Forum:The use of the word You
I was wondering what is the standard narrative mode in articles. Should we be using the word "you" as in You cannot ask for a new Slayer task through the Gems but you have to go to the Slayer Master in person. or Players cannot ask for a new Slayer task through the Gems but have to go to the Slayer Master in person.. The style guide does not address this. I would think the second way is correct since we are an encyclopedia of sorts. I can see using the you in things like guides perhaps, but it really isn't necessary. Thoughts? Atlandy 18:33, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
In the example given " You cannot ask for a new Slayer task through the Gems but you have to go to the Slayer Master in person" may be simplified further into: Slayer tasks must be assigned by the Slayer Master in person, the use of "player" instead of "you" does not simplify the language futher. (edited in start of discussion as it relates directly to the given example) --Tortilliachp 05:28, December 25, 2009 (UTC)
- I personally prefer when articles use 'the player' or 'one', not 'you'. It looks more professional and even more logical. Oil4 Talk 18:59, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
- I agree, but what is preferred and what is correct may be two separate things Atlandy 19:02, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
I'm under the understanding that you use "Players" and "Users" before "you" or "your". I'll see if I can find it.
19:09, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Comment - We discussed this several months back at Forum:1st, 2nd or 3rd person. 21:17, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
There is always a way to avoid using the word "you" except in quest guides. I think the use of you, or at the very least the implied you, could be acceptable in quest guides.21:19, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Comment Knew it had to be somewhere...now to fix everything Atlandy 22:22, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Comment - This has been in the RuneScape:Style guide for about as long as I can remember, so this should hardly be something new. It has taken me a little bit of time to try and get used to avoiding the use of the word "you" as it comes across so easily when using it. This said, I think it makes better prose when it isn't used. In a few cases, I've simply seen the world "player" substituted for "you" by some editors, which really doesn't work. It takes a bit more effort than that to rework the grammar, but it can always be done if you really try. It is good to remind everybody here that this is policy and a strongly recommended writing style. It will also help if those who adopt this writing style (like I'm doing in this very sentence) put it to use in contexts other than just within this wiki. It might even get a higher grade on the terms papers turned in, or other school or professional work as well. --Robert Horning 02:16, December 9, 2009 (UTC)
Comment - I prefer "You" because I feel alot more comfortable with the word compared to others such as "one", I'm probably the only one who feels that way though :/ Swiz Talk Review Me 10:22, December 12, 2009 (UTC)
- Probably because "you" is informal. Mostly everyone prefers informality to formality. 15:34, December 12, 2009 (UTC)
Comment - I've actually been doing this for a while now. Whenever I see the word "you" in a non-guide article (quest article, miniquest article, etc.), I convert it to third person, even if the whole sentence needs to be adjusted.15:34, December 12, 2009 (UTC)
Support Third Person use in articles - I believe that ALL articles, including guides, should be in third person, as it seems more logical and professional.--Cheers,01:54, December 14, 2009 (UTC)
- Comment - People look in articles for information, so it shouldn't be directed at anyone. People look in guides for help, help for themselves. The guides should be easy to understand for someone who is reading it and wants instructions. Cheers, Chicken7 >talk 02:03, December 14, 2009 (UTC)
- Comment—I feel very strongly that we want to continue to use the second-person voice in quest guides. As the quest style guide states, "...these articles are not encyclopaedic, but are instead user manuals -- and user manuals are written solely for the user." Horsehead Talk 13:35, December 14, 2009 (UTC)
Neutral Comment - Second-person POVs are fine if they are spoken by a NPC, such as for a quote, or simply upon examining of an item, otherwise, all POVs ahould be reverted to third-person to achieve that professional tone. --Fruit.Smoothie 02:05, December 14, 2009 (UTC)
- Comment - That's probably the best thing, but you forgot to comment guides. In guides, the best option seems to be using second person, and in anything else(except of course quotes, examines and things like that), the best thing to do is to use third person. 13:51, December 14, 2009 (UTC)
Comment - I feel very strongly towards always using third-person, in guides, even. I like professionalism over informality. I fail to see how one feels uncomfortable when the word "you" is replaced with "players". Kudos 2 U Talk! Edit count! Contribs! 12:11, December 22, 2009 (UTC)
Third-person - Make it third person. That should work best.19:16, December 23, 2009 (UTC)
- Make it third person, except where it is clumsy. Better to write a good sentence with "you" and let someone else find a way to make it TP, than to write rubbish.
- Avoid "one" it is stilted, and not suitable for a wiki about a fun game.
- Use "Take the third left" instead of "You take the third left" in guides - "taking the second right leads to the Gorp" instead of "if you take the second right..."
- Be careful with "player" and "character" - I am the player, my character is St Launcelot. This terms can often be avoided using the technique above.
- Watch out for strange tenses and the current fad of using "would" everywhere "if a player would walk into the fire they will get the reward" is better as "walking into the fire the character gets the reward" or even "walking into the fire gets the reward."
- I would support that as an official policy if it was being proposed as such. 17:58, December 24, 2009 (UTC)
Rather important comment: Minimalism is the style of academia. The use of "you" is inefficient and is easily avoided. Players are often taught to avoid personal pronouns in lab reports from middle school, thus they should have no problem following common academic style here either. consider a section from the http://runescape.wikia.com/wiki/Armour[armour] guide:
Attaching a Spirit sigil to the blessed shield gives an additional bonus - the Arcane sigil increases the shield's magic attack bonus, making it the best sidearm available for magic attack; the Spectral sigil increases the shield's magic defence, making it the best sidearm available for magic defence; the Divine sigil gives the shield the special effect of "30% - or as much as if possible if 30% is more than your current amount of Prayer points - of any damage you take is removed. Half of this 30% is deducted from your Prayer instead, while the other half is ignored completely."; the Elysian sigil gives the shield a special effect of "70% chance of reducing the damage you receive by 25%".
rewritten: Attaching a Spirit sigil to the blessed shield gives additional bonus. The Arcane sigil increases the shield's magic attack bonus, making it the best sidearm for magic attack; the Spectral sigil increases the shield's magic defence, making it the best sidearm for magic defence; the Divine sigil adds an effect where 30% of damage taken is reduced. Half of this 30% is deducted in form of prayer points, less damage is reduced with insuficcient prayer points. The Elysian sigil adds an effect with a 70% chance of reducing the damage taken by 25%.
576 characters (no spaces) have been reduced to 455 characters while clarifying the content. You and your are complicators in all the examples above, as the subsitution of "you" with "player" would not improve. "if a player would walk into the fire they will get the reward" can be simplified by use of clear English into: "The reward is recieved walking into the fire." where the imprecice term "walking into the fire gets the reward." has been eliminated.--Tortilliachp 05:28, December 25, 2009 (UTC)
- Comment - I think this user knows what they're talking about. Kudos 2 U Talk! Edit count! Contribs! 01:03, December 30, 2009 (UTC)
Third person - Funnily enough I was thinking about this today, and yeah, I think that articles should be written in third person. And the "You" could be used in guides. Just like Psycho said. Makxtrl Talk 07:14, January 2, 2010 (UTC)
Academic style --> new section of style guide.
As outlined in the new section of the style guide (please comment and edit this, it's less than a day old), use of the word "you", "one"or in almost all cases "the player" does not facillitate the effective transfer of information, be it in a guide or otherwise. Use of the word "you" per this new style guide should not be used. This is standard academic procedure, and as an academic work there is no reason why we should lower our standards by "trying to be more personal" in ways that in almost all cases makes the information presented harder to access amongst unneccessary complications.
Thus, unless you wish to further change the style guide and can defend that on the style guide talk page, the word "you" should not be used.
In closing, consider this example: "You need level 70 attack to wield an abyssal whip" easiliy becomes " Wielding an abyssal whip requires 70 attack". This is formal, shifts focus to the weapon in question, which is the topic of the sentence, it is shorter and it is clearer.
I can see no example where use of the word "you" facillitates the purpose of an academic work. Why should we lower our standards below those set by the style guide? Tortilliachp 08:51, January 2, 2010 (UTC)
- It is certainly easier, yet the resulting guide is of a lower quality even though it may have more information than otherwise. This information is hidden amongst unneccessary words, such as "you" or "the player". The object of such a sentance should be its subject, thus eliminating part of the sentence, making the guide more concise, and therefore more usable. - --Tortilliachp 12:36, January 2, 2010 (UTC)
- A guide is a list of the factual steps required to perform a certain action, like completing a quest. One of the purposes is to direct readers in solving these challenges effectively. Another substantial feature is allowing players who do not meet the requirements of the content to follow the plot developments occuring within runescape. F2p players following quest guidelines is a common habit. Thus guides are not only used when actually completing a quest, and the information is not directed at solving a particular problem.
- Factual information should not be directed at a reader. That is what a guide should be, thus you have outlined one of the main problems of using the word 'you'; reader interaction with information given is irrelevant to many readers of the content. Tortilliachp 17:42, January 2, 2010 (UTC)
- I know of several f2p and low leveled players that follow quest story-lines without doing the actual quests. They follow quests through their guides to follow the story-lines, or to evaluate if the quest or parts of a quest (such as for attaining an easy mint cake) is something they wish to pursue ingame. thus, the second person approach does not suit this usergroup in the slightest. They want the factual information presented, in a factual way. ---Tortilliachp 23:03, January 2, 2010 (UTC)
Comment—Our goal should be to write clear and helpful guides. Using the second-person voice in guides is not a sign of unprofessionalism or lowering of our standards, and I can find thousands and thousands of examples of professional books and articles written in the second person—especially instructional guides.
I don't want to write minimalist academic prose, which is often ridiculed for its bloodless tone. I also don't want to follow rules that twist active and understandable sentences into unreadable shapes. Our goal should not be to drain the life from our wiki but to make it as useful and engaging for readers as possible.
I want to write and edit helpful articles and guides that people want to read. Our quest guides are useful in part because they are written to the individual reader. Our guides walk the reader through how to do the quest, and in my opinion the use of the stated or implied second person is appropriate—and preferable—in those situations. Horsehead Talk 22:08, January 2, 2010 (UTC)
- How so? Most fan sites follow the same approach. The wiki quest guides and other guides are useful as they are quickly assembeled, and with time become the most comprehensive guides. Their effectiveness has nothing to do with the second person approach. to the contrary, because of their extensive nature, more information is presented than is required to complete the quests, and so the guides serve multiple purposes, not just as a simple walkthrough. That is part of the reason why this is an encyclopedic work and not just another fan-site.
- Academic prose is often ridiculed by those who wish to be entertained, rather than find an efficient and effective overview of information. Academia is not for everyone. I don't know if you've tried using academic works to find specific pieces of information, such as for research papers, but the style of academia is the most effective way of transfering information. Whenever I search for information on a wiki, I wish to find my answer quickly and effectively. I do not wish to be entertained or "engaged", I want the answer.
- If you want flowing, varied language in your quest guides, please use a fan-site. They contain fan-prose while Wikia contains works suited for the academic purpose of examining facts. I do not wish to be told that "You, the quester hailed by evil powers of Saradomin, find yourself confronted with your inner demons as you traverse the dreadfully dark and dusty chasms of contemporary evil, your spider senses tingeling (literally) as your arachnophobia kicks in while humongously enormous level 53 spiders envelop your character in fear. You stuble slightly as you progress further into the now vast and open underground cave, only to find yourself looking into the eyse of the massive and fearsome level 89 Kalrag, who you must defeat. As you conquer this dangerous and unruly beast the torches flicker slightly. You can feel yourself closer to defeating Iban..."
- Rather I wish to be told "Kalrag (level 89)is found in the innermost parts of the spider den (see map). The Doll of iban is soaked in blood upon Kalrag's defeat."
- If I wrote poetic'ly
- composing good prose,
- I would emphaticly
- be wasting of those,
- through rhythm and rhyme,
- of readers their time.
Tortilliachp 23:03, January 2, 2010 (UTC)
- -We are a fansite. Not in the conventional sense. This is an encyclopedic work, other fansites are not. I think you'll find we have more similarities with wikipedia than with tip.it or runehq. The purpose as outlined by being a wikia project at least suggests that quite convincingly and strongly. There is a higher standard here, and a more compelling strive to attain the most complete information possible, although it is highly irrelevant to most players. ---Tortilliachp 22:37, January 5, 2010 (UTC)
- Oppose - There are way too many examples in the new section, "Academic style". I would prefer it be removed, even if some of the examples were removed. Why? It seems to over-complicate the 'rules' in order to make the RS wiki "easier" to read. It just seems like it's trying to hard. You, the player, one; I really don't care; it is all clear to me. Whether it is formal or not does not matter ... as long as the article is readable, understandable, and easy to edit. And the RS wiki is all that without that section. How about we have a section on how to use the comma (,) and the semi-colon (;) correctly? How about a section on how to fix comma splices? That would be more helpful than this section; I am sure of it. Prgmbeta 00:14, January 5, 2010 (UTC)
- A comma may be used to replace any semi-colon; there is no situation that requires a semi-colon that cannot be resolved by a linking word explaining causality, or the relation betweeen your two independent periods connected by a semi-colon. Thus the use of semi-colons should be limited to a minimum (lists with internal punctuation, possibly also in use with conjuctive adverbs, but explaining the difference of subjucntive and conjunctive adverbs seems irrelevant to the overall quality of our guides. imprecise colloquial language that is easily misinterpreted is a much bigger issue. I don't see the use of semi-colons even remotely as important. Semi-.colons are simply overused, as they look fancy. Appropriate linking word and comma is almost always more effective.
- The style guide pertains to style. The academic style and nature of this wikia is "style" in the directest sense possible. Yes, the section needs work. However, you may find the other topics in the "style guide" may suit a different article better, such as an "English grammar" or "common mistakes" or "how to improve an article" page. correct me if these already exist. ---Tortilliachp 22:34, January 5, 2010 (UTC)
- Semi-Oppose - You are ignoring the point. Why must we rewrite our quest guides if they are already understood? 'Because this wiki is an academic project' does not seem sufficient to me. A guide is not supposed to be academic or encyclopedic. Check most published guides, they are written with a human touch, not in third person, or impersonally. TUQEBrwojy 23:08, January 5, 2010 (UTC)
- You are ignoring the point exactly, Tortilliachp. This discussion is not about commas and semi-colons. It is about "academic writing." I threw the rhetorical questions in there because I wanted to state my opinion: this proposed writing style is unimportant. I did not want an answer. There was no need to "school" me on how to use commas and semi-colons; I know them very well--thank you very much. On a side note, your typos/mis-spellings irk me. Prgmbeta 06:14, January 8, 2010 (UTC)
- Supports the use of formal voice - Since the RuneScape Wiki is an informative collection of articles, a formal voice should be used. Use of the formal voice entails third person, since first or second person aren't formal. Furthermore, the choice of language and the construction of sentences should be done in such a manner that demonstrates professionalism. --Liquidhelium 23:52, January 5, 2010 (UTC)
Oppose—Per Rwojy. I see no reason why we would ban a widely accepted and perfectly suitable style of writing for our guides.
I can find thousands and thousands of examples of professional books and articles written in the second person—especially instructional guides and user manuals. The use of you aids our readers, follows standard instructional-writing practice, and does not in any way create an unprofessional or unacademic guide.
When you explain to a friend how to perform some task, you always use you.
- "Now, you press the red panic button."
Would it be clearer to your friend if you used instead "the user" or "the player" or "the person?"
- "Now, the person presses the red panic button."
Your friend probably would ask "what person?" if you spoke that way.
One of our goals is to create clear, readable, and useful guides for your readers. Using you (whether the you is stated or implied) is how we all speak when giving directions or instructions. Using the third-person voice, in contrast, sounds awkward and unnatural.
From our quest style guide:
Though some styles of writing prohibit the second-person tense, recall that these articles are not encyclopaedic, but are instead user manuals—and user manuals are written solely for the user.
Or to quote the New York Public Library Writer's Guide to Style and Usage:
Other writers, usually nonfiction and business writers, use the second person to address the reader directly. Self-help books, user manuals, and training materials are often written in second person (you, your, yours) because advice, steps, and directions are naturally expressed in this way.
The use of you is a natural and accepted way to convey instructions, and we'd most likely be sacrificing some level of readability in our guides to sound "academic."
- That is, awkward sentence structure IF an editor puts it in an awkward way, like the example you stated, "Now, the person presses the red panic button." See the sentence I just wrote? Quote: "AN EDITOR". Did it sound stilted and/or awkward? Hello71 00:24, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
- You also are missing the point. Professional guides are written in second person. And yes, the sentence sounds fine, but rewriting 150+ pages just to remove 'you' is completely unnecessary. KZGNrwojy 00:29, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
Comment - "You, the quester hailed by evil powers of Saradomin, find yourself confronted with your inner demons as you traverse the dreadfully dark and dusty chasms of contemporary evil, your spider senses tingeling (literally) as your arachnophobia kicks in while humongously enormous level 53 spiders envelop your character in fear. You stuble slightly as you progress further into the now vast and open underground cave, only to find yourself looking into the eyse of the massive and fearsome level 89 Kalrag, who you must defeat. As you conquer this dangerous and unruly beast the torches flicker slightly. You can feel yourself closer to defeating Iban..."
You can easily convert the above paragraph in third person: "the player, hailed by evil powers of Saradomin, will find himself confronted with his inner demons as he traverses the dreadfully dark and dusty chasms of comtemporary evil..." Well, it's in third person, but it doesn't sound concise to me.
You can also reduce that paragraph to just two sentences in second person that give only the facts, like you did in your example: You can find Kalrag (level 89) in the innermost parts of the spider den (see map). When you defeat Kalrag, the Doll of iban will be soaked in blood."
Second person can achieve the same effect as third person.02:56, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
- It should also be noted to say Themself rather than Himself/Herself. We don't always know the persons gender. scooties 03:00, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
Comment - I could rewrite the first sentence as: 'Now, press the red panic button.
And the paragraph:
- Several level 39 non-aggressive Blessed spiders may be encountered within the Underground Pass. Kill them if necessary before proceeding deeper into the cave. Within the innermost chamber, a level 89 Kalrag can be found. She is a larger version of blessed spiders, and must be killed. As soon as Kalrag is defeated, the Doll of Iban will be soaked in blood. However, be careful as the blessed spiders will now become aggressive after Kalrag is killed.
If imperative mood is used, as suggested in the Quest style guide, the use of "you" and "the player" can be avoided. 13:03, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
- Comment—I agree that using the imperative mood avoids almost all of this, and you can frequently avoid using you altogether in a guide. But when you rewrote the paragraph to avoid you, you created sentences using the passive voice with no clear antecedents, which is even less preferable. The cure for removing you is worse than the illness.
- Here is the paragraph, using the active voice:
- You encounter several nonaggressive level 39 Blessed spiders in the Underground Pass. Kill them if necessary before proceeding deeper into the cave. Within the innermost chamber, you find a level 89 Kalrag. She is a larger version of blessed spiders. Kill her, and blood soaks your Doll of Iban. However, be careful, as the blessed spiders will become aggressive after you kill Kalrag.
- It's 14 fewer words and, to my mind, offers clear instruction for the reader. Horsehead Talk 13:23, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
- Non-aggressive level 39 Blessed spiders inhabit the Underground Pass. Kill them if necessary before moving further into the cave. Kalrag lives in the innermost chamber. She is a larger version of blessed spiders. Kill her to soak the Doll of Iban in blood. The spiders become aggressive after killing Kalrag.
- 13 fewer words than the last above suggestion to my theoretical passage, all in the active tense without use of "you" or the player. Focus shifts from the player onto the information that is relevant to them, as these objects and creatures become the subjects of sentences. Everyone knows they are the ones present, thus this does not need to be presented repeatedly. :)
- I don't think this is the best way to present information, as it becomes very dry, sentences short. The above example is just to show how it can be done very easily, as long as focus is shifted from the player onto the actual objects involved in actions required by the quests. There is no artistic limitation imposed by limiting the word "you", all normal literary devices may still be used to improve on text. I'm not in favour of sterilizing language to the extent of my example. It just shows limiting the word you will make things more concise while still in the active, if used correctly. Practice makes perfect :) ---Tortilliachp 19:20, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
- Comment—I completely disagree: Why would we want to shift the focus away from the player? We are writing the guides for the players. The players are key parts of any quest: They are the ones doing the action. Removing any mention of the player from the guides is denying who these guides and our wiki is for. Banning the use of the word you in guides because we think our wiki will sound more professional or academic would be like banning the use of baseball gloves from the major leagues because the commissioner is offended by cow leather. Watching ballplayers take the field barehanded or wielding lacrosse sticks might satisfy the animal-rights activists, but it would not improve the play of the game. You is a broadly accepted and extremely useful tool for writing instructions, and banning it would only reduce the readability and usefulness our of guides. Horsehead Talk 22:55, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
- Comment to comment I in turn completely disagree: what the reader wants is the information. The reader knows they are the ones to perform the actions. Do you perform actions for someone else? Mention of the "the player" or "you" are redundant as they are obviously implicit. Neglecting that fact is assuming the reader is stupid, in a degradatory way. The guides serve not only as instructions, but as informative articles which the use of the word you ignores. --Tortilliachp 15:36, January 7, 2010 (UTC)
- What the reader of a true encyclopedia wants is information. Our readers don't just want information - they play RuneScape and want not only information about it, but often guides about how to do things. We're a fansite. We're not 'extremists' like some WikiPedians, but we're a nice community that just writes articles and guides to help the reader. Oil4 Talk 21:56, January 7, 2010 (UTC)
- How does using the word you help improve the reader's under standing of a guide? That's beyond me. --Tortilliachp 10:56, January 8, 2010 (UTC)
- The assertion that an article containing the same information presented in a more inefficient way is not of "inferior quality" is a logical fallacy. It is no harder to write without the use of "you", it just takes practice while editing 2-3 articles. This is not hard, presenting it as such is not just assuming the reader is stupid and needs reminding that they are present while doing a quest, but also assuming our editors are stupid. That's not something i would dare to stand up for publically. --Tortilliachp 12:05, January 9, 2010 (UTC)
No more "you" That sounds a hell of a lot more professional.--Degenret01 13:08, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
Using "you" but not "I" doesn't sound right.01:24, January 11, 2010 (UTC)
- Where would you want to use "I"? Oil4 Talk 08:13, January 11, 2010 (UTC)
- Using I is most likely personal opinion. For example: "I recommend using abyssal whip and dfs". • NnK Oliver • (600613) talk 00:58, January 18, 2010 (UTC)