Talk:Tintin in Tibet

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Featured article Tintin in Tibet is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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To avoid an edit war[edit]

Hi Mezigue, good to be chatting with you again. I put back the synopsis (perhaps that is the only section you read?) into the article Tintin in Tibet (which I took to FA) to the state before your edit for the reasons below, which summarize to: I'm sorry, but I didn't think your edit was an improvement. I mean no disrespect. Can you bear with me while I explain?

  • Replacing "Concerned," with "After learning that the young man was indeed on the plane," — I can of course see why you thought this was an improvement, as it clarifies that Tintin didn't rush off half-cocked, but instead had proof that his friend Chang was on the flight that crashed. However, the reason I believe the simpler version is an improvement is because we don't need to go into unnecessary detail. A synopsis is mostly there to help readers who haven't read the story make sense out of the rest of the article, which goes on to discuss what lead to the story's creation. We're not there to tell the whole story. It feels clunky to read that clarifying statement. It just takes too long to communicate such a small payoff. Think about how much of this kind of detail we have left out of the synopsis already. I briefly considered keeping the a cut down version of this clarification before realizing it really isn't critical; we need to get on with the story.
  • Deleting the word "mysterious" before the words "Yeti tracks" — I originally added this word because it succinctly sets the stage for an unusual new character's introduction. These are no ordinary animal tracks. I felt that, if it were possible to do so, we need to know that there is something odd about these tracks. While an added word comes with a cost, and I certainly applaud any editor who can trim a word and still allow the sentence to keep the same meaning, the added cost is only one word and I think the cost is worth it to help the reader with the big reveal that is coming. When I added this same word to the article lead it was to deliberately reflect its position here.
  • Replacing "arriving" with "They arrive" — This one is fairly straightforward. The new edit redundantly repeats the beginning of the sentence word "They" twice in two sentences. We always want to avoid redundancy like that. Breaking the sentence into two isn't particularly necessary either. Yes, it is a long sentence, but it is not at all unusual to have long sentences in a synopsis to keep the action flowing quickly.
  • Replacing "the flash bulb of Tintin's camera is accidentally set off, scaring the Yeti into fleeing" with "the Yeti accidentally sets off the flash bulb of his camera, and runs away scared" — Evidently you believe that the Yeti is the one who pushed the button on the camera, and you feel it is important to clarify this. Apparently you also believe it is the Yeti's camera. It is Tintin's camera, so we should definitely not say "the Yeti accidentally sets off the flash bulb of his camera". As for which one of them set it off after the Yeti lunges, we truly don't know which one of them it was. We see that they Yeti lunges and we see the flash bulb is set off. It is more likely that Tintin pushed the button actually, but rather than pin it on either of them as if we know this, I found a way to say it without getting into something as unimportant as who set it off. Ending the sentence with the word "scared" seems amateurish to me. It's an amateurish-sounding word and it seems to end the sentence with a thud. Let's not leave that word languishing in the reader's mind while they get to the next sentence.

Thanks for sitting through that. While I am not absolutely adamant about keeping the text of the article the way it was, I can certainly tell you that I have been over and over this article with a fine-toothed comb, and dozens of highly-respected Wikipedia editors have also, copy editing the hell out of this article on its journey through GA and then FA. They must have felt that it was in good condition. If you could, please see if you agree with the points I make above. Thanks for understanding. Best, Prhartcom (talk) 18:50, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Hello Prhartcom (talk · contribs). No offence taken at all but I will also explain myself and disagree partly.
  • I think you understood my point well, and I also strive to make summaries succint but felt this was a necessary explanation. I don't insist on it.
  • It seems to me that "mysterious Yeti tracks" is an oxymoron: if the tracks are identified, then they are not mysterious. In fact, peeping at the book I see that they have a dispute at this point over whose tracks they are. How about something like "The porters abandon the group in fear when unusual tracks—the Yeti's—are found"?
  • I broke the next sentence to avoid a possible confusion: your sentence can be understood as "they are scared of freezing as they arrive". I also don't insist on it.
  • Sorry but this one is where I really cannot agree: your phrase is a grammatical mess and I am not impressed by the dozens of highly-respected editors who let it through. Your version tells us —via the medium of dangling modifier—that the flash bulb lunges at Tintin! The construction is plain wrong. By contrast the mistake you perceived in my sentence is imaginary. "His" can, grammatically, refer to either the Yeti or Tintin and it is logically obvious which it is. If you are really worried that someone will think the Yeti carries a camera, then let's shift things around, as the previous sentence is wonky anyhow. How about "The Yeti, revealed as a large anthropoid, suddenly appears and lunges angrily at Tintin, but flees when the latter's camera flash bulb accidentally goes off" ? Otherwise please make another suggestion, but "Lunging at Tintin, the flash bulb..." simply has to go... Mezigue (talk) 19:50, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, Mezigue! I'm so glad we respect each other enough to talk about this.
  • I'll start with the last point first: You clearly feel strongly about it. In that case, before I had read any more of your explanation, I already felt that any strong feelings means I really must agree that we should change it. Especially since I now see what you mean about the dangling modifier: "Lunging at Tintin, the flash bulb"! And I actually typed this before I read to the end of your above reply where you spell out this phrase also, so that shows how much I'm tracking with you. So let's fix it! "The latter"? No way, that's awful. And I looked briefly at the previous sentence in the paragraph that you directed me to, but I don't think we should tinker with it; I think we should fix this problem in a focused way, ensuring we are not accidentally breaking anything else. I think I remember that this currently bad sentence was changed late in the grueling process, after other editors approved the text. I remember it always said, "Tintin sets off the flash bulb of his camera, scaring the Yeti into fleeing." (I think we got into a late discussion about who set it off.) Let me know if you think we should revert to that, as it reads quite well. I just now came up with other two simple fixes, one of which attributes the flash bulb to the Yeti, as you wanted. "Lunging at Tintin, the yeti accidentally sets off the flash bulb of Tintin's camera, scaring it into fleeing." Or: "It lunges at Tintin as the flash bulb of Tintin's camera is accidentally set off, scaring the yeti into fleeing." (I think I like that last one.) What do you think?
  • For your first point, it is an explanation, but not a necessary one. I want to agree with you and include it, believe me. I just have a stronger urge to keep the synopsis as tight as possible. It's fine, no one will be utterly confused while reading it; they will get the idea. I think the most that will happen is someone will think we left some of the story out, which we certainly did!
  • When you said, "'mysterious Yeti tracks' is an oxymoron", you convinced me. It's simply unarguable statement. I looked at your suggestion and I think I found an even simpler fix. What do you think: "The porters abandon the group in fear when mysterious tracks are found". Or possibly "animal tracks". Or "footprints". What do you think?
  • I think they are afraid of freezing as they arrive within sight of the monastery. I don't see a problem. By the way, until quite recently it used to end with, "before collapsing from exhaustion" until someone recently changed that to "before being caught in an avalanche." Both work equally well, but of course the avalanche one is more accurate and therefore better.
Let me know your thoughts. Prhartcom (talk) 22:11, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I just made some changes to the article per above. Thanks again for this discussion; I believe I now possess a higher awareness of the dangling modifier! Best, Prhartcom (talk) 21:49, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Hey Prhartcom, I apologise for not answering until now. I just realised it's pretty rude of me, especially given the time and effort you are putting into this article. I am having another go at this paragraph as I still find it a bit clunky. Er, hope you'll like it. Mezigue (talk) 14:23, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
Mezigue, please do not "tweak" this Featured Article if you are going to make is worse. There is nothing wrong with that sentence. It, and the rest of the article, has already been through a great deal of peer review. I'm sorry for being blunt. Prhartcom (talk) 17:04, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
It is OK to be blunt, but please don't act like you own this article. The sentence was wrong and said the opposite of what you were trying to say, so I have corrected it again. Mezigue (talk) 17:56, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
The sentence was correct. I have never seen a more preposterous run-on sentence as the one you made. I was not owning the article, I was protecting it. Prhartcom (talk) 01:06, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
The opposite? --John (talk) 19:21, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
That last edit is fine. By the way, I have had editors try to say that the yeti sets of the bulb or Tintin sets it off, but this is ambiguous in the comic. I wouldn't dare try to document that Hergé depicted something that simply isn't there. P.S. There is more things to be read in this article than just the Synopsis. Prhartcom (talk) 01:06, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

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