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Greg's Rule That Makes G1 Retcons Impossible

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First of all, I'm an English major, I know a thing or two about what is and isn't an "abuse of language." :P English allows for describing a container of things by the same traits as the things inside. Now, I don't know why you say that, though you give this as the apparent reason:

Yeah probably not the best wording on my part here. Basically, all I was trying to express here was that the canonicity of something isn't tied to a specific language.

 

Language isn't really the point here -- technically somebody else could make a rephrasing in English of the original canon story, and LEGO could "approve" it, and it wouldn't be canon either (or "as canon"). And in a sense that did happen; there were multiple English sources for some things, and usually one over the other was canon when there was a disagreement.

I think I see where you're going. I still disagree, though. A new official rewording could be more canon than the original one depending on what the story team would state.

 

Then assimilating a translation to a rewording is a pretty poor comparison; it's more somewhere between an original work and a rewording.

 

Currently, the translation is canon on this (remember we ARE asking for a retcon, but one that minimizes changes in actual published works). If it's retconned, the translation will be retconned on that detail, but the original won't.

My point is that it is presented as a retcon that doesn't change any published works. See the SailorQuaoar message that sparked this discussion, for example.

 

The problem with this is, again, the translation adds information. Your wording of this forgets that the original in this case happened to be in English. And I already pointed out to you that it IS about the canon published works and NOT the English ones for the sake of being English -- notice that it's you who disagreed with that, not us.

It's a problem only if you think a translation is a rewording. The way I look at it, you can consider it as a different book, just as official and containing canon informations, so the book itself is canon - I find strange that you come back to implying the french one isn't canon after saying the part from the original BL1 is canon, the added part is canon, and a book is canon if the informations within are canon; am I missing a part of the reasoning?

 

By wording this this way, you're forcing your idea into our mouths, the strawman fallacy. Not a good thing to be doing...

Well, refering to french medias was called "a stretch" by the author of the proposal. I understand that as meaning the french media doesn't matter for the retcon, and I don't see any alternate meaning. And I was talking about the base of the proposition, what the author layed out basically.

 

I was not saying it's the opinion of everybody on BZPower, not even everybody that voted in favor of the retcon - especially given how late this realization was, it would be hypocritical.

 

But again, it IS less than ideal. I'm not asking you to say there's no issue here -- but you should acknowledge IMO that there's less of an issue than if an original source had said it, regardless of the language of that source.

Well, if it was present in the original version, it would be present in more media, so yes it's less an issue - it's just one media instead of several. Then, if that's what you're trying to say, I don't think a translation have less worth than the original (as long as what it states respect what the canon state, of course).

Keep in mind that if Star Trek fans had, as a group, said, "No point in talking about this anymore, it's never going to come back," it never WOULD have come back.

-- Greg Farshtey

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One day, I'm going to read a topic about G1 canonization that will actually stay on topic and not turn into another gender-canonizing debate... unfortunately, that is not this day.

Seriously people, we have a topic for the Su-Matoran Gender discussion.  Please discuss it there instead of bringing it up on topics where it is largely irrelevant.  

As a member who gets exited when a new comment is added to a discussion that I am a part of, it is quite disappointing to see that the new comment is actually part of a different discussion that I am not a part of.  It is like some one offering me a new LEGO set and giving me only half of a MEGABLOKS set.  

I am relatively new here, but I thought that the point of having more than one topic in the S&T forum was that so people who want to talk about topic A can do so, and people who want to talk about topic B can also do so.  If the people in topic A go to topic B and see that the topics are related, then by all means, they should say so.  What they should NOT do is, after mentioning topic A, continue to discuss it and drown out the people talking about topic B.

I know that I am not a moderator and that I have no authority to enforce any of this, but it seems to be common sense.

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My point is that it is presented as a retcon that doesn't change any published works. See the SailorQuaoar message that sparked this discussion, for example.

I don't know if Sailor knew about the translation. I didn't know about either before that. :P It wouldn't be fair to expect everybody to know what is said in every version of something. Finding out that it was published in a source does hurt the reasoning (hence this case not being ideal), but the fact remains that a rewording (whether in the same language or not) isn't on the same level as an original published wording in the terms Sailor was focusing on of oft-published facts versus little-published or not published. Just like an author wouldn't normally worry that much about contradicting any translation or same-language rewording as they adapt their story series by themselves, the same should apply to changes proposed by fans. Right?

 

It's a problem only if you think a translation is a rewording.

By definition it is -- that isn't disputable. Different words are used to try to convey the same ideas -- that's a rewording. (Whether the words are within the same language or not.)

 

The way I look at it, you can consider it as a different book, just as official and containing canon informations

Different book, yes (like multiple sources in the same language are different "books" (or comics, animations, etc.) -- but "just as official" is where the problem comes in. A translation adding information means information might be added that isn't canon (same with a same-language rewording, and that happened all the time in Bionicle, esp. 2008 sources). This isn't a good example of that, since Plasma's gender as male happens to be canon, but it would be the Hasty Generalization fallacy to go from that to the assumption that all information added by translations would also be official.

 

Well, if it was present in the original version, it would be present in more media, so yes it's less an issue - it's just one media instead of several. Then, if that's what you're trying to say, I don't think a translation have less worth than the original (as long as what it states respect what the canon state, of course).

You're on the right track here. All you need to add to it is one more thing -- which is completely reasonable -- that there's also a distinction between an original work and rewordings/translation. :) If it was present in the original, it would be present in the wording that all translations and other rewordings work from. Surely it isn't difficult to see how that can have an effect?

 

 

 

NS, you're right we should stay focused here, but FTR, the topic starter did mention this subject as one example of things seen as impossible from Greg's rule. I forget now how the part of that we're now discussing came up but I'll give the benefit of the doubt that it was related to the topic, and for my part putting the answer in the topic where a question was raised makes the answer more likely to be seen by people wondering that question when they read it. Extensive discussion of all the details of that example (or others) would be best elsewhere though.

 

I could do some topic surgery to move sub-discussions, but as they're tied into posts commenting about other things in this topic in some cases and that's a lot of work, it's better usually to leave it where it came up. And no, things aren't always best with "everything about subject A in topic A" because a particular major idea brought up in a reply or late reply in the topic might get less discussion than it deserves versus if it's in a fresh topic or an early reply in one that it's also related to. That's why we allow "tangential" topics in most cases. This one appears to be tangential to multiple recent topics. (Converging tangents? :P)

Edited by bonesiii

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Like a big old web of topics that have no more beginning and merge to hopefully have no end.

 

So we can figure out where this topic's core subject is I am going to ask, what are we actually discussing? The concept of a rule Greg made to keep himself from unraveling pre-established story and canon from a forgotten response possibly years ago? Or what possibly falls under the concept of this rule?

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I don't know if Sailor knew about the translation.

In the case of Plasma, it was never assigned a gender in official media.

Using a French translation as proof is really stretching it.

This is the message is was talking about. I think it's pretty clear.

 

Sailor was focusing on of oft-published facts versus little-published or not published

Well, the message quoted above make it pretty clear that's not the case; the french version is simply excluded from official media and no consideration about sales volume have been made.

 

And just to make this clear: I'm not advocating against people saying the french version is less important for them. I'm advocating against people dismissing it as irrelevant; this part of my message wasn't directed against your opinion - for how much it matters, I also consider less problematic to retcon the french version than the english one - even if I disagree with some of the points you made in favor of it.

 

(The sales volume is also a bit of a tricky point since there's no official numbers - to my knowledge - even if it's likely the english version was published in bigger volume)

 

Just like an author wouldn't normally worry that much about contradicting any translation or same-language rewording as they adapt their story series by themselves, the same should apply to changes proposed by fans. Right?

It depends on the authors and the owners of the franchise, but as a general case, yes, at least for the translation part and for BIONICLE. Not really sure for the same-language rewording part, but it doesn't really matter here. Then, the translation part isn't necessarly true everytime - I think a translation matter to the author when a big part of its fans come from this translation.

 

 

It's a problem only if you think a translation is a rewording.

By definition it is -- that isn't disputable. Different words are used to try to convey the same ideas -- that's a rewording. (Whether the words are within the same language or not.)

 

And yet we are talking about a new idea introduced by a translation, not something a rewording can do. Introducing new idea in a translation isn't something even rare - it's often necessary due to the difference between languages.

 

but "just as official" is where the problem comes in. A translation adding information means information might be added that isn't canon (same with a same-language rewording, and that happened all the time in Bionicle, esp. 2008 sources). This isn't a good example of that, since Plasma's gender as male happens to be canon, but it would be the Hasty Generalization fallacy to go from that to the assumption that all information added by translations would also be official.

You are confusing official and canon. All informations from translations approved by LEGO are official, only those stated by the story team are canon.

 

You're on the right track here. All you need to add to it is one more thing -- which is completely reasonable -- that there's also a distinction between an original work and rewordings/translation. :) If it was present in the original, it would be present in the wording that all translations and other rewordings work from. Surely it isn't difficult to see how that can have an effect?

The other versions aren't some sort of 'lesser media' from an objective point of view. One can prefer having a version retconned over the other because of subjective preferences, but nothing more.

Keep in mind that if Star Trek fans had, as a group, said, "No point in talking about this anymore, it's never going to come back," it never WOULD have come back.

-- Greg Farshtey

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Well I can't speak for how Sailor meant it, only what my understanding of it was, and I'd stand by that -- and more importantly, how the member who originally came up with the idea thought of it shouldn't prevent a version of that idea from being accepted if it's a good idea and the issues with it are still minimal compared to the issues of doing nothing or doing most other things etc. Picking apart their exact word choice doesn't seem like a good use of time, you know?

 

And yet we are talking about a new idea introduced by a translation, not something a rewording can do.

Absolutely they can. Avoiding it is actually very difficult. I've missed some things in my retelling that I added that I didn't think were a problem that readers pointed out some obscure factoid that was -- and in general it's meant to "reword" major parts of the plot. The same principle would apply even down to an attempt at adding nothing at all (so no equivalent of the non-canon thread driving my retelling), because, for one thing, different words may carry different connotations. And this is actually a good example of where a rewording could easily add the gender when it wasn't specified in the original.

 

You are confusing official and canon.

No, "official" is a valid synonym for canon. Yes, it can mean other things, but when referring to issues of canonicity it can mean the same thing. :) (Canon can also mean different things; we can speak of "canon within MNOG" meaning the intent of the animators instead of the story team, though it's rarely used for other uses than "main-story canon"; mainly fanfic-focused "canon". But "official" is usually used as a synonym of canon anyways.)

 

All informations from translations approved by LEGO are official

Eh... All translations are official. Calling the information in them official (at least in normal parlance) implies too much -- that every bit of it was individually checked. As pointed out already, that's not at all a reasonable assumption, especially given the time limits they had when putting these things out (both original and not).

 

You can validly use the word that way, but that's not how I meant it or how it's normally used. :) Bit of advice for the future -- when you can tell how somebody meant something, it's usually better to recognize the definition of the words they were using, rather than try to impose your own definition upon them, because words do have multiple meanings and usage varies. You seem to have understood what I meant since you were able to say that I didn't mean it how you would use it, so that should usually be enough. (I don't really mind it as I like discussing language. :P But it saves time to avoid it and makes conversations more friendly to others who aren't into those tangents... also you will avoid stating things as facts that are then shown not to be...)

 

 

You're on the right track here. All you need to add to it is one more thing -- which is completely reasonable -- that there's also a distinction between an original work and rewordings/translation. :) If it was present in the original, it would be present in the wording that all translations and other rewordings work from. Surely it isn't difficult to see how that can have an effect?

The other versions aren't some sort of 'lesser media' from an objective point of view. One can prefer having a version retconned over the other because of subjective preferences, but nothing more.

 

Hmm... two responses:

 

1) How does this answer my question in this quote? Do you get that point or not? I don't know how to take this answer about that -- it looks to be discussing something else.

 

2) More advice -- try to avoid universal negatives. I don't really even want to go down that tangent here since we're already on one, but it seems highly questionable at best. It looks like what I put in the quote shows an objective difference that already disproved the universal negative in your reply...

Edited by bonesiii

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