Character Tag Guidelines

Discussion in 'Character Submissions' started by cassiesheepgirl, Jan 14, 2011.

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  1. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    i do think it would be great if all of these people who have complaints could chime in in the thread as it seems like there's a lot of them based on what you're saying. having concrete examples of these complaints from the people who feel slighted would be pretty helpful
     
  2. vernanonix

    vernanonix Galvantula Rancher

    "Teary-Eyed" sounds like, in my opinion, that they constantly have tears in their eyes as sort of a character design. The term sounds more like a physical characteristic than a personality trait.
     
  3. I'm rather new to anime myself, and I have only really used the site to list what I've watched and what I'm watching, so I couldn't really tell you. There aren't a whole lot of series I am familiar enough with. What I am relaying is from several others in my group, who have said they came across things that didn't seem quite right to them, or were inaccurate, or just plain missing, and so relied on MAL for the information about a series. I mentioned to them that you were asking, but they don't seem interested in spending the time anymore to do so.

    I get the impression there wasn't a "ton" of inaccurate or missing things, but enough that they felt anime-planet was unreliable as a source. And it sounds like it was awhile ago, too, when they last tried, as our group generally now looks at MAL for info on series that we might potentially watch, using their genre tags to find something in a particular genre to watch.

    But you have one in front of you now, with kaijo's crybaby attempt. I mainly chimed in just to help him out, although I do agree with him in this case. If it will be worth, I might start looking through what I've seen and comparing it to what I know. But that will take some time. Perhaps if they see that crybaby gets changed, they might feel it worthwhile to come in and share.
     
  4. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    i do appreciate the feedback, at the same time it's a tricky spot to put us in 'change x or we wont use/help'. our focus has always been to provide the top quality info we can on AP, and that's still the focus. if changing crybaby accomplishes that goal we'll do it - else, we wont, for the same reason. if we changed things solely on if it would get people to participate or not, rather than the quality of that information, that wouldn't be what's best for the site as a whole.

    anyways, using tags/genres i guess makes sense, but i do hope you'll consider looking at AP's core strength, the recommendations themselves (ie look up a title you like, and see the list of recommended series). mal has those, but does not moderate them so there's various garbage ones in there, and we have 13 years' worth given AP was and is the primary rec database on the web. users have to give a solid reason, and many times the recs are based on similar types of characters, similar themes, etc. so i'd argue it's a lot better tool than just looking at straight genres/tags.
     
  5. Like I said, I am just passing on what a few people in my anime group have said. They had a bad experience awhile back, and are basically, "Naw, don't care to go back. I wish you luck if you're trying to get something changed, but unless things have changed, I've don't have that kind of time to waste." I just thought if kaijo or I had a positive experience to relate, maybe they'd reconsider. For what it's worth, they don't do anything to update MAL, either. Now that we have a group, most of recommendations happen in person, since we have a better idea of what each person likes. It's only when we are looking to watch something that none of us have watched, that we generally look it up on MAL first.

    Actually, in order to keep things positive, I'll repeat that I think the strength of AP is in it's easy system for updating what you've watched. Just a few clicks. It's simplistic compared to MAL (which has a large page with all kinds of details to fill out), but there is something to be said for easy simplicity. The engineering principle of KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid. That's why I update here. And to be honest, the odds of MAL simplifying their entry process seems much less likely then improving the accuracy here.

    I will note one odd thing, if you really want something else, and that was brought up earlier about Mai Hime (which I only saw a little of). But the magical girl tag would seem to be something that should be added to that series. Magical Witch Sally and Sailor Moon both have it, but the only common thing between them is "girl(s) who uses magic and/or magical implements." Based upon my little research, Sally was the first magical girl show, and Sailor Moon changed the genre. At least, that is what my group kinda talked about when we watched Nanoha, which is another magical girl show that is based on the action from mecha. So since the Mai Hime girls use magic and magical implements, it would seem to deserve the tag. Kaijo might know better since he's actually seen it.

    I'm sure you'd get people from all sides who argue for and against it, which may be one reason MAL doesn't use the tag, preferring to keep things a bit simpler.
     
  6. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 26, 2013
    #66
    It is more physical, which is a more clear cut tag that can be used. I think you have decided on a definition you want, and thus no other word will work for you. The problem is, the current word you like doesn't quite mean what you think it does. From my thesaurus link earlier, that shows alternate words for crybaby, and thus a feel for what it really means:

    whiner
    wimp
    bellyacher
    complainer
    critic
    faultfinder
    grumbler
    moaner
    sissy
    softy
    wuss

    That's what it means, which doesn't quite jive with the definition you want. Your best bet is probably just "crier" although characters rarely just cry all the time, so much as they cry sometimes, and then most of the time just have tears in their eyes. Thus, given that the "tear in the eyes" is the majority thing that applies, "teary-eyed" or "teary-eyes" would be more accurate. That applies well to people like Haru, Soun Tendo, and Pedro, whereas crybaby doesn't. Hell, it sounds like people are already treating the tag like "crier" anyway.
     
  7. vernanonix

    vernanonix Galvantula Rancher

    I don't appreciate the personal attacks I'm starting to see from you towards me. That's not conducive to proper debate.

    That said, I was talking about this conversation with my girlfriend earlier and when I mentioned the tag, she immediately started thinking of characters like Sailor Moon and others whom we tag the tag with. So obviously at least someone not affiliated with AP knows what we're talking about when we say Crybaby without knowing our guidelines.

    That said, yes, we have a definition for the tag that we decided on because that's the trope we want covered. Crybaby happened to be the best tag that we could come up with and is popularly used to describe such characters elsewhere, from what I can tell by some quick Google searches. We've stated our methods to you yet you don't seem to believe us.

    And if you really want to go with definition accuracy, then let's apply some principles of the English language.

    First, words can have many definitions. Just because a word is used does not mean all definitions apply simultaneously. Take the word plane for example.

    1. Mathematics A surface containing all the straight lines that connect any two points on it.
    2. A flat or level surface.
    3. A level of development, existence, or achievement: scholarship on a high plane.
    4. An airplane or hydroplane.
    5. A supporting surface of an airplane; an airfoil or wing.


    And that's just as a noun. Now, obviously if I use the word plane, I'm not going to refer to an aircraft and a flat surface at the same time. Likewise, any time a word is used, there's usually only one definition being deployed.

    Now, with that concept out of the way, let's refer back to your supplied definitions of crybaby.

    1. a person, especially a child, who cries readily for very little reason.
    2. a person who complains too much, usually in a whining manner.


    You are too focused on definition number 2 and seem insistent that that is the only way the word can be used. However, our use of the term deploys use of definition 1, not definition 2.

    "But wait," you might say. "That definition says 'especially a child' in it. Few of the characters tagged are children or act childish!" And indeed it does say that. But there's a concept in English known as a parenthetical phrase. Refer here: http://www.uhv.edu/ac/newsletters/writing/grammartip2006.08.29.htm

    "Especially a child" is a parenthetical phrase, denoted by its enclosure by commas. While the information in relevant, it is also not essential. It's merely a modifier to the sentence. Thus the definition can be read as such:

    a person who cries readily for very little reason

    So using this definition, our use of the term Crybaby is completely justified.

    Class dismissed.
     
  8. vernanonix

    vernanonix Galvantula Rancher

    Oh, I don't mean to dismiss your suggestion of using the word "Crier" as the tag's name, btw. But look at a comparison between these searches:

    Crybaby: https://www.google.com/search?q=ani...7&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8

    Crier: https://www.google.com/search?q=ani...8#es_sm=122&espv=210&q=anime+characters+crier

    The crybaby search shows more discussion with people using the word to describe the trope as opposed to crier. In fact, crier has the search already looking for related searches by the end of the first page. Crybaby at least goes past that. The word "crier" just would not generate enough traffic for people looking for those types of characters.
     
  9. Sianeka

    Sianeka Well-Known Member

    In my mind, I was kind of mentally siding with agreement to changing the crybaby tag based on all the arguments posted here. Until the last two posts. Good ones, vern -- you should've brought out these arguments as clearly as you did here sooner.

    Now I agree that the tag is fine as is. *grin* <-- Not that my thoughts matter much in any case! Except to me!

     
  10. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    (just for what it's worth i'm not really seeing any personal attacks from kaijo)
     
  11. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    i'm starting to get a little on the fence about this tbh - i think the argument that it sounds negative is a fair one, and one i hadn't thought about when i made the tag years ago. the problem i'm having is that i can't think of a good alternative.

    -i don't think flat out removing the tag is a good solution

    -i also don't think changing the definition and leaving it 'crybaby' is a good solution, as it means a ton of work and for anyone used to the site, it'll be a big shift in how the tag is used and applied

    -i don't think there's much benefit in making a new tag, such as 'whiner', to imply the negative. imo it would be too hard to write guidelines for and to draw a line in the sand as to what qualifies

    -so what we'd be left with is changing the word 'crybaby', but the trope we're going after is 'crying all the time' [for non valid/obvious reasons like someone just died].

    so, kaijo, what we're left in a bit of a tough position - i think that takes us back to 'we need to title it what people are searching for'. i realize there's some thesaurus words we could use, but so far i haven't seen one that is highly searched for, for the trope

    for what it's worth i think this is a pretty rare case of a tag name not aligning with the definition in all cases, and one that's a lot trickier to deal with. we're running into similar issues with anime/manga tags with terms like yaoi, shounen-ai, etc.. and actually have similar challenges with the character tags gay, lesbian, and bisexual
     
  12. vernanonix

    vernanonix Galvantula Rancher

    Maybe I'm just reading into it. I'm just starting to see "vern's a stubborn guy who absolutely refuses to listen to what I have to say."

    Still, I don't think there's a equal or better term. Just looking around, there's people independent of us that use the term crybaby in a similar manner.
     
  13. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 27, 2013
    #73
    I don't see where I was engaging in any personal attacks, but I know that text-only communication can be rough and uncertain at times. If you got that impression, I apologize.

    Sailor Moon would actually more fit the crybaby designation because she whines and complains a lot. That's why. She doesn't fit in with Soun Tendo.

    Oh, I do believe you. I believe you feel you came up with the best you could think of at the time. But have any of us reached perfection? Do we arrive at a point and then say, "Nope, not getting any better. Gonna stop development right here" ? Just because you have something, doesn't mean you shouldn't honestly consider a possible improvement. I hope you can understand why this shouldn't be a valid argument, otherwise there can be no changes to this site. Why? Because we should just all assume that if the site is using it, it was picked for good reason and thus shouldn't every be changed.

    I understand you like the definition and word. I really do. I'm just trying to let you know that it is unintentionally saying things about characters that you didn't intend. I do it myself, say and do things that I don't intend to be negative. Just like this conversation where you think I am personally attacking you, when I'm not. I don't think I'm being negative. You do. You don't think the term is negative. I do.

    Which one of us is right?

    The problem is context. When you say "plane" in a sentence, it is generally understood which version you would be referring to, based on the context of the conversation. Tags have lack a lot of that context, and so we have to determine what people default to. So it's a bad analogy. This conversation has been about what the term implies about a character based on general understanding. I've provided links to the term in actual use, and they all say, "whiner and/or complainer."

    And I know the two definitions. My argument was never "you are wrong" but that "you aren't taking into full account the meaning of the word to where you apply it, based on how people will refer to it." Words have power and meaning. If I call you a crybaby, am I just saying you are cry a lot? Or am I saying you are a whiner? One of the threads I linked to, has someone in a game forum starting a thread where he says he used some expletives in chat, and someone said they were offended by it and were going to report him. The thread starter called this guy a crybaby because he was complaining. And then people int he thread called the thread starter a crybaby for complaining about someone else's complaining. That was the word in actual use.

    Nowhere in that thread were any real tears shed. The implication is "You are whining and complaining like a baby." Not "you are actually crying like a baby." While crybaby can refer to someone who cries easily, it is generally seen as a negative that someone is whining and complaining. You want the former definition, I get it. The problem is that the word is implying something else about someone that you may not intend. Words have power.

    And google searches for pure number value aren't very worthwhile, especially with those numbers you gave that were separated by only a few ten thousand. Google searches can amount to millions quite easily, so the numbers are statistically significant. Meanwhile, I provided half a dozen links to how crybaby is generally perceived and used in the general populace. I can get more, as I am just waiting to see if that is what is wanted. I'll probably find a dozen more the next time I get a chance.

    Here is your ultimate test: call someone a crybaby. Go ahead, do it. Do they get upset? Do they think you are saying that they cry a lot? Or that they complain and whine a lot?

    Here's a simple way to look at it, with one big word, and I'll say in advance I don't mean this as an attack or a negative on anyone: "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

    What did I just do? How did you interpret that?
     
  14. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 27, 2013
    #74
    Wanted a separate post to reply to you. And you are right, that there probably is a lot of work to do. But if acknowledge that it implies things about characters that isn't true, then it is inherently inaccurate. And letting it go unchanged, just means the inaccuracies pile up. It's a judgment call about the accuracy you wish the site to have.

    And I would say not to worry so much about what others do, but what you do. There aren't really a lot of other sites that do so many anime character tags that I have seen, so you pretty much have the ground to yourself. So if you are going to go down this path, do you want it to be as good as possible? Or just say, "Eh, don't care if there are possible inaccuracies here and there." I can't say, as that is a judgment call. It depends on your aspirations for the site.

    For the record, I've been in anime a long time, and I've rarely heard people referred to as crybabies. Usagi is about the only one. Most people just remark about whether they cry, or whether they whine. And that's the gist of the issue: crybaby usually contains both, and by applying the tag, you imply both, when a character may just be one. And that's just the base reason.

    But I'd be willing to go through every instance of the tag and submit them for possible changes, based on ones I've seen, and even watch series that I haven't see to see whether it actually fits. So, in one case, you'd gain a dedicated submitter to re-evaluate things.

    Lastly, as I believe you mentioned and I pointed out, people are using the tag incorrectly anyway. But making the change would give you firm footing at least in this tag case; you can simply point to the dictionary definition and the Urban dictionary definition, to show where yours comes from.

    Addendum: You also have to decide what kind of tags you want. Do you want a tag to describe someone who just cries a lot? That is what it sounds like you want. Or are you trying to fit in the complaining and whining aspects, too? I almost think those things should be separated, because a lot of characters are one or the other. Tagging them, then, gives people the wrong impression of the character.

    And "Teary-Eyed" happens enough in anime, is easily understood, and has a single meaning. It cannot be inaccurate by that nature.
     
  15. vernanonix

    vernanonix Galvantula Rancher

    I don't interpret it. It's an interjection. But as I grew up, I heard criers called crybabies way more then I heard complainers called as such.

    Also, our site does give context for the tag via our guideline.

    Content of the searches are key as well. Some of the crybaby results refer to complainers but others refer to crying. And that's a heck of a lot better than crier retrieves, which mostly refers to a digimon character with the last name crier.

    Also, I'm only telling you why Crybaby is fine as it is. We've told you to suggest other names for the tag, but we're also going to consider them against several variables. So if you want it changed, find a good term.

    Also, Teary-Eyed won't float, as I've said. Because, aside from that sounding like a physical characteristic, there's also a decent difference between having tears in your eyes and actually crying.
     
  16. ZetsubouKaiji

    ZetsubouKaiji Well-Known Member

    This whole argument is getting really pedantic at this point. The things Kaijo is arguing over are extremely minor little details and I can't imagine that there are that many people confused by the way the crybaby tag is applied here as it seems like common sense.
     
  17. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 27, 2013
    #77
    I thought so, too. Unfortunately, that didn't matter when I made the submission. So even the arguments you are making, aren't being used in reality.

    And as I mentioned before, the guidelines are mostly hidden. Only if someone really went looking for them, would they find them. And most people don't, as they don't have a reason to (compare the number of people who come to the site, vs. the number who actually show in this section of the forum).

    And it sounds like the only way to convince you, is for people to show up in this forum confused. But as I've mentioned, not many are going to do that. They'll simply assume crybaby means a whiner and a complainer, and move on. They don't have reason to, nor do most have time to even bother trying to correct anything even if they realize something looks wrong. So, in that light, if there is a problem, there is no way for you to see it. You are expecting loads of people to come here and complain about a single tag, which isn't going to happen. Much like some in my group, they'll just give up and move onto using something else. I'd bet most of your tag submissions are for additions, rather than removals anyway.

    Like I said, define the definition or condition you want to describe, and we'll find a word for it. But with lines like "class dismissed" do you really fault me for believing that your mind was made up long ago?

    When you are trying to be a correct information source people can turn to, details are important. That's why dictionaries and thesauruses and encyclopedias are referred to. If they didn't care about details, then they'd quickly be dropped as being a bit sketchy. Even if a few things are wrong, it causes doubt about how correct anything else is.

    Details add to the image, which is important for a resource trying to be authoritative.
     
  18. vernanonix

    vernanonix Galvantula Rancher

    And you made up your mind long ago as well, it seems. I'm just getting quite tired of this discussion. And you're still welcome to suggest new names. We wont just deny it without reason. But none of us can come up with anything good. If its a good name, we'll use it. sothis herself said so. But we need a good name first, fitting our terms.
     
  19. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 27, 2013
    #79
    In order to keep this on track, I thought I'd add some more sources from the real world, so we can see how everyone else uses the term:

    http://www.crybabies.org/ - a website about the book. Is it referring to people who cry? Or people who whine and complain? Looks like the latter to me.

    http://www.catholicity.com/commentary/shea/00033.html - a blogpost about our crybaby culture. Is he referring to our culture that has a tendency to cry? Or our tendency to whine and complain? Looks like the latter to me.

    How about sports? A sports blog post that reveals a player who called someone else "The biggest crybaby I know." Was he trying to say someone cries a lot? Or someone who he sees as a whiner and complainer? Looks like the latter again.

    Here's another political ad from the US, which is trying to call Newt Gingrich a crybaby. Were they trying to say he cries easily? Or that he whined and complained?

    I suppose I could mention the Urban dictionary entry, which is a slang database, but it gives a good idea about how culture views certain words and things. They have several entries:

    Someone asks the question in this forum "Is this the crybaby forum?" Does he want to know if it's a forum for people who cry? Or people who whine and complain?

    Now, I have stated that there is a point to the other side. Merely that it isn't the full story. So what if we took a look at an anime thread talking about the biggest crybabies? While they do mention a few people who do cry, there are plenty mentioned that do not, but are called crybabies because of angsting, whining, or complaining. People like Shinji from Evangelion. Shinn from Gundam SEED. People that anime fans consider to be crybabies, but yet aren't tagged that way in anime-planet, and do not match anime-planet's definition. Others include: Katase from Stellvia, several characters from Eureka Seven, and Yohko from Twelve Kingdoms. Doesn't really actually cry too much, but whines and complains like a bitch throughout the first dozen episodes.

    But this should show that anime fans consider whiners and complainers to be crybabies, too. In fact, the common thread is that all the crybabies that anime fans would designate as such, whine and complain. Only some of them shed tears. So in that light, anime-planet is missing more than half the characters the anime fandom would consider to be crybabies, because the definition doesn't cover it.

    The issue is we're only dealing with half a definition. So, Vern, if I meet you halfway, will you meet me halfway? If I say 50% of the time it refers to people who cry, would you be willing to concede that 50% of the time at least, it means people who just whine and complain? By the real world and by anime fans?
     
  20. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 27, 2013
    #80
    The problem is, selecting a new name is tough because you want several different things in it. There is no real word for what you want. The problem is that you're just using one particular word as a kludge, and using it a bit inaccurately. There is no good word, including the one you are using.

    Now, instead, if you were to split the concepts up, and use perhaps two words, you could cover what you want, easily. And be more accurate at the same time. "Teary-eyed" and "Whiner" is what would would cover what you're after. The crying aspect you want with crybaby is an objective idea, since you can determine if someone cries. Therefore, there are plenty of words that would objectively describe someone as such.

    Personally, whether a word is "likable" to me, isn't really an issue. The only issue is whether it is accurate. If it is, then it will work. But if we're trying to please a purely subjective taste for everyone, then nothing will work, because everyone has different subjective tastes. I tend to prefer the logical over the emotional for that reason. At least with the logical, there is a sound foundation.

    But, in the interest of trying to work with you, I'll throw out some other words:
    petulant
    sissy
    sulky
    milksop
    tearful

    But honestly, since you've been here awhile, you're used to the tags as is. So from that standpoint, nothing will most likely seem good enough to you.

    I remember a South Park episode awhile back, that dealt with words and meanings. The word they were using was "fag" which they showed had many different meanings, especially if you were from the US or the UK. In the US, it's a derogatory term. In the UK, it just refers cigarettes. It's a bit hard for a US or UK person to get used to the other, because they grew up around their particular term, so they are attached to it.

    So, I understand your position. Can you understand mine?
     
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