Talk:Clifford the Big Red Dog

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Clifford the Big Red Dog[edit]

"A fictional giant red dog named Clifford." Sequel to Talk:Lassie, I suppose. Apparently fails WT:FICTION because no citation is independent of reference to that universe — i.e. they are along the lines of "my dog looks like Clifford". Equinox 15:07, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

WT:FICTION expressly mentions "Wielding his flashlight like a lightsaber, Kyle sent golden shafts slicing through the swirling vapors." as an appropriate citation for lightsaber.
However, many attitudes from Talk:Lassie suggest that people disagree with the policy, despite the huge number of citations in favor of defining the entry as a fictional dog, so this may be an opportunity to change the policy to be less inclusive. --Daniel 15:10, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Simply excluding those citations that did not convey meaning, as opposed to mere existence, might suffice. Applying standards like those for persons might also suffice. Allowing "like X" sentences without other restrictions would permit almost any well-known fictional character (or real person) and many not so well known. I've always found it interesting that we don't include the meaning that "Cato" had to readers of Plutarch, which helps in reading many political writings, but do include this term and even devoted some effort to inferring that attributes that a reference might allude to (apart from "big", "red", and "dog"). DCDuring TALK 16:25, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Delete. Not dictionary material (IMO). Mglovesfun (talk) 16:29, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Actually we have specific language at Wiktionary:Criteria_for_inclusion/Fictional_universes concerning attestation of fictional characters that already would seem to exclude someall of the citations provided, to wit:
"With respect to names of persons or places from fictional universes, they shall not be included unless they are used out of context in an attributive sense, for example:
  • 2004, Robert Whiting, The Meaning of Ichiro: The New Wave from Japan and the Transformation of Our National Pastime, p. 130:
    Irabu had hired Nomura, a man with whom he obviously had a great deal in common, and, who, as we have seen, was rapidly becoming the Darth Vader of Japanese baseball.
  • 1998, Harriet Goldhor Lerner, The Mother Dance: How Children Change Your Life, p. 159:
    Steve and I explained the new program to our children, who looked at us as if we had just announced that we were from the planet Vulcan."
Emphasis added. DCDuring TALK 16:54, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, I abstain. I'm not particularly interested in spending much energy defending the attestability of this entry. And I can even assume that a number of people want and/or wanted, in good faith, this rule of "attributive sense" to apply to all fictional characters, in an exclusionist manner, regardless of the exact words of the policy. But, you know, "as if [...] we were" is like "like" and Clifford the Big Red Dog is not a name of person or place... --Daniel 22:43, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
It's obviously the "name of a person" in good faith. Whether a "person" is a living human being, or a dead one, or a living animal character, or a dead one, or a living teapot (as in some Disney animations, e.g. Little Mermaid), or a dead one, is immaterial: they are all "persons" in the sense which matters, of being an animate creature. Equinox 23:10, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Sure, person should probably be improved with another, more comprehensive, sense meaning anything who has a "mind", "reason", "sentience", etc. But the distinction remains: I don't think Category:Fictional people should be deleted as redundant to Category:Fictional characters, and I don't think that the entry dog should be added to Category:People.
I'd prefer not having to engage in this philosophical discussion about the meaning of "person", when we can simply add "character" to the policy, to make it clearer.
Does Clifford even do humanlike things, like talking? Does it matter? It doesn't, because the current citations allow even the most personlike fictional person to be attested. --Daniel 12:37, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Delete per nom. Doesn't meet the CFI for fictional characters. bd2412 T 03:35, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
    Nobody actually said how it doesn't meet the CFI for fictional characters yet... "My dog is like Clifford!", without explaining who Clifford is, clearly meets WT:FICTION. Many people, however, seem to disagree with the policy. If Talk:Lassie is any indication, RFD is pretty democratic actually: it does not really have to be a tool for enforcing formal policies; it, rather, is a tool for gathering ad hoc opinions about an entry. You may notice a high number of "Delete" and "Not Wiktionary material" regardless of what the policy says. As I said before, if the policy does not reflect the opinions of people, it may be the time to change it. --Daniel 12:37, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
    • "My dog is like Clifford!" would be a citation for "Clifford", not "Clifford the Big Red Dog", but even for citations including the full name, such usage suggests that the subject is something that you would look up in an encyclopedia rather than a dictionary. A citation wherein the author stated that "I own a Clifford the Big Red Dog" would suggest to the read a type of dog, leading them to look in a dictionary. bd2412 T 16:29, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong delete. None of the citations actually mean anything apart from the fictional character itself. This term is nothing like Darth Vader, et al. ---> Tooironic 00:41, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
    That's a bad comparison. Both the citations of Darth Vader and Clifford the Big Red Dog mention characteristics of a fictional character who is not explained (it is implied that the reader should already know who it is). --Daniel 15:42, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

I changed my vote to keep. If there is a convincing reason to delete this entry, given the current citations, practices, policies and other entries, I just didn't see it. Apparently, the reasons for deletion can be narrowed down to gut feeling, like how a sense of Lassie (see Talk:Lassie) was deleted following a number of barely explained "Delete!" votes even after being vigorously cited (see Citations:Lassie). --Daniel 15:51, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

RFD failed by quite a large margin. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:22, 11 September 2011 (UTC)