Hello everyone! This is a short(ish) guide to help newer users understand the Grammar/Prose (GP) process a bit clearer and give them the basics to get into GPing analyses.
If you have not done so already, be sure to read up on the Rules and Guidelines
, the Analysis Formatting Guide
(which is also important when GPing), and the other General Information
Smogon's analysis process consists of two major stages, Quality Control (QC) followed by GP. The former stage is typically only reserved for experienced players and consistent contributors to Contributions and Corrections (C&C). GP is open to any and all willing contributors, the more good GPers we have the better for the quality of our analyses and the information we bring you. Once an analysis has 2 official GP stamps it is considered Done
and ready to be uploaded to the site.
However, in order to be recognized as part of the GP team a few of your what we call "amateur checks" will have to be "stamped" (approved) by members of the current GP team before they can be counted as official and you recognized as part of the GP team. This is explained in the Amateur checks vs. official checks section.
How to do a GP check
The first order of business when doing a GP check is to copy the OP's analysis in full and paste it wherever you feel most comfortable. For the purposes of this quick example I'll be using the forum as the medium to do the GP check. Feel free to do this also using Sarenji's peer editing program
or in a Word Document.
Be sure to click Go Advanced if you're working on the forums with your GP check. Once there, paste the OP and put it in Hide tags (which is the box found in your tool bar). The next order of business is to denote how your changes will be highlighted; typically, it's simply an add
Now it's simply a matter of reading through the analysis and editing as you would with pen. Here's a quick example:
Originally Posted by Fat Original
The new year is here and that means what may be the largest indepnedently organized Pokemon tournament in South America is just about here as well! Apex 2013 takes place at Rutgers University in New Jersey from January 11th - 13th and Pokemon Black & White 2 will join other games like Super Smash Bros. Meelee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition on the roster. With prizes of cash up for grabs, you can be sure the competition will be fierce! If you're unable to make it, the event will also be streamed live by the kind professionals over at CLASH Tournaments. Pokémon starts on Friday at 5:00 PM EST and the stream itself will begin at 8:00 PM EST. For full details, check out the forum thread. ~Firestorm
Originally Posted by Fat Your Corrected Version
The new year is here and that means what may be the largest indepnedently independently organized Pokemon tournament in South North America is just about here as well! Apex 2013 takes place at Rutgers University in New Jersey from January 11th - 13th and Pokemon Black & White 2 will join other games like Super Smash Bros. Meelee Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition on the roster. With prizes of cash cash prizes up for grabs, you can be sure the competition will be fierce! If you're unable to make it, the event will also be streamed live by the kind professionals over at CLASH Tournaments. Pokémon starts on Friday at 5:00 PM EST and the stream itself will begin at 8:00 PM EST. For full details, check out the forum thread. ~Firestorm
That is a very simple example of a GP check. You'll also typically be looking to fix prose, as well as fixing analyses to match the Smogon Spelling and Grammar Standards
. That's a very large guide and one that takes a while to memorize, but after a few checks you tend to catch on very quickly.
Speaking of quickly, Sarenji's program that I linked to earlier makes GPing very quick for newer checkers as well. Here are the simple instructions:
Amateur Checks vs. Official Checks
- The original analysis/article goes in the Original textbox. Your edited version goes in the New textbox.
- Press "Diff!"
- Copy the BBCode. Post it.
- Cry tears of happiness for lazy programmers.
The GP team's hub is located here at the GP Queue
. The queue is updated frequently with the analyses that are ready for GP as well as a holding the compendium of all official GP team members.
The queue also provides the information on how to become a member of the GP team:
Forum etiquette as an amateur checker
You may apply for the GP team at any time. To apply, you must send a private message to Jellicent and Fatecrashers explaining why you think you're qualified for the team along with a list of at least 3 grammar checks that you've done in the past month. The leaders of GP will then review the quality of your checks together and let you know whether you've been accepted or rejected. Note that we may decide to send you a test analysis to check for further testing.
Quick Tips and Common Mistakes to look for
- Do not use a "placeholder" which you'll see other GP team members using as an amateur checker. If an official member is ready to GP an analysis, waiting for you to finish only bogs down the process.
- Please do not do GP checks on an analysis where the OP hasn't implemented the GP check above you.
- The OP is not obligated to implement every single one of your suggested changes.
- Do not bug official members to stamp your check. HOWEVER, feel free to ask kindly if they would so that you can become a member of the team as well.
As I alluded to before, as a checker for Smogon, the Smogon Spelling and Grammar Standards
is going to pretty much be your Bible. For your first few checks it's a good idea to keep it open in another tab so you can reference it as you go.
Also, be sure to study any official GP checks on an analysis that you have checked. This will help you pick up on stuff to look for and a few of the nuances in the writing here at Smogon.
Here I will list some of the most common mistakes found in our analyses when it comes to spelling.
- Smogon uses Standard American English
in our analyses and nearly every aspect of the site, so be sure when checking analyses to look for and correct non-standard English (this includes British English).
- Pokemon names
. Believe it or not, I cannot tell you how many times I've had to fix the spelling of Amoonguss and Foongus, as well as Alomomola, Beheeyem, and Reuniclus. Be sure to make sure you know how to spell all of the Pokemon's names as you dive in so you can catch any mistakes.
- Its vs it's
. Its is the possessive, it's stands for "it is." Keep your eyes peeled for this.
. <- That is the correct spelling.
- Their vs there vs they're
. I use these wrong all the time too.
- Curly apostrophes and quotation marks.
Use the ASCII ( ' ) apostrophe in writing, not the curly ( ’ ) apostrophe.
Use the ASCII ( " ) quotation marks in writing, not the curly ( “ ” ) quotation marks. Here's how you can fix the issue in Word
- Smogon uses the serial comma (the comma before "and" in a list). (I went to the store with Bob, Jane, and Mike
- When referring to the battler, use the pronoun "you". Do not use "you" to refer to a Pokemon.
- It is "an OHKO", not "a OHKO" (pronounce it 'oh-aitch-kay-oh' and it will make sense).
- The plural of a Pokemon is identical to the singular of that Pokemon. One Blissey, two Blissey. Never two Blisseys.
Prose is a bit more complicated. We always want to try and keep any flavor the author may have inserted into the analysis as much as possible. If a sentence makes sense when you read it, it's probably good enough.
However, if a sentence could be reworded better for more clarity or for less awkwardness, feel free to suggest changing it to a more cohesive or clear sentence.
When it comes to prose, it's usually up to you as the checker to decide if you feel something should be changed or not.
If something just doesn't make sense to you, feel free to leave a note in your check to ask the author for more clarification. You're never assumed to have to write for the author, the onus is on them to finish the analysis and make it as good as possible.
This also goes for metagame knowledge. If you feel that something major in regards to how the set or Pokemon functions within the metagame is missing, be sure to ask the author to include that in the analysis.
Don't feel bad about also checking for content as you're GPing. In fact, it's encouraged above all else. We want our analyses as in-depth as possible, while still being concise.
Ever find yourself making too many changes?
If as you're checking an analysis you find yourself making a ton of changes, be sure to get a second opinion. It may be that the author is simply not a very talented writer (or English may not be their first language). In either case, the analysis should be co-written with another author or reassigned altogether, so be sure to bring this up with another member of the GP team or a C&C moderator.
Join us on IRC
The Grammar/Prose community is a fantastic group of people. If you've never been, be sure to hop on IRC every once and a while and meet the people behind the posts. A helpful guide in order to get to IRC can be found here
. Once there, be sure to add #C&C and #grammar to your list of channels!
Happy checking everyone! Hopefully this guide is easily digest-able for newer users looking to help contribute something to the forum.