Why does this have a spoiler warning? Isn't there a general spoiler warning? --Confusion 21:13, 26 November 2011 (CET)
- ...because it was in the original, before spoiler warnings were renounced. (Too bad about the lunatic annotation.) --Old Dickens 22:12, 26 November 2011 (CET)
Tenuous, perhaps. The author perhaps heard "Lucy" and "Diamonds" and leapt to a conclusion from a standing start, something to avoid when annotation-mining. It's too fluffy a song for Lucy Tockley, for one thing! I can't see her as a sixties hippy chick spaced out on something psychedelic down by the river. She fits the Pink Floyd parody "Let There Be More Light", which echoes a witches' chant in the way it builds, but I kind of doubt Terry had that in mind either.... (it's interesting that after Sergeant Pepper, other big record companies badgered their star acts for more of the same, so Pink Floyd did Piper At The Gates of Dawn, the Moody Blues did In Search of the Lost Chord, and even the Rolling Stones were cajoled into having a go at a Peppers-imitation.... maybe their She's A Rainbow has the edginess and the lack of cute that would fit better here. But this is still utterly subjective.)Glad it wasn't one of mine, as this is too subjective, fluffy and vague and depends on a surface association with a song title that feels vaguely right.--AgProv 03:33, 27 November 2011 (CET)
- But DO shout-outs have to make complete sense?--LilMaibe 03:46, 27 November 2011 (CET)
Apparently not. Nowadays we're just here for self-gratification. (Of course, nonsense is one thing and stating it as a fact is another.) --Old Dickens 20:31, 27 November 2011 (CET)
I'd suggest that for an annotation to count as such, it has to satisfy several criteria:
i) The argument is as watertight, logical and succinct as possible;
ii)The mistake is avoided of attributing specific status to a generic observation. To explain, the anthropomorphic personification of Death is a universal concept which has been around, in the "modern" form of scythe-carrying animated skeleton, since mediaeval times. A lot of people have used this image - Pratchett is only a contemporary user, and not the latest. There is a discussion on the "Reverse Annotations" talk page as to why the makers of the animation Family Guy may' have been influenced by the Discworld in their interpretation of the Death character, and why the makers of The Simpsons almost certainly haven't. In principle, just because other people use the Death icon does not imply they've borrowed it from Terry - as he himself said we're all fishing from the same stream.
iii) The onus is always on the Annotator to explain exactly why they think their insight qualifies as an Annotation. As the maths exam says - explain your workings.
iv) An Annotation you have to explain with a convoluted thousand-word essay almost certainly isn't. In this case it's likely to be the author's own wishful thinking. the best and most certain ones are short, pithy and tie exactly between the Annotation and the idea or concept it showcases.
v) The more points of association you see between the text and an external idea or quality, the more likely it is to be an Annotation. For instance, the shout-outs to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to be seen in the pages of Snuff. Everything fits; nothing is problematic or wishful thinking. Conversely, just because two words used in a character name or description also appear in a Beatles song title, it doesn't necessarily mean this is intentional. Lucy Tockley was not in the habit of spacing herself out on hard drugs, for instance, and almost nothing in the song lyrics is reflected in the events of Lords and Ladies. The association is tempting, but ultimately only superficial. Soul Music aside, look more deeply into the lyrics of songs, not just the titles, to check as certainly as you can as to whether TP is really referencing them. Avoid superficiality.
vi) It helps to know a little about Terry: for instance, his favourite novelists: it isn't then a long jump from George Wambaugh (police procedurals and cops-as-buddies novels) to the City Watch. Nor from George McDonald-Fraser (war stories involving unruly Scottish soldiers) to the NacMacFeegle. We also know his favourite rock/pop/folk music includes They Might Be Giants, the Blue Öyster Cult and Steeleye Span, all bands referenced freely in the books to date. He is also fond of bad puns and absurd humour.
vii) Terry has a serious side. His thoughts on assisted death - and the dignity of life - are well known. Sometimes an annotation might be there to point the thoughtful in a given direction. He's good at multi-level puns, that is, condensing the maximum of information into the least possible words. Look out for this too, but this is necessary more speculative. For instance, a very minor character yet to get even a speaking part - although the context suggests with a very marked and unique accent - is Miss Smith-Rhodes, teacher at the Assassins' School. In one name, Terry has condensed a hundred years of political history in Southern Africa, and this screams out that this name did not happen by accident: Cecil Rhodes created a country called Rhodesia. Ian Smith was its last white ruler, in the tradition of Rhodes, fighting a bitter civil war before having to concede defeat and hand it over to black majority rule and Robert Mugabe's tender care. These two names condense the rise and fall of white empire in Africa into two words - very economical shorthand. Maybe he has a sketched-out plot for a lost colony in Howondaland? And in the context of academia, a Rhodes Scholar is a gifted student from the white British Empire who gets to study for free, and with a grant, at Oxford or Cambridge.... for this number of referents to come together in a single character strongly suggests something is going on here. These things are certainly worth noting.
--AgProv 03:42, 28 November 2011 (CET)
- Oh, ay. Should be printed on the Main Page, but, the Devil being in the details, how to enforce it? AgProv has contributed lots of useful and entertaining annotations, generally admitting it, at least, if they become imaginative. We might even be able to agree on what's "watertight and logical", but others won't. I spent last year campaigning against vacuous annotations and graffiti in general but the consensus seemed to be that anyone had the right to free expression here, short of spam. (Meanwhile, why is this meta discussion in Lucy Tockley's page? I'm moving a copy over to the Mended Drum.) --Old Dickens 00:39, 29 November 2011 (CET)