Someone changed some keywords and I'm curious which should be correct

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As of a couple of days ago, there were keywords "black-panther-character" and "black-widow-character". Someone seems to have changed these to "black-panther-the-character" and "black-widow-the-character". This seems to be inconsistent and against the guide.

Per the guide: "-character Used to denote a character's appearance in a title. The formatting should be presented as the name of the character first, followed by "-character". So, for Star Wars, we'd list Han Solo as "Han-Solo-character". "

I have no idea why someone would add "the" into keyword as "-character" is a known special type of keyword.
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Adrian, Champion

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Posted 9 months ago

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J.

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I don't see why black-panther-character needed to become black-panther-the-character, but we may need to use the-character sometimes in keywords. Look at this list of the-character keywords, and you'll see that some of them would be confusing without the word the, e.g. goofy-the-character, wimpy-the-character, icon-the-character, speedy-the-character, etc.

I would prefer black-panther-(character), goofy-(character), wimpy-(character), etc., but IMDb long ago banished the parentheses from keywords. I wish they'd reconsider and bring them back. Wikipedia needs them for their article titles, and most keywords are like the titles of Wikipedia articles.
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Adrian, Champion

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The parenthesis make it even more awful, in my opinion.

Most of the confusion could be solved by contributors actually reading the guide. The "-character" keyword is a reserved keyword with a specific meaning. So, "goofy-character" doesn't refer to some random character who may act goofy. It refers to Goofy, the character.
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J.

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Why would you dislike having parentheses?
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Adrian, Champion

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It's a style thing. It just doesn't look right and would probably look even worse on the page that shows keywords as it would be "goofy (character)". It just doesn't look right in English. Parenthesis should be used for an aside, not a main condition which character would be.
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Vincent Fournols

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Adrian,

for what it's worth, I think it is mostly a metter of habit. Moreover "Goofy (character)" looks a lot like a Wikipedia kind of presentation (e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_McQueen_(director)) and therefore perfectly alright for me.

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Peter, Champion

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"Most of the confusion could be solved by contributors actually reading the guide."

Keywords are not just for contributors who read submission guides. They should preferably make sense to the casual IMDb user.
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Adrian, Champion

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However, Peter we are talking about people that contributed keywords and/or changed existing keywords. Anyone contributing to IMDb most definitely should read the submission guidelines. This would actually fix a lot of inconsistencies across IMDb.
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Peter, Champion

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When you say "goofy-character" doesn't refer to a character who may act goofy, the casual user will not know that.
(Edited)
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Adrian, Champion

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There is a cure for ignorance. It's called, read the manual (which is readily available and anyone that wants to use IMDb and is confused by how it works should do.) Casual users don't understand many of the different roles that are listed in the cast department or even in a specialized department like writers. Yet, we continue to enter them correctly whether anyone else understands them or not.
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Adrian, Champion

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Also, I've been entering keywords for a while and I don't think most people enter keywords like "goofy-character" anymore. In fact, character is rarely used in keywords, outside of it's intended usage as a specific keyword.

I can think of two examples of where I've seen character used outside of specifying an actual character. First, is the "title spoken by character" type keyword. The second is "character says ...." type keyword. These are fairly generic and something that should be expected so that they transcend specifics for a given title.
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Jeorj Euler

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There is no cure for somebody else's ignorance, if we are ignorant of that person's ignorance.
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Adrian, Champion

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Jeorj,

I think most people are willing to learn when gaps in their knowledge are pointed out.
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Joel, Employee

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Hi Adrian,

Thanks for your post.

I have corrected the keywords now to reflect our guide more accurately.

Have a great day.

Joel 
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Bradley Kent

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I am glad to see this issue raised, and to see the staff respond.  However, there in a problem with almost ANY universal keyword, since almost ALL keywords have exceptions.

The "-character" addendum works quite well for character names, especially those with a first and last name, but an exception is a character name that is also an adjective, i.e. goofy-character.  (Is that a character NAMED Goofy, or a character who IS goofy, silly, etc.)

Anther example: The "-character" addendum works well for a proper name, i.e. abraham-lincoln-character, but NOT for something like one-eyed-character.  (Is that a character NAMED one-eyed, or  a character who only has one eye?)

The guidelines should either note these exceptions, or should be revised to change the "-character" addendum to "-the-character" addendum.  The "-the-character" addendum could be more universally applied, although there are probably exceptions..
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Adrian, Champion

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I believe the "-character" keyword is intended to only apply to named characters or real life people. So, goofy-character would solely apply to the Disney Goofy character. For general goofy usage, you should use something more specific like "goofy-man" or "goofy-child".
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Bradley Kent

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That's probably right, but how would a user know that a keyword like one-eyed-character applied to a man or woman or whatever, and not be a character named one-eyed?  Should those kinds of keywords be deleted or corrected if it is not clear if it is a boy or girl or whatever?

Again, the "-the-character" keyword would clearly refer to a named character, while the "-character" addendum would refer to a description.

Another example:  "gay-character"refers to a character who is gay, NOT to a character who is named Gay."  "gay-the-charcter" would do that.
(Edited)
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Adrian, Champion

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As we say in the software world, RTFM (read the f!!!ing manual). You are never going to make things clear to everyone one. If that were possible, we wouldn't need the contribution guides.
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Vincent Fournols

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Adrian,

If you are in the software world, and especially in support, then you should know that the user (almost) NEVER reads the manual, nor IMDb user browse the help...

Or maybe once they are familiar and interested and want to learn more!
(Edited)
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Adrian, Champion

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While true Vincent, if anyone asks how something should work, this is the first answer they will get!
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Bradley Kent

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I have the keyword guidelines taped to the wall, and use them all the time.  And I work to always adhere to those guidelines.  However, the "-character" addendum guidelines are in need of clarification and revision.  I know that satisfying everyone will never happen, but guidelines should be continually revised to clearly reflect the reality as much as possible.

And just think:  If the old Characters section of IMDb had not been removed, most of these concerns would not be happening.  I suspect that there are millions of old character listings that are no longer a part of IMDb, and have not, as of yet, been converted into keywords as directed.  
(Edited)
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Bradley Kent

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Two other examples why "-the-character" should be the norm:  "robin-the-character" refers specifically to batman's sidekick, while "robin-character" could refer to any "robin" bird character (especially in animated titles); and,
"tigress-the-character"  refers to a specific character, while "tigress-character" could refer ro a generalized female tiger feline.

One refers to THE robin/tigress character, while the other refers too ANY robin/tigress character.

I hope the staff responds to this info.
(Edited)
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Adrian, Champion

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Sorry Bradley, but neither example that you gives provides a compelling interest to change IMDb to use "the-character".

First, (and again) "-character" is a specialized keyword for IMDb. What precedes it should be a nearly ubiquitous name. So, "robin-character" should represent a nearly unique Robin that almost everyone should be familiar with. In this case, are there more Robins than Batman's sidekick? I can't think of any that would have more identifying information.

Second, even outside IMDb guidelines, there would be no point in identifying a generic robin in a feature for keywords a "robin-character" when the keyword "robin" would suffice.
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Bradley Kent

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You're probably right.  Woody Woodpecker, for example, would have both woody-woodpecker-character and cartoon-woodpecker as keywords.  (There could be a cartoon-robin.)

But... what about "one-eyed"? And "gay"? And all the other adjectives that could be used as an antecedent for a noun?

Like: blind-character, mute-character, lesbian-character, limping character, disabled-character, etc., etc, etc.  These COULD be misconstrued as the "name" of a character.  With the "-the-character," this would be avoided.

I am trying to make specific distinctions.  Or, maybe I am just being picayune. 
(Edited)
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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Bradley.
Your incessant whining about keywords is getting old. You would remove all politically incorrect keywords if you had your way.
Your point was made on the other post You started. If your intention is to deviate from the original topic here, it is best you go back and make those comments on your own original posting.

Thanks
Cheers
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Adrian, Champion

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Again, the "-character" is a specialized keyword. You shouldn't have a keyword "gay-character" to refer to a generic gay character. (In fact, you probably shouldn't have a keyword "gay-character" at all as there is no unique character named "Gay".) It should be "gay-man", "gay-woman" or "gay-hippopotamus". The same for one-eyed and all the rest. Those keywords should not exist at all. There are better ways of describing what you want.
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Bradley Kent

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Here are other possible solutions:

(1) Use the "-character" addendum exclusively for character names, factual or fictional;

(2) Covert the keywords that currently have the "-character" addendum, and that DO NOT refer to a character, into a noun version of the adjective, i.e. blind-character becomes blindness; OR

(3) convert the keywords that correct have the "-character" addendum, and that DO NOT refer to a character, so that the noun is (IF KNOWN) man, woman, boy, girl,  etc, OR to the more general word "person," i.e., blind-character into blind-person.

By the way,I am NOT whining, but looking for a solution.
(Edited)
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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B-K
Rubbish PC Gobbledigoop.
Stick to the already establish rules
As Adrian said above./.....Read The F...........................
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Bradley Kent

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If "-character," as currently stated in the guidelines, is not to be changed into "-the-character" when it refers to a proper name, please convert all of the following to the currently preferred "-character" keyword:

q-the-character (11 titles) one-character (8 titles) character (92 titles) goofy-the-character (132 titles) pluto-the-character (127 titles) ratchet-the-character (59 titles) jazz-the-character (48 titles) rumble-the-character (47 titles) skywarp-the-character (44 titles) prowl-the-character (40 titles) flash-the-character (1 title) hound-the-character (35 titles) mirage-the-character (32 titles) ravage-the-character (31 titles) robin-the-character (32 titles) brawn-the-character (31 titles) honey-the-character (30 titles) blaster-the-character (28 titles) huffer-the-character (28 titles) gears-the-character (27 titles) joker-the-character (28 titles) ramjet-the-character (26 titles) dirge-the-character (24 titles) rollbar-the-character (24 titles) hook-the-character (24 titles) kup-the-character (22 titles) ro-tor-the-character (22 titles) thrust-the-character (22 titles) scourge-the-character (22 titles) skydive-the-character (21 titles) cyclops-the-character (21 titles) tracks-the-character (19 titles) warpath-the-character (19 titles) inferno-the-character (19 titles) hoist-the-character (19 titles) blurr-the-character (17 titles) air-raid-the-character (17 titles) sludge-the-character (17 titles) sky-lynx-the-character (16 titles) cyborg-the-character (20 titles) swindle-the-character (15 titles) brawl-the-character (15 titles) arcee-the-character (15 titles) riddler-the-character (14 titles) slag-the-character (14 titles) snarl-the-character (14 titles) wheelie-the-character (14 titles) iceman-the-character (14 titles) vortex-the-character (13 titles) dead-end-the-character (13 titles) samson-the-character (12 titles) tyke-the-character (12 titles) atom-the-characterninjor-the-character (12 titles) galactus-the-character (12 titles) swoop-the-character (11 titles) delilah-the-character (11 titles) impulse-the-character (11 titles) rocket-the-character (11 titles) two-face-the-character (11 titles) cosmos-the-character (11 titles) wedge-the-character (11 titles) bane-the-character (11 titles) penguin-the-character (11 titles) grapple-the-character (9 titles) frenzy-the-character (9 titles) hot-spot-the-character (8 titles) wimpy-the-character (8 titles) r.e.v.-the-character (8 titles) scrappy-the-character (8 titles) skyfire-the-character (8 titles) menasor-the-character (8 titles) groove-the-character (8 titles) hot-shot-the-character (8 titles) falcon-the-character (10 titles) w.a.r.s.-the-character (8 titles) hot-rod-the-character (8 titles) phoenix-the-character (8 titles) blades-the-character (7 titles) tantrum-the-character (7 titles) rampage-the-character (7 titles) octane-the-character (7 titles) brainiac-the-character (7 titles) unicron-the-character (7 titles) landfill-the-character (7 titles) butch-the-character (7 titles) vision-the-character (8 titles) icon-the-character (6 titles) blot-the-character (6 titles) brain-the-character (6 titles) blade-the-character (6 titles) venom-the-character (7 titles) ramhorn-the-character (5 titles) mammoth-the-character (5 titles) klarion-the-character (5 titles) psimon-the-character (5 titles) shimmer-the-character (5 titles) wasp-the-character (7 titles) strafe-the-character (5 titles) tow-line-the-character (5 titles) freeway-the-character (4 titles) goldbug-the-character (4 titles) chase-the-character (4 titles) roller-the-character (4 titles) speedy-the-character (4 titles) ratbat-the-character (4 titles) fixit-the-character (4 titles) arsenal-the-character (3 titles) oracle-the-character (3 titles) bizarro-the-character (3 titles) brick-the-character (3 titles) cookie-the-character (3 titles) buzzsaw-the-character (3 titles) cheetah-the-character (3 titles) mayor-the-character (3 titles) katana-the-character (3 titles) scamper-the-character (3 titles) man-bat-the-character (3 titles) misfire-the-character (3 titles) outback-the-character (3 titles) apeface-the-character (3 titles) hardhead-the-character (3 titles) mongul-the-character (3 titles) slapper-the-character (3 titles) lockjaw-the-character (3 titles) shocker-the-character (3 titles) rhino-the-character (3 titles) lobo-the-character (3 titles) wotan-the-character (2 titles) t-ai-the-character (2 titles) pipes-the-character (2 titles) punch-the-character (2 titles) rewind-the-character (2 titles) sky-byte-the-character (2 titles) tarzan-the-character (2 titles) slammer-the-character (2 titles) movor-the-character (2 titles) red-hood-the-character (2 titles) desaad-the-character (2 titles) hacker-the-character (2 titles) anarky-the-character (2 titles) skid-z-the-character (2 titles) it-the-character (2 titles) skids-the-character (2 titles) drift-the-character (2 titles) cable-the-character (2 titles) h.e.r.b.i.e.-the-character (2 titles) dracula-the-character (1 title) ai-chan-the-character (1 title) piglet-the-character (1 title) static-the-character (1 title) noah-the-character (1 title) neutron-the-character (1 title) famine-the-character (1 title) vykin-the-character (1 title) kobra-the-character (1 title) gaskunk-the-character (1 title) deadman-the-character (1 title) parasite-the-character (1 title) medusa-the-character (1 title) kelly-the-character (1 title) destiny-the-character (1 title) harm-the-character (1 title) x-car-the-character (1 title) igor-the-character (1 title) match-the-character (1 title) dreamer-the-character (1 title) ox-the-character (1 title) x-brawn-the-character (1 title) sauron-the-character (1 title) chemo-the-character (1 title) war-the-character (1 title) tula-the-character (1 title) bear-the-character (1 title) goliath-the-character (1 title) heptor-the-character (1 title) serifan-the-character (1 title) atom-man-the-character (1 title) toyman-the-character (1 title) j-four-the-character (1 title) despero-the-character (1 title) wizard-the-character (1 title) psyche-character (1 title) ubu-the-character (1 title) tonto-the-character (1 title) king-tut-the-character (1 title) aladdin-the-character (1 title) merlin-the-character (1 title) etrigan-the-character (1 title) airazor-the-character (1 title) storm-the-character (1 title) 

I have been, as guided, submitting corrections to the "-character" addendum, but this produces some astonishing results.  The most absurd is changing "pseudo-the-character" to "pseudo-character"!  Totally inane.

I once again appeal to the keyword list manager to revise the guidelines and convert the keywords with the "-character" addendum that refer to a character, factual or fictional, to "-the-character" addendum.

This would alleviate a lot of  confusion, including many other keywords that now have the word "character" in them, but do not refer to a proper name.  By converting all that refer to a proper name to the "-keyword" addendum, this merges a lot of keywords in lists and results only in confusion.

If the guidelines are so revised, I will work on the conversion of the "-character" addendum into the more appropriate "-the-character" addendum.  Otherwise, I retire from any such conversions involving the word "character" and leave the confusion and contradiction to current IMDb guidelines, and leave any other such corrections to others.
(Edited)
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J.

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I wonder if the staff could treat the word "character" as special and automatically add parentheses to it. A contributor would type in black-panther-character and the system would automatically make it black-panther-(character). I wonder if that could be quickly and easily done.

They would also have to add the parentheses to all the existing character keywords. After that, the cleanup would be relatively easy for contributors.

I wonder if that could all be done with a minimum of the staff's time.
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Bradley Kent

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An interesting suggestion, but the parentheses would serve exactly the same function as the "-the-character" addendum.

Also, the word "character" in keywords does not always refer to a proper name, so the parentheses coould possibly be incorrectly added to keywords that are not referring to a character's name.
(Edited)
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Bradley Kent

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The original poster of this thread got a response.  How about me?
(Edited)
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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What About Bob?

How about that. A full deck of Keywords! (52)
(Edited)
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Bradley Kent

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Instead of participating in a supposedly witty game of "tit-for-tat" that can deteriorate into the name calling of other contributors, I choose to apply John Dewey's Process of Reflective Thinking:

1. Locate and define the problem
2. Explore the problem
2. Suggest possible solutions to the problem
4. Test and evaluate each possible solution
5. Select the best solution

With that in mind, here's another possible solution:

Amend the Character guidelines so that it concludes with the following:

Exception:  When a character name is an adjective, or can be interpreted as an adjective, use the "-the-character" addendum instead of the "-character" addendum, i.e. "pseudo-the-character" instead of "pseudo-character."
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Michelle, Official Rep

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Hi Bradley -

As mentioned in our guide, the use of "-character" should only be applied to named fictional characters or fictional portrayals of real life people, such as "scooby-doo-character" and "bill-clinton-character", we should not be referring to named characters as "scooby-doo-the-character" or "bill-clinton-the-character".  Instances where you are seeing "-the-character" being used, should be corrected to the appropriate formatting.

For descriptive characters, as Adrian mentioned, we should be using more specific keywords when describing character attributes, so instead of "blind-character" we prefer more specificity, such as "blind-dog" or "blind-child", which better allows users to discover titles they are interested in.
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Bradley Kent

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Thanks for the response. Can the conversion of "-the-character" to "-character" be done by the staff, as requested above?

This statement of policy, however, still does nor consider a character whose name is an adjective, I.e. goofy-the-character instead of goofy-character.  

  • Also, to Adrian's comment, yes, we should be more specific, but often the specifics are not clear. In those cases, perhaps the noun version of the adjective should be used.  For example, instead of blind-character, use blindness.
One can, in fact, make a good case that, for almost all keywords, a noun should be used instead of an adjective.  An adjective can be used as a modifier, but a stand-alone adjective should be on the list of unacceptable keywords.

And, there also seems to be a preference for the "thing" rather than the "person."  If you have murder, there is understandably a  murderer and murder-victim.  If there is rape, there is no need for rapist and rape-victim.  If there is gambling, there is no need for gambler.  Etc.

What do you think?

P.S. I realize that there are always exceptions.


(Edited)
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Michelle, Official Rep

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Hi Bradley -

Rest assured that I did run the conversation by our editors, and we prefer to retain the use of "-character" for named character keywords.

When a character's name is an adjective, such as character names from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs": Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, etc., these characters should still be listed with the attribute mentioned above (sleepy-character, sneezy-character, grumpy-character).  If a film features a character who has a grumpy disposition and you want to capture this in a keyword, you should enter the keyword with the adjective followed by the noun, such as: grumpy-old-man or sneezy-dog.

I hope this helps clarify our listing preferences!
(Edited)
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Bradley Kent

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Thanks.  I will, of course, adhere to this guideline.

Can the staff correct the keywords that I mentioned above?
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Will, Official Rep

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Hi Bradley Kent,

I've now converted the 5,700 incorrectly formatted "-the-character" keywords to the correct "-character" format. I've also put in some internal mappings to convert these to the correct format for other new additions.

Regards,
Will
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Bradley Kent

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Thanks.  I still disagree with this decision since it adds a lot of  confusion, but I will be diligent about the issue and work ot conform when I find relevant mistakes.  Thanks, again.
(Edited)
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Bradley Kent

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Resolution rocks!  Now, about these other keyword problems...