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Author Topic: A, but...  (Read 2433 times)

PortMan

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on: May 22, 2013, 03:14:32 AM
Often, when one says something in the format "A, but...", it has the effect of rhetorically negating A.   It doesn't really matter what A is, it's what comes after the "but" that matters.   

For example:

"I think you're a really great guy, but..."

"I'm not a bigot, but..."

"I'm really quite responsible, but..."

"I never wanted children, but..."

Three out of the last four Escape Pod episodes I've listened to (I have not been listening in order) have begun with an "A but..."* format about the episode's rating.

*I don't know if they literally used the word "but".  But the sense was similar.

Things along the lines of:

"The episode is rated PG-13 for language, but if it were me in that situation, it would be rated R! (laugh)"

"This episode is rated R for [reason], but [humorous justification]"

This rhetorical negation has the effect of making it seem as though you don't really believe in or care about the episode ratings.  It's as though you were embarrassed by them, or were providing them under duress.

If you're going to provide these ratings, don't it halfway or apologetically.  Stand tall and do it right!

I for one appreciate the episode ratings that you provide.   I hope you keep doing them.  But I also don't like feeling as though you're rolling your eyes at those of us that appreciate them.

Thank you for your attention.




adrianh

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Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 08:52:38 AM
Quote
This rhetorical negation has the effect of making it seem as though you don't really believe in or care about the episode ratings.  It's as though you were embarrassed by them, or were providing them under duress.

For what it's worth - as somebody who does appreciate the ratings (I sometimes listen to stuff with kids around) I don't hear it that way.

I hear it as the EP folk trying to turn a dull service announcement into something mildly entertaining. They occasionally make me grin - and have never offended.



matweller

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Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 01:42:06 PM
Quote
This rhetorical negation has the effect of making it seem as though you don't really believe in or care about the episode ratings.  It's as though you were embarrassed by them, or were providing them under duress.

For what it's worth - as somebody who does appreciate the ratings (I sometimes listen to stuff with kids around) I don't hear it that way.

I hear it as the EP folk trying to turn a dull service announcement into something mildly entertaining. They occasionally make me grin - and have never offended.
This is the spirit with which the warnings intended.

I'm not sure how any of the warnings I've done could be viewed as personally offensive. They are a bit tongue-in-cheek because that's my nature and because this is not a kid show by any stretch of the imagination. You may choose to let your kids listen because a story doesn't have a language, violence or sex warning on it, but some of the most dangerous mind-worms contained within wouldn't kick a warning in any of these areas. Case in point, the episode you referenced, The Very Pulse of the Machine could EASILY be made "clean" -- there are only like two curse words in it and in my opinion they could be removed without hurting the story. But it's a story about an astronaut who killed her teammate because she was driving carelessly and then dragged her body across 10 miles of an alien planet high on meth all to eventually give in to the voices in her head and commit suicide. Would you really want to work out all those themes with your <10-year-old?

I hope the fact that the warnings are there at all should be a testament to the fact that we do care that you know what's ahead. If you listen to the archives, I think you will find there have been more warnings since 1/1/13 than there were in the two years before, and that's not because the content got more vulgar, trust me. It's because we know those warnings are important to a significant portion of the audience. We also know that a significant percentage don't care, wouldn't change direction regardless of a warning and anything that takes more time getting to the story is a waste for them, so I try to inject mild humor to make it a tad less tiresome for them.

Please feel free to contact Norm -- editor@escapepod.org -- directly and air your concerns if you still feel slighted. I'll go on as I have until the boss says otherwise.



PortMan

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Reply #3 on: May 22, 2013, 06:18:11 PM
I do not feel the need to do that.

I have spoken my piece, and have been heard.  I am content to leave it at that.

Thank you for your response.



Devoted135

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Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 07:31:56 PM
Quote
This rhetorical negation has the effect of making it seem as though you don't really believe in or care about the episode ratings.  It's as though you were embarrassed by them, or were providing them under duress.

For what it's worth - as somebody who does appreciate the ratings (I sometimes listen to stuff with kids around) I don't hear it that way.

I hear it as the EP folk trying to turn a dull service announcement into something mildly entertaining. They occasionally make me grin - and have never offended.
This is the spirit with which the warnings intended.

I'd just like to say again how much I appreciate both the warnings and the humor with which they are given (each are appreciated separately for what they are). The one for The Very Pulse of the Machine actually caused me to laugh out loud! :)



matweller

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Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 07:35:10 PM
I do not feel the need to do that.

I have spoken my piece, and have been heard.  I am content to leave it at that.

Thank you for your response.

Thank you for your comment! Hit me up with concerns anytime. I won't always change what I do in response to them, but I will always listen and consider them.  ;)