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This is kind of in opposition to User:The Woodburninator/RulesVsFunny, but not really. Whereas he kind of asked voters to be open when voting, I'm asking writers to be closed when writing. It might not make sense now, but I find there is a certain type of article that tends to be funny.
Before I begin, take a look at UN:R. Two rules! How nice. Well, articles should follow some rules, I think, or the funniness is lost. I think it should look like this:
"RULES" as important as FUNNY
They go hand in hand, people. You'll find that when people break the "rules" of "writing a featured article," it decreases funniness, and that being funny follows certain intuitive rules that I will try to lay out here.
edit RULE #1: The One Rule On Rules
Every article, when it breaks one of the following sort-of intuitive (?) rules, it MUST have a comedic reason to do so.
Explain what you're talking about to us, please. Be very, very specific, and focus in on what you're trying to say either at the beginning or throughout the whole article. If you're doing an article on more esoteric stuff like Pat Garrett, Atlas Shrugged, or Tapheselachophobia (whore!!) you have to explain what you're talking about. I don't think Woody would disagree with me on this point.
edit Avoid Memes
Sometimes memes can be funny, if you make fun of the meme itself. If you make an article claiming that the meme is itself funny, you'll go nowhere. Stuff like Chuck Norris or Nobody Cares (will not link to that article) is very, very old hat.
Different articles require different lengths. Now, here, I disagree with Woody. If it's funny but it's just a one-liner on something that has a lot of potential, it doesn't deserve to be highlighted. Remember that "explain" rule that I put as the very first one? You have to -- have to -- spend time explaining your subject matter. Now, because Woody agrees with me on the first point, he shouldn't disagree with this one... oh wait! He does.
If something is funny but nearly unreadable, obviously it shouldn't be featured. If the format makes no sense considering the subject matter, then it should be fixed. There's no personality quirks here, just fix the format! Take a look at Andrei Tarkovsky.
Rules for formatting don't really exist, however there is a default template that people should use and edit as needed by the article's subject. That template includes absolutely no spelling or grammar mistakes, pics on the right, <h3> inside <h2>, no lists, no hanging sentences, and paragraphs about four or five lines long before a break. That's all! Is that so hard to follow? Think of it like someone who has never seen an uncyc article before.
If an article breaks one of the above rules, it has to have a reason to do so, or it doesn't really work. Woody says that format doesn't matter, but even he knows that's not right. Like I said, the article has to have a reason to break the rules, or it doesn't work.
What about funny pee reviews or funny talk pages? I recently nommed a pee review that was particularly funny. I honestly think it should be drastically changed before it can be featured.
If something is lost on you, it's not going to be funny. In Woody's article, he asks for a definition of an injoke. I think there are two different levels:
- "Has Codeine's mum heard of it?" If an article fails this test, it's safe to say it's an in-joke or vanity or something like that.
- "Have Americans/British people heard of it?" I still don't know what "crumpets" or "bangers and mash" are. That doesn't mean that they aren't funny words. however, there are some aspects of British life that I cannot understand, no matter how funny their words are.
Therefore, if you don't get it, you represent a portion of the public that also won't get it. That's why voting is important: If you don't vote, that means that a vast majority of people like you also won't vote. If you don't find an article funny, that means a vast majority of people like you also won't.
edit High Comedy/Stupid Humor
Yes, I feel non-funny a LOT because my writing is dumb. I look at people like Mhaille, who write very extravagant pieces on interesting things and I think, "oh god, how could I do that?"
However, thinking you're not funny can be a good thing if you think you can become funny later, right? If you keep striving to be funny and think you're progressing, then comparing your (my) dumb humor to high-minded stuff can be very inspiring.
This point, brought up by Woody, is a good one. Over time, accomplished writers can be forced to move out of their comfortable space. When one of my last articles before my 8-month break was nommed and turned down because it was too much like my other articles, I didn't freak out. I realized I had to shift my writing style in order to keep up with the times. This leads into my next point...
There is one style that never goes out of style:
- real info, not just shit you made up (unless it has a comedic reason to do so)
- a format that is understandable to someone who's been in Wikipedia (unless it has a comedic reason to not do so)
- a formal, third-person speaking voice (unless it has a comedic reason to not do so)
This is the style we should all kind of drift to when our own unique style becomes stale.