miss_s_b: (geekiness)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
The lovely [personal profile] ruthct21 commented on a post of mine yesterday (more in sorrow than in anger, I think) that she was going to have to avoid reading my stuff if I wasn't more careful about spoilers for Doctor Who, as she's somewhere in South America and hasn't seen the new episode yet. This came as something of a surprise to me, because I thought I had been pretty careful about spoilers when posting about Doctor Who... But then it occurred to me that Ruth and I might have very different definitions of what constitutes a spoiler. SO:

Poll #18215 What counts as Spoilers?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 47

What counts as Spoilers?

An episode of X show was on
0 (0.0%)

An episode of X show was on and I liked/disliked it
2 (4.3%)

An episode of X show was on and A, B, and C characters appeared in it
17 (36.2%)

An episode of X show was on and it resolved a cliffhanger from a previous episode (without saying HOW it resolved the cliffhanger)
5 (10.6%)

An episode of X show was on and it resolved a cliffhanger from a previous episode in the following way
45 (95.7%)

An episode of X show was on and it contained the following general types of plot device
19 (40.4%)

An episode of X show was on and it had these specific plot points in it
43 (91.5%)

An episode of X show was on and this is EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN IT
45 (95.7%)

An episode of X show was on and it didn't involve enough ticky boxes and that makes me sad.
22 (46.8%)

Date: Monday, April 17th, 2017 01:09 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theandrewhickey
I think that certainly *could* be a spoiler, but doesn't have to be.
For me, at least, the concept of spoilers only really works for certain kinds of entertainment -- ones where the plot is the main appeal, and where that plot is predicated on a surprise twist somewhere.
To take two murder mystery examples, it would be *very* easy to spoiler The Murder of Roger Ackroyd -- so much so that it would be impossible to discuss anything at all about the book sensibly. On the other hand, you could recount every event in The Name of the Rose and not, I think, spoil the story one iota -- the pleasure from that comes almost entirely from the way the story's told, not from the events that happen in it.
Personally, I take the attitude that very few things can really be spoiled -- I like the way in which old books and plays were called things like "The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by Pyrates."
I think it really does have to be on a case-by-case basis though. I've told people who want to read Philip Purser-Hallard's Devices books not even to learn the *title* of the second book until they've read the first, because it's a massive spoiler for a genuinely amazing twist half-way through the first book...

Date: Monday, April 17th, 2017 01:41 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theandrewhickey
I'm a very longwinded person ;)

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