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2:26 AM
@Randal'Thor How about this edit? I updated the answer with it:
> Your question asks for recommendations or for an open-ended list of works that meet certain criteria. Questions where many answers could each add examples to an inexhaustible list are unsuitable for this site. If you're seeking a specific work ([identification-request]) or the earliest work with some criteria ([history-of-literature]), please edit your post, then include the appropriate tag. Otherwise, feel free to ask your original question in chat.
With a link to chat, it's (barely) under 500 characters
2:53 AM
@verbose, have you had a chance to look at the FAQ draft yet?
3:16 AM
yesterday, by bobble
? https://literature.stackexchange.com/questions/931/why-does-the-narrator-in-stopping-by-woods-stop-by-the-woods
3:34 AM
bobble's current list of things that they would post on main-meta if they had an account... at what point should I just make an account?
- bug: italics aren't grayed out for downvoted answers when on mobile
- bug: can't hit "edit" link to improve an anonymous suggested edit you just made when on mobile
- bug/feature-request: make spam-based rate-limiting more obvious for anonymous editors (it doesn't ever throw an error, even when you try to submit the edit, just doesn't work and when leaving the page it doesn't ask you to confirm that you're deleting your draft, so the edit was never saved
4:02 AM
Q: Is Jules Verne making fun of the English in Around the World?

PeteI just began reading Verne's Around the "World in Eighty Days" and Phileas Fogg had just fired his servant for giving him warm water that was by 2 Fahrenhait degrees off (roughly 1 Celcius degree). Fogg is strict and acts and lives like a robot with a shorted circuit, always repeating behaviour. ...

4:15 AM
@bobble sorry, not yet 🙁
it's quite verbose, like you, darling
@bobble h'm I don't think so. It's asking for a reason someone does something, and the reason may or may not involve an analysis of that person's character. We can't assume it does.
@bobble Neither, I think. Not inspiration, since it's not about whether the work was inspired by another work. Not name significance, because it's not about the meaning of a name or why something was named what it was. Could be wrong, particularly about the latter
@bobble yes, I think so
5:00 AM
Agreed with verbose on the above ^^^
I'll let @Tsundoku figure out what work tag would be best for his question
@verbose Good one. I edited my answer with a slightly altered version of this, and it's now exactly 500 characters, including the asterisks for bolding and the link to chat.
@Randal'Thor 👍🏽
2 hours later…
6:41 AM
@bobble I'm slowly reading through your tag FAQ draft (while multi-tasking, so feedback may come bit by bit). Thoughts and suggestions will follow.
Minor point: you can't tag it yourself, as that's a mod-only tag. There's a which anyone can use for a question they think should be FAQ.
In the parenthetical about tag wiki excerpts in the first paragraph, may be worth mentioning that the excerpts come up when you hover over a tag or start typing it into the tag box while writing a question.
author's -> authors' ?
"if you're unsure whether a tag applies" would avoid repeating "if" twice in quick succession
(I realise these are very minor nitpicky things, sorry)
Maybe change [7] to /q/487 instead of /a/622? The question was the main place where the policy was proposed, and it has more votes than the answer, which simply refines the policy by proposing a way to draw the boundary.
The "short work always appears as part of a collection" thing doesn't have a strong consensus. Might be worth citing this meta instead, to say more clearly don't use a collection/anthology tag unless the work is always part of that collection.
In the language bullet point, maybe cite this meta to say tags refer to languages not countries? Many of the names are ambiguous: French, Russian, German, etc.
Is the "a work in a work" bullet point backed up by any meta policy? Or is it just common sense? (I was aware when I asked this question that tagging it was a bold choice, and ultimately that tag was removed, although the question is about an oral tradition within a novel series.)
Not sure about the header "Use a work tag", since sometimes the policy is to not use a work tag. Maybe "Use a work/series/medium tag", but then it gets complicated. Maybe change the headers to simply "Author tags" and "Work tags"?
Something worth mentioning somewhere is the 5-tag limit. That means sometimes we can't add all the tags that apply. There aren't really any policies on how to prioritise which tags are most important to include, but at least we can acknowledge that possibility.
In the very last paragraph, I suggest removing "Unfortunately" as it makes it sound like there's some kind of problem with these questions. Maybe change the last two sentences to "We can't provide individual guidance here for all these types of questions, but you can try asking in [chat][1], or go ahead and post your question and someone will retag it if necessary."
A few examples that might be mentioned in that last section: , , , , ...
7:42 AM
Q: What does "Methinks the lady does protest too much" mean here?

Pasta AddictI would like to know what "Methinks the lady does protest too much" means in the following sentences: ‘Yep,’ says Will. ‘Lost all the feeling in the pads of these fingers.’ He holds up one hand towards me. ‘The fingerprints have gone from a couple of them.’ I squint. They don’t actually look all...

8:09 AM
Q: What does "spill out over my bottom lip" mean here?

Pasta AddictI would like to know what "spill out over my bottom lip" means in the following sentences: This is crazy, I think. I don’t have to drink it. I’m a thirty-four-year-old woman. I don’t even know these people, they have no hold over me. I won’t be made to do it— ‘Down it . . .’ ‘Down it!’ God, they...

Q: What does "he gives me a kind of apologetic wince" mean here?

Pasta AddictI would like to know what "he gives me a kind of apologetic wince" means in the following sentences: This is crazy, I think. I don’t have to drink it. I’m a thirty-four-year-old woman. I don’t even know these people, they have no hold over me. I won’t be made to do it— ‘Down it . . .’ ‘Down it!’...

Q: What does "The most they can get from her" mean here?

Pasta AddictI would like to know what "The most they can get from her" means in the following sentences: It is a few moments before the waitress regains consciousness. She is, it appears, uninjured, but whatever she has seen out there has struck her nearly mute. The most they can get from her are low moans,...

8:29 AM
@verbose Yes, his relationship with Grindlewald would have counted as a spoiler before the seventh book, so no surprise there.
@verbose And by "safely", you mean the very same year, right?
In fact let me check when exactly the month was.
@b_jonas I mean that she didn't put any indication in the books that Dumbledore was gay, and she gets no woke points for claiming he was gay after the fact.
@verbose She did not tell about the romantic life of most of the teachers, because the students don't see much of that, yes. Snape is about the only exception that is relevant for the story.
Q: What does "all a little worse for wear after a day of carousing" mean here?

Pasta AddictI would like to know what "all a little worse for wear after a day of carousing" means in the following sentences: It is a few moments before the waitress regains consciousness. She is, it appears, uninjured, but whatever she has seen out there has struck her nearly mute. The most they can get f...

@verbose And "woke points" wasn't even a thing in 2007.
Then why claim Dumbledore was gay after the fact? Either his romantic life matters to the story, or it it's irrelevant.
Oh yes woke points was a thing; it might not have had that name, but it was.
And you can't claim simultaneously that it was irrelevant to the story, and that it would have been a spoiler for the Grindelwald subplot.
8:46 AM
@bobble done
Do accepted answers always show as the top answer? Even if there's a more-upvoted answer below? Asking because Catija's answer here is truly, epically terrible, yet it has the most upvotes and the green check. I thought I could ask all y'all to go upvote BESW's answer, which has only one less vote and could overtake hers in the voting, but if the accept trumps all, then there's no point. Unless we could also talk Skooba into un-accepting?
Just left a comment on there saying how epically bad the answer was and asking for it to be unaccepted/deleted.
@Bookworm While we're there, we have two questions about Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours on Sci Fi closed (I had my hand in closing one) because we don't consider it sci-fi or fantasy. You can consider if we want to have them. I personally don't care about those questions.
@b_jonas Could you furnish links to the questions? We have had a few questions on here about the book ...
I don't have the rep to see closed questions on SFF, anyway, so nvm
@verbose It was a reply to an interview question asking "Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?". She never tried to claim that Dumbledore being gay was relevant to the story.
@verbose Anyone can see closed questions. You might not see deleted questions.
@b_jonas oh okay.
These two haven't got deleted.
There could be deleted ones too, I don't know.
8:59 AM
@verbose I don't need censorship thanks to my Victorian sensibilities.
@verbose Why not? That Grindelwald even appears more in the story than a mention in the chocolate card was a spoiler before the seventh book iirc.
@verbose The most "shocking" thing I mentioned in this chatroom:
Apr 20 '20 at 21:12, by Tsundoku
William Empson published his most famous work, Seven Types of Ambiguity at the age of 24. He got kicked out of Cambridge University (and consequently out of British academia, basically) when condoms were found in his student room.
@b_jonas You are arguing inconsistently when you say, first, that Dumbledore's sexuality is irrelevant to the story, and second, that including it would have been a spoiler for the Grindelwald episode. If you don't see that, 🤷🏽‍♂️
If Rowling thought he was gay, she could have included that in the story. The Grindelwald episode was the perfect opening. She didn't. Then she claimed "he's gay." That strikes me (and a whole bunch of queer folks, including three others who were in that discussion yesterday) as disingenuous.
But if you want to believe everything she has said and done is defensible, fine, please go ahead. You're not going to change the minds of those most directly affected by her pattern of disingenuous and damaging positions on sexual orientation and gender identity.
@Tsundoku I meant censorship was necessary so as not to offend your Victorian sensibilities. I didn't mean that you needed to be censored.
@Tsundoku I'm shocked!
@verbose Haha. To be honest, I don't know where you get the idea that I would need to be "protected" in this way. Unless this is intended ironically, since I suggested reading Rabelais ...
@Tsundoku The joke started when you said that if I used the word "fuck" in an answer, it would magically be edited out.
Well, maybe it was "motherfucking." Some expletive anyway
So I laughed at your Victorian sensibilities, and (in my mind anyway) it stuck
9:10 AM
@verbose Edited out by me?
Q: Should we bowdlerise obscenities in question titles?

Rand al'ThorFor example, In "Fuck Blocher", why does Bligg say he speaks for the swiss youth and secondos? - should the title say "Fuck Blocher" or "F*** Blocher"? Arguments for F***: it avoids displaying NSFW language on anyone's screen unless they actually click on the question; it decreases the likeliho...

@Tsundoku You didn't say by whom. I just chose to believe it would be you because I liked the idea of having you as this room's Resident Victorian™
Rest assured I'm not one of those Eminent Victorians. They bowdlerised Shakespeare, thereby deserving my contempt.
On another note, that Basel class is really quite interesting; the assignments get more challenging as the course progresses. I hope you get the time to go through it some time. I'm sad that I didn't get a chance to share your insights in the discussions.
Unfortunately, I have too many other things going on at the moment.
@Tsundoku That's unfortunate but understandable. I'm grateful to you for having brought the class to our attention!
@Tsundoku Wait, the question that spurred that discussion was deleted?
Why? It seems on-topic and it appears that the consensus was not to censor the title
9:27 AM
> Scheduled: RemoveDeadQuestions
@b_jonas are these the two questions you meant?
Q: around the world in eighty days - GMT vs Local Time

juvvaWhy did not Phileas Fogg notice that his pocket watch ( set to London Time ) was behind the local time as he traveled eastwards?

@verbose It was deleted by the Community user (aka Roomba) because it had a net negative vote count and no answer.
Q: Does the plot twist at the and of "Around the world in Eighty Days" make sense?

Michael BorgwardtSo the twist at the end is (the question title should be spoiler warning enough) that the heroes arrive in London a few minutes too late to reach the club for the deadline of the wager, so they go to Fogg's home certain that they have lost, only to learn on the next morning that they actually arr...

If it gets undeleted, it will probably need upvotes or an answer to remain undeleted.
If so, I agree they'd be on topic for us. But some moderator will need to request the migration I understand.
@Tsundoku Ah. Well, it's an odd question in that the asker (Hamlet, I believe) doesn't translate "Secondos" but asks directly about that. How does one answer unless one knows what that word means?
Of course it would be interesting to know why the question got so many downvotes
Just because of the profanity?
9:42 AM
interesting, the first and last verse appear to be in Swiss German? and the middle two verses are in French
10:02 AM
@verbose yes
@b_jonas thanks!
10:28 AM
@bobble I wonder why people say my answers are long. Looking at my last half-dozen or so answers, they all seem quite short. Maybe I should change my handle to "Curt"
@Mithical ah
11:25 AM
@verbose An accepted answer will always be pinned to the top unless it's posted by the same person who asked the question. But acceptance doesn't mean much on meta; consensus goes by community votes rather than by what whoever posted the question liked best.
Also, an accepted answer can only be deleted by a moderator, not even by the person who posted it (unless that person has moderator powers too). So Catija could delete it, but I'm sure she won't: that would be essentially using her CM powers to affect discussion/consensus of a site's scope.
@Randal'Thor ah. So our best hope is to twist Skooba's arm.
Bugging Skooba to unaccept it might have a higher chance of success.
jinx :-)
Btw, I apparently upvoted Catija's answer back then. Need to re-read it and understand what's so bad about it.
Also, your comment got deleted, but not by a moderator :-/ (also not by a CM, to be clear) Apparently, because it contained the word "accept", a single user flag was enough to delete it without mod oversight.
@Randal'Thor why is the word "accept" verboten?
@verbose That stone head certainly looks austere enough ;-)
@verbose I guess because SO has loads of comments from answerers like "please accept my answer", and it got to be enough of a problem that they built the system so such comments could be easily deleted.
@Randal'Thor Okay, I rewrote a comment leaving out that word.
In case it gets deleted again:
> This answer epically misses the point. "Tells a story" leaves out much lyric poetry; it also leaves out experimental novels that don't tell a story, and drama that shows rather than tells. Also, many newspaper articles tell a story; are they on-topic? So the answer is both too narrow and too broad.
> Such an idiosyncratic definition fundamentally misstates what literature is, doing neither the concept nor this site justice. It does not represent the consensus of the most active users on this site. Almost any of the other answers would be preferable to this one.
11:41 AM
TBF, you will find this kind of thing ("does not represent the consensus of the most active users on this site") in a lot of metas from the early beta days. Maybe the best approach is simply to reopen the discussion with a new meta question? And ultimately close the existing one as a duplicate, perhaps.
Apr 4 at 8:06, by Rand al'Thor
We even have an answer on Lit meta (with 5 upvotes! and 7 downvotes) saying that stories couldn't last long as oral traditions because people would forget.
^ pretty sure that wouldn't happen nowadays, at least the 5 upvotes part
@Randal'Thor There are some good answers on that question: Gareth's, BESW's. I also put in my own answer. I don't know that re-asking the same question will be as effective as simply downvoting Catija's answer and upvoting BESW's.
And if you retract your upvote, at least BESW's answer will be tied for first; if you haven't already upvoted his answer, then he could overtake Catija.
Skooba still is around on the site, but I don't think I've ever seen him in this room, so I wouldn't know how to ping him.
@verbose It's undeleted now, but likely to get re-roombaed unless it hits a positive score.
@Randal'Thor Or gets an answer that gets an upvote? Is that correct?
Oh yep, true.
I couldn't answer that question, as I know nothing about Switzerland except what François de la Rochefoucauld memorably said about it: Quel pays sanguinaire, même le fromage est plein des trous
11:51 AM
@verbose I can contact him via SFF backchannels (he's more active there). But if you already left a comment on his question, he'll probably see it. It's not even necessary to convince him Catija's answer is bad; the mere fact that this issue is being re-discussed now and votes are changing, and that one user's green tick shouldn't determine meta consensus, is enough of an argument to unaccept an answer from Jan '17.
@Randal'Thor unless he hates the idea of unaccepting so much, he was the one who flagged my earlier comment?
@verbose Like the wrestler Curt Hennig.
@Tsundoku Oh I was thinking more of celebrated US novelist Curt Wonnegut
@verbose Oh, Kurt Vonnegut didn't care about spelling? :-P
@Tsundoku You write "didnn't" and chastise me for my spelling? k I see how you are
12:23 PM
@verbose Surely you know that famous quote from The Third Man?
1:00 PM
@verbose Nope.
@Tsundoku I see you've started early celebrations for Shakespeare's birthday.
1:19 PM
@Randal'Thor Four weeks too late for carnival, two weeks too early for the Bard's birthday.
1 hour later…
2:21 PM
@Randal'Thor thanks for feedback! Seems you can't see the comments when an anonymous user. I'll just copy-paste them here for your reference, then
> Since only mods can use faq, one would post the question, then someone (was hoping it would be me :D) posts the answer. Both should probably be Community Wiki to allow for easier editing.
> At what point does this get too long? Each section is an acceptable length, but combining all of them makes an intimidatingly large answer.
> Should this be at the end, rather than the beginning, of the answer? (about the paragraph starting "This answer will by necessity)
> again I think this could go at the end, perhaps? (about the paragraph starting "Potential tag-editors"
> I have been wondering about this; do we really need band tags? Maybe song-lyrics is enough?
> This is a bit confusing. So if I have a question about "no body, no crime," I tag it with [song-lyrics], [taylor-swift], AND [evermore]? But that song could be included in a collection such as "best of Taylor Swift" later. Wht does "always appears" mean? It might always appear as part of "best of taylor swift" too ... (about the bullet point for including a collection name)
> I think "short" or "long/significant" are too vague. Especially "significant." Is "The Lady of Shalott" long enough? Significant enough?
> These are just all the non-language, author, or title tags on the first page of tags. (about the bullet point for "Some common ones to add at this stage")
> is "medium" the appropriate word? I would want to say "genre"
> encourage the asker to check the tag wiki excerpts to make sure these tags are appropriate? (about suggestions of and )
> I'm debating whether to add a section "Questions about the life of an author" but I think those are idiosyncratic enough that specific guidance can't be given; thus it's best for them to fall under here. (about the section "Questions that don't fall into any of the above categories)
(some comments are by verbose and not me)
I will ponder your and verbose's suggestions later, but for now I must study a bit
1 hour later…
3:44 PM
Walter Scott: The Man Behind the Monument: free course on FutureLearn. (I don't know whether this is good. And I've never read anything by the Great Scott.)
Shakespeare: Context and Stagecraft: free course on FutureLearn created by King's College London.
Poetry in America: Modernism: course by Harvard on edx. Where do we find the time for all these courses. April is the cruelest month.
And this is just a small selection.
Not sure if my edit here was enough to save the answer; is it NAA now?
4:08 PM
"You clearly have no clue what you're talking about." Rather ironic for an answer that is barely based on the book.
It's simply a poor answer.
4:20 PM
Looking at it again, the first paragraph seems to be directly contradicting the second
the first paragraph is a quote from the other answer
the second answer, then, appears to be a comment of the first answer
does that make it NAA?
Strictly speaking, it's just a comment on another answer, so yes, NAA.
5:12 PM
@Bookworm Apparently, questions about confiscated books make good HNQs. That Fontane question is still on that list.
5:37 PM
Q: What are some good novels on unfulfilled desires

UserhanuI have read " A House for Mr. Biswas" and I am quite influenced by it. The story about a man's desire for his home is quite touching and intimate for me. The house that he desires, doesn't come to reality easily. I want to know are there some more literature of the same level that talk about unfu...

2 hours later…
8:02 PM
@bobble I'd suggest that you post both, make the answer CW but the question not. (Making a question CW forces all posted answers to be CW, and while the answer you're composing can be more of a community project, you can take credit and imaginary meta rep for the question - it won't need to be edited much by others, except a mod adding a tag.)
I think the "This answer will by necessity" paragraph is OK at the start. Maybe <sup> it to put it in small text like an introductory note. The "Potential tag editors" paragraph could be either at the start or the end, I can't decide which is better.
There is vagueness in the "short" vs "long/significant" principle, but I think it's OK to have a bit of wiggle-room and grey areas there. A strict boundary would be hard to define and agree on.
@bobble Eh, that could be a general note about any tag.
Of the edits I made in response to verbose, the main significant one was adding as a possible tag for "Questions about two works".
, , and probably cover the significant cases when asking about the relationship between two works?
I'm still at school, but I'll edit the doc after I'm home and done with homework.
my "sneaking in SE stuff during school" time ended up being devoted to Puzzling (mostly this meta answer)
8:31 PM
@bobble FYI, your 💧🚢⬇️🐇 timeline is next up for Twitter promotion.
D: I just noticed there was a slight inconsistency with the bolding. I have fixed it.
that's two old answers of mine bumped for the day, since I forgot to update my deaths answer after finishing Mattimeo yesterday
9:16 PM
@Tsundoku no? Do tell
Another misping?
@Tsundoku no, it was in response to your saying that I must know the quote from The Third Mann. I don’t even know who the third Mann is, after Thomas and Heinrich
Well, there was Gola Mann and Erika Mann, to name just a few.
@Tsundoku okay, but joking apart, I still don’t know the famous quote from the 3rd man
I suppose they come from Switzerland instead of Italy.
9:29 PM
There's a whole home city full of them.
The Manns feel right at home there.
2 hours later…
11:36 PM
@Randal'Thor common sense, and I was debating removing it but it is a bit of a tricky situation that I thought might deserve mention
@Randal'Thor Reworded to "Use a tag for the author(s)" and "Use a tag for the work". Even the first one is better, because I can sneak the (s) in.
@Randal'Thor I was considering that, but I didn't want to overwhelm the reader with tag possibilities. What I have done is added a link to the tags page there and nudge them to use the search function
Anything I didn't ping on I've agreed with you and addressed it

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