Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Silly Site o' the Day

Sooner or later, if you live long enough all the stuff you once thought "might be a good idea" to organize on paper for a goof winds up as some sort of online reference. The latest example is a site brought to my attention by the latest xkcd comic called TV Tropes. I remember a long, long time ago when Steve and I started to compile just-for-fun a list of what we then called "top sitcom clichés." You know, like "character discovers true meaning of Christmas while trapped in elevator with woman giving birth" (the top three situations on our list combined into one), stuff that seemed to appear over and over. As the site explains, we were probably using the wrong phrase: "Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members' minds and expectations. On the whole, tropes are not clichés. The word clichéd means 'stereotyped and trite.' In other words, dull and uninteresting. We are not looking for dull and uninteresting entries. We are here to recognize tropes and play with them, not to make fun of them." They have at least one page dedicated to characters being trapped in an elevator. Not sure if this is going to become as addictive for me as it seems to be for Randall Munroe's character, but I'm glad somebody is (or "somebodies are") doing it!