Talk:The Black Island/GA1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

GA Review[edit]

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · Watch

Reviewer: Prhartcom (talk · contribs) 21:21, 3 January 2014 (UTC) Comment There is a great deal of passive voice in this article, as I have come to expect with this author. Some passive voice is okay. The best use of passive voice is when the subject of the sentence is less important than the object (i.e. "Tintin was sent to Russia" is passive voice and is better than "Tintin's editor sent Tintin to Russia" because we don't care who did the sending, in this case). However, much of the passive voice present in this article would sound better in active voice (i.e. instead of "the island is being used as a base for the forgers" change to "the forgers are using the island as a base") and should be corrected. A great number of sentences in this article would require this. Remember, we want the subject of the sentence to receive the action, not the object. (Note: I once found that "" may be of some help; there are also other tools.) Good luck. Prhartcom (talk) 21:21, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Prhartcom; I take it that this passive voice is particularly apparent in the "Synopsis" section ? Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:09, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
No, it's all throughout the article. I wish I could show you. Let me see if I can create a separate talk page that identifies which sentences have the problem. Stay tuned. Prhartcom (talk) 22:14, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Please see this page: Talk:The Black Island/Sandbox
I believe I have identified all of the passive voice in this article. You may decide some of it is better left as is (i.e. for the reason stated above). Hopefully though, this will help you realize that most of these sentences need to be rewritten in the more readable active voice. Good luck. Prhartcom (talk) 23:54, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Prhartcom, I'll make some changes to remove this passive voice as much as possible. Midnightblueowl (talk) 12:33, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Right, I think that I have dealt with the passive voice problem; there are a few instances left in, but I feel that they are too problematic to rephrase. Midnightblueowl (talk) 13:09, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
That is an improvement, great job, as I see you have excised much of the passive voice problem, and I hope you see for yourself that it is better now; clearer, more direct, more accurate, and more readable. What are your thoughts on the following (2nd req.) passive voice that I believe could be improved:
  • "The character was also partly influenced [passive voice] by the British soldier John Bagot Glubb" → "British soldier John Bagot Glubb was also an influence for the character of Müller"
  • "they felt that many British readers would find the depiction of Britain in the comic incredulous and out-of-date, drawing up a lists of 131 errors in story that they asked Hergé to rectify before it could be published [passive voice] in English" → "Methuen believed that many British readers would find the depiction of Britain in the comic incredulous and out-of-date, and drew up a list of 131 errors in story that they asked Hergé to rectify before they would publish it in English"
  • ""the prose was changed [passive voice] from "It's a television ..." → "Casterman changed the prose from "It's a television ..."
Sure thing. I've made these three changes; although in the third I've specified that it is Hergé, rather than Casterman, who brought about the change. I agree that in most instances, the removal of passive voice is an improvement, although I'm not sure that it's a particularly big deal myself. Certainly, I've never come across any other GA reviewers who've called me out on it; is there a Wikipedia policy out there that specifically advocates the removal of passive voice ? Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:39, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah, again. No, there is no policy. Is passive voice grammatically incorrect? No it isn't. Is is poor style? Yes, it is. What do professional writers recommend? They recommend using active voice whenever possible.[1] Prhartcom (talk) 00:41, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Although I agree that in many cases, active voice is preferable (or at least, it is in my opinion, others might disagree), the fact that Wikipedia doesn't have any policies on the issue makes me a little concerned. You've placed a lot of emphasis on the removal of passive voice, Prhartcom, both in this article and in others, and while there's nothing wrong in that, I worry a tad that you concern yourself a lot with something that isn't policy-based. If you look at the instructions for GARs, for instance, you will see no requirement that active voice be used over passive voice. It's nothing significant, just a thought. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:35, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
It does surprise me it isn't mentioned in the MOS. I wonder if the reason is because it is so obvious, so universal. I truly do appreciate you telling me your position--I will always place value on your experience, Midnightblueowl, so thank-you for that. I do notice, however, that the writers of many of the FAs that I read do not question this good practise, as you do--they obey it. The George Harrison article, for example (one I contributed to for a few years before it was finally made FA; I still remember a few of the writers); I just checked, and it has almost zero passive voice in it. Almost zero. I randomly checked another FA and it was the same story there too. It concerns me that you haven't recognised the fact that I have patiently placed a lot of emphasis on this for your benefit. I am trying to help you be a better writer. All of us on Wikipedia are trying to do that for each other. Plus, you and I are friends with like interests; we look out for each other. Prhartcom (talk) 21:23, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
I feel that I have probably misrepresented myself here; I don't mean to question the removal of passive voice. I think that it's a good thing, and am glad, and grateful, that you are picking up on it. Rather, what I was trying to convey was don't worry so much about it, particularly at the GAR level; it's more of an FAC thing. It is important that the prose is top notch here at Wikipedia, but at this stage that is not the most important thing; don't sweat the small stuff, as the saying goes. Best, 14:09, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Good, please check all prose for unintended use of passive voice, even at GA level. As long as I understand you are getting what I am saying and learning from it, I don't expect that it will be necessary to place this much emphasis on this topic again, as I don't have a fondness for doing so. I will go a little easier on GA reviews from now on and not sweat the small stuff. You are wonderful to work with, Midnightblueowl, I am always impressed by how you handle challenges. Now let's get these issues addressed and get back to things that matter: Bringing this article to GA approved! By the way:
Links to recent discussions. Wise words for all of us:
Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Words to watch#Active and passive voice
Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#No mention of passive voice vs active voice
Prhartcom (talk) 14:58, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the links! Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:49, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Further suggestions for refinement:

  • No cited references to the facts asserted in the lead? They are cited later, so can they not also be cited here?
Thanks, although it says "there is not an exception to citation requirements specific to leads" and it talked about a balance between redundancy and providing information to the reader. Do it whatever way your experience tells you is best. Prhartcom (talk) 21:23, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
I think that on this issue, there isn't really a need to include any references in the lede. We haven't done that for any of the preceding Adventures, and although I realise that this is an issue that should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, I personally think that that precedent comes into play here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:56, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree whole-heartedly with you on this one, Midnightblueowl; I hadn't noticed before you have indeed been applying this practise in the preceding Adventures; I agree it reads fine and I absolutely agree that consistency across the entire Tintin topic is of great importance. (I shall remove them from the intro of Tintin (character).) Prhartcom (talk) 15:14, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • "The Black Island introduces the recurring villain Doctor Müller, and has been widely cited as one of the most popular installments in the series." I realise this sentence is a list of two items regarding The Black Island, however it remains unwieldy. I suggest removing one of the two items from the sentence completely, rather than merely separating the two. In fact, no reference is cited to back up the currently dubious claim of popularity, so perhaps that is the one that should go.
Don't forget this one! I just noticed the article does indeed say both Thompson and Farr indicate the book's popularity, so my mistake. What can we do about this sentence then; do you like it? Prhartcom (talk) 18:06, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah, sorry I missed this one out. Generally speaking, I think the sentence works okay as it is, but I am open to having my mind changed on this issue. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:25, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm open too; since you think it's okay perhaps let's leave it for now. Prhartcom (talk) 23:06, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • "Being framed for theft" → "Framed for theft"
  • "Müller was running a gang" → "Müller is running a gang"
  • "He pursues Müller and his accomplices, along the way Thompson and Thomson join them" → "He pursues Müller and his accomplices; along the way, Thompson and Thomson join them" OR "He pursues Müller and his accomplices and along the way, Thompson and Thomson join them"
    • Agreed, I've changed it to the second proposed alternative. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:59, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • "and the Thom(p)sons follow" → "and the two detectives follow" Personally, I have judiciously avoided using the word "Thom(p)sons" in my text; I believe it is just too jarring to read and believe there is always an improved way to say it.
    • The use of "Thom(p)sons" really doesn't bother me, but I can see how others might find it a little jarring, so I agree that we should remove it. Done. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:59, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank-you, I appreciate it. Prhartcom (talk) 18:39, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • (2nd req.) "Poster for the 1933 film King Kong, whose protagonist would serve as Hergé's inspiration for Ranko." Not a complete sentence, so no period at the end
Why yes, is there a difference between the two terms? Guideline here: Wikipedia:Captions#Formatting and punctuation Prhartcom (talk) 18:06, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I've just never come across the term "period" before when referring to a full stop. Maybe it's a North American thing ? Anyway, I have removed it regardless. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:20, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
According to the full stop article, "period" is indeed a North American thing ! Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:22, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
And I have never really addressed the term "full stop" before! That's so funny, because I am quite sure both of us come across British/American English differences all the time. I prefer the British English over American English in almost all cases. Same for British music and television shows. Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing on this side of the pond. Prhartcom (talk) 23:06, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • (2nd req.) First paragraph of History section: It may be time to stop mentioning all this same history yet again. Completely strike the following long sentence and leave the rest: "Wallez ordered Hergé to set his first adventure ..."
    • I really think that we do need to provide a little historical background to the series here. But, equally, I think maybe we can make certain changes too. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:59, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I hear you, but are you planning on mentioning Tintin in the Land of the Soviets in every article right up to The Shooting Star and beyond? Prhartcom (talk) 18:39, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I was planning on referencing Soviets all the way up to The Shooting Star, yes. But I'm happy to debate the issue, if you disagree. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:16, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh dear. Well, it's not wrong to do so. I just thought that after Tintin in America we could put the early beginnings to bed. Are you planning on mentioning every book leading up to whatever book you are working on? Tell you what, let's just reflect on each other's opinion for awhile; maybe you will agree we don't need that one sentence (which I remember writing! ha ha). I won't press the issue at this time. Prhartcom (talk) 23:06, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • "Wallez was subsequently removed [passive voice] from the paper's editorship ..." (I missed this one earlier.) → "Newspaper executives removed Wallez from the paper's editorship ..." (Edit: You can decide to change this or skip it; either is fine with me.)
    • The problem here is that I'm not exactly sure who removed Wallez from the position; whether it was newspaper executives, or someone in the Church hierarchy, or someone else entirely. Even the nature of Wallez's scandal is still a little mysterious. Midnightblueowl (talk) 17:12, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah; then I agree with you. Prhartcom (talk) 18:06, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • "Having decided to set most of his story in Britain, he briefly visited London ..." → "Having decided to set most of his story in Britain, Hergé briefly visited London ..."
  • "He retained the anti-German sentiment ..." → "Hergé retained the anti-German sentiment ..."
  • "Hergé based the character largely on ..." → "He based the character largely on ..."
  • "and who Hergé had learned about from ..." → "and who he had learned about from ..."
  • "They were also concerned that the work would appear particularly dated ..." → "They were also aware that the work would appear particularly dated ..."
  • "Instead, Hergé sent his assistant ..." → "Instead, he sent his assistant ..."
  • "While in England, de Moor was lent a contemporary police constable's uniform from which to draw on, although the staff at British Rail were suspicious when he asked them for a uniform, refusing to do so" → "While in England, de Moor required a contemporary police constable's uniform in order to make accurate illustrations, but the staff at British Rail were suspicious at first and nearly refused to lend him one" (Why would British Rail have a contemporary police constable's uniform?)
    • Ah; I've phrased this pretty badly. Bob de Moor approached a police constabulary and British Rail independently, asking to borrow a uniform from each; the former agreed, the latter declined. I have rephrased this as "While in England, de Moor sought out various contemporary uniforms from which he could draw on. A police constabulary lent him a police uniform, although when he asked British Rail if he could borrow one of their uniforms, their staff were suspicious and refused." Midnightblueowl (talk) 17:22, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh that's funny, I really did not understand it until you rephrased it; that is much better. The only part remaining that I suggest improving is: replace "from which he could draw on" (is he planning on drawing on the fabric of the uniforms?) with "in order to make accurate illustrations"
I've changed it a little more: "While in England, de Moor sought out various contemporary uniforms to use as a basis for more accurate illustrations." I think that that works better. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:16, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Much better, brilliant teamwork. Prhartcom (talk) 23:06, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • "Tintin journal" → "Tintin magazine" (This is consistent throughout Wikipedia)
  • "Many changes to the illustrations were made ..." → "Many improvements to the illustrations were made ..."
    • Are not improvements subjective ? What one person sees as an improvement may well be deemed regressive by another. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:35, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Good point; I thought I was being more accurate. Prhartcom (talk) 15:46, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • "Belvision divided The Black Island up ..." → "Belvision's adaptation, directed by Ray Goossens and written by Michel Greg, divided The Black Island up ..."
  • "one which Hergé had used previously in Tintin in the Land of the Soviets" → "one that Hergé had used previously in Tintin in the Land of the Soviets"
  • "drawing style he had developed so that they visually fitted in with the new Tintin stories being created" → "drawing style he developed so that they visually fitted in with the new Tintin stories he created"
    • Reading through that sentence, I think that actually it could do with quite a bit more work; I've made the chance to this: "In the 1940s and 1950s, when Hergé's popularity had increased, he and his team at Studios Hergé redrew and coloured many of the original black-and-white Tintin adventures. They used the ligne claire ("clear line") drawing style that Hergé had developed, in this way ensuring that the earlier stories fitted in visually alongside the new Adventures of Tintin being created." Midnightblueowl (talk) 17:46, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh; so much better. Prhartcom (talk) 18:39, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • "Many changes to the illustrations were made [passive voice] throughout the story as a result of de Moor's research" (I missed this one earlier.) → "Bob de Moor improved many illustrations throughout the story" (Edit: You can decide to change this or skip it; either is fine with me.)
    • I'm not entirely sure that all of the new drawings were done by de Moor himself; some were, but others were done by other members of the Studio. I've removed passive voice using: "The Studio Hergé made many alterations to the illustrations as a result of de Moor's research." Midnightblueowl (talk) 17:46, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah; good point, then I agree to either leave it passive or change it as you did. Your change (which I believe should be "Studios Hergé" instead of "The Studio Hergé") is pretty good, but if you liked it the other way you can change it back. My whole thing about this active/passive is: when I see an editor, including myself, use passive voice, I want to know that the editor already tried it active (as it is often better) and then consciously made the decision that it is better passive. Prhartcom (talk) 18:39, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah yes, "Studios", not "Studio" - good point! I've made the correction. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:04, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • "which they followed in 1996 with the publication of a facsimile" → "that they followed in 1996 with the publication of a facsimile"
  • What is the "Pleban, Dafna" bibliography item? Nothing is referring to it; either add the citation or delete it from the bibliography.

That it for now. P.S. If only as a favor to me, please check out [2], as I just re-confirmed that it is a free tool that checks for passive voice. Just copy your entire previewed article and paste it into the text box. Prhartcom (talk) 21:20, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

I appreciate the link, and will ensure that I use it in future to identify passive voice! Midnightblueowl (talk) 17:46, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

I have avoided re-reading the article until now; I will proceed to do so and see how it reads! Prhartcom (talk) 23:06, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

I have just given the article a read-through and believe it is looking very good. I noticed the following:

  • "divided The Black Island up up ..." → "divided The Black Island up ..."
  • "Studio Hergé" → "Studios Hergé"
  • "installments" → "instalments"
  • "Mr Müller" → "Doctor Müller"
  • "is one of The Adventures of Tintin that were adapted" → "was adapted"
  • "Black Island — an island off the coast" → "Black Island—an island off the coast" (OR "Black Island – an island off the coast")
  • Do you have any objections to mentioning Puschov, the criminal mastermind who controls Ranko and the forgers?

Prhartcom (talk) 18:14, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

  • I don't, but where would you suggest we slip that in ? Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:15, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Great, I'm glad you agree; he should be slipped into the Synopsis, which is actually incomplete without mention of him. You could write a new sentence describing Tintin's first sight of him controlling Ranko, realizing he is the mastermind counterfeiter; possibly also a new sentence describing Tintin's finish of him. Be sure to include the link on his name. After this I believe this article is truly done. Prhartcom (talk) 21:41, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Edit: Unbelievably, I cannot find mention of him in Companion! No wonder you left him out. Am I imagining him? I remembered him when I saw his name in the List of The Adventures of Tintin characters; I haven't checked the actual comic yet. Prhartcom (talk) 21:57, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Edit: Oh, there he is mentioned on p. 71. I didn't know he was henchman to Müller; all these years I thought it was the other way round. (That's why I thought it was important, but it turned out it isn't as important as I thought.) Prhartcom (talk) 22:07, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well written
1a. the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct. Yes, for all three, and the style is appropriate.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. Yes, for all five.
2. Verifiable with no original research
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline. Yes.
2b. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines. Yes, it does, and there are no technical "harv" errors.
2c. it contains no original research. Yes, absolutely.
3. Broad in its coverage
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic. Yes.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style). Yes, it goes into appropriate detail.
4. Neutral
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each. Yes, it is.
5. Stable
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute. Yes.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content. Yes.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. Yes.
7. Overall assessment. Promoted to GA. Prhartcom (talk) 00:24, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Congratulations on another successful GA, Midnightblueowl, great job! Prhartcom (talk) 00:24, 9 January 2014 (UTC)