Author Topic: Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp  (Read 23263 times)

jhunter

  • Posts: 6103
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2006, 09:45:07 PM »
So long as they're used correctly I don't care. Honestly, I like that some people have used words I hadn't heard of before because I learned something new by looking them up to find out and increased my own knowledge. I like how the staff will usually correct you if you are using a word improperly and explain why. Simply rejecting it doesn't teach you anything.

I'd really like to see the character limit for sdesc increased slightly. To maybe forty characters?

*shrug*

Seeker

  • Posts: 1368
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2006, 09:47:12 PM »
I agree with several of the above.

I don't care how freaking obscure or big it is.  I'm not even annoyed if I think a more common word would do.

If it is used precisely, and is not somehow undermining the theme of the game, let it ride.

If it is used incorrectly it should not be allowed.  If any of the staff could use the "typo" command on a PC's use of a word in her sdec., it should probably never have cleared the app. buffer.


Seeker
Sitting in your comfort,
You don't believe I'm real,
But you cannot buy protection
from the way that I feel.

Larrath

  • Posts: 2987
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2006, 10:08:12 PM »
I like big words as long as the usage is good.  It's nearly impossible to tell characters apart otherwise!
Just think about what would happen if every Rangy, Towering and Lofty became Tall, and if every Raven, Onyx, Jet and Obsidian were black, and if Maned, Braided, Coiffed, Pigtailed and Dreadlocked became Black.

Code: [Select]

A Big Fancy Tavern [SFU]
   This is a tavern.  It has walls and a bar and a few strippers.  They're really great strippers, very artistic.  It's a nice place.  You feel lucky you found it and bribed the guy at the door to let you in.
The tall, black-haired man is standing here.
The tall, black-haired young man is standing here.
The tall, black-haired man is standing here.
The tall, black-haired woman is standing here.


I once had a character die essentially because I didn't know what the word 'arduous' meant - it was being used in context of the breathability of the air.
Well, I sure as hell know what 'arduous' means now!

I like big words, at least as long as they're not the super-ridiculous ones.  And even those bombatic words I can deal with.  So as long as the words are used in proper context, I say approve them.
Quote from: Vesperas
...You have to ask yourself... do you love your PC more than you love its contribution to the game?

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9365
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2006, 10:10:25 PM »
I have no problem with obscure words in someone's sdesc, as long as the obscure words are also in their main description, and not simply as synonyms.

I can't tell you how many times I've been shadowing someone, trying desperately to get a keyword on this person I've been stalking, only to come up unsuccessful.

If you keyword check -every- adjective in someone's main description, and don't get a success, something is seriously wrong, in my opinion.
Quote from: WarriorPoet
I play this game to pretend to chop muthafuckaz up with bone swords.
Quote from: Smuz
I come to the GDB to roleplay being deep and wise.
Quote from: Vanth
Synthesis, you scare me a little bit.

Cale_Knight

  • Posts: 1930
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2006, 10:17:12 PM »
Quote from: "Larrath"
Just think about what would happen if every Rangy, Towering and Lofty became Tall, and if every Raven, Onyx, Jet and Obsidian were black, and if Maned, Braided, Coiffed, Pigtailed and Dreadlocked became Black.


Except that none of those adjectives really apply to the discussion. Those are all great words.

When the black-haired man becomes with onyx-haired man, that's cool.

When the black-haired man becomes the atramentous, melanoid, nigrescent, or piceous-haired man, that's simple pretension, and it's needlessly confusing.

Now, those vocab-busters are just great to use in the character's long description. Not so much the sdesc.
Brevity is the soul of wit." -Shakespeare

"Omit needless words." -Strunk and White.

"Simplify, simplify." Thoreau

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7411
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2006, 10:27:24 PM »
I guess I'm in the minority then. For me it's more of a playability thing, a logics issue. If I see the attenuate, aureate man, and someone wants me to describe the man I said I just saw, the only time I would respond by pointing out those keywords in the sdesc - is if my character -would- use those words. The sdesc exists, as far as what I read in the documents, to point out the most obvious things other characters would notice immediately (or soon after). So sure if there are 20 "black-haired tall" men in the room, then all 20 of them would be suspect and my character chided for not taking a closer look to see what else is worth noticing (like that big nasty wickedly sharp steel broadsword he's weilding).

If it's a word people wouldn't ever actually use in speech, then I feel it is too obscure for an sdesc. In a main desc sure, I can definitely see that happeneing. But not in an sdesc, because the sdesc is supposed to be the "quick- who just ran past the tavern" 2-5 words a character can use to describe someone in a hurry. Sort of like how you would probably be jarred a bit if you saw "the green-skinned homo-sapien." It's presumptuous, unneccessary, and seems to beg an intentional force of confusion. You know, so that the evil sorc will be looking for someone with "human" in their sdesc, since you know that no one is actually going to ever say "homo-sapien" when the sorc demands your description.

L. Stanson
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

EonBlueApocalypse

  • Posts: 301
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2006, 10:39:03 PM »
It should be assumed that you can connect to dictionary.com if there's a word you don't know.  I like learning new words.  However, I would definitely reject words that are misused or used out of context with its intended usage.
eel the wetness of her tongue that slides across my skin
the viruses crawl over me and feel for some way in

acid bath

Hymwen

  • Posts: 1793
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2006, 10:48:54 PM »
Oh, I have a lot of things to say about sdescs. Some of it will be off topic but I don't want to start another thread so I'll put it here.

To me, a character's sdesc is very important. Next to how they roleplay, it is one of the things that give me the biggest first impression of the character. Their mdesc is also important, but there's a lot more room to be creative there, and you don't see their mdesc every time you do anything to, for or with the person. Like someone said, to me an sdesc is a face, and if it's a good face them I'll be impressed and I'll remember it. If it's a bad face, it'll either annoy me or I juts won't remember it

I know that it's not always the right attitude, but I much prefer an original sdesc. Not to be confused with needlessly obscure, but something that's not too average and bland. A great deal of thought goes into the sdescs I write and I'm guilty of judging people by their sdesc unless their roleplay gives me a different immediate impression. I don't need to see 'the pulchritudinous, altitudinous man", but to be quite honest, I am bored when I see "the tall, dark-haired man" (sorry if that's you). I know that attitude isn't the best but at least it's honest. An sdesc can be simple and still good, but I hate seeing really bland sdescs with a combination of the most common words ever. I also have a pet peeve about using the word "human". I'm a hypocrit and will accept it with elf, dwarf and other races, but it annoys me a lot to see "the something, something human".

Another thing I hate is seeing small details described in an sdesc. I can accept eye color, although it's still questionable in my opinion unless it's something really extraordinary, and I'll never use it myself. There should be something more obvious that you can describe.

Going even more off topic, I have a small complaint. It really aggravates me to have a PC rejected for a word and then seeing, fairly frequently, another PC get approved with that same word. And not because it's an obscure word, but because one imm finds it inappropriate and the next doesn't. I know noone is intentionally treating people differently, but I wish there was more agreement on what goes and what doesn't. Examples include waif, breed and humanoid. Also it seems that if one word can mean both a special appearance and a kind of behavior, like the word harridan which can mean both an ugly woman and a mean woman, it'll get declined. I think it should be allowed in an sdesc because it's fairly obvious which one is meant. Especially if the mdesc confirms it.

And finally, a suggestion. I've noticed that imms who review applications may occasionally edit and change or remove things from the description and then approve it. I really wish there was a system where the imm could slap a flag on that character so that when the player logs in, they can choose to accept the changed description or to re-do it to what they find more appropriate and then have the imm look at it again. To me, my description is very important and while I can accept that an imm finds part of it inappropriate, I would much rather have the option of editing it myself than ending up with a PC with part of it missing. When I write a description, all of it is important and if some of it gets removed without me being able to change the rest so that it still looks right, I don't feel that the PC is whole. It feels a little bit as if I'm doing a painting for an art exhibition and when I go to look at it, the museum has cut off the corner because they didn't like what was there. I'd much rather have the option of re-doing the picture so that it is appropriate and still suits me, otherwise I don't feel that it is whole.
b]YB <3[/b]


Grey Area

  • Posts: 432
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2006, 11:11:19 PM »
If it's an unusual word that actually fits, I say let it in. With the caveat that anybody rejected for throwing around odd words just to be deliberately obscure is ordered to go read Mervyn Peake until they get it right.

Hymwen

  • Posts: 1793
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2006, 11:12:08 PM »
I realize my above post was almost entirely off-topic. My opinion is that you can have a moderately obscure word in your sdesc if it is explained in mortal words in your mdesc and isn't just a needlessly archaic word that you picked to stand out.
b]YB <3[/b]


Angela Christine

  • Posts: 6595
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2006, 11:25:16 PM »
Quote from: "EonBlueApocalypse"
It should be assumed that you can connect to dictionary.com if there's a word you don't know.  



I disagree.  I don't mind going to dictionary.com myself, but but having to break out the reference material does break the flow of the scene.  And don't forget about all the poor bastards with old computers and slow dial up connections, with a bad rig going to dictionary.com can take longer than just looking the word up in a paper dictionary.   :roll:   I'm in favor of educational experiences, but not if it interferes with playing the game.
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

EonBlueApocalypse

  • Posts: 301
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2006, 11:31:06 PM »
I can see how it breaks the scene.  And I'm sure, somewhere out there, there is some poor soul whose browser takes 2 minutes to load.  But technology is getting better!  Almost anyone can google anything on a second's notice.  I've seen some examples in this thread that I would find jarring.  Altitudinous?  Seriously, save that for the book you'll never publish.   :lol:
eel the wetness of her tongue that slides across my skin
the viruses crawl over me and feel for some way in

acid bath

Briarfox

  • Posts: 389
    • Briar Art
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #37 on: August 15, 2006, 11:51:14 PM »
I believe that a short description should be open to creativity and that players -should- continue to have this freedom. But that does not mean that all are appropriate. I am not entirely concerned with short descriptions bearing somewhat archaic, thesaurus-inspired words so long as they are solidified and explained in the mdesc. What I see more of that makes me cringe is subjectivity in not only the sdesc, but the mdesc too.
Briar

And the Nonman King cried words that sting:
"Now to me you must confess,
For death above you hovers!"
And the Emissary answered ever wary:
"We are the race of flesh,
We are the race of lovers."
     -"Ballad of the Inchoroi"

Vesperas

  • Posts: 683
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2006, 12:00:06 AM »
Okay, I have a lot of opinions surrounding this (and so a lot to say), but I'm of a wandering mind and some of it may not come out as I intend -- for that, I apologize.

First off, I want to make a reply to a suggestion I saw earlier in the thread about looking up words in the dictionary, and learning them.  This seems to be a VERY common attitude among players who prefer to write long, high detailed, and/or in-depth descriptions.  And, in all the threads that I've tried to pose this argument, it's been shot down by these players.

When I'm reading a book, it's fine if I come across a word that I don't know.  I can stop, mark my page, and look it up, if there is nothing else to go on.  When I'm playing on a MUD, I do not have the time for that.  Things are live, things are moving.  I can't OOC and ask someone to wait while my DIALUP computer tries vainly to retrieve a dictionary page, and neither can I ask the person to explain what they mean in their sdesc/mdesc.  Descriptions are VERY important to me -- I play visually; what I read comes alive in my head, and words are lost for the most part.  That's a gift, but it's also a curse when I run into someone who would prefer to try to linguistically educate me or flaunt a larger vocabulary.

Now, going with this reasoning -- I do not mind reading or seeing obscure words, AS SO LONG as their meaning becomes clarified in the mdesc -- which I will read.  If I do not get the chance to read your mdesc, then I can safely assume I barely caught a glimpse of you.  If I see 'the obsidian-eyed man', and I didn't know what obsidian meant, I SHOULD be able to read your mdesc and draw a safe conclusion from its context.  That, in my opinion, is good writing -- not whether or not you can use big words.

I do have a few issues with how things are currently done.  I've voiced these opinions in one way or another before, but since this thread's about sdescs, I guess it's okay to lay it all out again.

I personally really do not appreciate having an application I put a lot of work in be rejected for an sdesc noun that I later see another player wearing.  It STINKS of favoritism.  I appreciate the work that imms do, and I know that it isn't favoritism but just different immortals having different opinions, but from down here in playerville, it sucks monkeyballs.

I also really, really hate seeing sdescs that suggest a variable state of being, or strongly convey a particular feeling/experience.  I have never figured out how something that is simply ambiguous in appearance (Hymwen's example of harridan being a potential 'mean old woman' or 'ugly old woman') will get rejected, and yet something which has a very set-in-stone, time-tested meaning (lets say 'virgin', for example, although this is not a word I've seen used) get accepted.

So, my thoughts on what could be done?

- I would not like to see a set list of adjectives or nouns that may only be used.  This would be stiffling to creativity, and make it fairly difficult for some players to migrate from the 'norm' of "the tall, dark-haired" men.

- I would not be opposed to having a generator or organized list of 'approved' adjectives and/or nouns, which would include words that WOULD get accepted so long as they were correctly used.  An application of this sort would be extremely benefitable for players, in my opinion, but it would require someone with the time willing to program it and keep it up to date.

Some basic features that such a thing could include would be an ability to randomly generate any adjective or noun, or selectively generate them according to criteria set by the player:  colors, builds, compounds, or inputtable meaning ('black' = sable, onyx, obsidian, jet, raven, etc), or even something else.

- I would not be opposed to seeing a list of words that would ALWAYS be rejected, or a list of words that are strongly discouraged due to being out of theme, inappropriate, or what-have-you, or at the very least more detailed guidelines.

- I'm not sure how applications work, as far as where they are placed in a queue, but I believe that REVISED applications should return to the top of the queue, and not the bottom.  My basis for this is that it truely sucks ass being expected to wait an additional 24 hours because I mispelt a word and got the pissy imm.

- There can be more emphasis placed on using language that is common, or, at the very least, providing good context within the description to provide the reader with easy understanding.  Many players are tired when they get onto Armageddon (returning home from work) and just arn't in the mood for sorting out complex or ambiguous descriptions with hidden meanings.  :P  There's enough of that in the roleplay itself.  

If an immortal feels a player that they are being too elevated in their language, or are not providing enough context, I don't think this is grounds for rejection, but if there is a time, a gentle reminder or note could be attached to the acceptance of the PC to remind the player that next time, they should try to be a bit more simple.

rishenko

  • Posts: 1696
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2006, 12:23:33 AM »
As long as the context is accurate and the word isn't some highly subjective adjective, I see nothing wrong with using whatever word that exists in the english language.

I'll be frank, when I first came to Arm, there were several not-so-commonly used words in sdescs AND mdescs.  Luckily, I am on OS X and have a built-in dictionary (Lame-ass plug, I know).  So, in many ways, the mud has been an educational experience.  

Also, it can be hard to know what the different levels of education are here, and what would be thought of as "common speech" to an english major may be considered "big words" to a high school drop out.

bardbard#4

  • Posts: 760
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #40 on: August 16, 2006, 12:24:33 AM »
Damn straight, os x.

Tiger?
Roses are #FF0000
Violets are #0000FF
All my base
Are belong to you

EonBlueApocalypse

  • Posts: 301
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #41 on: August 16, 2006, 12:25:33 AM »
Quote from: "rishenko"

Also, it can be hard to know what the different levels of education are here, and what would be thought of as "common speech" to an english major may be considered "big words" to a high school drop out.


QFT.
eel the wetness of her tongue that slides across my skin
the viruses crawl over me and feel for some way in

acid bath

Vesperas

  • Posts: 683
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #42 on: August 16, 2006, 12:26:33 AM »
Quote from: "rishenko"
As long as the context is accurate and the word isn't some highly subjective adjective, I see nothing wrong with using whatever word that exists in the english language.

I'll be frank, when I first came to Arm, there were several not-so-commonly used words in sdescs AND mdescs.  Luckily, I am on OS X and have a built-in dictionary (Lame-ass plug, I know).  So, in many ways, the mud has been an educational experience.  

Also, it can be hard to know what the different levels of education are here, and what would be thought of as "common speech" to an english major may be considered "big words" to a high school drop out.


As a rule of thumb that I use, 'common speech' is speech I would use with any stranger I meet in any given place.  Filter out the slang, and you've got a pretty good basis for what both Professor Joe and Burger-with-Fries Gary can understand.

Cuusardo

  • Posts: 3724
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #43 on: August 16, 2006, 12:42:57 AM »
I don't mind words that send me running to dictionary.com here and there, but if I have to keep it open and use it more than twice while reading your sdesc or mdesc, that's a bit much.  (The same goes for emoting.  Good grief.)  I have a larger vocabulary than the average native English speaker, and it annoys me when people excessively use those "big words" that are so obscure that I've never heard of it.  Keep it sensible, please?

I also typo PCs and NPCs that I come across in the game who have "big words" used incorrectly, or whose descs have words that are too subjective and force an opinion on people.
Quote from: Anael
You know what I love about the word panic?  In Czech, it's the word for "male virgin".

rishenko

  • Posts: 1696
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #44 on: August 16, 2006, 01:49:44 AM »
Quote from: "bardbard#4"
Damn straight, os x.

Tiger?


You know it baby.

bloodfromstone

  • Posts: 1323
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #45 on: August 16, 2006, 02:28:31 AM »
Personally, I hate ridiculously huge, obscure words. They're worse if they're misused, but even if they aren't, it's just bad writing. I would not mind seeing rejections for this sort of thing.

I think it extends to emotes, too. I dislike having to wonder what exactly someone means in an emote, often to only find that, upon looking it up, it doesn't really make sense.
Descriptive is good. But big, fancy words do not a descriptive scene make.
eeling YB, you think:
     "I can't believe I just said that."

The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 8684
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2006, 02:29:55 AM »
If the word is used as it is supposed to be, leave it in. It's not going to hurt anyone to see something they don't know the meaning of. It's called learning.

If the word is used incorrectly, zap it.
Wynning since October 25, 2008.

>craft newbie into good player

You accidentally snap newbie into useless pieces.


Coat of Arms

  • Posts: 394
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #47 on: August 16, 2006, 02:36:30 AM »
I just had an application denied for using the word 'nigrescent' in the sdesc, with a very viable explanation in the mdesc. Is that word really so obscure? Am I forced to go with black-skinned or dark-skinned?

Sanvean

  • Posts: 2720
    • My Website
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2006, 02:37:28 AM »
I'm still hammering out a proposed policy on this but so far, I'm thinking along the line of obscure words are okay when a) used correctly and b) the main desc provides enough information to let the reader know what the word means.

Sanvean

  • Posts: 2720
    • My Website
Revenge of the Dappled Dickens Whelp
« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2006, 02:40:04 AM »
You didn't have a suffiicent explanation of nigrescent in the main description.  The reader had no way of knowing what part of the description the word applied to.  

Thank you for bringing it up - I didn't want to single you out, but that's actually the sdesc that originally sparked staff discussion, because the reviewer wanted to reject the application outright because of the obscurity of the word.  That's why I asked you to tweak one sentence in order to make it clear for the reader, which I still do not feel is an unwarranted request.