Talk:Jacob Marley

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RFV[edit]

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Jacob Marley

Needs to meet WT:CFI#Fictional universes. I advocate doing a good search before RFVing, and generally do so, but am not doing so on this one, as I suspect their creator of adding it as part of a whole bunch added without regard for the CFI, and I don't want to spend the time searching.​—msh210 (talk) 21:00, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Cited. DAVilla 09:51, 1 January 2011 (UTC)


I don't think these citations are sound. Equinox 22:30, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

RfD discussion[edit]

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This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.


Jacob Marley[edit]

"A fictional man" etc. We have a lot of characters from this particular work, for some reason (!): see Category:en:A Christmas Carol. This underwent RFV before and some citations were given. I think them inadequate since they do not show any generic use. I propose deletion because book characters, aside from generic use, are not suitable dictionary content IMO. Equinox 21:57, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Probably all the characters except Scrooge can go, though there may be idiomatic possibilities for the spirits. Purplebackpack89 22:17, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

What about the following quotes:

  • "He would listen for the tinkle of chimes behind him, the hurried wind through louver windows, or the loose strand of a wandering conversation from the house next door, and think that they have come back to warn him, a Jacob Marley to his Scrooge, that reckoning was upon him."[1]
  • "Having been raised from the death of my sin, I often forge new bonds for myself, a Jacob Marley who should no longer be burdened but continues to carry the chains of my own making."[2]
  • "It would have been nice to have had a Jacob Marley who could have run down the rules at the start of the game for me."[3]

Do these count as "generic use"? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 23:16, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

The first one is clearly referring to the characters in the book, and the second seems to. I don't know about the third. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:41, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
After looking at it in context, I would sat that the third one is referring to Jacob Marley's role in the narrative structure of the book. I think they all are referring to Jacob Marley as a character in the book, rather than as some kind of generic character or archetype, though the second quote is the least explicit about it. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:03, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
The following seems to apply, from Wiktionary:CFI#Fictional_universes: "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." Examples are in Wiktionary:Criteria_for_inclusion/Fictional_universes. One of them is this: "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." The "a Jacob Marley" quotes above appear to me very much like "the Darth Vader" in the above quote, although I am not sure what "attributive sense" mentioned in CFI is. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:45, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I would say "a Jacob Marley to his Scrooge" is attributive. It's simply extending the metaphor. I don't see how it's a problem if an author does use a name in an attributive sense and goes on to explain it too. Anyway, I've added 3.5 attributive citations. Choor monster (talk) 16:07, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Now it's 4.5. I added a sports citation that is dead-on imitative of the Darth Vader example. Choor monster (talk) 16:18, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Would this count?
  • 2012, Brian Norman, Dead Women Talking: Figures of Injustice in American Literature, page 93:
    Nor is she exactly a grand tormentor from beyond, Roy's own Jacob Marley.
Cheers! bd2412 T 16:51, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
One problem I see perusing the quotes is that there doesn't seem to be any agreement on what "Jacob Marley" as a common noun means. Is it a person wearing metaphorical chains? Is it a person with no metaphorical bowels? Is it a miser? Is it someone who warns someone else about the error of his ways? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:17, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't see why this is a problem. We run into the same question with almost any proper noun. Do we worry about the supposedly different meanings between "he spoke in a Darth Vader voice" and the Nomura example above? I'm quite sure the quotation wasn't referring to Nomura's breathing! Consider words like Dickensian. It can be used to refer to poverty, time/place, writing styles, plot twists, and so on. (We've split the meaning in two. It took four years and a bit of edit-warring.) There are exceptions: Scrooge and Tiny Tim are quite narrow. And when I created Ludlumesque, I didn't notice at first there were precisely two senses as to how it was used. Choor monster (talk) 21:18, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Quite apart from "Jacob Marley" I think this is an important point. If (say) Bloggs is a famous author who wrote surrealistic beatnik novels about lonely poor people, then does "Bloggsian" suggest surrealism, beatnik-ism, loneliness, poverty, or a combination of some or all, and how is this to be defined? "Like the writings of Bloggs" is sufficient, but useless to somebody who hasn't read the books and wants to interpret the word. P.S. Jordanesque is my fave eponym. Equinox 21:30, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Checking what the OED did with Dickensian, I noticed that our split in two is one sense there. But they had a noun sense (with three cites!) that we missed. I added the noun. Choor monster (talk) 21:44, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not bothered by the idea of a definition that lays out the general characteristics associated with the term, and then notes that the term is used to describe a person or thing sharing any number of those characteristics. bd2412 T 02:40, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

In my opinion, CFI are wrong when they require "used out of context in an attributive sense". I would exclude all these names, but I would include "single word" well-known names, considered as having entered the general vocabulary. But first name + last name names cannot have a linguistic interest. All these names, either fictional or not, including yours, can be used out of context in an attributive sense, but it only depends on encyclopedic characteristics. As it's a general rule, and no linguistic data (other than data about the first name and data about the last name) can be provided, they should be excluded. Lmaltier (talk) 18:02, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Your opinion isn't policy, so your comment serves no point. Your ideas regarding linguistic interest are purely your own. Of course every name can be used in an attributive sense, the question is which ones have in fact been used so.
I noticed that the existing citations for Tiny Tim were entirely non-attributive, yet it somehow passed RFV? I added 4 on the Citations page, all out of context attributive. Choor monster (talk) 20:23, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Our policy is based on our editors' opinions, so yes, his comment is very much to the point. Ƿidsiþ 11:32, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
This discussion is whether Jacob Marley meets existing policy. Someone's wish for a different policy is completely pointless here. Choor monster (talk) 14:36, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
On one hand, I agree with Choor monster that any talk about changing policies belongs at the WT:BP, otherwise it is just whining. On the other hand, we have to remember that WT:CFI is meant to reflect out policies, not the other way around, and it often does so imperfectly or inaccurately. --WikiTiki89 14:50, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
@Lmaltier, I would point to Benedict Arnold as a clear instance where a first and last name must be used together to convey linguistic content. bd2412 T 22:20, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Kept for lack of consensus to delete. bd2412 T 17:09, 17 September 2014 (UTC)