Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/Bohemian Elephants

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edit Bohemian Elephants 12:49, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Humour: 5 This is not thigh-slappingly funny. It has potential, though. See endnotes.
Concept: 8 I rather like articles about fictional animals. Especially if there is an element of surrealism, as there seems to be here.
Prose and formatting: 7 The prose has no obvious defects -- that is, the spelling and grammar are mostly correct. But there are problems of syntax and clarity. See endnotes.
Images: 0 Find some images on Google. Resize 'em, alter 'em if necessary, and upload 'em to Uncyc. Put 'em in the article.
Miscellaneous: 7 I kind of like this; I hope it can be expanded and made better.
Final Score: 27
Reviewer: ----OEJ 19:13, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

edit Endnotes

Looking at the article history I note that this is appears to be Pkiff's first piece. My first piece was much worse than this one, so I VERY MUCH ENCOURAGE Pkiff to not be discouraged and to write more articles on Uncyc.

That said, I have some suggestions to offer.


Sentences should be as clear as possible. Readers are, for the most part, unable to know what you intended to say; all they know is what THEY THINK you wrote. If there is any room for a reader to misinterpret a sentence, or to mistake its meaning, then the reader will do it. (Murphy's law -- "If something can go wrong then it will go wrong" -- can be applied to writing as, "If a reader CAN misunderstand then he WILL misunderstand.")

Look at this paragraph:

"The hunting aspect of the elephants is mainly for reasons of experimentation and exploration. The reason experimentation is causing deaths is because a tribe of Bohemia, known only as The Bohemian Peoples front, (not to be confused with the Peoples Front of Bohemia or the Peoples Bohemian Front) likes, for some reason or another, to test cheese on these animals. As most of the cheese the BPF makes is deadly, it causes many elephant deaths. As for the exploration, the Peoples Front of Bohemia likes to send these elephants into orbit."

The first sentence should be:

"Bohemian elephants are hunted mainly for use in experiments and as test subjects in space exploration."

The words "aspect" and "for reasons of" are unnecessary and confusing. You are talking about hunting; just say that.

"The reason experimentation is causing deaths is because a tribe of Bohemia, known only as The Bohemian Peoples front, (not to be confused with the Peoples Front of Bohemia or the Peoples Bohemian Front) likes, for some reason or another, to test cheese on these animals."

Again, what is the core meaning of the sentence? Experimentation causes deaths because... Just start there. Also, a tribe is different from a political group. Label the group correctly: the revolutionary organization. The words "for some reason or another" are not strictly necessary. Because the sentence in question is already long and contains several subsidiary clauses I would eliminate this clause. I would also simply say that the BPH tests cheese on the elephants, eliminating the phrase "likes to". (I would argue that their action -- cheese-testing on elephants -- matters here and not their likes or dislikes.)

"Experimentation causes deaths because the Bohemian revolutionary organization The Bohemian Peoples' Front (not to be confused with the Peoples' Front of Bohemia or the Peoples' Bohemian Front) tests cheese on the elephants."

Write from inspiration; revise for clarity. Test every word and remove everything that is unnecessary. Try to leave no room for the reader to mistake your meaning.


In general the best Uncyc articles have a feeling of unity. That is, there are themes and subjects which are carried through the article and which hold it together. The opposite of this is the random article, often called "randumb", in which disconnected facts and incidents are tossed together willy-nilly.

Again, write from inspiration and if random elements occur try to use the best ones. Then revise toward unity: if it occurred to you that testing cheese on elephants is funny, then try to incorporate it in the article. Do the elephants like cheese? Why did this trait evolve? What consequences of cheese-lust might you imagine?

What I believe might occur to you is: There must be a reason the BPH use elephants and not mice to test cheese. Therefore: suppose that the elephants have a terrific lust for cheese, and make good test subjects because they eat it willingly and in large amounts. Why do the elephants lust for cheese? Because at the close of the ice age their mastodon forbears found their natural milk turning to cheese when it was no longer refrigerated by glaciers. What impact did this have later? The bohemian elephants historically raided the huts of medieval villagers and made off with their cheeses, sour creams, and yogurts. Now you find that the BPH not only have a natural reason to use the elephants for test subjects, they might have historical reasons to dislike the beasts in the first place.

And things start to tie together. The article starts to grow: now you might want a section on the paleontology of the Bohemian Elephant, and on the history of human-elephant interactions.

OK. So the road to development starts with the original inspiration, but uses that to suggest certain topics to expand upon. Usually the things which seem most interesting in the original draft are the ones you will naturally want to develop, and that's a good instinct to follow. If something feels random and trivial to you then it will almost certainly feel that way to a reader. Cut those things; expand on those aspects of the article which interest and delight you.

I think there are a number of surrealistic articles on animals in Uncyc; one I wrote recently is Hyrax. It's nothing special, but it does demonstrate one way to approach such pieces.

Welcome to the wonderful world of writing on Uncyc! I hope you stick around and write many more articles.

----OEJ 19:13, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

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