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|Humour:||7||Lots of funny parts. Like the sailors running their ships onto rocks blaming mermaids and the quote at the beginning of the article.
History: Great joke about why women smell like perfume above the waist and fish below; I love Columbus' middle English; I missed the "important discovery" joke the first time - maybe play this up a bit more "an important discover that would forever change the course of human history" or something like that; explain what a manatee is; the joke about people continuing to believe the world was flat - just needs a tweak to make a stronger connection between people's belief and Columbus' lack of evidence. Even something like "Columbus was discredited, so naturally people continued to believe the world was flat"; I'm not sure what "ich" is. You could also build the humour by explaining how mermaids caused such diseases; a stronger connection between the two Hans Christian Anderson stories would work better; more on Splash - lots of humour potential (and it was a Disney movie so you could use it to lead into the paragraph on Disney's version of The Little Mermaid.")
Related Species:This is really funny if it's what you meant (that both types are identical).
Sirens - explain what a dugong is. Also, a little more on Sirens, since not all readers know what they are. You could refer the The Odyssey and make a joke about how alluring Sirens are. The joke about ambulances works well.
Merdog: explain what a cloaca is. You can always make these explanations funny. If people don't understand what these words mean, they won't get any of the jokes.
The Mermaid Problem:To some extent you defeat the joke in the first paragraph by referring to gorgeous hair, beautiful faces and perfect breasts. You explain why men are in fact attracted to them. I think it would work better if you left that part out and just said "enticing to human men when their bottom half is a fish" Or if you're going to mention the beautiful parts, make it funny, such as the professor being obsessed with the bottom half and thus not 'getting' why men would be so concerned with beautiful breasts, etc.; a little further down, "I - I mean my test subject - am not into anal sex." Shouldn't this be the other way around? Shouldn't he say his test subject isn't into anal sex (implying he is) and then correct it to mean it's him who's not into it?; further down "why couldn't she have been the other kind of mermaid, with the fish part on top, and the lady part on the bottom?" - you've overused this joke. You used it in the quote at the top of the article; "a prince named Eric." This could be funnier if you re-worked it or built up to it a bit. As is stands, it's a bit of a lame joke.
Mermography - the part about cloaca to cloaca sex being "not very exciting" you've pulled off perfectly. Just the right subtle tone of understatement; you could do more with "Mermaids' rights" (are there protests? impending legislation?). Even the part about increased findings of women's dead upper torsos - possibly lead up to this. Like, there have been unexpected dead female torsos washed up upon shores - some take this as evidence that mermaid fins are a Chinese delicacy, while others refute the existence of mermaids (and provide an alternate explanation).
Celebrities - I don't get the joke about Cher. Some of the other celebrities you might add a line or two about to make the jokes a little less like one-liners (it took me a while to get that Ethel Merman was a Siren bacause she's so loud).
Mermaids in Legend - Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey causing "distraction and irritation" from 30 miles away is just great; however, the next line about pop singers doesn't really add anything.
|Concept:||8||Yes, an article about mermaids is a great idea, and you work it well, with the professors, research, pop culture, etc., just like an encyclopedia article. Consider using the heading "Mermaids in Pop Culture" to precisely parody Wikipedia. I'd suggest something about the movie Mermaids, but it's not really about mermaids. Though Cher, Winona Ryder, and Christina Ricci would make great mermaids. And what about Tom Hanks? At the end of Splash, he goes to live beneath the sea with the mermaid - does he become a Merman?|
|Prose and formatting:||6||Generally well-written, but see comments below. The most common error is mixing singular and plural. Headings are really good, and funny (I like The Mermaid Problem and Mermography). I guess you're getting to the Controversy section?
1st paragraph: To nitpick, mermaids aren't technically the species; they're the female portion of the species; "They are commonly seen..." - since you've just been talking about mermen, it sounds like the "they" refers to mermen, but you mean Mermaids (say "Mermaids are commonly seen"); Same with "when they run their boats into rocks" - since you used "they" earlier in the sentence to mean mermaids, it sounds like the mermaids are running the boats into rocks. Say "sailors who run their boats into rocks."
History, paragraph 2: To make it smoother, instead of "he was sailing around the Cape of Good Hope and saw..." try "Sailing around the Cape of Good Hope, he saw..." Otherwise the tendency is to sound flat ("He did this," "he did that," etc).
History, paragraph 3: sounds a bit more encyclopedic to begin "Further unconfirmed mermaid sightings..."; "And the whole mermaid story" - change to "And that the whole mermaid story" otherwise it sounds like you're reporting that the stories were, in fact, invented.
History, paragraph 4: last line, beginning "where he claimed..." I'm not sure what you mean; Draw a closer connection between the Emperor's New Clothes and why this made him unbelievable.
History, paragraph 5: "Media reports led...girls who have fused legs" - seems to mix past ("led") and present ("have") tense. Try "girls with fused legs."
History, paragraph 6: last sentence, you repeat "under the sea" in parenthesis. You could just say "referring to the part of the mermaid that stays under the sea"; Siren: hyphenate "mid-19th century." "or are often mute" - use "and" or "but" instead of "or."
Merdog, paragraph 2: "Lira said" - doesn't sound very encyclopedic. Maybe "according to Dr. Princeton's 4-year-old daughter"; In the next paragraph, maybe use "responded" instead of "said." Also, we usually put a comma after "said" before the quote; The paragraph after that, "My daughter." I think you meant to have a comma instead of a period.
Maidmer: at the end of this paragraph, "is called" would sound more encyclopedic as "is often considered" or "tends to be referred to as."
The Mermaid Problem, paragraph 1: "biologists" should be "biology"; More encyclopedic to say "reported Professor Anders" rather than "said"; Smoother to say "is why mermaids are enticing"; "A human male attempted" - I think you mean "attempting"; "Stopped" is a bit awkward. I might write "A human male would be prevented from having sexual intercourse with one..."; "Even if they did have a vagina" - "they" is plural so say "vaginas." Or, since you've just said "vaginas," you could write " 'Even if they did,' said Angstrom."
The Mermaid Problem, paragraph 2: "some mermaids once had a split tail" - again, if "mermaids" is plural, you should write "split tails."
The Mermaid problem, paragraph 4: You use "claimed" twice in a row in the first sentence. Try to re-word so you only have to use it once.
The Mermaid Problem, paragraph 5: Last line - comma after "said."
Celebrities, last paragraph: I'm not sure what "seeting" is - don't you mean swimming?; "strip" is misspelled.
Mermaids in legend, paragraph 1: "They were said to have a hypnotic voice, like that of..." Both mermaids and the singers are plural, so "hypnotic voices, like those of..."
Mermaids in legend, paragraph 2: I guess "these reported mermaids" refers to Houston and Carey, though that's not clear. You haven't actually said Houston and Carey were reported as mermaids, only as having hypnotic voices; I think "proved" should be "proven."
|Images:||5||Mermen photos are good - I especially like the firefighter (reminds me of a firemen's calendar). But you need more mermaid pictures throughout the article.|
|Miscellaneous:||6||Beginning: why are they seen more and more often in freshwater lakes? This could be expanded into a new sections, "mermaids today" - maybe talk about population and migration patterns and the effects of climate change.
History: The origin of mermaids has more of a mythical quality that being historical. Rather than stating it as fact, referring to it as a myth would be closer to an encyclopedia. Also, it would allow for several possible myths from ancient cultures, such as the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, etc.
|Final Score:||32||Good effort, with lots more humour potential if you really work on it. There's so much you can do with this subject.|
|Reviewer:||Sir Roger 00:11, December 13, 2009 (UTC)|