Template talk:American folklore

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Criteria

I'm curious about the criteria for inclusion on this list. Are we making a judgment call on what should be considered "tall tales"? Or is there some reliable source out there that ranks "tall tales"? I'm particularly curious because of things like "Evangeline" being listed and, recently, the template was added to "Rip Van Winkle". When does an author's work of fiction become a "tall tale"? --Midnightdreary (talk) 10:57, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, I know it's been a while, Midnightdreary, but I'll take a shot at it. The distinction here appears to be that between a "tale" and a "tall tale", and how the story sounds to the listener/reader. Tell a tale and it may or may not sound "believable"; if it sounds so unbelievable that it's completely ludicrous, then it becomes a "tall tale". Alice in Wonderland springs to mind, as well as the Paul Bunyon stories. Tales of pink elephants and giant bean stalks are not far behind. I think that if a story is just too unbelievable for words, then it ranks as a "tall tale". Now that I think about it, I'm not so sure about the Alice stories. Another criterion might be that the tale must spring tall from "folklore".  —  Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  17:27, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Collapse state

In general it is bad form for navboxes to have "expanded" as the default state. Was there a reason this was done?

I'm going to set this to autocollapse but feel free to revert if there is an actual reason the "expanded" was necessary.

--Mcorazao (talk) 21:41, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

There is no reason why the default state of this template should be expanded. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 15:36, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Fearsome critters

Although I'm sure somebody is going to get mad ...

I added in Bigfoot and Chupacabra to the "Fearsome critters" section and removed the little comment about not including cryptids. IMHO this is a rather silly dividing line. Perhaps it is true that the term "Fearsome critters" does not apply to these (I have personally never heard that term and I rather question its use as a name for the section). But excluding these famous legends from this template seems gratuitous (Bigfoot in particular is more famous than all of the others). The technicality that some people classify Bigfoot as a cryptid and the Jackalope as a myth is a subtle distinction that is best avoided in this navbox. If "Fearsome critters" is not the best term (I don't really like it) then perhaps "Legendary animals" is a better title for the section. --Mcorazao (talk) 22:04, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Bigfoot, for example, is a very shy creature if it really does exist, so one cannot say that it is in any way "fearsome". And that, editor Mcorazao, is the dividing line. The "critters" in this template instill trembling fear with just a short story around a campfire. The term "fearsome critters" actually does have an interesting past, as told to me by another editor, Tripodero. He informs us as follows, and I quote...
Well-a-day, you recently changed "fearsome critters" to "fearful beasts" in the American folklore template. So I think it would be safe to assume that you did not know "fearsome critters" is a proper term (not something created by wikipedians) and so naturally it appears in the titles of books on the subject. A simple search will show you that it dates back to 1939, but probably goes back further in view that the very analogous, “fearsome creatures” was around since at least 1910. In addition the term was highlighted by folklorist Richard Dorson. To further clarify here are a few books that contain the term:

In title:

  • Tryon, Henry Harrington. Fearsome Critters. (Cornwall, NY: The Idlewild Press, 1939)
  • Schwartz, Alvin. Kickle Snifters and Other Fearsome Critters. (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1976)
  • Underwood, Muriel. Fearsome Critters: Folktales from the Forest and Desert. (Chicago: Miscellaneous Graphics, 1990)
  • Svensson, Richard. Fearsome Critters. (Sweden: self-published 2008)

In text:

  • Wyman, Walker D. Mythical Creatures of the North Country. (River Falls, WI: River Falls State University Press, 1969.)
  • Wyman, Walker D. Mythical Creatures of the USA and Canada. (River Falls, WI: Univ of Wisconsin Riverfalls Press,1978.)
  • Dorson, Richard M. Man and Beast in American Comic Legend. (Bloomington, IN: Indiana Univ. Press, 1982.)
I responded to Tripodero as follows...
I'll be honest with you, Tripodero, I am neutral on this matter. The only reason I made the group name change was because editor Mcorazao said on the (Template) Talk page that he didn't like the name "Fearsome critters" for that group. [...] Cheers!
So my name change to "Fearful beasts" has been reverted. If you have more you would like to share, then please feel free to do so!  —  Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  18:11, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Recent edits

The more entries there are in a category, the harder it is for readers to read. If anything more names can be pulled from the large category and placed in the smaller one, which I am in the process of completing.  —  Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  06:20, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Red links

First, "Sign painters" as a Cultural archetype??? Prove me wrong if you can, but I feel that's a stretch. I pulled the following red links out to keep them here until someone writes an article about them:

Most have been on this Navbar a long time. Windwagon Smith was recently added, and here's a website about him:


Review for New Criteria

I don't exactly know how this box got into its current shape, but I mean a box for American history, folklore, and tall tales? Really? The original purpose of this info box was meant for American folklore and that is exactly what it should be. There are certain historical figures that have meaningful connections in folklore, but since some have taken this to mean that they can add every last American historical figure. Here's my idea for new criteria. Unless the page is link to an article that is entirely folkloric in basis (such as Paul Bunyan, Hodag, etc.) or a folklore section on a page of historical figure. Those are the absolute ONLY articles that should be link to this box. I will leave this message up for a little while. If I receive no objections or discussion than I will go ahead and make the changes myself. This box in its current form is obtrusive and nearly useless.
--Tripodero (talk) 16:34, 08 June 2011 (UTC)

I understand what you mean, however I'm not sure I understand the "criteria" as you describe. For example, take Brushy Bill Roberts. He was a real, historic figure, however he was also connected to much folklore about Billy the Kid. He claimed to be The Kid having lived to an old age, and having survived the night when Pat Garrett shot him dead. Is this not a type of folklore even though two or three historic figures are at its base? – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  05:24, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Essentially my intent was for a folklore template to be link to folklore articles. You're really not linking so much to persons, more like to their legends. If you have an article of a historic figure who is connected with folklore, but the article is purely a historic one. Than it really doesn't belong. But if there is something in the article to the purpose. Than we ought to consider it. So you'll just have to use your best judgement in whether the article is essential factual or if it may also be relevant to myth. Or to put it more simply, the person is not basis. It is the actual Wikipedia article that must meet the criteria.
--Tripodero (talk) 14:27, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Okay, that makes sense. The tough part is just such an article as the one I mentioned. While "history" accepts that Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Pat Garrett, and considers all the claims that the Kid thwarted death and lived to a ripe old age to be, well, probably non-historic folklore, there is really no way of telling for certain. In this case, that is, the case of the article on Brushy Bill Roberts, it can probably be treated as non-historic lore, but there is no way to be certain; there is no "black and white" way of dealing with it. What I mean is, there will be some articles that one editor feels should be excluded, while another editor feels they should be included. So you may be in for a "fun" ride. – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  15:17, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Well if all you're asking for is an opinion. There is a section on Billy the Kid's article entitled, "People who claimed to be Billy the Kid." Which I'm sure could probably be worked in some way.
--Tripodero (talk) 00:21, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

I haven't checked it recently, but there should only be two people mentioned in that section in any detail... yes, just checked again. The first one, Brushy Bill, has his own article, having gained enough notability by becoming popular with many, many people, especially after that Young Guns II film. The other entry, John Miller, at one time had his own article, but it was deleted for lack of notability. Miller was only notable enough to receive "dishonorable"(?) mention in the BtK article. So I see no reason to have to deal with "sections" of articles in this template unless absolutely necessary. – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  18:19, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

- Agreed, but what do you propose? I know that we can't link to articles that are purely historic in nature, even if the individual has connections in folklore. We could just link to articles with such sections (given that the section is significant enough) instead of just linking to the sections. --Tripodero (talk) 16:07, 01 July 2011 (UTC)

Per the discussion page, seeing that no other solution has been proposed in a 7 month period and that this information box is rendered self-defeating in its current state. I am left with no other option, but to strip it of non-folkloric elements based on the contents of the pages it is linked to. This affects historical elements with relevance in folklore, but with no mention of such on their pages (unless, it is linked to a relevant folkloric section within a historical article).

--Tripodero (talk) 13:51, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Well done. And the TfD consensus clearly backs you up. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 14:26, 19 January 2012 (UTC)







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