Today I'd like to talk about a little pet-peeve of mine.
Namely how people misuse certain words during their criticisms of stories.
First off is "Plot-Hole".
You all probably heard of it here and there, some snobbish movie guy decides to criticize a movie he hates by saying "It's full of plot-holes".
What's annoying is that people actually buy it and decide to follow what the guy says, talking about how it should be called "Plot-Hole the Movie" because of all it's plot-holes.
Let me make it clear right here. Plot-hole does NOT mean stupid justifications, off-screen events or vague explanations.
Plot-hole means that the established logic of the story itself got a "Hole" in it because the writer skipped ahead and forgot to add a logical reason for what happened.
But what's more important in what makes a plot-hole is that it CAN'T be fixed!
If you see the first episode of an anime and at the end of the episode the main character suddenly has a sword in his hand. He acts surprised but then his cat sidekick says "I'll explain later! Just defeat the dragon!".
That's NOT a plot-hole. It's obvious the answer is left open for a later episode to explain. Is it lazy writing? Yes. Is it a plot-hole? NO!
If you see a detective story and the detective starts coming up with the solution to the mystery. Suddenly he talks about how he figured it out with a vital clue he found in the end. The villain asks him how he FOUND that vital clue considering how the villain stole it back from the detective's girlfriend. The detective said that his girlfriend sent a picture to the detective when she had it in possession.
Is it a lame explanation? Yes. Does it outright break the Knox's Ten Commandments of Detective Fiction? Hell yes. Is it a Plot-hole? NO!
As stupid of an explanation it is, it IS an explanation. That does NOT make it a Plot-hole!
What IS a plot-hole is something like this:
John has an electronic scanner which scans if people are mutants. He scans James, Molly and Sarah. None of them gets a reading from the electronic scanner. Thus all 3 of them are supposed to be humans. Then Sarah turns into a mutant. She says it's because the electronic scanner was out of batteries. John immediately runs towards his house. He needs to use the remote, which is out of batteries. So he takes the batteries out of his electronic scanner and puts it in the remote to make it work.
THAT is a plot-hole.
Sarah turning out to be a mutant? That's not a plot-hole. It's stupid, but not a plot-hole.
What IS a plot-hole is the fact that putting the battery FROM the electronic scanner into the remote makes it work even though it is established that the batteries in the electronic scanner was supposed to be out.
It can't be explained as John getting new batteries in the meantime because he IMMEDIATELY ran towards his house RIGHT AFTER Sarah revealed the electronic scanner was out of batteries.
Hopefully that makes it clear what is and isn't a plot-hole.
Second word of the day "Literally".
Literally should NOT be used as an exaggeration.
In fact, Literally is supposed to be anything BUT an exaggeration!
Literally means that what you just said is honest-to-god without any sense of irony.
If you say "It's literally raining cats and dogs out there", there better be ACTUAL CATS AND DOGS RAINING FROM THE SKY!
People who say "I'm so hungry I could literally eat a whole cow" should realize that it means you're NOT exaggerating. Better open wide, because we have a whole cow to stuff into your throat.
What's so annoying about this is that here are SO many people misusing this word that it ended up CHANGING THE DICTIONARY!
I'm serious! The friggin' dictionary now literally added a second meaning to the word "Literally" as a word to use to exaggerate.
That's freaking messed up to me. That means that idiots around the world actually won over and killed the English language and the English language gave in.
Seriously, that's just shameful, people.
The last word, or words, I'll talk about is "Parody" and "Satire".
People seem to have this idea that these two words are interchangeable.
They are not.
Parody means it's affectionate. It's poking fun at something you love.
It takes something that you're passionate about and makes it funny, not to ridicule it, but to be playful and have other people laugh about it.
Satire means it's a criticism. It's exaggerating how bad the subject actually is and antagonizes it.
It tries it's best to convince you how you should NOT side with whatever the subject is about, by either showing it's exaggerated repercussions or outright coming up with new facts to make it ridiculous.
This is not to say Parody is always light-hearted or Satire is always dark and edgy.
It's just that each of them have a different goal in mind.
Say there's a franchise about a flower, who has a cute smile and helps kids realize who they want to be later in life (I'm coming up with this as I go, bear with me).
Then someone on the internet makes a youtube video where the flower accidentally gets trampled by the kids and it gets a funeral like Spock did in Star Trek II: Wrath of Kahn.
That's a parody. It's silly and ridiculous, but it's obvious the one who made the video made it to simply poke fun at the concept, and it's obvious there's no real criticism towards the franchise.
Then another guy makes an internet video where the flower sends the kids to the forbidden forest of Harry Potter. The kids get eaten by the forest and the flower builds a new empire in that forest.
Believe it or not, that's STILL a parody. It pokes fun at the whole idea of the main character being a plant and brings a dark turn to it, but with the fact that it gets mixed up by Harry Potter lore, it's obvious it's made by a fan who simply makes people laugh about the concept.
Then a third guy makes a feature-length movie about how kids have become mindless street rats because they never learned anything useful in their entire life, and got an unrealistic view of future lives because of a certain TV Series of a flower. At the end of the movie, the creator of the TV Series gets outright killed by the righteous hero of the movie and he teaches kids about reality.
THAT is satire.
It's criticizing something that the franchise does and exaggerates it to the extreme. In a sense it's kinda funny, but the viewer is expected to realize how bad the flower franchise actually is and share the opinion of the movie.
Well, I hope this has been interesting to you.
Just wanted to get these misused words out of my system.