• Member Since 27th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen Oct 26th, 2017

Mally


Horse words and horse word accessories.

More Blog Posts8

  • 255 weeks
    Spontaneous Writing Motivation

    Update: New job, new place, new av, new new. Apparently, this morning, sudden inspiration on the random Noir Fic that has, until now, existed only as a two word note on my Fic Notes document.

    Read More

    0 comments · 239 views
  • 300 weeks
    In the mood to do some writing

    But I'm really not sure which of my ideas I wish to focus on.

    So, I figure I'll let you, the two people who actually follow me /and/ give a fuck about my blog posts, to weigh in. Obviously, I can't very well post a link to my fic notes doc, as that would rather effectively spoil any and all of what I plan to do. But I can give short synopses of what I'm thinking of.

    Fic 1: Discord and Rime

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    1 comments · 231 views
  • 319 weeks
    In Touch With The Ground

    So on a whim, I wrote an Applefic. Just a slice of life day on the farm starring Applejack alone with the trees, her thoughts, and nature.

    It was kinda fun to sit down and just hammer it out like I did, and to be honest? I rather enjoyed being able to meander and not really have a 'point' to the story. No conflict, only Zuul appulz. It felt good. Cathartic, even.

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    0 comments · 208 views
  • 376 weeks
    Why am I doing this?

    For twelve years, you have been asking: Who is Twilight Sparkle?

    Motivation has struck. However, it's motivation to do something RETARDED.

    Gah.

    Also, hey, breaking my '1 blog post per 2 months' streak. Woo.

    3 comments · 252 views
  • 378 weeks
    Bluh

    Some of you may notice, particularly those of you who I'm supposed to be proofing for, that I have done all of jack and shit lately. Hell, I haven't even been really keeping current on my tracked stories, for christ's sake.

    Read More

    1 comments · 296 views
Feb
6th
2013

Things pony writers need to stop doing #41 · 12:37am Feb 6th, 2013

Alright. I read a lot of stories on here. Between reading for pleasure, and reading for proofreading purposes (when I have the time/energy), a lot of ponyfic crosses my eyes. And there's some pretty common mistakes made by writers that, otherwise, are hailed as some of the best in the fandom, or even outside of the fandom.

For shits and giggles, I will be listing off some of these more common issues in blog posts such as this one, and rattling off what's wrong with them, and why writers should watch out for them.

Some of these may spark arguments. There's a reason they're common issues: They're commonly accepted as 'proper', despite the fact that they are foolish mistakes. This one in particular I expect to get some discussion on, as it's such a huge thing, one that is frequently 'corrected' by comments and proofers into a mistaken form. That's the point of these posts. I'm not just listing pet peeves, I'm attempting to cause discussions and evaluations of long-held beliefs, to help people grow as writers and fans.

Thing pony writers need to stop doing #41
Over ponification.

Moderation in all things. This includes changing words to make them more pony. In this case, a little bit goes a long way. Obviously, there are some things that you're going to want to stick with. Hands, barring special story circumstances, belong on things not pony. But what of arms? Constantly one will see comments railing against the use of such a harmless word, but in all actuality, arm is correct. Horses do, in fact, have arms.

forearm: the area of the front leg between the knee and elbow, consisting of the fused radius and ulna, and all the tissue around these bones; anatomically, the antebrachium.

So referring to the front legs as arms? Anatomically correct, even in non-magical horses. In a series where ponies frequently stand upright, use their forehooves in place of hands, and strike human poses? Even more correct.
One might argue that quoting equine anatomy from Wikipedia doesn't say anything. Ponies ponify their words all the time, and they would NEVER refer to their forelimbs as arms!

Fluttershy: All right! Since you really wanna know... [inhales] The armscye's tight, the middy collar doesn't go with the shawl lapel, the hems are clearly machine-stitched, the pleats are uneven, the fabric looks like toile, you used a backstitch here when it clearly called for a topstitch or maybe a traditional blanket stitch and the overdesign is reminiscent of pret-a-porter and not true French haute couture. [pauses] But, uh... you know... um, whatever you want to do is fine.

Note the bolded word: It's a sewing term. It literally means 'armhole'.
Such a term wouldn't come into use without ponies referring to those front limbs as arms. It's just how language works. And honestly, it makes it a hell of a lot easier to distinguish WHICH set of legs you're talking about. Probably why they name things.

Second, horse puns. Used sparingly in the show, usually to denote locations, or names that are supposed to refer to real life figures. Not slathered all over every word like sauce on a rack of badly cooked ribs. Yes, we get it. They're horses. But not everything they do is horse-flavored. The biggest thing is 'every/any/nopony/somepony'. People constantly harp on writers who don't use these, who 'forget' and use things like 'everyone/anyone/no one/someone', or 'everybody/anybody/nobody/somebody'. Worse still is when ponies get confused when someone says one of the above terms, until it's 'clarified' to mean the pony equivalent.

Problem there is that in the show, everyone and everybody are used by the characters. As are someone/body, no one/body, and anyone/body. Frequently, in fact. They're really interchangeable. And no, the distinction in the show isn't 'are they referring to ponies, or nonponies?' There is no distinction. So stop making one. It's kinda redonkulous, and you look like an ass.

Another big offender is 'coltfriend'/'marefriend'/'fillyfriend'/'get it? we're horses!friend'. First, they sound idiotic. Second, the show never stoops so low as to use them. Third, ponies do know what a 'boy' and a 'girl', is. They use the terms frequently. Remember Twilight's infamous greeting in Lesson Zero? Or Rarity charming hapless suckers into providing their ride to the Gala? Precedent that girl doesn't need to auto-correct to filly, and boy to colt. The most damning nail in this particular word-replace coffin?

[Sweetie Belle]
Well nothing's wrong with this one.
He seems alright.
Scootaloo: His girlfriend sure thinks so.

Best line in the song, that. I don't see why so many people forget it.
Hell, the closest they come to really replacing the boyfriend/girlfriend bit is 'very special somepony'. So don't worry about dropping 'girl' and 'boy' from your pony vocabulary. You'll be more in line with canon if you DON'T, actually.

That takes me to one of the most egregious offenders. You know the one. The one that is CONSTANTLY used throughout the fandom, to the point that it's pretty much accepted as law. That... being foals, fillies/colts, and mare/stallion. Hard age brackets in real life. Used far more loosely in-universe. I'll deal with them one by one.

Foals
In the real world, a foal refers to an equine of either sex under one year of age. Now, ages for the characters in the show are up in the air, near as I can recall, but what we can see is that foals is used in two contexts. One is by Nightmare Moon during her various scenes of chastising the heroes, calling them 'weak little foals', and the like. This is commonly interpreted as her calling them fools, but perhaps a more fitting definition falls in line with the second context it's used in: Generic term for children. After all, NMM is really fucking old. So any mortal pony? A child compared to her. Second, kids are universally regarded as a weak thing. So calling someone a child is definitely a term that can be considered diminutive at best, and insulting at worst. Take into account the fact that fool is constantly used throughout the series unaltered, and this makes it far more likely she was pointing out "you all are a bunch of punk bitch kids compared to me, suck my dick".
In terms of the second context used, you see it being used to refer to children collectively. Foal Free Press is one particular example, but the other two big examples are Cadence being referred to as Twilight's foalsitter (which, if you just do a straight word replace, implies the fandom use of 'foal = baby'), but babysitters are far more commonly used for school age children. And during flashbacks when ponies are using the term, they're hardly the bug-eyed monstrosities that the newborn Cakes are. They're just little versions of themselves. Example:

Fluttershy: But that was different, that was an emergency! This whole tornado thing, it's more like a performance, and you know how I hate performing in front of others. Don't you remember flight camp? I couldn't gallop hard, or fly fast, not with everypony looking at me!
Rainbow Dash: It wasn't that bad.
Fluttershy: You're right, Rainbow Dash, it wasn't bad. It was horrible!
Filly Fluttershy: [gasping] [yelps]
Fluttershy: The other foals used to tease me, a lot!
Fillies: [chanting] Fluttershy, Fluttershy, Fluttershy can hardly fly! [repeats, begins echoing, then stops]
Fluttershy: I just can't risk that sort of humiliation again.

Fluttershy is clearly not a baby in this scene, and I rather doubt that even a sissy bitch like Shy is getting bullied by babies. Hence, foals is essentially a replacement for 'kids'.

Filly/Colt
In the real world, a filly or a colt is a female/male equine between one year and four years old. Thus, a filly is obviously a female child, and a colt is a male child. Right? Well, not quite. Both are used frequently in reference to younger ponies. Filly shows up rather often when starting a flashback, in fact. But that's not the only times they are used. In "Baby Cakes", Rarity is wondering if the new baby is a 'filly or a colt'. Neither would apply in the real world, but here it's the age old first question of 'is it a boy or a girl?'. Sex identifier, pure and simple. Later in the episode, Pinkie yells at Pound to 'get down here this instant, young colt!' And in "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000', Flim asks Applejack...

Flim: Young filly, I would be ever so honored if you might see fit to let my brother and I borrow some of your delicious, and might I add spell-bindingly fragrant apples for our little demonstration here?

Everyone has, at some point, been referred to as 'young man' or 'young lady', usually by their parents, and usually when they're in trouble. Here's the equivalent. Applejack is likely not a child at this point. She'd likely be a young woman at this point.
And as always, I save the most damning evidence for last. Something we hear incredibly often is "Fillies and Gentlecolts!" Now, while MLP is in fact a show for children, it is not a show starring ONLY children. The obvious replacement is our 'Ladies and Gentlemen'. Not 'Boys and Girls'. A variant shows up later in 'Mares and Gentlecolts', which just sounds dumb, and I think tries to remedy this fandom idea. Worse yet is 'I now pronounce you mare and colt'. According to fandom? Shining must be underage. He most certainly isn't, or else Equestria's child labor laws need to be called into question...

Mare/Stallion
Honestly? Neither of these are used very much in the series. In real life, either refers to a horse older than four years of age. In universe... well, it mostly follows this. Granted, mare really only shows up in reference to the Mare in the Moon, and Mare Do Well, but it shows up once or twice otherwise. One particular case? Twilight genderbending Applejack during "Magic Duel". "I can turn a mare into a stallion." Again, mare and stallion seem to mostly be used as a sex identifier. At least in this case, however, it beats the other fandom interpretations by dint of having thus far only been used in relation to adults. Still, 'lady' is used by Rarity often, and is hardly in need of replacement.

I could list off several other issues with word replacement that really doesn't need to happen, or flat out SHOULDN'T happen. But I'll end with this last point.

*The common fandom terms for gay and lesbian are colt cuddler and filly fooler, respectively.
*The common fandom term for a male child or a female child is colt and filly, respectively.

See why rampant, inaccurate word replacement causes issues?

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Comments ( 3 )

I think this should be noted- Rarity's use of the term "Lady" is done in the sense that humans often use it in- to mean someone of fine, sometimes even noble upbringing and someone who's very well-mannered. It's a bit more specific here, hence the fact that "Lady" doesn't see nearly as much use as "Mare," and neither "Man" nor "Woman" see any use in the series. While I do despise overponification (it does annoy me when I'm told that "everyone" should be replaced with "Everypony" even though "One" does not denote species and has been used in the course of the series), there is a reason for a lot of it.

I stumbled upon this post a little while back and it was INSANELY helpful. It was my first time writing a story within the MLP universe and this guide answered a lot of questions that I had, as well as prevented a few mistakes I would have made.

So, thank you, random internet stranger!

1048497

I'm glad my listing of pet peeves and inconsistencies between fanon and canon could help!

I'll likely do another one of these at some point. Not sure what on; the things I listed were the ones that really bugged.

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