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Standards for Grammar, Spelling, and Style

Discussion in 'Archives' started by david stone, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. david stone

    david stone Fast-moving, smart, sexy and alarming.
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    First of all, read the grammar standards page.

    The rest of this post will deal with more general problems that many of our analyses have.

    Length:

    A long analysis is not a good analysis. An analysis that is too short risks lacking information, but one that is too long risks burying the useful information, making the reader lose interest. In both cases, the problem is the same: you're not getting your point across.

    In general, don't use longer words when a shorter word works just as well. You don't have to use big words to sound knowledgeable about something. An example: "Salamence is very prevalent in this torridly-paced metagame due to how skillfully said Pokemon boasts a multitudinous array of items, superb base Attack and an impressive array of moves that can threaten even the staunchest of defenses." No. You may think you sound smart, but most readers will either wonder why you chose such "big" words or wonder whether you realize how pompous your writing style is. An example of the above sentence with less pretension: "Salamence is prevalent in today's fast-paced metagame because of how well it can use several items, its great attacking stats and Outrage, Earthquake and Fire Blast to pose a huge threat to any Pokemon team." You are getting across just as much information, it's shorter, and more people understand you.

    Stuff:

    Any other common problems of analyses should go here. Post suggestions for what you think it is!
  2. david stone

    david stone Fast-moving, smart, sexy and alarming.
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    These are some issues from the previous thread (I merged both grammar stickies into one) that haven't been added to the standards nor been decided not to be added. If you feel you made a post that wasn't fully addressed, re-post it here.

    Pokemon are referred to as "it". You don't talk about how Hippowdon uses his high Defense to wall physical hits, you talk about its high Defense.

    It should be "Speed tie", "Speed tier", and the like. Unless we're directly quoting an entire article, everything is a community created term. We say "Rhyperior's Substitute" and not "rhyperior's substitute", even though no where does Nintendo use that term. Even "Speed stat" is, to my knowledge, a community created term. We're referring to the stat, which is Speed, and as such, it should be capitalized. I'd like to see a single case where "Speed" Isn't used as part of a larger phrase, and in almost all of those cases, Speed is (and should be) capitalized.

    I haven't seen any compelling reason to not include a space around the em dash. However, I can see a downside. Not having a space makes it look more like a hyphen, as though you are trying to connect each part of the phrase to the word on either end – in fact, your intent is exactly the opposite! The purpose of the em dash is to emphasize a distinction. Using punctuation in a way that looks more connective than distinguishing goes against that. Both ways are attested to, so I'm not propose some wacky punctuation no one will understand.

    Even better is a spaced en dash. Em dashes are so big, and then you add spaces around that, and that makes the difference between the phrases a little too big. Spaced en dash is used even more commonly (from what I've read) than a spaced em dash, as well. However, I'm fine with a spaced em or en dash.




    I would like to propose the following changes to how we address generations:

    We currently have:

    RB / RBY
    GS / GSC
    RS / ADV / RSE / RSFRLGE
    DP / DPP / DPPt / DPPHGSS / DPPtHGSS

    It's fine for the first three, because we can find a way to standardize it to 3-letter abbreviations for everything. However, there is no easy way to do that in the current generation (and no guarantee that we will be able to in the future). When we talk of the current generation, the shortest catch-all is DPPHGSS, as DPP could mean just Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, and DP could be Diamond and Pearl. As you can tell from the list, the quantity of abbreviations seems to grow with more generations (as they make more games, many of which require multiple letters). As such, I propose the following extensible, easy method (which I have started using myself) to refer to every game in a particular generation.

    Gen 1, Gen 2, Gen 3, Gen 4, etc.

    Gen 4, for instance, would be taken to mean "the set of everything in the current generation that is part of 'standard' play". That would mean everything in Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, Heart Gold, Soul Silver, whatever events there are (if we decide to continue allowing event Pokemon), whatever "Stadium" games they make, etc. It's basically a catch-all for saying what we actually mean.

    If you are referring to the specific changes in Platinum, then by all means, say Platinum or Pt or DPP or any of those things. I'm merely proposing a catch-all term to talk about the generation in general.

    Unfortunately, it's probably too late to change the site itself to match this. http://smogon.com/4/pokemon/swampert for instance.
  3. whistle

    whistle
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    regarding the use of "Speed" vs "speed" here is a post I made in the other thread.

    also relevant is RS's post here.
  4. Umbreon Dan

    Umbreon Dan 〉λ=
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    Some common mistakes writers make imo include it's/its, her's/their's/our's/your's (none of these ever use an apostrophe) who's/whose, their/there/they're, who/whom, and effect/affect. this is all strictly grammatical but it seems many people could use the refresher.

    thanks for clarifying! i like your gen idea.
  5. Xia

    Xia aka Lone Gansel
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    Something that has always looked weird to me is when people use the word "resist(s)" as a noun. As in "Pokemon X has many resists, including a 4x resist to Y-type". Any time I catch it in an analysis I recommend changing it to "resistance(s)", but if "resist" is fine as a noun I'd like to stop falsely changing words.
  6. jumpluff

    jumpluff princess
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    It's Pokémon jargon. I'm fine with it.
  7. Diesel

    Diesel

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    I'm wondering about this post made by Xia. This has been the subject of some (small) controversy in C&C, at least in threads I've posted. Unless I've overlooked something, it has yet to be addressed.

  8. jumpluff

    jumpluff princess
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    Fuzznip informed me earlier that the grammar standards article on-site dictates we should be using 'who' for Pokémon, i.e. we refer to them as a person. Pokémon are essentially animals (pocket monsters etc.), and unless we're speaking anthropomorphically, we should stick to 'which', which many people currently use. This is also consistent with our policy of using 'it', unless the Pokémon has only one gender (Blissey is a 'she').
  9. jumpluff

    jumpluff princess
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    No one bothered responding to my above post. ^^; However, I would like to suggest that we phase out contractions. Formal writers don't use contractions, and it adds a bit of professionalism. Maybe it's just my English major-y self, but I find contractions in analyses sound awkward and rough. Opinions?
  10. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    As I said on irc, I'm mildly in favor of not referring to Pokemon as people.
    "Zapdos who have Thunderbolt threaten Water-types"
    "Zapdos that have Thunderbolt threaten Water-types"
    the second seems nicer to me, so unless there is some cannon reason for referring to them as people lets switch. iirc quite a few people have a slight preference for depersonalising Pokemon. Do we know who introduced this standard and why?

    As a general rule I think contractions are already avoided (other than STAB, lets not change them all to "same type attack bonus"), so why not make it official? We should be careful to word it in a way that allows for the odd cases where contractions work well, like using DD in set names and SR in damage calc tables.
  11. Umbreon Dan

    Umbreon Dan 〉λ=
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    okay honestly i don't care whether pokemon are referred to as "people" or "objects" but i would like to get a final decision and stick to it so that we can stop contradicting each other all the time and have one standard. (if there already is a standard, can you tell me <_>)

    imo, we should refer to them as people because it seems to me that it would remove a bit of ambiguity. for example, consider
    is bulbasaur the threat, or is being hit super effectively the threat? this isn't the best example because they're obviously both true but you understand my point.

    in contrast,
    makes it clear that bulbasaur is the threat.

    the problem with this is that we kind of have to define their genders. imo it would be simplest just to refer to them all as male unless they have female as their only gender, but if that's considered too sexist, it wouldn't be hard to just assign each evolutionary line an arbitrary gender based on what we think they should be.

    also, a mistake that's really common is the use of "anyways". anyways frankly isn't a word. when it appears in dictionaries it's usually listed as nonstandard (ie. an incorrect, slangy version of "anyway"). google says there are 88 articles that use "anyway" and 55 that use "anyways" so i'd like to see those fixed up.
  12. darkie

    darkie mfw i see alison brie
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    All the anyways should be corrected to anyway; using anyways is practically the same as using chat lingo.

    I prefer referring to pokemon as people. It just sounds better to my ears and my boy Dan raises a nifty point. As for gender, it doesn't really matter as long as its consistent within the analysis, imo.
  13. Swaggersaurus

    Swaggersaurus I DON'T NEED A MAN
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    fixed all of these

    also having looked over lots of wip analyses it seems to me people get in a mess trying to avoid "it" too much when referring the the pokemon as genderless, and then they have to shoehorn in the species name more often and the whole thing just looks awkward, so using "he"/"she" would help, and i don't see the harm in it so long as it is consistent either
  14. Eo Ut Mortus

    Eo Ut Mortus Elodin Smells
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    Is it wall-breaking or wallbreaking? Technically, wallbreaking is not a real word, and wall-breaking is correct; however, like "outspeed", "wallbreaking" can be accepted as a coined term. In this guide, "wallbreaking" is used; however, in the Dictionary of Pokemon terms, it's "wall-breaker".
  15. Matthew

    Matthew I love weather; Sun for days
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    I just want to clear up a few things in this thread:

    It's base stats, not Base Stats. Unlike Base Power base stats aren't a Nintendo term, we 'made them' for all intents and purposes. In the game Base Power is shortened to as BP when looking at a move, however it has no references to base stats.

    Secondly, it's Spin-blocker, not spinblocker or SpinBlocker. The reason the Spin is capitalized always is because it is the shortened form of Rapid Spin, an attack. Basically for consistency sake it should also be wall-breaking and stall-breaking too. darkie agrees with me after I yelled at an empty IRC chat for a while.
  16. Namso

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    I don't think you've seen the Unresolved Convention Issues thread here, as a decision regarding this has already been reached. Bojangles states:

    This means that wall-breaking and stall-breaking is incorrect, and wallbreaking and stallbreaking is correct. There was also an official agreement that when you abbreviate moves such as Baton Pass and Rapid Spin to Pass and Spin, respectively, they are uncapitalized.

    • Scizor can pass Swords Dance.
    • Forretress can spin away entry hazards.
    Those would be correct.

    Since the thread doesn't really say anything about spinblocking, I brought it up on IRC and everyone seemed to agree that spinblocking should be used, and not Spinblocking or Spin-blocking or anything along the lines of that.

    I agree with you regarding base stats, however, and fixed these on-site.
  17. Matthew

    Matthew I love weather; Sun for days
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    well I brought up Spin-blocking, and I don't think bringing something up in IRC is the best thing to do unless all relevant party members are there. I also disagree with bojangles on the non-hyphenated issue. I'm fine with coining terms such as OHKO and such, but we shouldn't use misspelt words, ever. wall/stallbreaking is misspelt and it should be wall/stall breaking at minimum. Since fuzznip brought it up in #c&c outspeed shouldn't be used either, outrun or outpace are the correct terms. If we really want to keep out-speed it should be spelt like that.

    That being said Spin should still be capitalized in Spin blocker since it's a noun, not a verb. "Claydol spins to clear the field of entry hazards," is right. However "Claydol often has trouble with spin blockers," is not right.
  18. Seven Deadly Sins

    Seven Deadly Sins ~hallelujah~
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    I think that coined terms are perfectly acceptable in a relevant context. Wallbreaking / stallbreaking or wallbreaker / stallbreaker are used commonly, and aren't just "misspellings" like you claim they are. I agree with not capitalizing spinblocking (another common coined term) as well.
  19. Rising_Dusk

    Rising_Dusk
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    The term "spinblocking" would not be capitalized because according to the other convention we established, it would only be capitalized if it were using the entirety of "Rapid Spin." We've also basically all agreed that "Rapid Spin-blocker" looks pretty ridiculous, so we're just going to keep using "spinblocker" and keep to the coined terms. These are the rules that Bojangles and numerous other serious C&C contributors agreed upon in the aforelinked thread, so it's what the GP and others will be enforcing.

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