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adrenalin or adrenaline

awnlee jawking

Which spelling do you prefer and why?

AJ

Replies:   REP  Switch Blayde
REP

@awnlee jawking

The one that means I won't have to add the other to my spell checker's dictionary.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@REP

The one that means I won't have to add the other to my spell checker's dictionary.

Good choice!

awnlee jawking

I've noticed it used by four authors in the past week.

Dutch and Australian used 'adrenalin'.

The 2 USA authors used 'adrenaline'.

Not a statistically significant sample but enough to make me wonder whether the difference was between US and British English.

AJ

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

Which spelling do you prefer and why?


I think "adrenaline" because I didn't know you could spell it the other way.

How about: catalog/catalogue and dialog/dialogue?

All of the above are correct, but I use "catalog" and "dialogue." Go figure.

REP

@awnlee jawking

difference was between US and British English.


On a serious note, I prefer spellings that reflect pronunciation. I pronounce the word with a soft 'i'. A silent 'e' requires a hard 'i', so I would prefer the spelling to be 'adrenalin'.

Ernest Bywater

both spellings are accepted in modern English, and I usually go with the one the current spell checker approves of - simply to get rid of the red squiggly line.

Ross at Play

According to the Google site ngram, in both British and American English with the 'e' ending overtook without about 1950 and is now used about 80% of the time.
I think 'with' is correct according to the conventions for the naming of chemicals.
In everyday speech it is pronounced as if it was 'without'.

Geek of Ages

@Switch Blayde

How about: catalog/catalogue and dialog/dialogue?


I use "dialogue" to mean a conversation between two people; however when a computer pops up a window to ask/tell you something, that is a "dialog [box/window]". If it is asking, it can also be called a prompt.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I think "adrenaline" because I didn't know you could spell it the other way.

How about: catalog/catalogue and dialog/dialogue?

All of the above are correct, but I use "catalog" and "dialogue." Go figure.

Split the difference and go for "adrenalogue"! 'D

But I suspect it's yet another U.S. vs. British Empire difference. Though, technically, "Adrenalin" is a Trademark, NOT the actual name of the chemical but the brand name of a synthetic. I imagine it's regional usage is affected by where Adranalin was first developed and marketed, causing it to be treated like "aspirin", where the brand names becomes the generic name.

I'd stick with "adrenaline" (lowercase "A"), as it's the actual name of the naturally occurring chemical in the body, rather than a trademarked brand name.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Geek of Ages

I use "dialogue" to mean a conversation between two people; however when a computer pops up a window to ask/tell you something, that is a "dialog [box/window]". If it is asking, it can also be called a prompt.

According to Grammarist, "dialog" is a purely American variation, and refers specifically to a particular technical use in computer. While the word has migrated to other U.S. usages, it's not an accepted usage anywhere (i.e. it hasn't yet become widespread enough to worry about). Thus I'd stick with "dialogue".

By the way, anytime a U.S. vs. British spelling question arises, simply search for "spelling 1 vs spelling 2" and Google will lead you directly to the correct answer. Searching for the word alone will reveal nothing!

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

By the way, anytime a U.S. vs. British spelling question arises, simply search for "spelling 1 vs spelling 2" and Google will lead you directly to the correct answer. Searching for the word alone will reveal nothing!

That's what I just did.
'Dialog' was virtually unknown in both BrE and AmE until 1980, and has been rising every since.
In AmE, 'dialog' is now more common than 'dialogue'.
In BrE, 'dialogue' remains much more common than 'dialog'.

I note what others have said about 'dialog' being preferred for computer related uses. For other uses, my opinion would be only 'dialogue' is acceptable in BrE, but you could probably use either in AmE.

Replies:   sejintenej
BlacKnight

@Geek of Ages

I use "dialogue" to mean a conversation between two people; however when a computer pops up a window to ask/tell you something, that is a "dialog [box/window]". If it is asking, it can also be called a prompt.


As an American writer of both novels and computer programs, I'll second this. When your computer pops up a window in the middle of your screen and forces you to make a selection before it'll continue doing what you told it to, that's a "dialog box", and I'd consider "dialogue box" to be incorrect.

On the other hand, when two characters are having a conversation in a novel, that's "dialogue", and I'd consider "dialog" in that context to be incorrect.

As for "catalog"/"catalogue", I tend to use "catalog" as a noun, and "catalogue" as a verb. ("Let me put that in the catalog," vs. "Let me catalogue that.")

My browser's spellchecker thinks "catalogue" is wrong. It's fine with both spellings of "dialog[ue]".

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@BlacKnight

As an American writer of both novels and computer programs, I'll second this. When your computer pops up a window in the middle of your screen and forces you to make a selection before it'll continue doing what you told it to, that's a "dialog box", and I'd consider "dialogue box" to be incorrect.

At least until Alexa starts having in-depth discussions, then it would be a 'dialogue cylinder'.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Geek of Ages

@Crumbly Writer

"dialog" is a purely American variation, and refers specifically to a particular technical use in computer. While the word has migrated to other U.S. usages, it's not an accepted usage anywhere (i.e. it hasn't yet become widespread enough to worry about). Thus I'd stick with "dialogue".


As an American who programs for a living, I will do exactly as I said: "dialogue" is for people talking, "dialog" is for computer interaction.

Especially as the official UI/UX documentation (and this one and this one) along with the underlying code objects all use "dialog".

I'd say it's a perfectly accepted usage.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Geek of Ages

As an American who programs for a living, I will do exactly as I said: "dialogue" is for people talking, "dialog" is for computer interaction.

I'm not objecting, I was just trying to explain where 'dialogue' came from and why it's spreading beyond its initial limited usages. However, I'm not fond of accepting word usage creep until it's a done deal. When I said, "I'd stick with 'dialogue'", I meant for normal conversations.

Capt. Zapp

@Crumbly Writer

At least until Alexa starts having in-depth discussions...


Ain't gonna happen here. One of the first things I did was turn that thing OFF.

Replies:   Joe Long
awnlee jawking

@Geek of Ages

The way language is changing, I expect Americans to switch to exclusively 'log' in the near future and subsequently the whole English-speaking world following suit.

Catalog, Dialog, Prolog, Epilog etc.

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

The way language is changing, I expect Americans to switch to exclusively 'log' in the near future and subsequently the whole English-speaking world following suit.
Catalog, Dialog, Prolog, Epilog etc.

I don't expect to become too depressed about the others, at least not within my lifetime.
The ngrams data suggests:
* Epilog has always been very low in both BrE and AmE.
* Prolog (for some reason) took off in the 1980s, in both AmE and BrE, but has since faded out to almost nothing in BrE and low in AmE.
* Catalogue looks doomed in AmE: catalog has been rising steadily and is now up over 60%. But it BrE it rose to the low teens during the 1960s and has not budged since.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

How about cheesylog? ;)

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

The way language is changing, I expect Americans to switch to exclusively 'log' in the near future and subsequently the whole English-speaking world following suit.

Alas, readers are sticklers, they like consistency. While the rest of the public may switch over time, I doubt words like "dialogue", "prologue" or "epilogue" will change nearly as fast. However, that may be more blind trust than a realistic evaluation.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

How about cheesylog?

Don't worry, all of my epilogues are cheesy! Yummy.

Geek of Ages

@awnlee jawking

Prolog


I learned that language in college, though I've since forgotten most of it

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Geek of Ages

I learned that language in college, though I've since forgotten most of it

It was abandoned, because of the misspellings.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

That was a test for Ross if he's feeling playful. I had no idea what a cheesylog was until it appeared in my twitter feed.

AJ

Joe Long

@Capt. Zapp

At least until Alexa starts having in-depth discussions...


She couldn't even find my story here. I thought maybe she could read it out loud.

"Alexa, suck my dick."

"I'm sorry, I do not have enough information to..."

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

How about cheesylog? ;)

WTF?
He directs that at me??? Why?
What on earth is the Crazy Brexiter on about this time?

@Crumbly Writer
Don't worry, all of my epilogues are cheesy! Yummy.

Sorry, CW ... garbage in, garbage out!

Then the Loonie Leaver explains (?) himself with ...

That was a test for Ross if he's feeling playful. I had no idea what a cheesylog was until it appeared in my twitter feed.

I don't have twits' feed, so I've no idea what he saw.

Then, I try looking up what 'cheesylog' means and I can only find:
* a log made of cheese.
* a name some crazy Brits have for woodlice.
That's it!

Oh dear, AJ. Oh dearie, dearie me.
Whatever your test was ... you failed.
You've got far more important things to be testing than my level of playfulness!
I suggest you start by getting yourself tested for woodlice in the head.
That might explain your notion that Brexit seems like a good idea.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

I think this thread has run it's course and should be put to sleep.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

* a name some crazy Brits have for woodlice.


Correct. A+. The lad done good ;)

AJ

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Don't worry, all of my epilogues are cheesy! Yummy.

The only thing more cheesy and cheesier than that joke is saying that joke is cheesy.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

The only thing more cheesy and cheesier than that joke is


How about Macaroni and cheese with extra Parmesan?

Replies:   Dominions Son
BlacKnight

@Ross at Play

* Prolog (for some reason) took off in the 1980s, in both AmE and BrE, but has since faded out to almost nothing in BrE and low in AmE.

The computer language Prolog was introduced in 1972. I don't think I've ever seen that spelling refer to anything else.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Ross at Play


For other uses, my opinion would be only 'dialogue' is acceptable in BrE


As a Brit. I agree and would say the same about the other mentioned "ue" words which Americans love to castrate

Incidentally, reading a story about American football there is a reference to "tailgating" which appears to be a social thing; over here it is an offence - you would at least get fined and perhaps lose your driving licence for being to close to the other vehicle! ;-)

sejintenej

@BlacKnight

The computer language Prolog was introduced in 1972. I don't think I've ever seen that spelling refer to anything else.

Exactly; it is a created and registered name just as the crazy spelling (and capitalisation) of iPad is

awnlee jawking

@BlacKnight

SOL Advanced Search turned up 13 references, of which the majority appeared to be a variant of 'prologue'.

Bizarrely 'epilog' gets 134 hits.

AJ

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

How about Macaroni and cheese with extra Parmesan?


That would be Krafty.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

That would be Krafty.


or a Coon activity.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sejintenej

Incidentally, reading a story about American football there is a reference to "tailgating" which appears to be a social thing; over here it is an offence


If talking about traffic, tailgating is an offense over here too.

However, in sports, and it's not just football, there is a tradition of fans gathering in a stadium parking lot before the game starts and having a cookout at the back end (tailgate) of one of their parked vehicles.

This reference started with pickup trucks and SUVs. The back fold down gate of a pickup is officially called a tailgate. The rear door/hatch on an SUV is also known as a tailgate. Some older SUVs had a split rear door where the window goes up and out and the lower half goes down and out like on a pickup.

The tailgating tradition started with these kinds of vehicles where the tailgate was used as a counter/table with a small portable grill to cook the food.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater


or a Coon activity.


Kraft is a US based food companies. A quick prep Mac & cheese is one of their main lines.

A few years ago, they ran an ad campaign aimed at kids claiming that their macaroni and cheese had more and better quality cheese than their competitors.

The tag line for these adds was the kids re-naming the Product from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese to Kraft Cheese & Macaroni.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

A few years ago, they ran an ad campaign aimed at kids claiming that their macaroni and cheese had more and better quality cheese than their competitors.


Oh dear, the archetypal 'plastic cheese' company has better quality cheese than its competitors? I really feel for Americans. :(

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@Joe Long

"Alexa, suck my dick."

"I'm sorry, I do not have enough information to..."

"Here, let me help you understand with a friendly demonstration as a spluge all over your pretty display."

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I think this thread has run it's course and should be put to sleep.

That's obvious. All the outstanding questions, seeking assistance, were answers a LONG time ago. Now, the regulars are all fighting with each other over who can belittle the others with their little understood puns.

Crumbly Writer

@BlacKnight

The computer language Prolog was introduced in 1972. I don't think I've ever seen that spelling refer to anything else.

Without analyzing the statistical analysis of literature, there's no telling whether the 'acceptance of "prolog"' as an acceptable spelling is based on the computer programming language in manuals and training guides or not.

I can't recall ever seeing an introductory chapter in a novel being called a "Prolog" before. If I did, I'd assume the author had no clue what he was doing and had never read much.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

Incidentally, reading a story about American football there is a reference to "tailgating" which appears to be a social thing; over here it is an offence - you would at least get fined and perhaps lose your driving licence for being to close to the other vehicle!

You probably already know this, but they're two separate things. 'Tailgating' is when a group of friends gather around an open tailgate where they keep a large beer dispenser and drink and get each other reved up about the upcoming game. It's entirely possible to tailgate the other tailgaters with no confusion between the two.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Kraft is a US based food companies.


Two of the biggest sellers of cheese and cheese products here in Australia are Kraft and Coon - I prefer Kraft singles and my son prefers Coon singles - yes there is a difference in the taste of them.

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Two of the biggest sellers of cheese and cheese products here in Australia are Kraft and Coon


Ahh, I don't think Coon has a presence in the US, or if they do, it's under a different name.

Here, a coon is either a Raccoon, small omnivorous animal that is generally considered a pest/varmint, or a Coonhound, a breed of hunting dog.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Ahh, I don't think Coon has a presence in the US


here's an article about it - developed by a US guy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coon_cheese

Replies:   Dominions Son
Geek of Ages

"Coon" is also a derogatory word for a black person, which meant I was sorely confused with the original statement

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

here's an article about it - developed by a US guy:


The US guy developed a process for accelerating cheese ripening. And the Australian company/brand is named for him. However Coon brand cheese products do not appear to be available in the US.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Try running this comparison of uses in a large sample of books of prologue, prolog, epilogue, and epilog.
The conclusion is obvious if you look at that chart with the knowledge a computer language called Prolog was invented in the 1970s, became popular for a while, but has faded away: the use of prolog and epilog for special opening and closing chapters of books has always been negligible.

ngrams compare

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

the use of prolog and epilog for special opening and closing chapters of books has always been negligible.

Good. I feel vindicated. Though it looks like quite a few people in the early 90s decided they'd jump the gun on adopting new 'Americanized' words before anyone else even considered it.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Though it looks like quite a few people in the early 90s decided they'd jump the gun on adopting new 'Americanized' words before anyone else even considered it.

I think that did not happen. If it had there would have been some change in the use of 'epilog' at the same time.
But I am not sure what books are included in the data Google collected for its analyses. I suspect it is limited to printed books, which would mean the results only prove publishers have never been willing to accept either 'prolog' or 'epilog'.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

If you run ngrams against a single word it lists lower case, initial capital, and all capitals.
For 'prolog' the big spike peaking around 1990 was initial capital and all capitals - lower case never moved at all.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I suspect it is limited to printed books, which would mean the results only prove publishers have never been willing to accept either 'prolog' or 'epilog'.


That was my initial thought, but the distaste for prologues is a relatively recent fad and they're still common in crime and thriller fiction - James Patterson, for instance.

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

the distaste for prologues is a relatively recent fad and they're still common in crime and thriller fiction

I have no knowledge about any distaste for prologues.
My point was the evidence suggests Americans have never accepted calling them a 'prolog'.
But, I don't know how Google selects the books on which their analyses are based. If they only include printed books, then perhaps American publishers have maintained that standard but it is slipping elsewhere.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I have no knowledge about any distaste for prologues.


The course junkies say it's routinely taught on creative writing courses nowadays that drip-feeding information into the flow of a story far better than a brain-dump prologue.

I take the view, as do some of my friends, that a brain-dump prologue is sometimes a better option on the basis that readers tend to skip over them but can always go back if they discover they're missing something vital.

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I take the view, as do some of my friends, that a brain-dump prologue is sometimes a better option

I don't want to get into a debate about that. :-)

One thing I have seen is stories that need a 3-POV introduction before the rest is in 1-POV. I think those should be called prologues.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
robberhands
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

The course junkies say it's routinely taught on creative writing courses nowadays that drip-feeding information into the flow of a story far better than a brain-dump prologue.

Did they also tell you why a prologue has to be a 'brain-dump' (I assume that's the same as an 'info-dump'?).

Replies:   awnlee jawking
REP

@Ernest Bywater

- I prefer Kraft singles and my son prefers Coon singles - yes there is a difference in the taste of them.


Here in the US, there is a difference between cheese foods and cheese products. The term 'cheese or cheese product' can only be used in labeling if the product contains a minimum of 51% (the number may be wrong) by weight of cheese. If the product has less than 51% cheese, it must be labeled as a cheese food.

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Did they also tell you why a prologue has to be a 'brain-dump' (I assume that's the same as an 'info-dump'?).


A prologue doesn't have to be an info dump, but if an author's going to do an info dump, stashing it away, from the story narrative makes sense to me.

IMO it's part of the same 'rebellion' against telling, rather than showing, which I believe was caused by stories reading like history books and boring the readers.

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
JohnBobMead

@REP

Here in the US, there is a difference between cheese foods and cheese products. The term 'cheese or cheese product' can only be used in labeling if the product contains a minimum of 51% (the number may be wrong) by weight of cheese. If the product has less than 51% cheese, it must be labeled as a cheese food.


This _does_ mean they have to admit it's _not_ cheese. As a child I liked Velveeta, because it was fun to play with; now that I no longer play with my food, can't abide the stuff. I'm proud to say that I have _never_ had Macaroni & Cheese from a box; the concept appalls me. From a young age, I've _always_ used real pasta and real cheese; preferably Tillamook Cheddar.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@REP

there is a difference between cheese foods and cheese products.


By cheese products I was referring to things like Macaroni and Cheese where other foods are included in the package with the cheese. her, both of the companies sell both straight cheese and other products mixed with cheese.

Replies:   REP
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

A prologue doesn't have to be an info dump, but if an author's going to do an info dump, stashing it away, from the story narrative makes sense to me.

Stashing an info-dump away sounds reasonable - if you really, truly need one and can't figure out any way around it! However, I think a prologue is no place to stash away unwanted story content. I'm not one of the readers who skip the prologue and start reading at chapter one. To me the prologue is a part of the story, and the first part at that, which means it's a reader's first impression of a story. If the prologue is totally botched I never even read chapter one. So I'd suggest writing an addendum to hide an info-dump, rather than abusing the epilogue.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@JohnBobMead

This _does_ mean they have to admit it's _not_ cheese.


They don't have to admit that for it does contain cheese; but, far less than one would think. That cheesy sauce is far less than 50% cheese. Boxed 'Macaroni and Cheese' tastes bland and unpalatable. I prefer to make my own cheese sauce. Brand name is unimportant for they are all about the same.

REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


By cheese products I was referring to things like Macaroni and Cheese where other foods are included in the package with the cheese.


That powered 'cheese' in the envelop has to have 51% cheese or it is a 'cheese food' here in the US. In the US processed foods require labeling to include the product's contents. The following are the contents of the cheese sauce in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and the contents are listed in order by the amount contained in the product. As you can see, the label indicates that 2% or less of that envelop of "powdered 'cheese'" consists of 9 ingredients and the last item is 'cheese culture'. So there is very little 'cheese' in the product.

Cheese Sauce Mix (, WHEY, MILKFAT, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SALT, SODIUM TRIPOLYPHOSPHATE, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: , CITRIC ACID, LACTIC ACID, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, MILK, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, ENZYMES, CHEESE CULTURE)

http://whatisthatingredient.com/product.php?id=22

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


So there is very little 'cheese' in the product.


You ought to know that whey, milk fat and milk protein are what all cheeses are made from.

Cheese culture is a live mold/bacteria culture needed to turn the whey, milk fat and milk protein into cheese.

The listed ingredient list is mostly cheese.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

whey, milk fat and milk protein are what all cheeses are made from


I know. I also know that combining those items doesn't mean you get real cheese.

Dominions Son

@REP

I know. I also know that combining those items doesn't mean you get real cheese.


True, but the thing is, the laws governing food labeling for products like that would require them to break down the ingredients of the cheese anyway, so having it listed like that is not evidence that they aren't using real cheese.

Ross at Play

@REP

I also know that combining those items doesn't mean you get real cheese.

But whey, milk fat, milk protein, cheese culture, and time probably does.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I suspect most of the consumers of Kraft products wouldn't be happy that their food has more culture than they have ;)

AJ

robberhands
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I suspect most of the consumers of Kraft products wouldn't be happy that their food has more culture than they have ;)

I always thought 'Kraft' is a German trademark, it's such a strong German word. Embedded in Germany's thousands of years old culture you also wouldn't have to worry about the comparably tiny amount of culture in their products.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


I suspect most of the consumers of Kraft products wouldn't be happy that their food has more culture than they have ;)


Nah, '... would be oblivious to the fact ...' is more like it.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@robberhands


I always thought 'Kraft' is a German trademark,


I always thought it was named after someone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_L._Kraft

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

But his Kaftwerk is German ;)

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

That was my initial thought, but the distaste for prologues is a relatively recent fad and they're still common in crime and thriller fiction - James Patterson, for instance.

Even in sci-fi, with a long and rich history of prologues to set up a story and epilogues to wrap up and explain how the story impacts everyone else, it's almost impossible to get readers to open and read one.

Instead, if you write a prologue, the story CAN'T depend on it, because at best you'll only get 20 to 30% of readers to glance at it. Epilogues are a different matter, because if readers have stuck around long enough to read the entire story, they're still curious about how things 'work out', so they'll keep reading.

Frankly, I doubt ANY prologue was ever the most read chapter in ANY book. Readers must be trained to consider them (they often think there's no difference between a prologue and a preface), and even then, they tend to skip over anything they see as 'not getting directly into the action'.

If readers come to your stories from another genre, which doesn't rely on prologues, you can forget their reading one. Still, well-executed, prologues can add a LOT to a story, but it's almost become a science how to write one, as there are certain things you need to do, and things you should NEVER do in one.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

The course junkies say it's routinely taught on creative writing courses nowadays that drip-feeding information into the flow of a story far better than a brain-dump prologue.

I take the view, as do some of my friends, that a brain-dump prologue is sometimes a better option on the basis that readers tend to skip over them but can always go back if they discover they're missing something vital.

I view it differently. It's all a matter of how reader process information. If you can break down the essential information into bite-sized chucks, so they can process each idea before jumping into the next complex concept, your story will be better understood.

Too often, the 'brain-dump' background stories simply try to dump all the author's research right upfront, when readers simply want to be sold on the story. If nothing else, authors need to consider how much is too much, and how little isn't enough. Nothing says you have to dump everything all at once, just as nothing says you have to strip out essential information.

The one thing you've always got to remember is that it has to be well presented. If the author never readers the prologue, there's really no reason is providing one.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

One thing I have seen is stories that need a 3-POV introduction before the rest is in 1-POV. I think those should be called prologues.

And I think the only ones qualified to write prologues are paid forest woodcutters.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

I'm not one of the readers who skip the prologue and start reading at chapter one. To me the prologue is a part of the story, and the first part at that, which means it's a reader's first impression of a story. If the prologue is totally botched I never even read chapter one.

That catches the entire discussion. A badly written prologue, featuring the proverbial info-dump means readers will never progress to the actual story, while simultaneously helping ensure they'll never read another one.

There are a variety of techniques to minimize info-dumps, IF they're required at all, but most authors are simply interested in dumping 'the boring stuff' so they can get on with the story, meaning the author themselves don't consider the prologue worth reading!

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I suspect most of the consumers of Kraft products wouldn't be happy that their food has more culture than they have

Yet, if that's the ONLY culture they have, do you really want to take it away from them?

Sometimes, you've got to let people have their weaknesses, since it shouldn't hurt you, regardless of how much they enjoy it.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

But his Kaftwerk is German

Kraftwerk always produced better music than cheese (it clogs up the groves in the disks)!

StarFleet Carl

@awnlee jawking

the distaste for prologues is a relatively recent fad and they're still common in crime and thriller fiction - James Patterson, for instance.


It's not like Patterson writes his own books anymore, though. He comes up with the plot and a detailed outline, then gives it to someone else to finish.

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