Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/Red Sea

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edit Red Sea

My first article not somehow relating to John Milton since late March. Hopefully it's alright. —Unführer Guildy Ritter von Guildensternenstein 14:50, June 11, 2010 (UTC)

Got it. BRB. --monika 00:54, June 13, 2010 (UTC)

So I get the impression that these scores are going to be on some absolute scale - I can't imagine how useful that is for the articles at the upper end of the scale. Then again, I'm still bitter about high school teachers who used to give me Bs for the best paper in the class because it wasn't the best paper I'd ever written. Actually I'm not. I got over that a long time ago. Don't ask me why I still remember it... Anyway, my calibration may be way off. Ignore the numbers.

The article is solid. In my attempts to be useful, I'll be suggesting some changes and explain why I'd consider making them. Don't feel compelled to follow those suggestions - it would probably work out better if you see if my reasons make sense to you and if you could make the changes in your own voice. Consistency is more important.

Humour: 8 I'm not sure about anyone else, but I'd definitely vote for it. It's a strange combination of simplistic repetitive jokey jokes and researched reasoned dry humor. Bits like the discussion of "Mediterranean" as a color take the joke farther than anyone could reasonably expect it to go, and it works.

One area where it feels lacking is in a sense of expert believability - it doesn't feel to me like the writer's lack of understanding on the origin of the name is something shared by every expert in the world, but rather, at any moment, someone might stumble upon the article and say "I know why it's called the Red Sea" or even "This bit here is definitely wrong" and edit it. Phrases like "One prominent theory" and "Another theory postulates" work here, and "yet to be substantiated by science" points in the right direction, but overall, the article could use a little more "I am an expert on this subject" swagger, ideally without adding any hint of "I'm an idiot and don't know it" undertones. One thing that might work well is a heightened level of precision - avoid "-ish" or "sort of" if you can when describing color, and perhaps add more detail about specific shades where appropriate. For example, Tyrian Purple is often more accurately referred to as Tyrian Burgundy, as it is nearly twice as red as it is blue.

I would be also amused if every color name linked to the Wikipedia (not uncyc) article about the color. It would add to the "color is an important and difficult subject" aspect of the joke.

Concept: 9.5 It's encyclopedic, on a subject worthy of encyclopedic coverage, written in an encyclopedic voice, and completely skips around most of what would actually be encyclopedic-ly covered in a real encyclopedia. Perfect.

I love that you actually stuck with a single unifying concept throughout the article. In this case, the concept is good as a one-off joke, but is difficult to keep up for more than a line or two. The fact that you did brings it up more, and then you were successful at keeping a fairly high level of joke quality throughout even though the jokes are ostensibly the same thing over and over again.

There's only so much that can be done with the joke (-.5), but you do most of it.

Prose and formatting: 8 No major problems. The paragraphs are uniformly pretty short (and the long paragraph at the start of CG&O is visually broken up by the references, which on my computer at least add some extra space between lines - that can't be helped) which makes it look somewhat thin. If a few (not all) of the paragraphs were longer, it would give it some encyclopedic punch. (The last short paragraph is good that way.) I don't see any obvious places to stitch two paragraphs together. Perhaps some ideas could be fleshed out a bit, but don't be tempted to just say the same thing in more space if it doesn't add to the joke.

(Quick note: The paragraphs about European invaders stray a bit from the central joke. Might be a good place to expand a bit. The British army was still wearing red at the time - is there a reason why this couldn't possibly be the source of the name? Ideally (and this is me imagining I'm you writing this article), you want Trichodesmium to be the only obvious unexplored explanation.)

I don't like the See Also section. The links in it wouldn't be difficult to integrate into the article.

I've got a few usage suggestions which would go here if I weren't planning on adding them after the table.

Images: 7.5 These are good supporting images, and don't need to be more than that. (In fact, it's hard to imagine that images requiring more effort would have returns worth the effort.) The middle one is perfect. The other two work and both add to the article; there's nothing wrong with them and they don't need fixing, but there feels like there's some room for incremental improvements.

The first feels more plain than it could be. Its effectiveness depends on when the reader takes time from the article to look at it and its caption. This isn't a huge problem as it's the first image in the article. The third image has a similar problem but it isn't the first image and the effect is stronger, but on the other hand, it has a punch-liney feel that goes well at the end of the article. I can't decide which, but if it were mine, I'd be considering swapping one of those two images out and replacing it with the topographic map from Wikipedia, where color has meaning, and in particular, red has the meaning "over 4000m above sea level" which clearly doesn't apply to the Red Sea. That feels like it has more potential for a fleshier contribution to the joke. (retrospect from the future: I'd probably replace the first image.)

(more retrospect: I'm not convinced the third image is the best choice of similar satellite images of the Red Sea. The amount of brown in the air above the sea has its pros and cons compared to similar images with clearer skies and bluer water. Something to think about but not very hard.)

On a hardly related note, I hate the bouncing Wikipedia logo...

Miscellaneous: 8.3 Averaged because I'm low on things to say.
Final Score: 41.3 Good job.

Bullet list of suggestions:

  • Sound more like an expert. Your imaginary writer knows what he's talking about. Make him more cocky but keep his writing encyclopedic and professional.
  • Facts and details and history bits you included are good. More are better.
  • A few longer paragraphs mixed in with the short paragraphs would help the visual flow. (And also, the flow.)
  • Image 1 and 3 overlap in usefulness. Replacing one of them might help both of them feel less airy.
Reviewer: --monika 03:55, June 13, 2010 (UTC)

edit Usage/Grammar/Misc notes

Some of this is pretty copyedity. Hope you don't mind.

  • "Contrary to popular belief," - on Wikipedia, this would have a [who believes this?] note on it. This is also contrary to what the name suggests, which is both more encyclopedic and more "this is what this article is about". You might think it's too much of the latter; I don't.
  • "year, though in" -> "year, and in" maybe? The clause at the end is more supplementary than contradictory to the first.
  • Sentence starting with "Indeed,"... There's something wrong here. The "when the fact that" part is left hanging. I'd just replace it with "considering", which is more concise than completing it.
  • "compatible" with? Maybe congruous or fitting would flow better.
  • ‘olive.’ would work better as ‘olive'. since the . isn't part of what is being referred to. (Not everyone agrees with me. I'll look up reputable sources that do if you want me to.) Ditto “Yam Suph.”, “Red Sea,” and “Sea of Reeds,”.
  • then-General - titles are capitalized.
  • "transiting" is not incorrect but has the potential to trip readers where "passing" wouldn't. (I'd be split if I were the one who had to decide between them.)
  • Climate, Geography, and Oceanography - I like Oxford commas. We're not a print newspaper with limited column space. The Wikipedia manual of style doesn't care when there isn't ambiguity, but doesn't like ampersands that aren't parts of officially recognized names.
  • "the result of" sounds almost like the trench is actively causing rather than passively causing. I'd consider rephrasing it.
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