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Smogon Grammar and Prose 101 - Helpful Tips and the Basics

Discussion in 'Sixth Generation Contributions' started by Oglemi, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Oglemi

    Oglemi We broke it. Yes, we were naughty. Completely naughty.
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    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 announcement.

    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, remove, comments.

    Now it's simply a matter of reading through the analysis and editing as you would with pen. Here's a quick example:

    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:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/72762463/diffnew.html

    • 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.

    Amateur Checks vs. Official Checks

    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
    • 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.

    Quick Tips and Common Mistakes to look for

    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.

    Spelling

    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.

    - Definitely. <- 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.

    Grammar

    - 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

    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.

    Using comments

    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.
  2. Jukain

    Jukain .leaf
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    You might want to link sandshrewz's update to the diff app instead of Sarenji's original one as it is just... idk... better. This is a really good guide, thanks Oglemi!
  3. tehy

    tehy

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    So, i've read over this a few times now, and I can't seem to get the BBcode to do anything other than post both versions of the work.

    What up with that? Am i doing something wrong, or what?

    Now i'm going over and entering each change one by one, and that seems to work better, but it's also much more annoying. I've tried a few workarounds, even going to a new tab and using copious amounts of copy/paste. At one point, i just removed the branch-off sentence entirely, which didn't help.

    Nope sorry jellicent it's number of edits.

    (Cool thanks, but in that case, maybe replace the above link with that one? Cause... i mean, i'm not gonna lie, that probably just ate 30 minutes of my time.)

    So i can piecemeal it just fine, it'd be nice if that were fixed, i've got a pretty new computer and operating system so i doubt it's that.


    Edit: What the fuck was i thinking, Woodchuck just posted that. Assumptions making an ass out of me stronger than usual, i see.

    (So that app also has problems with that. Is that just... universal, or is there some way around it? Because i'd really like one)
  4. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck i am woodchuck
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    Break up the analysis into chunks and diff paragraphs/sets at a time depending on the length of each writeup. For certain wordier users I have had to make it paragraph-by-paragraph but most of the time set + set comments and then ac is fine for even longer analyses.
    (p. s. link to new diff app is here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/72762463/diffnew.html)
  5. Redew

    Redew :O :D
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    Since when can amcheckers not use placeholders??? Like this has been a thing ever since I have been here Oglemi
  6. Oglemi

    Oglemi We broke it. Yes, we were naughty. Completely naughty.
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    <Oglemi> because if an actual GPer wants to GP somethign and get it finished they shouldn't have to wait/review an amcheckers check
    <Redeway> but they can just skip it
    <Redeway> they dont have to review it
    <Oglemi> the OP can't and shouldn't ignore am checks and neither should GPers
    <Redeway> this is news to me !_!
    <Redeway> i have always been told "you don't need to implement amchecks/don't have to stamp them"
    <Oglemi> idk who is saying that but i've been saying the opposite
    <Oglemi> for years
    <Magnemite> i always used to think you were only supposed to implement amchecks if the gper stamped it
    <Redeway> like everyone
    <Redeway> yeah
    <Magnemite> because it never really told you anywhere
    <Redeway> that's it
    <TRC> i only thought to implement
    <TRC> parts of it
    <TRC> ive had shitty amchecks before
    <Nexus> oglemi can I infract redew for necrobumping
    <Redeway> well, the only time you need to
    <Redeway> f u nexus
    <Redeway> but yeah like
    <Oglemi> you can't ignore am checks because the more eyes that are hitting an analysis the better they'll be
    <Redeway> i have always been encouraged
    <Oglemi> you can ignore parts of it
    <Oglemi> if you don't agree
    <Redeway> "place a placeholder"
    <Oglemi> but you can't ignore the whole thing
    <Oglemi> the other part about the GP team is if you're a Contributor or a GP member yourself you don't have to implement everything a GPer says
    <Oglemi> since you're trusted/experienced enough
    <Oglemi> to recognize what should and shouldn't be changed
    <Oglemi> which is why i abhor those that c/p checks into the OP
    <Oglemi> because you're not thinking or reviewing what people are suggesting
    <TRC> i always
    <TRC> prefer a cp
    <TRC> but i read through it
    <TRC> anyway
    <TRC> (the red/blue version)
    <Oglemi> also i am 90% positive
    <Oglemi> i made a thread
    <Oglemi> about not ignoring am checks
    <Oglemi> maybe it was an announcement
    <Oglemi> which i guess was well over a year ago now

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