Forum:"Players are recommended to..."

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This thread was archived on 3 October 2011 by Liquidhelium.

All over the RuneScape Wiki, I see the phrase "Players are recommended to bring" (or "to use", or another verb).

I believe this phrase to be incorrect. One would say "It is recommended that players bring" (or use), "We recommend [that] players bring" (or use) or "Players are advised/encouraged to bring" (or use).

I don't know if that's an issue of style that should be added to the Style Guide or just an honest mistake that has been repeated with cut-and-paste. What do you say? A proofreader 01:42, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

Discussion

Replace with the grammatically superior suggested text - <-- --LiquidTalk 01:54, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

Support Seems better to do. Youdead0002:25, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

Support - If it's grammar... I guess we should. I'll take your word that it's incorrect. :P svco4bY.png3Gf5N2F.png 02:29, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - As discussed with Cook_Me_Plox on IRC, the issue with "Players are recommended" is that the construction implies that having some players is recommended, as if it were "We recommend some players". "Encouraged" doesn't have the same problem. I can recommend that you do something, I can encourage you to do something, but if you then go to someone, you can say "(S)he encouraged me to do this", but saying "(S)he recommended me to do this" implies that I put in a recommendation for you, out of multiple people, for doing services. I would recommend "encouraged" or "advised" to avoid this awkward construction. [Also, think of it this way: "Law runes are recommended in case of emergency" is just the passive voice for "We recommend some law runes", but "Players are recommended" is for "We recommend some players"] A proofreader 02:41, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

What awkward construction? The suggested replacement is an excellent example of using passive voice to create a third-person statement. There is nothing wrong with that. --LiquidTalk 03:00, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
That's true. The passive voice isn't what's awkward here, but how the verb is used. I didn't explain myself really well, but I'll try again.
With "to recommend", the canonical sentence is either "<subject> recommend(s) <object> <infinitive verb> <indirect object>" [recommend a person for an action, e.g. "I recommend Bubsa to administer the wiki"] or "<subject> recommend(s) {that <object> <conjugated verb> <indirect object> | <indirect object>}" [a strong encouragement to do the action, e.g. "I recommend that she brings her glasses", or a recommendation to consider one object over another object or nothing, as in "Dell recommends Windows Vista" or "We recommend law runes for teleporting out", which have no stated object so apply to everyone]. In the passive voice, the subject is implied, but the object must still be stated. So far, so good. But the passive voice becomes either "You're recommended to administer the wiki; would you like to join?" (an existing administrator, messaging Bubsa, the recommended user), "It was recommended that she brings glasses" (Since the recommendation is that something is done, not for the lady to bring people's glasses to them, "She was recommended to bring glasses" is invalid.), "Windows Vista is recommended" or "Law runes are recommended".
With this knowledge in hand, we see that "Players are recommended to bring law runes" fits the passive voice construction for the first sense, recommending someone for a task, and not the second construction; in the active voice, it becomes "We recommend players to bring / for bringing law runes". "We recommend that players bring law runes" would become "It is recommended that players bring law runes"; "We recommend bringing law runes" would become "Bringing law runes is recommended"; and finally, "We recommend law runes" would become "Law runes are recommended". "Strongly" can modify "recommended" in these, too.
"Encouraged" doesn't have this problem, since it has only one canonical sentence, "<subject> encourage(s) <object> <infinitive verb> [indirect object]", e.g. "I encourage you to eat" or "I encourage you to eat apples or oranges". In the passive voice, it would be "You are encouraged to eat".
TL;DR: the RuneScape Wiki could either lose the "Players" entirely and skip to "Bringing law runes is recommended" or "Law runes are recommended", or keep the "Players" and put "Players are encouraged to ...".
I hope I explained myself clearly this time! :) A proofreader 03:49, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
That explanation was clear enough to make a Grammar Nazi not want to read it. Congratulations. No one has ever done that for a technical subject before. --LiquidTalk 03:56, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
Well, thanks! Now, is that good or bad? :) A proofreader 04:00, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
That's very good. It shows that you have an excellent command of grammar and style. --LiquidTalk 04:03, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
Wait, what? Your concern is that people will think we're suggesting that players are needed to do something? I've never read a "Players are recommended..." statement that way and I'd like to know if anyone actually has. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 03:09, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. See the search results for "players are recommended" for some examples, and my explanation above. "Players are recommended" means you want me to have some players on hand, just like "Law runes are recommended" means you want me to have law runes on hand. A proofreader 03:49, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
Because you're leaving the rest of the sentence off. Players are recommended to bring prayer potions. I don't really understand this argument and your text walls have not persuaded me.sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 05:24, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
Let's keep it short and sweet. "Players are recommended to bring prayer potions" is grammatically incorrect in this sense, because in that phrase the player is being recommended, not the prayer potions. It's like saying "Players should be the ones to bring prayer potions" as opposed to...something besides players. There are lots of grammatically viable alternatives, and I don't really see why this requires a thread. ʞooɔ 05:58, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
"Players are recommended to bring prayer potions". The writer, implied by the pasive voice, recommends that you use players. For what purpose? Bringing you prayer potions. This is incorrect.
"Law runes are recommended to teleport out in case of an emergency". The writer, implied by the passive voice, recommends that you use law runes. For what purpose? Teleporting out in case of an emergency. This is correct. A proofreader 06:03, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
I disagree, I don't see how my example is wrong. (: sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 06:07, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
It's not a matter of opinion as much as it is fact. "Players are recommended to [anything]" is wrong, regardless of how you look at it. ʞooɔ 06:15, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

Oppose - If it bothers you so much, go change the thousand instances of it. This wiki is full of bad grammar, and we can only correct it as we go. I see no reason to add something as small and insignificant as this to the style guide. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 06:07, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps it is not productive to add anything about this specific phrase, however it could be useful to add something concerning all forms of passive sentence structure. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 06:12, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

Weak support - I don't think anyone wants to go change them all painstakingly one by one, but I'd support mentioning it in the style guide as a "recommendation of how to write" (pun intended). Hofmic Talk 06:16, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

I volunteer to change the instances of "players are recommended" (specifically) on the wiki if this gets support, even if it doesn't go into the Style Guide (this is a general matter of grammar, after all). A proofreader 06:23, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
You're more than welcome to be bold and do so, though note it may appear as often as hundreds of times throughout articles. I've lost track. Hofmic Talk 06:33, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

Support - All opposition seems to be purely based on laziness to me. If it's grammatically incorrect, then there is absolutely no reason for us not to fix it. Basing an argument on account of the fact that there's other grammatical errors on the wiki is senseless and illogical. It's the small things that make a difference to our articles, thus adding this to the style guide can be nothing but a help. Ronan Talk 16:01, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

The word recommended is actually a no no any way you use it. Because it is not NPOV for one, and second, the playing style of the reader could be far different than that of the writer. I have seen literally hundreds of recommended courses of action/strategies/suggested items that were/are just plain awful. The proper course for a site that wishes to be truly encyclopedic would be to mention what works, and what does not work. The choice of what to do is up to the player. If we do not want to be an encyclopedia, hey, I wont fight it anymore.--Degenret01 16:23, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

There are places I would still see 'recommended': quest guides and strongly suggested levels in a certain strategy. In quest guides, the writer would be advising the reader of possibly dangerous areas of a quest and would recommend items based on the danger. In some articles like Barrows, the writer would be recommending some levels to fight the Barrows brothers effectively (such as 60+ Prayer instead of just 43, to use Protect from Melee for a longer time against Dharok). The writer may also be recommending items that suit the attacking style of the reader (for example, if using Magic, a Staff of light is recommended as it saves on runes, but which spell is used is left up to the reader). A proofreader 20:44, September 15, 2011 (UTC)
If the player does not know what to use for his playing style then he is beyond help. They can/should read our Magic article and learn what works best. Quest guides should just tell them what to do, since that is what they are looking for.--Degenret01 00:21, September 16, 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I agree with that. Yes, in cases where there are many acceptable strategies of mostly equal difficulty, we should avoid from "recommending" one over the other, but what if one strategy has a clear advantage over all others? Surely we should mention its superiority. However, with a strict adherence to NPOV, its technically not allowed. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 05:49, September 16, 2011 (UTC)
The command imperative would seem to avoid issues with NPOV when there is only one choice of action. But meh. I am discussing for discussions sake, it seems that this is brought up so often that I can't keep up with so many people that want to make everything written for level 50s.--Degenret01 06:37, September 16, 2011 (UTC)
Well I'm certainly not advocating writing every article from the perspective of what's best for a level 50. I'm just saying that in areas where there is a clear advantage to doing something in a particular fashion, we should not shy away from talking about why it is advantageous. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 08:11, September 16, 2011 (UTC)
This seems to be another contentious issue; I guess I'll do my best to replace "recommended" with "is helpful" and such. If the issue of catering to level 50s gets to you, please campaign against it in the Yew Grove :) But the NPOV rule has precedent in Wikipedia and other wikis, as well as already being in RuneScape:Style guide. A proofreader 19:51, September 16, 2011 (UTC)
Who makes the decision on what works and what doesn't? --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 06:42, September 16, 2011 (UTC)

Support - The amount of time you put into this on itself is enough to support it. Lol But yes, you are right. Grammar ftw. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 14:36, September 16, 2011 (UTC)

Neutral - Meh. Adam SavageTalk 14:28, September 25, 2011 (UTC)

Action

This thread has died down a little. I have started rewording the phrase "Players are recommended to..." in articles on the wiki given the preliminary support. Arandar, Oak door and Vampyre dust are done thus far. If anyone wants to help, consult the search results for "players are recommended" and reword an article at random, since that reduces the chance of edit conflicts :)

 a proofreader ▸ 

16:44, September 19, 2011 (UTC)

Fair enough. It never really was any question as phrase correctly or not, but more of simply making it official. I'll add it to my general optimizations when I go through random pages. Hofmic Talk 23:57, September 19, 2011 (UTC)

The thread is dying. Let's just keep it as it is, as I can understand it and when I first came here I understood it, and so can everyone else. If you wanna change it, go ahead. --中亚人/中亞人 (Chinasian/Jeffwang16) 跟我谈话 14:08, September 25, 2011 (UTC)

Did you read the thread at all? ʞooɔ 19:52, September 25, 2011 (UTC)

Closed - The issue is being resolved. --LiquidTalk 17:07, October 3, 2011 (UTC)