Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/Salem witch trials

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edit Salem witch trials

The previous page was a bit shit - I hope this is better Sog1970 22:58, April 7, 2011 (UTC)

I'll have a go at this. --Black Flamingo 19:48, April 9, 2011 (UTC)
Humour: 9 Hi Sog, hope you're well. Wow, it's been a long time since I've reviewed one of yours (the last was that Hong Kong Phooey one, I believe, which must have been around 20 features ago) it's nice to see they're just as difficult to criticise as they've always been. This one in particular is a damn fine article, and the only issues I can foresee are minor. In fact, the vast majority of them are with your prose, so there's not really much to say in these first few sections. Literally the only problem with the humour, in my opinion at least, is that it gets a little repetitive at times. By the end of the second section it feels like I've heard the same joke told a hundred different ways, and although that repeated joke is a good one, it starts to get a little tiresome. A lot of the jokes, especially in the first half, are just stereotypically "witchy" things that the accused have done. While the jokes are great (some of them had me laughing out loud) I just think you do it a few too many times. For instance, the one about Corey drawing "a pentangle on the courtroom floor with pixie-dust and swearing her oath to Satan", and the further line about the candles and skulls, feels redundant, like more of the same, if you know what I mean. By this point it looks like you're running out of funny, creative ideas for witchery, as this one is nowhere near as surprising or well-thought-out as the ones that precede it (or even a lot of those that follow). I would recommend getting rid of (at least) this one, maybe one or two other weaker lines, just for the sake of brevity. It almost doesn't seem worth mentioning it because it barely hinders the article at all - but I have to nitpick because it did hold the humour back in my view, even if it only did it a little.
Concept: 10 The concept is very simple but very, very good. The idea that all the innocent women they killed were actually performing magick and Satanic rituals is deliciously un-PC, and yet you still elicit sympathy for them - nicely played. I have nothing else to say here really.
Prose and formatting: 6 Ok, I have just about enough to say here to justify the review, I think. It's mostly just over-complex or muddled sentences, probably a result of you being from that place. Let's do this in list format, section-by-section, that should make it easier for both of us.

Intro

  • "Nineteen of the accused were executed by hanging, one crushed beneath a house flown specially from Kansas – her property (like that of all condemned witches) was confiscated and her ruby slippers are now displayed in the Salem Folk Museum." - The way you say "one crushed" sounds like you're going to list a few more methods of execution, but then it looks like you get lost in all the extra info you cram in about the crushed one, and forget to list any more. Instead of separating the two incidents with a comma, it might be better to say nineteen were hung, and one was crushed beneath a house... The bit about the ruby slippers is clunky too, and to be honest all this detail seems out of place in the intro, which is supposed to be a broad exposition of the topic. It might be an idea to just say "some were crushed by houses..." If you want to go into all this detail it would be better to cite a specific example in the main body of the text, then you can take your time describing it.

Early days

  • "Salem had long been known for the fractious relationships between its inhabitants who frequently bickered, resorting to law and to turning each other into toads far more frequently that the residents of nearby Andover or Ipswich." - This is difficult to follow. It's the "to law" bit that doesn't seem to fit, I can't figure out what you mean by that, and having them resort to turning each other into toads seems to be the more important clause here. Maybe just stick with that.
  • "Certainly the initial spark of the incident could not have occurred had Reverend Parris not have been appointed since it was his 9 year old daughter Betty and her 11 year old cousin Abigail Williams who were first afflicted" - Another overlong, clunky sentence. A comma after "appointed" should sort it out to some degree, but you might want to take a look at the whole thing to see if there's a simpler way you can say this.

Arrests and accusations

  • "Scepticism about the credibility of the girls' accusations" - This makes it sound like it's the girls who are making the accusations. Perhaps just get rid of the word "girls", or swap "accusations" for "charges", or a similar word.

Oyer and Terminator

  • "But public opinion was beginning to change." - This is a strange line. You don't go anywhere with it, and don't mention anything about opinions changing in the following sentences, nor any kind of explanation or justification for the statement. As a whole the piece seems a little muddled around here. The sentence about Unicorn blood would make more sense in the next section, which deals with the courts being unable to cope with the amount of accusations; surely a symptom of the Unicorn blood incident. The strange and irrelevant line about public opinions changing should probably just be excised altogether.

Superior court of judicature

  • "Chief Justice Stoughton was keen on this more-scientific form of proof as it was felt that relying on the touch test (does the afflicted accuser instantly recover when touched by the accused) may have been open to abuse." - This is a really confusing line; it took a couple of reads to get my head around it. Sticking the explanation for the touch test in the middle of the sentence like this muddles things up too much, especially considering how incomprehensible the touch test itself is. You might want to introduce the test first, explaining that it was an older method, then go on to say that Chief Justice preferred the more scientific methods. Try to be clearer in your explanation of the test too, as I'm still not sure exactly what it entails.
Images: 10 Again, you're note-perfect here. I especially love how you always manage to find room for nudity and/or fetish outfits in your articles. A special mention for Mary Corey's pentangle picture too, that had me chuckling like a maniac.
Miscellaneous: 8.5 Overall impression.
Final Score: 43.5 Ok, not much there really, but I hope what is there helps. The main thing to work on is definitely the prose, as it just gets a little messy at times and ruins more than a few good jokes. Have a think about the brevity too; the article is by no means too long, but as mentioned does feel repetitive here and there. It's all very much your call, of course. Apart from that; good work. 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 on my talky page and I'll try to help. When you're done I'd be happy to nom.
Reviewer: --Black Flamingo 20:42, April 9, 2011 (UTC)
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