I think we, as a community, have decided that nitpicks should be removed from the articles (please correct me if I'm wrong). I've noticed a number of nitpicks/bloopers scattered among the Background section of quite a few articles, especially the TOS ones (many of them end in one or more exclamation points (!), which I personally find annoying and "fannish", not at all professional). What's the consensus on items like this? I can provide examples, if necessary, but just scan some of the TOS Background sections and you'll run across one or two per episode. -- Renegade54 18:09, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
- I guess the deciding factors are
- A) if its anything concrete -- able to be seen (a dropped phaser, a broken set, a visible teamster snacking behind the edge of the turbolift door, etc), then its more of a production note, and we can keep it, as a blooper, etc
- 2) if its something stated with the correct tone: i guess we'd prefer "There is a visible Nike logo on the duffel bag" as opposed to "This is the biggest mistake ever! You can see writing that wasn't supposed to be there! This is Rick Berman's fault!" or "What took him so long? Was he taking a crap?!"
- Even in these cases, note -- "they shouldn't have been able to beam through the shields" probably is more relevant to shields or transporter than it is to "Relics" -- which is why technical nitpicks, plot nitpicks, etc, go outside of the episode page. (if Montgomery Scott remembered something wrong, put it on the page about Montgomery Scott, not the episode he did it in...) -- Captain M.K.B. 18:17, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
- I personnally agree, but I think you will find others get "hostile" if you try to remove them. There was one that came up that read something like "If you watch Shatner in this one scene, you see him mouth 'What the F---'!" I removed it, both because I doubted its validity (censors were a lot stricter back then, I find it hard to believe that got passed them), and I thought it was not very professional looking. Well, I preceeded to get my user page vandalized by the person who originally put it up. I eventually put it back, somewhat reworded. --OuroborosCobra 18:19, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
- in cases like that, move it to the episode's talk page, maybe even ask the user to help MA and clarify what they meant, point out it might belong on William Shatner's page instead of the episodes, or just say its plain unusable. -- Captain M.K.B. 18:24, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
- Well, I have to question both the professionalism and the maturity of anyone who would do that, which in turn makes me doubt the veracity and accuracy of that person's entries. Grrrr. I'm not really concerned about one person's reactions, as long as we (as a community) have a consensus we're working from. It's not that I don't find bloopers interesting - quite the opposite, I always watch the blooper or outtake clips on DVDs, no matter what show or movie - it's just that if we're treating Star Trek in a "scholarly" manner, there has to be a better way of dealing with them than scattering them throughout the episode background notes (or worse, putting them in their own section). And I agree, if we do have them, they need to be worded such that the "snigger" factor is reduced. They should be of the type "hmmmm, that's an interesting goof, I must have missed that" rather than "can you believe how stupid they were!!!" Or something like that. -- Renegade54 18:32, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Here are a few from "Where No Man Has Gone Before", some of which I'd previously edited to tone down a bit:
- Their crew files show that Mitchell and Dehner were born in cities called "Delman" and "Eldman." No doubt the property master never thought TV resolution would make these readable!
- The communications officer behind Kirk at the end of this episode appears to have his head down on his console, sleeping!
- Could the "little blonde lab technician" Mitchell mentioned be Carol Marcus?
- A clever bit of film trickery allows the elevator ride of Mitchell, Kirk and Spock to look like an actual ride from one deck to another without having to rely on editing. A gray wall is placed outside the door when Mitchell jumps in, which hides the bridge set. After the doors close, the wall is removed by the stage crew, and voila! seconds later, we are magically on the bridge.
There are others in the same episode that might be candidates for relocation as well.
Here's another from "The Return of the Archons":
- In one of the most famous bloopers in the series, Christopher Held (Lindstrom) is beaned by a softball-sized prop rock while escaping the Festival-enraged crowd, but keeps running, so as not to ruin the take. Fans often misremember Mr. Leslie as the one hit. Amusing enough, this is just after Held's character had been clobbered with a large piece of wood!
-- Renegade54 18:38, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
- Wow, didn't know there was a "most famous" blooper in the series. I suppose that is the type of thing we are trying to weed out. --OuroborosCobra 18:59, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
- There seem to be a number of "most famous" bloopers:
- In one of the series' most famous bloopers, a line from Balok warning the crew they had one minute left was not recorded, leaving Sulu to comment, "I knew he would" in response to nothing. The preview has an unused cut of Balok saying, "We grant you one minute" that could be modified and dubbed into the episode. - from "The Corbomite Maneuver"
- This episode contains one of the most well-recorded bloopers in the series: during the final scene between Guinan and La Forge (set in the restored timeline), Geordi is still wearing the uniform from the alternate timeline. - from "Yesterday's Enterprise"
- Perhaps the most-noted blooper in TOS occurs when Shatner knocks his phaser off his belt while smashing the glass on Khan's hibernation unit. De Kelley can be seen looking at the phaser on the floor and almost reaching to pick it up. After destroying the set piece, it was probably decided it would be prohibitively time-consuming to film the scene again. - from "Space Seed"
- I guess it all depends on your perspective... heh -- Renegade54 19:34, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
- There seem to be a number of "most famous" bloopers:
No Nitpicks/bloopers Should not be removedEdit
I think that unless Nitpickes/bloopers get thier own page that there is no reason that the nitpick/blooper should not be where the episode profile is. I admire the fan who picks apart the seris. It makes more stuff for us 'Trekies' to try to justify or correct. In ending the Nitpickes/bloopers should stay where they are... Captain Wall::: 23:38, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
- Its a question of appropriateness. If you find a mistake with how a laser works, note it on the page about the laser. Its really stupid to allow people to add this information where it doesnt belong. -- Captain M.K.B. 23:41, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I think that people are not looking for how a laser made a mistake in a episode. but it would be nice to know. Can blooper/nitpick not be added in the triva section or lacking that a new artical added to show that this episode had a blooper/nitpick? You know it is important to see how Star trek in flawd in some ways and that if it made a mistake it only makes it more real???
Captain Wall::: 03:13, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
- I am actually changing my opinion on this. You guys have convinced me that it is good having these bloopers/nitpicks in the episode articles. I think we might want to consider making a new section in the articles for them. Also, they need to be well written. They can't all be like "in one of the most memorable" or "OMG dID yOu SeE tHAt!" --OuroborosCobra 03:19, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
In Honor of this page I think that if you want to add a Nitpick/Blooper They should be added in a new section entitled Production Errors . If you agree sign this petition. Captain Wall::: 03:24, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
- Bloopers and nitpicks aren't too bad all things considered. Having said that, most "nitpicks" are addressed on non-episode pages. Bloopers or "mistakes" should be rolled into the Background Information sections, possibly into a subsection (as some episodes have the BG Info broken down into Trivia, Cast Trivia, Production, Timeline, etc). I dislike calling the section Nitpicks and Bloopers though, and signing a petition here is a bit silly for that. Perhaps naming it something like "Production Errors" would be a bit more professional and would encourage people to ensure that the text suits that. -- Sulfur 03:30, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
- I think "Production notes" would be more professional -- the whole point of removing nitpicks is to avoid emphasizing whether they were truly "errors" or not, as quirky staging has always been one of Trek's themes -- so how could you call it an "error"? -- that's the whole thrust of this discussion. -- Captain M.K.B. 23:32, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
- Good call. I like that much better. It was early for me when I wrote that, so my brain couldn't come up with a better name. :) -- Sulfur 00:40, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
A New Section In An Episode's Listing for Nitpicks/Bloopers Should Be Entitled Production Error'sEdit
Captain Wall::: 03:24, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
- oppose, call it "production notes instead" -- Captain M.K.B. 23:32, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if anyone has the power to do this on such an estabilished wiki, but I personally would create a namespace 'Nits' or something, and allow episodes to have a "Nits:A Matter Of Time" page which would have it's own discussion page, and allow nitpicking to have it's own venue while allowing discussion on it as well, and not interfering with the encyclopedic nature of the regular Article (Just like articles have talk pages to discuss the content of the article, they could have nit pages to evaluate the validity of the episodes). That's just my opinion though. I think plot consistancy is an important element of a franchise as big as Trek and if a fan thinks "Hey wait. I don't get it, why didn't they just..." it is sometimes nice to see that other people have thought of the same issue with the plot and that it's accepted as a nit in the community. TheHYPO 21:16, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
- As you correctly pointed out, Memory Alpha is trying to be a good Encyclopedia about Star Trek - not an all-purpose Trek site. As an encyclopedia, we're trying to collect facts, not opinions. I strongly believe that allowing such things as random "nitpick discussions", even more with a separate namespace created for that purpose, would just detract from that goal. -- Cid Highwind 15:15, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
- I agree, in old school Marvel comics readers we called this "No Prizing". Basically, explain why an apparent error might not be an error after all. While these shouldn't be listed in the formal information, where errors are listed viable explanations should be included. When there are competing explanations, I guess go with Occam's Razor. --JCoyote 20:16, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
- Get those nitpicks out of our encyclopedia(s)! Those are good for nothing - even the obvious ones because you could nit-pick any detail beginning from the exterior sounds of a starship in space over Spock's rising eyebrow (Alas! An emotional reaction, Bones!) to Starfleet phaser being an all-purpose tool.
- If someone wants to point out errors on Trek - I guess Wikia has some place to start a new Wikia. Memory Beta "just" started to have a place for all non-canon trek fiction - why not create sort of a Memory Gamma there would be even the opportunity to counter those nitpicks and give some explanation a canonical encyclopedia such als MA can't (or better shouldn't). : [defchris] :: [ talk ] : 21:51, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
So does this mean nitpicks and such is decided that they aren't accepted on the wiki? What about a page about them? Isn't nitpicking sort of a famous thing in Star Trek anyway? --Hawku 18:12, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
- By that logic, it's famous for every show and movie out there. According to item #7 at MA:NOT... yes. They're not accepted. They were deemed to not be encyclopedic. As such... No nitpicks. Especially since, as Marvel Comics proved back in the day with their No-Prize awards, any nit can be explained away given sufficient thinking time. 'Nuff Said! :) -- Sulfur 18:22, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmm. But wouldn't a blooper or such be qualified as a production quality note? I think there's two focuses on this wiki, Star Trek continuity and then the production side. --Hawku 20:06, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm a big fan of the Nitpicker's Guide series by Phil Farrand. I expect that he has been mentioned before on Memory Alpha, although I could only find a single, extremely tangential reference to him. Farrand's guides point out errors in the Star Trek universe (TOS and TNG). These errors include production glitches, as well as plot oversights and other concerns.
I adore Star Trek, and I am prepared to forgive honest errors such as production glitches. I don't think Memory Alpha should be a repository of criticism. However, there are certain episodes where established precedent is ignored or contradicted in order to further the plot, and I don't think we should bend ourselves in knots to try to fit events into canon, which can be explained away as a scriptwriter's error or laziness.
Forgive me if this debate has already passed, but is there a place in Memory Alpha where comments about episodes not fitting with established precedent can be discussed? Vivienne marcus 13:27, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
- Typically we put inconsistencies like that in the Background Information section of the pertinent article (if it's an inconsistency with a ship, for example, it would go in the ship's article, rather than the episode that it appears in, with a citation to the episode). Normally, the only time such an anomaly would go in the episode article itself is if there isn't a better place to put it... which, most times, there should be. :) We try to avoid episode nitpicks or bloopers (i.e. costume differences between scenes, missing props, production equipment showing up in the scene, etc.), so consequently there are no "Bloopers" or "Nitpicks" sections in any of the articles, and we've been trying to purge articles of existing blooper references that have crept into articles over the years. There are still a few out there that nobody's fixed yet, though. -- Renegade54
- I'm also familiar with the nitpicker's guides. There are a great many times when an inconsistency Farrand points out is not really an inconsistency at all, but fans familiar with lots of non-canon reference material, or with our own over all rationalizations regarding canon, take it as such. Usually the preferred approach has been that we look at what is actually stated and shown on screen and take it as it is without ignoring anything and dont go out of our way to look for problems. Many times lots of the percieved inconsistencies and errors fit right into canon without any problems what so ever. --Pseudohuman 16:03, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Continued from Memory Alpha talk:What Memory Alpha is not#Nitpickers guide, which continued from Nitpicks/Bloopers.
The idea of this page is to correct the inadequate "This is not a nitpicking guide" line of MA:NOT. It tries to define what a nitpick is, and give examples about what is and is not a nitpick. It provides context for what is "trivial" on a website like Memory Alpha. --Bp 01:24, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
- The page seems to be coming along nicely, and I largely support it so far.--31dot 02:15, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
- Yeah, looks pretty good to me too. I think points #2 and #3 will be the deciding factors in determining what a nitpick is, but the other two considerations are also worthwhile.
- Under the "nitpicks" section, we might want to include any note that says "Watch carefully" – those are almost as annoying (and common on TOS pages) as the infamous "biggest goof". Usually it's some very minor production mistake, and it's completely the wrong tone for MA.
- On a related note, I'm glad you included some of my favourite nits. (Especially the "nasal congestion" one) :-) – Cleanse 02:33, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
- Moved from the Forums...
I noticed in the TOS that "Nitpicks" aren't allowed in the contributions to the various pages... I can't seem to understand why this isn't allowed. Why can't we have a specific section devoted specifically to Nitpicks? Like for all the various epsidoes/movies, why not be able to list all of the little details and the little errors? The primary reason that I enjoy this site so much is not because of the encyclopaedic format of canon. I enjoy it because it gives insight into the production of all the various series. Every time I watch an old TNG episode or a movie or etc, I like to come here and read all of the "Background" notes. That's what makes the episodes/movies I've seen a thousand times more interesting! I've learned things that I never knew before and that increases my enjoyment of the film/episode! Similarily, the things refered to as "nitpicks" on this site are also interesting. Why not allow people to say "hey, you can see a boom mic in this shot!" or "hey, that crewman's boots are brown!" or "hey, you can see the reflection of the camera crew in that window!"?? Is it because those things would be considered critical of our beloved Trek franchise? No, they are just little things that you can read along with on the page while you are watching an episode or movie.
Also, I've noticed alot of things deemed "acceptable" which to me, border on the Nitpick threshold. For instance "This is only one of two episodes where the door across from the transporter room is open". Why is that not considered a nitpick? Or, "this is the first episode where the red alert lights blink in that pattern." Why is that not considered a nitpick? Isn't it also nitpicky to talk about all the set changes on TNG between season 1 and 2? Who cares if the storage lockers on the bridge go from brown to tan? Who cares if there is a design stenciled on the tactical station pedistal? Who cares if the conn/helm seats are upright?
Quite honestly, I care about all these things and enjoy reading about them on the respective pages, but what I don't understand is the line between nitpick and not nitpick. I don't think there should even be a nitpick category. If you want to go through and point out all of the little details, why not be allowed to post that in a special "Nitpick" section on every episode/movie page? It would be similar to a "goofs" section! Is Star Trek less "real" if we point these things out? We obviously don't think posting the production notes/info from the directors commentary tracks from the DVDs makes it less real, so I don't see why we ban nitpicks! – The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mmmfloorpie (talk • contribs).
What's not a nitpick Edit
I decided to be bold and rewrite the section on what is not a nitpick to clarify it a bit. Basically, stuff we can cite to a valid source should not be considered nitpicking.
To explain: I rewrote the first point about explanations in background sources because it suggested that only intentional changes could be noted. The old wording excludes many times where we have staff members after the fact acknowledging mistakes, and offering real-world explanations why they occurred ("we forgot"; miscommunication about registry numbers etc.). It's entirely objective and worthwhile to have such notes.
I created a separate apocrypha exception because we have quite a few notes where something apocryphal explains some inconsistency that might otherwise been a nitpick. These are also objective and useful to have.– Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 05:47, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
- The principle of this policy is that Memory Alpha is a catalog of "facts" established in canon and, that it is not a nitpick to note a contradiction in those facts. I think the terms "inconsistency" and "oddity" are imprecise and confuse the core idea. It should be clear that the non-nitpick is a contradiction of well established facts: The blood is red vs blood is purple; Bajor has three moons vs "Bajor's fourth moon.".
- The new class you've added, explanations for illogical facts given in non-canon sources, doesn't really fit with that idea because it is not a contradiction of canon facts, but a single illogical fact. Anyway, I'm not sure it is necessary to include that class here, as that is already an acceptable background or apocrypha note because of its apocryphal fact status but, could never be included in the main article. --bp 06:39, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
But the problem is that people have complained or removed apocryphal notes in the past under the guise of them being nitpicks - see for example Talk:Spock's Brain#Teacher Nitpick (despite the conversation, the note seems to have been removed somewhere later). Likewise, people have removed cited comments from production staff admitting inconsistencies (on "All Good Things..." the note about the three tachyon beams was once removed without explanation). In a section called "Not nitpicks" we should point this out.– Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 06:51, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
- The section "Not nitpicks" is a list of examples of what is not a nitpick based on this policy, not a list of every information that is not a nitpick. About the Spock's brain conversation: the first version was written in a manner critical of the writers or production staff, that is what could have made it a nitpick. The note, both original and revised, gives extra information from an apocryphal source, which is already acceptable in the background information context based on the sources policy. This simply does not need to be considered under the nitpick policy at all, especially now that you have rewritten it. It is also unnecessary, then, to include an nitpick exception for this kind of thing. --bp 07:12, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
- About the three tachyon beams from the Enterprise, when one was from the Pasteur: that is already acceptable for include based on this class of non-nitpick: "Established facts that are later contradicted by what may be a mistake are noteworthy." That RDM acknowledged it is a bonus, it would have been noteworthy even without that. Sorry if I edit-conflicted you here. --bp 07:35, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
- An item that has to be explained away in apoc? That's a nitpick in the BG section. The brief blurb in apoc explaining something? That's not a nitpick. In either case, doesn't need to be on that list. In fact, the wording of the item you've added suggests that we accept Apocryphal items as explanations for things. We don't. We may mention them in the Apoc section for interest's sake, but we don't use them as explanations.
- For this reason, I have some serious issues with your version of item #2 in the list. -- sulfur 11:49, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
Points taken, Bp. Sulfur, that was not what I had intended to convey with the apoc note, but I see how it could be read that way.
What to do with nitpicks Edit
The policy currently contains an oversight. While it defines what a nitpick is, it doesn't give much guidance what should be done with nitpicks (merely that they are "undesirable"). Being a bit more specific would make this policy clearer to new users.
I propose to add something along the lines of the following to the end of the first section:
- Nitpicks should not be added to any Memory Alpha article. Any user may remove a nitpick from an article. Removed nitpicks should be copied to the talk page, with a brief explanation for the benefit of other archivists of why they were removed. New nitpicks should not be added to talk pages.
The reason for the last bit is that we've had quite a few cases where new or unregistered users add new nitpicks to the end of a list that was removed.– Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 07:46, October 30, 2010 (UTC)
- I think this is more of an issue for Help:Talk pages, as anon/new users often feel that "Talk" page means that any aspect of the subject can be discussed there, and not just article changes. I don't object to mentioning something like your statement here, though.--31dot 09:03, October 30, 2010 (UTC)
- I think that is unnecessary. This policy page replaced a quickly-added and mindless line in MA:NOT, something like "this is not a nitpicker's guide," which preceded a nitpick-hunt type operation where some more authoritarian editors were going around reverting edits and citing MA:NOT in the edit summary. The whole idea of writing this policy page was to try and sharpen the edges of this grey area a little, while still acknowledging the grey area exists; and to protect completely valid notes that may be written in a critical way. It is clear that nitpicks are "undesirable," but the idea is to think about it and try and revise the edit to keep any valid information it may contain, rather than some zero-tolerance crutch that allows thoughtful edits to be nullified with a five character edit summary. --bp 14:45, October 30, 2010 (UTC)
If you want to protect a grey area, you're doing completely the opposite. If we had guidelines on how to deal with nitpicks, it might actually be easier to have discussions on what is and isn't a nitpick to take place. I suggested a process where it is taken up on the talk page. Talk pages are where consensus can be formed (based on these guidelines) whether the removal was justified. This is consistent with encouraging users to be bold - if one user thinks it a nitpick, they aren't being "authoritarian" in daring to remove it. There have been many quite productive conversations where other users point out a removed note can be rewritten to be less of a nitpick.
As it is, many users (because of the lack of guidance in this policy), just remove alleged nitpicks completely without a note on the talk page. They get lost in the edit history and often end up on the page again. This is hardly conducive to community debate.– Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 00:52, October 31, 2010 (UTC)