W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-wai-eo-badtf@w3.org > March 2006

Re: tweaked wording

From: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 21:39:16 +0100
Message-ID: <44206474.109@w3.org>
To: Liam McGee <liam.mcgee@communis.co.uk>
Cc: public-wai-eo-badtf@w3.org

Hi Liam,

I agree, we should take this to EOWG for a reassessment of the humor. Please understand that while we are still in draft stage (this text has been discussed but not formally signed-off by EOWG yet), I need to respond cautiously and immediately to such complaints. We can always add these sentences back in after discussing the issues in EOWG.

Note: it would also be very helpful to the EOWG discussion if you do think of alternate pay-off gags to keep the humor in. The group would then be presented with options rather than force an "in or out" type decision (EOWG may tend to prefer a conservative approach).


Liam McGee wrote:
> Shadi Abou-Zahra wrote:
>> Hi,
>> For you information, I have received offline feedback about the 
>> content of the Demo pages, which concluded that some of the text may 
>> actually be offensive (depending on the sensitivity level). The 
>> following changes have been made:
> I would suggest that we put this to a vote rather than being over 
> cautious, as the changes remove most of the humour from the text, 
> something which runs against the brief from the group. The original 
> structure was to have at least one joke per paragraph -- less than that 
> is cheating your reader, as you are providing a humorous headline with a 
> humourless article behind it -- in the new version one reads a funny 
> headline, then a humourless paragraph, then another humourless 
> paragraph, and then a gag. But why would you plough through two entirely 
> humourless paragraphs for the gag in the third, especially as the gaga 
> is unrelated to the paras before? We may as well just put lipsum text in...
> The humour is there for a purpose. A student needs to read the content 
> to see what the different issues of presentation are. If you want the 
> student to read the content, there should be some sort of payoff. Is the 
> content relevant to them? No, it isn't. So the only other route is to 
> make it enjoyable to read in some other way. Humour was the chosen method.
> The site content needs to be consistent -- either consistently funny (as 
> instructed by the group) or consistently humourless. To have some gags 
> and some entirely humourless sections sets up expectations of humour 
> that are frustratingly unfulfilled, and wastes the reader's time -- 
> there's no payback.
> Whatever the decision, simply removing the text is no good, it needs to 
> be replaced with text of equal length otherwise the formatting gets 
> messed up with large gaps appearing, breaking the top-to-bottom reading 
> order.
>> 1. Home Page and Info Page
>> - Changed all occurrences of "Organ donations" to "Brain donations"
>> - Rationale: brain donations are fictional (these days at least), 
>> organ donations on the other hand a real issue for some people
> This maintains the humour, if a little reduced.
>> 2. Info Page
>> - Dropped: "Time to get the big syringe, the camera crew and a D-list 
>> celebrity to do the honours."
>> - Rationale: humor may be a little too vivid for some audiences.
> Vivid, perhaps. Offensive? Hard to see how. I urge the group to let it 
> stand. Remove this and you're left with a humourless paragraph.
>> 3. Info Page
>> - Dropped: "That and we just don't have big enough jars to pickle them 
>> in."
>> - Rationale: may be somewhat too harsh to speak like that of baby pandas.
> The humour lies in the combination of the time-delayed pun on the word 
> 'preserve' and the juxtaposition of the callous suggestion with the 
> cuteness of a baby panda. It's not advising anyone to pickle baby 
> pandas. Remove this and you're left with a humourless paragraph.
>> 4. Info Page
>> - Dropped: "Two-four-six-eight! Proud to be a neonate!"
>> - Rationale: "neonate" may seem political, couldn't think of something 
>> else (I'm not a funny person).
> Neonate means a newborn baby (or other animal), usually applying to 
> babies less than a month old (http://tinyurl.com/oj4lx). Please explain 
> what the political context might be.
> Regards all
> Liam

Shadi Abou-Zahra     Web Accessibility Specialist for Europe | 
Chair & Staff Contact for the Evaluation and Repair Tools WG | 
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)           http://www.w3.org/ | 
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI),   http://www.w3.org/WAI/ | 
WAI-TIES Project,                http://www.w3.org/WAI/TIES/ | 
Evaluation and Repair Tools WG,    http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/ | 
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Received on Tuesday, 21 March 2006 20:39:21 UTC

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