Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Misnomer

Some time ago I posted about a minor Double Standard within the FGC. Though, as minor as it may be, it's part of a problematic trend within the FGC that has existed for as long as I can remember. Which is: Terminology and definitions.

If you're not the type of person to get hung up on terminologies and definitions then you are not the type to be commentating on the microphone. My mind immediately gravitates to "Fuzzy guard" and how it means entirely different things for 2D FG players than it does for 3D FG players.

I know, it's boring and technical and "no one cares" because it doesn't have anything to do with the game itself or how it's played. Likewise it could be argued that slang can actually incite higher levels of hype and involvement.

But still, I use the following example of an airthrow and a sweep to illustrate a point:
If you call an airthrow a "Hoobiestank" and a sweep a "Floopityflap" then it does not matter what words you actually chose, so long as you use them consistently. The problem I personally have, is when you call both an airthrow and a sweep the same "Floopityflap" name. It makes no sense because the two items, an airthrow, and a sweep, are entirely different in execution and circumstance, possibly risk/reward was well (depending on the game). Basically: They are not alike. It would be a literal misnomer to use "Floopityflap" to describe both actions.

Now, you could have many different names for an airthrow. A "Scoop", a "Hoobiestank", a "Shuttlecock", a "Frisbye". Doesn't matter what words or how many words you use, as long as you are describing the same concept. As soon as you use any of those words to describe a totally different concept is where things become problematic. A sweep should not be called a "Scoop" because you already used that to mean an airthrow.

The English language isn't exactly perfect, but a "Ring Out" should pretty much be when an opponent goes outside of the playing field because it's logical. However, "Ring Out" could also be used to describe a universal defensive block that all character's in a game share involving a ring being deployed (as hypothetical example, to block incoming projectiles). But then if you can knock a player outside the playing field, and also deploy a force field, then saying "Ring Out" for both situations becomes ridiculous.

The reason I'm blogging about this isn't just as a heads up to MCs. I've been using the term "Neutral" since I started playing SFA3, circa 1999. I used it as a technical term to mean when a character in inactive, meaning a state of inactivity. However, "inactive" is a misnomer because there are some neutral states in SFA3 that occur even when a player is actively doing something. Likewise, there are technical exceptions where a player can be doing absolutely nothing and yet they are considered to not be in neutral (out of neutral).

Some players have adopted the term Neutral to mean any time that the two opponents are not directly touching each other or are not at a serious frame advantage or field(corner) advantage. Well that's fine. You can have the word "Neutral" all you want since it was a misnomer in the first place. Winty put it succinctly when he tweeted "what do you call it when the car isn't in gear". Well I'll be happy to use another word like "Idle" since that's also a misnomer. To me it does not matter what it's called because the community would only use it for the one singular concept in SFA3, which is an esoteric within a niche game anyway. Plus, the game extends far beyond me. I'm a relative nobody in the community so at this point people are going to use whatever term they are comfortable with. I speak only for myself in saying I'd feel fine with calling it something else.

I'd like to point out that Aeris trolled on the mic at Evo, calling "Okizeme" pretty much every single permutation of vowels and consonants except for the correct phonetic sequence/pronunciation. He did this intentionally and I applaud him. It's not as serious as some people might think, especially when you consider that we still use "Fireball" to describe just about any projectile, even when it's neither made of fire nor an actual ball. But, we also don't call a headbutt a "Fireball" either. Aeris might have been trolling but it underlines the point that it doesn't matter how you say it, it matters how you use it and what you're referring to. I personally feel that anyone who starts talking about "Neutral" without understanding what poking, zoning, baiting, feinting, midrange, frame (dis)advantage, and footsies are should just pass the microphone to some one else, preferably to someone who does. Because if that person did understand, they probably wouldn't be using the word Neutral in the first place. Likewise, in the end, everyone knew what Aeris was talking about anyway because he wasn't completely ignorant when he did it, he could not have been ignorant or he might have accidentally said it correctly at least once, and he never did.

In closing: I'm also not going to throw out "Red Blocking" while on a microphone unless I'm sure no one else uses it for something different and that I'm also sure the action I'm referring to is the only one I'll label "Red Blocking" during my commentary. But then I'm the type to fancy the use of "Neutral" to mean neutral frame advantage ( -0 ) on hit/block, anyway. Hence why I don't commentate, I pass the mic.


- Copyright © Xenozip.

1 comment:

Crow Winters said...

It has, sadly, been my experience that it's hard to find people to get on the mic, much less people that are good on the mic.

I have all sorts of social anxiety but had I not commented the calibur stuff at UFO (and sometimes, the tekken tag stuff) there simply would have been instances of no one on the mic. Admitting, SC is something I know like a book, but Tekken isn't. There were smarter and better players in the room in that game. Yet, there I was, stuttering along.

This obviously shouldn't be the case at bigger events at all. And yet, 2015, we still get peeps on the mic that just aren't as professional as you think they should be.