recent "new" words

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Two words that seem have become much more in use are "trope" and "woke". I have trouble understanding what these mean exactly.
     
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Trope is an idea, image, phrase, plot convention, etc that an author or artist commonly uses, either in a single work or across numerous works. It could be a figure of speech, a type of character that always appears in an author’s stories.
    If it’s used perjoratively then it probably means that they think the trope is being overused.
    I think it might also have a more specific meaning in literature, along the lines of being anything that describes something in non-literal ways, e.g. a metaphor is a kind of trope.

    Woke, assuming you mean the slang word entering our language, I think means being awake to social injustice, social issues etc, whereas before you might have been asleep to them. It might also not be limited to social issues, but simply an expression of now being aware of what was really going on. That sort of thing.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    "Woke" is such an adorable conceit.

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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I always thought a trope was an over-used plot device in a story of some kind - a novel, a movie, a TV drama, or whatever. Tropes are typically so over-used that they become like cliches. They are what people start to expect to happen, just because of the type of story it is.

    There are many tropes. To pick an example at random, take slasher films. One trope is that when a larger group decides to split up to search a spooky location individually (or perhaps in pairs), somebody is almost inevitably going to be murdered by the crazed killer or the madman or the ghost of the undead murderer, or whoever the evil guy is in the story. Another trope is that sole women who are murdered in those films are often made more vulnerable by being in skimpy clothing, like pyjamas or underwear. Yet another one is that when a single person is in the close vicinity of the killer, if they try to be very quiet and back away from where they think the killer is, the killer always turns out to be behind them, especially if the location is shadowy.

    There are entire websites devoted to this kind of thing. Every movie genre, in particular, tends to have its own specific set of tropes, as well as all the cross-genre ones that go with something being a movie in the first place.
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    My impression is that - while they are formulae - they are not necessarily over-used to the point of cliche, though they certainly can be.

    I suspect they are victim of a certain amount of selection bias. If you're going to criticize a movie for its cliches, you sort of have to be talking about tropes.
     
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    A quick Google turns up some definitions:

    - a storytelling convention that writers often use, consciously or not. Big Bad is ubiquitous, but it's not a cliché. ... Every story uses tropes because, when used well, they work. A trope that is overused to the point of becoming tedious is a cliché.

    - any plot, character, setting, device, or pattern that we recognize as such. ... What we don't like is when tropes are predictable to the point of boredom. That's when a trope becomes a cliche.

    - simply a label for words that say one thing but mean another. In essence, it's a synonym for "literary device," because it's all-encompassing. A trope can be a metaphor, a simile, an example of personification, verbal irony, and more. In more contemporary usage, it can be a synonym for cliché too.

    - a word or expression used in a figurative sense : figure of speech.

    - a common or overused theme or device : cliché

    - A trope can become a cliché if it's overused
     
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  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Indeed, it is unfortunately becoming increasingly synonymous with “cliche”, but just because all cliches are tropes does not mean that all tropes are cliche. For example, Big Brother is a trope, but it is not cliche. The damsel in distress etc. It becomes cliche when it is overused to the point of there being nothing new to say, becoming predictable and banal.
    Some movies, for example, deliberately use certain tropes and begin using them in a manner that is cliche, but then turn them on their head. The trope remains, but the use is not cliche. e.g. the Scream series, and other such “meta” movies (“Cabin in the Wood” to name another). Although the change-up itself becomes in danger of overuse and of itself becoming cliche.

    It’s like in music if a certain musician tends to use certain guitar riffs, or licks, in their music. Bands are often recognisable from their tropes, which is more than just their style, such as most Status Quo songs being instantly recognisable as theirs, even if you hadn’t heard one before.

    Edit: so I get distracted while writing this post, and in the meantime DaveC has beaten me to it.

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  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    You said it way better than I did.
     
  12. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    what a trope this woke
    don't jive me fool
    word to the mother brother
    aint no other
    gotta put it to the man in this world tin can
    what a trope
    im woke

    i dedicate this poem to Barack & Michelle Obama
    may they continue to bring light & shine light

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Point taken. So maybe the following thread should be titled "TV and movie cliches" instead:

    http://www.sciforums.com/threads/tv-and-movie-tropes.162273/

    Just for fun...
     
  14. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

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    What a trope
    I have woke
    When you treat me
    Like a joke

    Time I claim
    Does not exist
    I say it sober
    Not when pissed

    No evidence of time
    Has been spoke
    So speak up some
    Become awoke

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