats too, I'm not even sure if that's real or a joke or what. It may actually be really funny to dinghy fans, they might be like "oh, those dinghy chasers, I know exactly what he means," but as I'm sure you're aware that's going to be quite a small demographic. There are a few things you can do about this however, the most obvious being to better explain your esoteric concepts. Just a sentence or two will do, just so long as you introduce the idea. You could even make a few more references to them throughout the article, just so the reader can get a good mental image of what you're talking about. Another thing could be to make the obscurities a part of the joke. For example, you could make the narrator a dinghy-enthusiast, who constantly refers to all these "common" characters and customs in the dinghy world, kind of like observational comedy, but the joke is that the reader has no idea what he's talking about. I'm not too sure this would work in this particular article, given that it's not really about dinghies (it's about salamis) but the idea is there for you, just in case you do want to totally re-haul it. How you handle this of course is up to you, after reading what I say later, you may want to get rid of the dinghies all together.

There is also an element of inconsistency in your humour. For roughly the first half of the article, most of the jokes (oddly) are about dinghies, which on its own isn't so bad I guess. But then when you get to the actual battle, it veers off into a totally different direction, and basically turns into a bunch of gay jokes. Again, these jokes on their own aren't necessarily bad, the issue is that there's no consistency to it. It sort of feels like two separate articles mashed together. A good article tends to use the same style throughout (unless that's the joke), although this doesn't exactly mean you have to get rid of something. There's room for all sorts of jokes in an article, the point is you have to have these flowing throughout the whole piece, not just resigned to their own sections. In fact, often the best articles have two or more running jokes. So if you want to put gay jokes in, be my guest, just make sure they're not all bunched up at the end - spread them out. For a really good example of a war article with several running jokes, read this. It has all sorts in there; political satire, racial stereotypes, silliness with robots - but the article is successful because they all carry through to the end.

Every now and then you employ random humour, something which generally doesn't go down well on this site, although this is only a very minor issue in this case. It's nothing too much to worry about; this is your first article, it was bound to happen. It's a really easy trap to fall into, and we've all done it (and many still do). Sometimes random humour and silliness can be successful, however it can be quite difficult to make it work. It usually requires a totally fresh and original approach - something that hasn't been done before. Unfortunately, this doesn't tend to be the case with most random humour, most of the time it doesn't work because it feels out of place and inconsistent, and is often also too bizarre for the reader to accept. A good example of this in your article is the egg gun. To be honest, it just seemed to be an excuse to use the egg gun image, and I had trouble with it's believability - all of which rendered it painfully unfunny in my opinion. A few of the other jokes about bumper boats and the Persians "enjoying the Mediterranean weather" suffered from this too, although less so. I don't know if you've read How to be funny and not just stupid, but I find it an invaluable guide to writing for this site, and it should help you with such problems in a way a pee review can only dream of.

Finally, let's just take a look at your ending, because it's a bit strange. Generally I think your ending is a bit weak, although this is more to do with the way it's set out rather than a lack of comedy value. The joke itself is ok, but I wouldn't recommend dedicating an entire section to just one joke and a canned quote (the latter also doesn't really add anything, by the way). Don't you think it looks odd to have a whole section header that says "Famous Military Salami Advocates" and then a single sentence under it that mentions just one of said advocates? Unless you're planning on putting more in, I would get rid of this and move the joke to the main body of the text, perhaps in the Background section (you could talk about origins of the idea, and say that Alexander the Great used to use, and eat, salamis). Your ending should bring everything to a close, but this just looks tacked on at the last minute.

Concept: 5 The overall concept seems to be along the lines of "the Battle of Salamis was actually fought with salamis", although at times I think you're striving to find any humour in that, which is why you get distracted by gay jokes and large sections about dinghies. Personally, I think the idea is quite workable, you just need to talk a lot more about it and make it the main focus of the article. You also need to introduce it better in the intro, where you don't actually mention the sausages at all. You do say it was famous for "the weapons used", at which point I did think "oh, they were probably salamis" but you really need to say this. However, say it in a more imaginative way than just "they fought with salamis", such a wacky idea should be ripe for clever and unusual wordplay. Refer to the different varieties of salami throughout the article to stop it from getting repetitive, and find interesting ways to refer to salami in general (something like "hard sausage", "cylinder of meat" or "salty phallus"). There can be a lot of humour just in words alone. And surely you can say something about there being "no cure for being hit with one of these" (because they're cured, get it?) A lame joke I know, but I hope it gives you an idea of the kind of thing I think you should be working towards. My main point, however is that the salamis should be the focus. Sure, Romartus may have said it's not enough, but in my opinion it just really depends on how you handle it (and he's probably right, by the way, it would be nice to see a few other things in there too, so don't be afraid to explore other humorous things about this historical event). However, like I say, keep it consistent. The stuff about dinghies really does seem to be a random divergence. Remember that this is supposed to be an article about a battle - you mix that up a little when you say they fought with salamis, but don't deviate too much from the framework or you'll just end up with madness. The idea that it was a bumper boat competition (a what?) does exactly this. It's too silly, and doesn't make any sense (especially when you say it was a battle). Another thing that hurts the article is the way you describe the battle itself - it's just a simple manoeuvre, you kind of skim over it in just one or two sentences, when this is supposed to be the subject of the article, the thing you're talking about all the way through. Remember, this is not an article about what boats they used, or how salami has been used in other battles, this is about The Battle of Salami. Of course, those other things come into it, but they shouldn't distract from what it the title of the whole thing.
Prose and formatting: 5 Your prose are ok but there are a couple of spelling/grammar errors in there, so I would really recommend you give it a thorough proofread at some point. Or alternatively, enlist the help of the proofreading service, who will be happy to help out. One mistake that springs to mind is the rogue apostrophe in the intro. And then if you haven't noticed already, you misspell "dinghy" about 20 times. As well as this, some of your sentences don't flow very well. A few of the full stops are in seemingly random places. Pay careful attention to this, only end sentences when you're done with the topic, and want to move on to something else. Try reading it out loud maybe, to make sure the flow is actually the way you want it. Generally you seem quite adept at writing so I won't bang on about the rules of grammar and just let you get on with it.

In terms of formatting; the layout of the article looks a bit scruffy right now, with lots of large white gaps near the start and end. This is largely due to poor image placement and sizing. I would suggest moving things around until the massive gaps disappear and the images are more lined-up in regards to the sections they are sitting in. Also, a lot of them are too small, you can't really make them out (at least, I couldn't. Perhaps my old eyes aren't what they used to be). One thing I would definitely do is move the Wiki box thing lower down - you should really have a nice big image here, at the start of the article, something striking and general that establishes your subject. Take a look at our best of for more ideas on how to set out your piece.

Images: 5 Your images are certainly plentiful, which is good, but none of them are hugely funny, and neither are the captions unfortunately. Let's go through them one at a time and I'll try to see what we can do about them.
  • The modern-day image of Salamis is ok, the problem is it doesn't make much sense here. You're not saying Salamis is a place, you're saying it was the weapon used in the battle, so a picture of the place just contradicts this.
  • The second one, of the map, is better, as it looks like the kind of image that would actually appear in an article about a historical war. Again, it's not funny, but it does sort of set the tone. However, on close inspection I noticed it actually isn't a picture of Greece. First of all, try uploading a slightly more relevant image. Then after that, have a go at making some kind of joke in the caption. Because as I'm sure you're aware, humour is the most important thing in an article, not information.
  • The one of the Dingy Chasers was nice to look at, but I have already explained my feelings about that joke. My advice would be to lose the pic unless you can come up with a way of making the joke less esoteric.
  • I actually quite liked the one of the "salamismith", so don't really have much to say on that.
  • The Greek Trireme is way too small, find a bigger version of the image if possible. Also you don't really offer any explanation as to what a Greek Trireme is. Is it some kind of battleship?
  • The egg guns one is a bit silly, as I've said. This would probably work better if you just left the image there and didn't refer to it in the text, so it's left as a sort of aside about other food weapons. You should still talk a little about other food weapons if you want the image to appear relevant, but make jokes that work as prose. This only really works as an image because the actual idea of an egg gun has no basis in reality and without the picture would make no sense.
  • The Alexander the great one is a bit silly and random too I'm afraid. It doesn't really have anything to do with salami or war, does it?

So what you should probably do here is lose a few, move a few around, edit text to make the images fit better conceptually, and perhaps get a few more in there. Like I said in Concept, your images should also be focussed on the subject matter - which of course is salamis. A good idea would be to do some photochopping, which if you're not competent in yourself, can be done for you over at image request. A nice picture (or series of pictures) of people fighting with salamis would really help.

Miscellaneous: 6 My gut feeling overall.
Final Score: 27 So to sum up, the main thing you need to be working on is your focus. Less stuff about bumper boats and gay jokes, and more about salami. Really drive the salami idea into the ground and extract as much sausage-based humour as you can, only deviate from this if it's really funny and not too random. You should definitely have a play with the formatting too as the article just looks unprofessional right now. Overall, you've done some great work here, especially for a first piece, and I look forward to seeing you continue working on it. If there's anything I've said here that you want me to explain better, or if you want my opinion on anything I might have missed, please let me know and I'll try to help. I hope the review is ok.
Reviewer: --Black Flamingo 11:19, November 28, 2010 (UTC)
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