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Old 2012-05-18, 19:27   Link #81
Malkuth
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Languages evolve by expanding and correctly adapting terms and concepts new or foreign to them, not by corrupting and misusing them into something partially familiar to their speakers. They also evolve by simplifying necessary grammatical artifacts that are no longer necessary.
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Old 2012-05-18, 19:43   Link #82
Qilin
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Originally Posted by Malkuth View Post
Languages evolve by expanding and correctly adapting terms and concepts new or foreign to them, not by corrupting and misusing them into something partially familiar to their speakers. They also evolve by simplifying necessary grammatical artifacts that are no longer necessary.
In other words, words cannot have additional meanings besides the ones they originally had, did I get that right?

If so, would that mean that languages that adopt foreign words then subsequently indigenizing those terms to the country's culture are actually not evolved, but rather corrupted?

So what becomes the standard for determining what is "necessary" for a given context? Wouldn't that fall back to subjective interpretation?
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Old 2012-05-18, 21:51   Link #83
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So in evaluating the alternatives you mentioned, are they even more widely used?
No. But I have seen "battle manga/anime" and "shounen action" being used before.

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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
Are more importantly, will they stand the test of time?
There's no way to tell.

You still haven't answered the most important part of my post, so I'll repeat it: what word do you propose to replace the original Japanese meaning which is a manga that is published in a shounen magazine? In other words, if we agree to use "shounen" to mean manga and anime which heavily include battles and competitions, what should we use for the original meaning? Using the same word to mean both things won't solve anything and will just keep people confused. Triple_R also brings up another point which is closely related: if shounen becomes a genre, what becomes of other demographic labels such as seinen and josei? Seinen in particular is impossible to pin into any genre, as it associated with contrasting types of manga such as Berserk and A-Channel.

Even if we may be outnumbered, I don't think it's hopeless to spread awareness of the difference between manga demographics and genres. I myself used to think that shounen always has a competitive side to it. If you treat shounen as a genre on /a/, probably the biggest and most influential discussion board for anime, you'll be laughed at and corrected. One simple way to spread awareness is just to popularize shounen manga that defy what people expect from shounen, such as Lucky Star and Aria. The more people who like these shounen manga (and the anime adapted from them), the less they will associate the word "shounen" with battles and competitions.
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Old 2012-05-18, 22:17   Link #84
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
In other words, words cannot have additional meanings besides the ones they originally had, did I get that right?
They can, and that's a reason for a lot of confusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
If so, would that mean that languages that adopt foreign words then subsequently indigenizing those terms to the country's culture are actually not evolved, but rather corrupted?
They are... and hardly make sense when mixing foreign terms with their native grammar. Example:

"Konnichiwa minnasan, I am super genki after watching such a moe mahou shoujo kicking ass!"

"Good day everyone, I am super excited (lit.: energetic) after watching such a cute (liberally translated) magic girl (literally translated) kicking ass!"

Do you believe that the first sentence is acceptable

If one wants to address an audience watching anime, he could keep some terms to avoid TL notes, for example:

"Good day everyone, I am hyper after watching such a "moe mahou shoujo" kicking ass!"

And I don't even want to recall what atrocities are committed in programming documentation from using english terms in german and greek

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
So what becomes the standard for determining what is "necessary" for a given context? Wouldn't that fall back to subjective interpretation?
Most countries have a committee or institution that does exactly that along with organizing language exams and issuing certificates of proficiency in a languages.
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Old 2012-05-18, 22:19   Link #85
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Originally Posted by Tempester View Post
You still haven't answered the most important part of my post, so I'll repeat it: what word do you propose to replace the original Japanese meaning which is a manga that is published in a shounen magazine? In other words, if we agree to use "shounen" to mean manga and anime which heavily include battles and competitions, what should we use for the original meaning? Using the same word to mean both things won't solve anything and will just keep people confused. Triple_R also brings up another point which is closely related: if shounen becomes a genre, what becomes of other demographic labels such as seinen and josei? Seinen in particular is impossible to pin into any genre, as it associated with contrasting types of manga such as Berserk and A-Channel.
That's just the difference between us.

I don't concern myself with questions about how language "should be". Questions regarding suitable alternatives to terms are discarded in favor of looking at what is being used. Supposing calling "shounen" a genre comes into fashion, a suitable alternative will come about as a natural consequence (but in all likelihood, it will probably remain unchanged).

It all comes down to your own subjective position whether the evolution of language "should be controlled" or it "should be left to evolve".
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Originally Posted by Tempester View Post
Even if we may be outnumbered, I don't think it's hopeless to spread awareness of the difference between manga demographics and genres. I myself used to think that shounen always has a competitive side to it. If you treat shounen as a genre on /a/, probably the biggest and most influential discussion board for anime, you'll be laughed at and corrected. One simple way to spread awareness is just to popularize shounen manga that defy what people expect from shounen, such as Lucky Star and Aria. The more people who like these shounen manga (and the anime adapted from them), the less they will associate the word "shounen" with battles and competitions.
Oh, please. /a/ is not as homogenous as you think. There are are those who use the term as a genre and there are those who make fun of them. You could say that the dichotomy exists over there as well.
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Old 2012-05-18, 22:25   Link #86
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
If we stubbornly insist on using "Shonen" as a genre label instead of a demographic indicator it'll just cause more problems like the one that totoum ran into (shounen titles mistakenly getting classified under shoujo). It also runs the risk of creating added confusion/division within the worldwide anime fan community, which is a problem in the modern age with the increasingly global community that you can find on the internet.
When I said to use Shōnen as a genre label instead of a demographic I was saying it under the assumption that the new definition had already replaced the old one. There shouldn't be any confusion after the new meaning settled in because Shōnen would be understood to indicate XYZ instead of ABC. The "meaning replacement" process would probably cause some problems but then again I highly doubt the divergence between Fantasy and Science Fiction that you described occurred without any incident either.
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I don't think it's at that point yet. I think it's still possible to reaffirm the position that Shounen is a demographic indicator. It helps that ANN (and apparently Baka-updates) still recognizes Shonen as a demographic and not a genre. Also, this is what Wiki says about Shonen, which also backs up the "It's a demographic indicator" position. Interestingly, Wiki even cites the term "Battle Manga" to use for genre classification, like Tempester did.
Let me ask you this then:
Is it possible the term Shōnen is currently undergoing the semantic drift process? The word started as a demographic indicator, obviously, but now it's also perceived as its own genre. The latter usage of Shōnen is at least frequent enough to be this noticeable so I'm inclined to think it is changing. You also said that Japan wouldn't change its usage of Shōnen. Among the magazine publishers, the term probably wouldn't change. However, what about the audience itself?
Quote:
"Moe" is another term where confusion often abounds when many anime fans talk about it together. Moe fans and moe critics aren't even using the same basic definition for the word, making it very hard for the those two sides to have a serious, productive discussion over moe, which in turn exacerbates already existing divisions within the anime fan community.
At least Shōnen only has two active definitions AFAIK. If someone labels something as Moé is he or she talking about having a heart attack over cuteness, a certain artistic style, cute girls doing cute things, slice-of-life, what exactly?
Quote:
But there's nothing wrong or imprecise with "shounen" being used as a demographic indicator. Indeed, without "shounen" being used that way, what becomes of "seinen" and "josei"? Are we going to turn them into genres too?
That depends solely on whether or not they've been bastardized enough yet.
Quote:
This sort of thing really is getting out of hand, imo. At some point, the online anime fandom needs to take a deep breath, stand back, and ask itself "Do we want the anime fan-term lexicon to be practical and useful, or don't we? If we want it to be practical and useful, then sometimes we simply can't go along with term drift that can only add unwanted confusion and make words increasingly impractical/vague".
Likewise, I think the Internet anime community also needs to be aware of when said terminology is changing and accept the confusion that would accompany the replacement process itself. Once again, I highly doubt any major semantic change went so smoothly the moment it actually started. Actually, history has shown us that major changes rarely changed so smoothly. Okay, maybe comparing the otaku dictionary to history is a bit extreme but I think the general idea is there.
Quote:
So instead of taking shounen, and creating a genre out of it, just use a term like "Battle Manga/Shounen". In other words, add a basic qualifier to "Shounen". That's a much neater and tidier approach than having Japanese anime fans recognize "Shounen" as one thing, and non-Japanese anime fans recognizing it as something else, imo.
If a semantic shift is changing Shōnen from a demographic to a genre, it becomes a question of whether or not another term like Battle Manga is widespread enough to effectively replace Shōnen as a content descriptor. And since semantic shift is very dependent on widespread usage. Well...
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Old 2012-05-18, 22:33   Link #87
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Originally Posted by Malkuth View Post
They are... and hardly make sense when mixing foreign terms with their native grammar. Example:

"Konnichiwa minnasan, I am super genki after watching such a moe mahou shoujo kicking ass!"

"Good day everyone, I am super excited (lit.: energetic) after watching such a cute (liberally translated) magic girl (literally translated) kicking ass!"

Do you believe that the first sentence is acceptable

If one wants to address an audience watching anime, he could keep some terms to avoid TL notes, for example:

"Good day everyone, I am hyper after watching such a "moe mahou shoujo" kicking ass!"

And I don't even want to recall what atrocities are committed in programming documentation from using english terms in german and greek
Like I mentioned earlier, there are many languages that adopt terms from other languages. Also, those changes are already widely accepted within the culture it's based in. This applies for English and Japanese as well if DonQuigleone's post is any indication.

The problem with your example is that that way of using terms is not widely accepted. If, hypothetically, that way of talking was popular in some large enough group, then there would be nothing wrong with using it within the group.

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Originally Posted by Malkuth View Post
Most countries have a committee or institution that does exactly that along with organizing language exams and issuing certificates of proficiency in a languages.
Exactly. It falls back to the subjective interpretations of those "experts". Well, the most such groups can do is determine the standard for the academic context, which is just one of the many that can possibly exist.

Language changes depending on context. For example, one possible context is academic in nature where the members comprising it use strict formal English. Another context is with friends, which is likely a great deal more informal, maybe with slang.

Even if we try to cut down the use of a language to something fixed, it will always change (or, in your terms, be misused) according to the people you're communicating with.
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Old 2012-05-18, 22:35   Link #88
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Old 2012-05-18, 22:48   Link #89
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
Like I mentioned earlier, there are many languages that adopt terms from other languages. Also, those changes are already widely accepted within the culture it's based in. This applies for English and Japanese as well if DonQuigleone's post is any indication.

The problem with your example is that that way of using terms is not widely accepted. If, hypothetically, that way of talking was popular in some large enough group, then there would be nothing wrong with using it within the group.

Exactly. It falls back to the subjective interpretations of those "experts". Well, the most such groups can do is determine the standard for the academic context, which is just one of the many that can possibly exist.

Language changes depending on context. For example, one possible context is academic in nature where the members comprising it use strict formal English. Another context is with friends, which is likely a great deal more informal, maybe with slang.

Even if we try to cut down the use of a language to something fixed, it will always change (or, in your terms, be misused) according to the people you're communicating with.
... and for all these reasons you just mentioned it is better to stick to what these "experts" define as their country's standard language or you are bound to be misunderstood sooner or later.

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Someone make a Shounen Shoujo series!
Just be content that almost all anime are filled with shounen shoujos
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Old 2012-05-18, 23:19   Link #90
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Originally Posted by Malkuth View Post
... and for all these reasons you just mentioned it is better to stick to what these "experts" define as their country's standard language or you are bound to be misunderstood sooner or later.
Can I interpret this to mean that you believe in the absolute homogeneity of language? If that's the case, then we shouldn't be arguing this.

While I believe that linguistic diversity is a valuable thing, there will always be those who want a standardized language that every one should use to be seen as "correct". It's not a disagreement that can be settled easily.
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Old 2012-05-19, 00:39   Link #91
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
Supposing calling "shounen" a genre comes into fashion, a suitable alternative will come about as a natural consequence (but in all likelihood, it will probably remain unchanged).
I'm not sure I understand.
I don't see how it remaining unchanged is a suitable alternative.

If shonen is used to describe both demographic and genre it's just going to cause confusion and the debate won't ever go away.
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Old 2012-05-19, 01:15   Link #92
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
The problem with accepting that language changes over time while asserting that some changes are good and others are bad is that it usually devolves into an arbitrary mess.
That's only if that assertion isn't guided by some core, consistently-applied principles.


This is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth. Here are three core principles that I think would be helpful here:

1) Language should evolve to combat an overabundance of redundancy (i.e. too many words meaning exactly the same thing, so if society can take one of those words and give it a slightly different meaning, then that's a good thing).

2) Language should evolve so that words that almost nobody uses any more are either updated with new meanings, or are allowed to fall into the mists of history and historical works (a good example of this is when the term "gay" - at one time, pretty much unheard of outside of Christmas carols - changed from its original meaning to mean "of a homosexual orientation", and now that word gets a lot more practical use than it used to).

3) Language should evolve to account for genuinely brand new things that we didn't have before (i.e. the internet circa the 90s, for example)


These three core principles alone will ensure that language is constantly changing, refining, and updating itself. But these three core principles can also help ensure that language doesn't create too much counterproductive term drift.

Favoring "precision of meaning" over "frequency of usage" doesn't necessarily mean that words remain stagnant. In some cases, it actually means that they will change (as happened with "Fantasy").


Now, let's look at the term "Shounen" as a demographic indicator.

Is there too many words meaning exactly the same thing as "Shounen" does? No, not really.

Is the word "Shounen" still frequently used with reference to its demographic meaning? Yes, it is. So it's not a dying word like "gay" was prior to being widely used to mean "of a homosexual orientation".

Has "Shouen" itself changed in such a way that it's demographic meaning no longer properly "accounts for new things"? No, not really.

So here's a term that should stay the way it is, imo.


Now, with "Fantasy"...

Did "Fantasy" itself change in such a way that it's original meaning no longer properly "accounted for new things"? Yes, it did. The explosion in Tolkien-style Fantasy works and the explosion in Sci-Fi Works were the "new things" in question. That called for a more precise meaning for practical classification purposes.

So here's a term that was right to change.


Quote:
For example, what constitutes an inorganic change in language?
When it's driven by ignorance more than anything else. Frankly, I think that's the issue here. I think that a lot of non-Japanese anime fans simply aren't aware of how "Shounen" is a demographic indicator in Japan.

A lot of more casual English-speaking anime/manga fans likely notice certain similarities in the most popular shounen titles (especially those in Shounen Jump) so they think "Aha! Then this must mean that 'shounen' is a genre! It's a genre devoted to competition/battle, just like DBZ, Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece all have."

It's a perfectly understandable conclusion to arrive at, and so I wouldn't criticize somebody unfamiliar with Japanese demographic terms for arriving at it. But it doesn't make it the right conclusion, of course.

What it means, imo, is that those of us who are familiar with the demographic meaning for "Shounen" should politely convey that to anime fans when they mistakenly use it as a genre label. As people become more well-informed, you may well see fewer and fewer people using "Shounen" as a genre label.


Quote:

After that, there's the whole "precision of meaning" vs. "frequency of usage" debate concerning which would be a better way of determining words to be used.
I will admit that there comes a point when "frequency of usage" becomes so widespread that it can't be combated any more. Sometimes a term or word is bastardized beyond repair (which frankly is what has happened to "Slice of Life", so I'm not going to expend much effort trying to save that term).

I don't think that "shounen" is there yet, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Akito_Kinomoto View Post
When I said to use Shōnen as a genre label instead of a demographic I was saying it under the assumption that the new definition had already replaced the old one.
It hasn't. And it probably never will in Japan itself. And since Japan is where anime/manga comes from...


Quote:
Let me ask you this then:
Is it possible the term Shōnen is currently undergoing the semantic drift process? The word started as a demographic indicator, obviously, but now it's also perceived as its own genre. The latter usage of Shōnen is at least frequent enough to be this noticeable so I'm inclined to think it is changing.
Even if true, that doesn't mean it's a good change, or that people aware of the demographic meaning for "Shounen" shouldn't combat that change.

Like I just wrote to Qilin above, I think this is just a case of perfectly understandable ignorance causing problems. The good thing here is that in the process of correcting people who misuse "shounen", you'll also make them more well-versed on the anime/manga world as a whole, and that's a positive in and of itself.


Quote:
You also said that Japan wouldn't change its usage of Shōnen. Among the magazine publishers, the term probably wouldn't change. However, what about the audience itself?
I don't see any evidence that the Japanese audience itself takes it to mean something other than a demographic term. If you have evidence that they do, I'd like to see it.


Quote:
At least Shōnen only has two active definitions AFAIK.
That alone is enough to cause confusion and division, as totoum and Tempester rightly point out.

Besides, who says it's going to stop here?

With this in mind, let me borrow off of a certain famous scene in a Sci-Fi movie...


Akito Kinomoto Sloane: Triple_R, let it go! Go along with "Shounen" being a genre.

Triple_R Picard: No! Noooooooo!!! (Triple_R breaks the Haruhi stained-glass window and model Gundams with his life-sized Sayaka sword replica)

Triple_R Picard: I will not sacrifice "Shounen". We've made too many sacrifices already, too many retreats. They invade our Slice of Life, and we fall back. They assimilate "moe" to mean whatever they want it to mean, and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no farther!


I think it's time for anime fans to take a page out of Jean-Luc Picard's book and start drawing lines. If you don't nip counterproductive term drift in the bud in its early stages, by the time we get around to it, it might be too late.


Quote:
If a semantic shift is changing Shōnen from a demographic to a genre, it becomes a question of whether or not another term like Battle Manga is widespread enough to effectively replace Shōnen as a content descriptor. And since semantic shift is very dependent on widespread usage. Well...
"Battle Manga" is apparently popular enough to get referenced on Wiki. That's not a bad starting point.
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Old 2012-05-19, 04:34   Link #93
Akuma Kinomoto
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
The good thing here is that in the process of correcting people who misuse "shounen", you'll also make them more well-versed on the anime/manga world as a whole, and that's a positive in and of itself.
It's a positive so long as the informers and informees remain "correct."
Quote:
That alone is enough to cause confusion and division, as totoum and Tempester rightly point out.

Besides, who says it's going to stop here?

With this in mind, let me borrow off of a certain famous scene in a Sci-Fi movie...

*Star Trek: The Next Definition*
People have always used the slippery slope in the face of a major change. However, I think it's just a matter of realizing what could realistically be different in the future. For example, I highly doubt the term "mecha anime" would diverge so far as to include The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya under its (Gundam) wing. Now you might cite a less obvious example such as the term "romance anime" used differently enough to include Durarara!! because of Mikado and Anri. However, Durarara!! being touted as a romance anime would be stifled considering there are much better labels to identify the show. Going further up the natural selection ladder, a label can't encompass the entirety of what some works are no matter the extent a word changes; is Time of Eve better described as a drama or a science-fiction?

I wonder if Shōnen gaining this dichotomy was an inevitable consequence of it being so closely related to a certain type of content in the first place as this article seems to suggest. Meanwhile, because "mecha", "romance", and "science-fiction" are their own genres already I don't see how they would be misused so egregiously as to be subject to the slippery slope. Indeed, is it even mentally possible to seriously label K-On! as a science-fiction anime?
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I don't see any evidence that the Japanese audience itself takes it to mean something other than a demographic term. If you have evidence that they do, I'd like to see it.

"Battle Manga" is apparently popular enough to get referenced on Wiki. That's not a bad starting point.
Amongst the four major demographic groups--Shōnen, Shōjo, Seinen, and Josei--only the generalizations about Shōjo are attributed to western fans. Going to Wiki, Shōnen manga and Shōjo manga both list how they are commonly perceived as genres. However, only the misuse associated with Shōjo mentions anything about a western audience. If Japan does not view the term beyond its demographic, why didn't ANN mention anything about western misuse of Shōnen when its "counterpart" has foreign relations? Maybe ANN didn't see the need to specify that only western fans are molesting the word because in fact it's not only western fans that are "misusing" Shōnen? What other reason does ANN have for only making that distinction with Shōjo? Laziness?
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Old 2012-05-19, 04:45   Link #94
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You forgot the fifth and misunderstood group... "adult only"
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Old 2012-05-19, 05:02   Link #95
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Originally Posted by Akito_Kinomoto View Post
It's a positive so long as the informers and informees remain "correct."
You yourself admitted that they would probably remain correct.

"Among the magazine publishers, the term probably wouldn't change." - Akito_Kinomoto.

Well, there you go.


Also, going by your own Wiki link, those informers are entirely correct, and using Shounen as a genre label is attributed to "confusion" (i.e. it's considered a *mistake*). And what is one of the reasons why it is considered a mistake?

"It is because of this general trend in popular shōnen manga that the term "shōnen" is often confused as being a genre, despite the fact that many shōnen manga do not follow this trend at all."

If "shonen" becomes understood as a genre label instead as of a demographic, the result is a classification nightmare for "many shonen manga that do not follow this trend at all".


Also, how does one respond to "confusion"? By clarifying things and providing actual facts, that's how. Another way is by valuing precision in word/term meanings.

Well, that's exactly what I'm advocating here.


Quote:
People have always used the slippery slope in the face of a major change.
It's not a slippery slope fallacy when you have clear-cut evidence (as we do with "Slice of Life" and "moe") of how term drift has caused real problems for anime fandom terminology. In other words, there's good reason for anime fans like myself to be concerned over counterproductive term drift, and hence to want to guard against that.


Quote:

I wonder if Shōnen gaining this dichotomy was an inevitable consequence of it being so closely related to a certain type of content...
You mean content like Azumanga Daioh!?

There's some highly popular shonen titles that are not Battle Manga. Shifting "Shounen" into a genre label would potentially leave these titles in no-man's land, creating problems like the one totoum ran into.

That's a problem worth avoiding, isn't it?


Quote:
Amongst the four major demographic groups--Shōnen, Shōjo, Seinen, and Josei--only the generalizations about Shōjo are attributed to western fans. Going to Wiki, Shōnen manga and Shōjo manga both list how they are commonly perceived as genres.

"However, only the misuse associated with Shōjo mentions anything about a western audience. If Japan does not view the term beyond its demographic, why didn't ANN mention anything about western misuse of Shōnen when its "counterpart" has foreign relations? Maybe ANN didn't see the need to specify that only western fans are molesting the word because in fact it's not only western fans that are "misusing" Shōnen? What other reason does ANN have for only making that distinction with Shōjo? Laziness?
So this is your argument? Something that may well be nothing more than clerical oversight or the slightest of unintentional inconsistencies?

I don't find that argument compelling in the least.


I strongly stand by the arguments I've made in this thread.
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Old 2012-05-19, 06:12   Link #96
Qilin
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
That's only if that assertion isn't guided by some core, consistently-applied principles.
That's the problem I have with this kind of perspective.

How will these "consistently-applied principles" come about? You listed your own core principles concerning this, but don't they just amount to your own personal standards? If so, how can we weigh it against the loads of other subjective standards that also exist out there?

The way I see it, everything still boils down to utter subjectivity, albeit in a different way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
This is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth. Here are three core principles that I think would be helpful here:

1) Language should evolve to combat an overabundance of redundancy (i.e. too many words meaning exactly the same thing, so if society can take one of those words and give it a slightly different meaning, then that's a good thing).

2) Language should evolve so that words that almost nobody uses any more are either updated with new meanings, or are allowed to fall into the mists of history and historical works (a good example of this is when the term "gay" - at one time, pretty much unheard of outside of Christmas carols - changed from its original meaning to mean "of a homosexual orientation", and now that word gets a lot more practical use than it used to).

3) Language should evolve to account for genuinely brand new things that we didn't have before (i.e. the internet circa the 90s, for example)
It's not like I don't get what you're trying to say. I would prefer it too if language indeed evolved in the manner you describe (for greater efficiency).

However, I also believe that that isn't how it goes in a real world context much of the time. Instead, popularity becomes the only real measuring stick for determining a term's value. With that in mind, I assume that fighting a losing battle against the tide would introduce more problems by hindering the process of the term's usage becoming homogenous within the community.

Homogeneity of usage means that a term' usage is more-or-less shared by the members of the entire community.

Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
I'm not sure I understand.
I don't see how it remaining unchanged is a suitable alternative.

If shonen is used to describe both demographic and genre it's just going to cause confusion and the debate won't ever go away.
Suitable or not, the only question I concern myself is if the term is shared among a large enough group of people. Suitability is a secondary concern of mine compared to frequency of usage, if my arguments weren't indicative of that.
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Last edited by Qilin; 2012-05-19 at 06:55.
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Old 2012-05-19, 07:19   Link #97
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I would like to see Kameruka participating in this thread just for fun.
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Old 2012-05-19, 07:38   Link #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
Suitable or not, the only question I concern myself is if the term is shared among a large enough group of people. Suitability is a secondary concern of mine compared to frequency of usage, if my arguments weren't indicative of that.
I understand that,what I'm saying is that I doubt it'll be used by a large enough group of people as long as its usage creates confusion.
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Old 2012-05-19, 09:43   Link #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
That's the problem I have with this kind of perspective.

How will these "consistently-applied principles" come about?
Two of the three principles I listed tend to occur naturally, in my experience.

Really think about the 2nd and 3rd principles I listed. Don't they tend to occur organically, without much need for any dictionary or thesaurus to push them forward?

The 3rd Principle ("Language should evolve to account for genuinely brand new things that we didn't have before") tends to occur through sheer necessity. The main blockage to this may be purists who are attached to a particular meaning of a word even after it's become much less functional than newer alternatives. But these purists won't stand up to word change if there's good, practical reason for the word change. Hence, why "Fantasy" now tends to carry with it the implied meaning of Tolkien-style Fantasy.

The 2nd Principle ("Language should evolve so that words that almost nobody uses any more are either updated with new meanings, or are allowed to fall into the mists of history and historical works") also tends to occur naturally. If certain words are rarely used any more, they usually either end up getting revived by an updated meaning, or they do in fact fall into the mists of history (at least as far as everyday conversation is concerned - Academia can be an exception here).


Now, my 1st Principle is admittedly a personal preference. But I threw it out there because I think a lot of people would agree with it.


Quote:

It's not like I don't get what you're trying to say. I would prefer it too if language indeed evolved in the manner you describe (for greater efficiency).

However, I also believe that that isn't how it goes in a real world context much of the time.
And doesn't that cause problems?


More efficient language = More efficient communication

Less efficient language = Less efficient communication

More efficient communication = Good for the world.

Less efficient communication = Bad for the world.

Now, does anybody seriously disagree with those four equations above? I dare say that they're more objective truth than subjective opinion.

Well, when popularity goes up against what's objectively better for language use, I'll go with what's objectively better.

Popularity doesn't make something right. That being said, if the only reason people didn't want "Shounen" to turn into a genre label was some sort of nostalgic attachment to "Shounen" as a demographic indicator, then I'd probably agree with you on "Shounen". But that's not what's happening on this thread.

Vexx, Tempester, totoum, Malkuth, and others have all elaborated on practical problems that "shounen" shifting to a genre label understanding would cause. Totoum even gave a clear-cut example of a real problem that's already occurred.


Quote:
With that in mind, I assume that fighting a losing battle against the tide would introduce more problems by hindering the process of the term's usage becoming homogenous within the community.
Shonen isn't going to be losing its demographic meaning anytime soon. The manga publishers alone will see to that.

So this sort of homogenous term shift simply isn't possible any time soon. It's almost certainly not going to happen.


So what will happen is either...

1) The anime fan community becomes better-informed on the demographic meaning of shounen, and over time and the effort of people to correct the misuse of the term, the anime fan community all eventually get on the same page with that demographic meaning, or...

2) The anime fan community doesn't become better-informed on the demographic meaning of shounen and/or insists on using it as a genre label in any event, which will create divisions within the anime community (primarily Japanese vs. non-Japanese) and will create loads of confusion (even at the local manga store, where all of a sudden K-On! and Azumanga Daioh! are now declared to be Shoujo, which by the way would help create a general public perception that these titles must be for girls; is that really a message you want the general public to be receiving on these titles?).


Given these two options, I strongly prefer the first one.
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Old 2012-05-19, 10:57   Link #100
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Confusion within fanbases on an international level is one thing. Confusion on the internet is a similar thing. But confusion in business is another thing and is bad for business.

You don't want to confuse costumers that come to buy something and they can't find it because the store picked one version over another while their competition picked the other version.

It would be best to have a uniform version in business, or to drop the term (which is functionally meaningless verses other existing terms is their home languages).
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