Archive 01 - January 26, 2006 - February 3, 2006 (Approximate)

New discussion

After further drafting, should we now consider this as official policy? There is one issue I think left which I'll address in a moment, but other than that I think we reached a consensus about other aspects of the MoS.

The remaining issue is still I think the tense. Many wanted past tense last time this was discussed, but we've seen since that its just not the way users write, all the new Season 3 synopses being in present tense. Considering that we agreed the opening statement and thumbnails should be present, I think considering 90% of our ep articles are also present, we should change the policy accordingly. If its how our editors write it then I say we just leave it at that, its really not that important compared to other sections of the MoS (like the unanswered section) which need a written policy. --Nickb123 (Talk) 05:41, 15 May 2007 (PDT)

I agree with changing the policy to use present tense for the synopses. It sounds better to me personally, plus, if 90% of them are already in the present tense, it will be a lot easier to change the remaining 10% to present than the other way around. I'm willing to work on this, but should I wait for some sort of formal green light? --Jfrankovich 11:31, 5 June 2007 (PDT)

Regarding flashbacks/realtime sections

Maybe we should have "On the Hydra Island" (etc.) sections as subsections of "Realtime events"? Just thinking it might look a little tidier? -Chris[dt7] 06:08, 15 May 2007 (PDT)

Sounds good IMO, though if its a subsection of subsection then that'll make it 4 =====s - will the header be noticeable enough? --Nickb123 (Talk) 15:09, 15 May 2007 (PDT)

Recurring themes guidelines

This MoS is looking really good. I think maybe it needs guidelines for the Recurring themes sections. There are a lot questionable ones such as:

  • The tailies, Michael, Jin & Sawyer go into the Arrow which has a logo which is black & white (Black and White)
  • When Bernard finds out about Rose having cancer she says she has about 1 year to live. (Time)
  • Towards the end of the episode (around 40 minutes in), after the Otis Redding song 'These Arms of Mine' plays through, there is a shot of Rose and Bernard sitting together. During this shot, right after the song ends, there is some more music, played by strings: they play a phrase (about 12 bars) of a song called 'The Rose'. (The Numbers)

So a short para on what a recurring theme actually is and isn't would probably be a useful thing.--TechNic|talk|conts 10:52, 17 May 2007 (PDT)

I've added a little bit about it, hopefully that should suffice. Definitely wanna enforce this as Lostpedia law soon, just need to discuss that damn tense issue (for the nth time) --Nickb123 (Talk) 16:39, 18 May 2007 (PDT)

Standard order

I propose the following order for the trivia sections (only to be used if relevant):

  • General
  • Episode-specific subjects which give rise to multiple trivia
  • Production notes
  • Bloopers and continuity errors
  • Recurring themes
  • Cultural references
  • Literary techniques
  • Referbacks

--Hunter61 23:41, 9 June 2007 (PDT)


In scope of the rewatch I recommend to look for clues that foreshadow developments that were te be revealed later on in the series --Hunter61 05:22, 10 June 2007 (PDT)


I beg to differ with the current draft's reccommendation regarding tense: while it seems to be a common practice (which is to say, a common bad practice) to relate events in programs, movies, plays, and books in the past tense, the proper approach (which is agreed upon by all the major style guides: AP, APA, Chicago, MLA, and Turabian) is to relate them in the present tense.

I realize that, three seasons into it, that means there's a lot of rewriting to be done (I'll be glad to pitch in) ... but if you're proposing to have a style manual to ensure internal consistency, it seems only fitting that the manual itself should be consistent with standard practices (unless there's a specific reason to deviate).

--Jim 09:32, 14 July 2007 (PDT)

Default Stylebook

On the topic of stylebooks, most ad-hoc stylebooks defer to one of the major stylebooks - for example, "Except as noted in the present document, authors should adhere to the standards and practices defined by the Chiicago Manual of Style, 15th edition" - which saves a lot of unnecessary and redundant documentation.

Sadly, none of these manuals is available online (without paying a subscription fee) - but most can be found at public libraries, and contributors who are serious about writing probably own at least one of them (or bloody well ought to).

If this is acceptable, I propose the Chicago Manual of Style. It's the most widely used in the publishing industry, and the other major style guides are intended for academic publishing or journalism.

--Jim 09:32, 14 July 2007 (PDT)

Since many of our users seem to be most familiar with Wikipedia-style editing (which makes sense, since we borrowed their site specifications and style in most respects), why don't we defer to Wikipedia's Manual of Style, which is a conveniently online source for information on grammar and the like, except in any cases were we deviate from their usage? That seems like the surest way to avoid redundancy and unnecessary work. Also, I agree with you that we need to use present tense in episode synopses; if nothing else, using past tense would make it extraordinarily difficult to relate events prior to the episode currently being discussed. Besides, some events may take place in the future, and then things would get (will get?) really confusing. -Silence 09:43, 14 July 2007 (PDT)


Should we modify this policy to include the structuring of flashforwards as coming after the on-Island events? This is especially relevent considering the recent episode Ji Yeon which contains both flashbacks and flashforwards. Jimbo the tubby 18:34, 18 March 2008 (PDT)

See Talk:Ji_Yeon#Chronology for discussion to date on this topic in relation to Ji Yeon -- LOSTonthisdarnisland 19:02, 18 March 2008 (PDT)
Since flashbacks are already separated from real-time/on-island events, and existing practice is to separate flashforwards from real-time, it only makes sense to separate flashbacks from flashforwards. Intermingling them for dramatic or thematic effect is inconsistent with the guiding principle of putting events in chronological order in our summaries of the episode. - Tvb 20:47, 18 March 2008 (PDT)
Agreed. The point of the article summary isn't to retain the structure and storytelling techniques of the episode, it's to present the events of the episode in a clearcut way. To mix up the flashbacks and the flashforwards at best obfuscates which is which, and at worst could appear to be decieving the reader into misunderstanding the events. Jimbo the tubby 20:55, 18 March 2008 (PDT)
Agreed. We should follow the Flashbacks/On-Island/Flashforwards structure, no matter what structure is used in the episode. As I said before, since the articles are supposed to be encyclopedic so that people will refer to it to have clear information about what happens in an episode, it would only make sense to have them in such a clean structure, and in consistence with all episode articles. --     c      blacxthornE      t     04:24, 19 March 2008 (PDT)
Agreed. (no idea if I'm allowed to agree or not). In contrast to LOSTonthisdarnisland's opinion the articles on Lostpedia are not set out to create the same shock value or effect as the actual episode but is too inform the reader on what happened. Therefore I think that Ji Yeon should have the flash events section split into both Flashback and Flashforward sub-articles co-insiding with the general structure for every episode so far. HolySock92 11:14, 19 March 2008 (PDT)
  • Disagree, to an extent. Chronological order makes sense when flash sequences are either flashback OR flashforward. If I understand our intent here correctly, putting events in chronological order is intended to clarify for our readers what the writers were trying to communicate about a specific time-frame (i.e., putting all the FB sequences together forms a coherent picture for our readers that they can then apply to the rest of the episode, the "current" events surrounding the island, to understand the bigger picture or why a character acted/reacted the way they did). However, for episodes where the literary technique is completely different from what we'd experienced to date, the article might need to be viewed as an exception to the "rule" and formatted differently. In "Ji Yeon", the writer's intent was to fool the audience into thinking that the Jin's FB was part of Sun's FF. If the FF & FB are separated, then Jin's back-story is relegated to fluff material in the article, and its sole purpose in the story becomes muddled to the LP reader. Simply prefacing it with a one line explanation wasn't helping matters. However, keeping FB and FF together provides a clearer understanding that the writers were trying to mindf*ck the audience, and that the only purpose for the FB was to support the "reveal" at the end of the show that Jin is supposed dead in the plane crash. We should not advocate such rigid adherence to "rules for the sake of rules" that we make the writer's intent completely unclear to our readers. -- LOSTonthisdarnisland 09:50, 19 March 2008 (PDT)
While I think it's highly important for an article to communicate the intent of the writers, I think it's a mistake for an article to try and pull off the same intent within the article (ie: fooling the reader into thinking that both are flashforwards, in the same way that the episode fooled the viewers). And yes, it's important to point this out, but not to try and retain it as a literary device. In fact, in the current version of the article, when I read the "Flashes" section, it almost seems to me that the article implies that the flashback is indeed a flashforward, which is certainly a mistake. As for "Flashes Before Your Eyes", the article is not formatted differently, it features the flashback seperate from the real-time events, despite the fact that the flashback is lucid, the formatting is still the same. We're not making "rules for the sake of rules" we're trying to clarify the structure of the episode as to preserve consistency with other articles, while also pointing out the episode's structure. Jimbo the tubby 10:02, 19 March 2008 (PDT)
Ignore the Flashes reference; I was editing my posting and changing the ep number as you were writing, evidently. Note that I did not say making rules for the sake of rules, but rather pointed out that we shouldn't force rigid adherence to the rules just for the rules' sake. Consistency is nice, but when it interferes with understanding, there should be room for exceptions. -- LOSTonthisdarnisland 10:31, 19 March 2008 (PDT)
That's fair, my misunderstanding, sorry. That being said, I still stand by the rest of my arguments. Furthermore, I don't feel that Ji Yeon constitutes an exception to the rules. I have three arguments for this, involving the only three episodes I could think of that could be exceptions to the normal episode structure: The Other 48 Days, The Constant and Through the Looking Glass.
  • The Other 48 Days could be an exception because it's told entirely in flashback. However, it still follows the manual of style, because the flashback events appear before the real-time events (of which there are none).
  • The Constant could be a more notable exception, because the "flashbacks" need to be integrated into the real-time events in order to maintain the flow of the narrative. However, I interpret the episode as having no flashbacks, it takes place in one consistent "time-stream" of Desmond jumping back and forth between 1996 and 2004, and if you look at the episode as relative to Desmond's consciousness, then there are only real-time events, so the real-time events secion and the "flashback" section are separate, only the "flashback section" doesn't exist.
  • Finally, Through the Looking Glass is the most similar episode to Ji Yeon because it features flashforwards that the audience is led to believe are flashbacks (similar to Ji Yeon's flashbacks that the audience is led to believe are flashforwards). However, we still present the article with the flashforward section being after the real-time evens section. Obviously, if we want to retain the literary techniques present in Ji Yeon, we should be doing the same in Through the Looking Glass, however I think that that would clearly be a poor way to write the TTLG article.
I think these three episodes demonstrate how, even when the episode violates the typical flash structure used by the writers, it is still possible to use the general Manual of Style, it just has to be applied in a different way. That being said, the precedent seems to be that even when a flash is represented as being in a timeframe that it actually isn't, then we still present it as being in it's actual timeframe, not in it's perceived one. Jimbo the tubby 11:15, 19 March 2008 (PDT)
  • No worries; it happens. I disagree with your examples of The Other 48 Days and Through the Looking Glass for the reasons you yourself mentioned, that they included only FB or FF, so there is no reason to even consider any different formatting than currently exists in the articles. The Constant, however, is a good example of how strict adherence to a chronological separation rule would make the events more difficult to understand, perhaps even incomprehensible. Following the logical conclusion of your argument would mean that article would have to be separated into two sections: 1996 events and 2004 events, as they take place at different times chronologically, regardless of how Desmond is viewing them (if we are to believe what he is seeing is really happening, a theory supported by him getting the phone number from Penny "in 1996" that actually still worked "in 2004"). For similar reasons, the Ji Yeon article should remain with the FB and FF together. Does Jin's bits do anything to further the storyline or reveal anything about his character? I don't believe so. We already know he worked for Patik, and Chinese relations with Patik Automotive have no bearing on Island events as far as we know. No, the telling of the Jin events only have relevance when viewed as part of a mindf*ck, which means they should be combined together. Consider also Locke's visions. The visions were obviously not real events (e.g, Aaron was already born, Hurley was behind the counter, etc.), but instead of being put in strict chronological order within the article (after the first paragraph of "on the main island", they were put at the end of the synopsis. It makes sense to do it that way because it allows the article to flow well, but it's still not the strictest adherence to chronology. -- LOSTonthisdarnisland 12:44, 19 March 2008 (PDT)
I'm not advocating strict objective chronology, though. Certainly 1996 is before 2004, but from the point of view of the narrative (and of Desmond), jumping between the two years is how the episode flows. In other words, The Constant contains no actual flashbacks (this is mentioned in the trivia section for the episode). However the temporal structure of Ji Yeon doesn't jump back and forth between two time periods as a continuous story, it contains pre-Island events, on-Island events, and then post-Island events which are completely separate. Combining them suggests that the Jin's flashback actually is a flashforward, which I think is deceptive for an article to do. The constant needed to be handled differently because it contains something that we've never seen before, but the flashes in Ji Yeon are something we're familiar with (two things, in fact) and I see no reason not to follow the policies as we've seen before, since (for the purposes of the article) it's not important to maintain the "surprise" that Jin's sequence is a flashback . Jimbo the tubby 12:56, 19 March 2008 (PDT)
  • If you'll note, I had the flashes as one narrative at the beginning and someone else moved them to the end. I'm not sure in relation to what you said about misleading the reader that the end is the best place for it. (BTW, I think the Constant's flashes were FB in the sense that he was actually visiting the past by his present mind inhabiting his past body. However, that's neither here nor there, really.) What if we compromise and after the main events we make a separate section (like Locke's visions) that provides an introduction that makes it obvious how it was used in the story, and either indicate flashback/flashforward, or similar to The Constant have bolded small headings (that don't show on the TOC). For example (using < or > instead of = for obvious reasons): <<Main events>> blah, blah, blah; <<Flash events>> introduction that explains how the episode flowed including noting that it was a mindf*ck; <<<Jin's flashback>>> blah, blah, blah; <<<Sun's flashforward>>> blah, blah, blah; and so forth... OR <<Main events>> blah, blah, blah; <<Flash events>> introduction that explains how the episode flowed including noting that it was a mindf*ck; Jin's flashback blah, blah, blah; Sun's flashforward blah, blah, blah; Jin blah, blah, blah; Sun blah, blah, blah; Jin blah, blah, blah; Sun blah, blah, blah; etc. -- LOSTonthisdarnisland 13:11, 19 March 2008 (PDT)

The time-travel bits in The Constant aren't flashbacks; they're mental time-travel. Subjectively they take place in the order seen, and that's the only way they make sense. And LOSTonthisdarnisland, I'd like to point out that you seem to be the only one who had a problem with how this was already handled. You're making this more complicated that it has to be. - Tvb 18:04, 19 March 2008 (PDT)

This decision isn't based on popularity; it's based on deciding the best method to address changing conditions now and in the future as the writers go outside the box. I've made my points, and I'll leave this to others before this degrades into insults. -- LOSTonthisdarnisland 18:56, 19 March 2008 (PDT)
Alright let's just discuss the matter. I think something being supported by just one person doesn't mean that it's not worth discussing. I would understand if he was just blindly supporting his idea no matter what, but this is not the case, as he made good points about The Constant, because this is the discussion: Subjective or objective chronology. However, I'm not convinced, because The Constant's flashes is not like Ji Yeon's. In The Constant, although 1996 is in the past and 2004 is the present, the 1996 should be considered as flashbacks. This is time travel, maybe it's not the person time travelling but still it's his consciousness and it is time travel. This means that the person lives the whole "travel" continuously, he's in 1996 for one moment, and then in 2004. This is subjective point of view (assuming the subject is the characters having the flash and the object is time, am I right?). And if you think about it, all flashbacks and flashforwards are. All flashbacks happened in the past, and flashforwards in the future, and the characters did not jump back and forth. Jin's flashbacks are different from Desmond's The Constant flashes, but they're in no way different than any other flashback of, say, Kate's or Sayid's (in essence). The flashbacks being mixed with flashforwards is only and only about narrative (just like Jack's first flashforwards being presented as flashbacks). Desmond's flashes weren't about narrative, it was about his mind travelling back and forth. And I think if they had chosen to present Desmond's time travel in order, i.e. the full 1996 story first and then the full 2004 story, then we would have to re-order it to follow the subjective mind, not the writers' style. I think this is the best choice: In any flashback, we present it before the on-island events so that we know what the character has done before the island. Then come the on-island events, and then the flashforwards, which give us what the character does after getting off the island. What Desmond saw and did throughout Constant happened in the on-island timeline, i.e. his mind wasn't like this before the island. That's why it's presented as if it was a continuous on-island event. Jin did not jump back to 2000, he was there in the first place. I don't see a reason not to follow the Flashback/On-Island/Flashforward style because Jin's flases were before the island, and Sun's were after. In a subjective point of view, this is what we should do. We should add, however, a note in the flashback section that the episode made it seem like flashforwards, just like there's a note about Jack's flashes from Through The Looking Glass, that they were presented as flashbacks first and were later revealed to be flashforwards. There's no difference between the TTLG and JY mindf*ck, if you ask me. --     c      blacxthornE      t     04:09, 20 March 2008 (PDT)
  • I think it's better all together for the reasons I mentioned, but I think it belongs back at the top of the article. While I don't think we should worry about preserving spoilers after the episode has premiered (although I think it would be better to leave a spoiler header until all countries have premiered an episode; the current way is very Americentric and the rest of the world has to be so very careful where they visit, which is a shame), there is precedence for doing just that. Take for example "One of Them", which still refers to Ben as (a mysterious man or) "Gale" throughout the entire article, even though we now know his identity. Why didn't the editor's just "out" him, and then refer to him as Ben? I think it was done that way to avoid confusing readers who might have just watched the episode. I'm not advocating that this is the same situation or that anything needs to change on 2x14; I'm simply pointing out how inconsistantly "rules" are applied for the sake of the reader's clarity and understand how the episode flowed. I'm finished discussing this now, and as I said on the talk page of Ji Yeon, I'll leave this to others to decide, simply because I would only be repeating myself at this point. -- LOSTonthisdarnisland 16:30, 20 March 2008 (PDT), who BTW is a "she", not a he :)
  • Oh, sorry about that. Actually I have visited your page before but there's no way that I could tell... Anyway, in the end, "avoiding confusing readers who might have just watched the episode" is the whole point I guess. The styles used in On Of Them, The Constant, or Through The Looking Glass, is just how they can be understood best. I guess we just couldn't agree on which way it's most clearly understood in this case. We really should have more input on this though; we're just, like, 4 people discussing this. --     c      blacxthornE      t     17:36, 20 March 2008 (PDT)
  • No worries. I was smiling because I know it's difficult to tell (see here now; better? :) ). Yeah, I agree that it needs more discussion (and LOL @ 4). Thanks to you and Jiimbo both for a reasonable discussion, even when we disagreed. -- LOSTonthisdarnisland 23:39, 20 March 2008 (PDT)

Important: episode tense needs to be resolved

As things stand now, the Episode Manual of Style and the general Manual of Style are in contradiction about what tense episode synopses should be in. The EMOS states that we should use *present* tense while the MOS states that we should use *past* tense. Up until recently, all of the episodes have been using present tense. The current episode seems to have been written in past tense, and I notice that some users have been converting some of the older episodes into past tense recently. I think before we go changing every episode article, we should resolve this issue and reconcile the two MOS pages so that they do not contradict each other. --Jackdavinci 13:28, 25 April 2008 (PDT)

I say we follow EMOS. Everything I ever learned in high school and university has said that summaries should be written in present tense, because the work you're summarizing still exists. "In the book To Kill a Mockingbird, a black man is tried for crimes against a white woman. He is defended by Atticus Fitch, Scout's father." and so on. Furthermore, it follows the current convention that the articles are being written in. Jimbo the tubby 14:13, 25 April 2008 (PDT)

I say we should use present tense for episode articles, and past tense for every other article that tells a story that spans more than one article (like character articles, organizations, or anything else that does not tell about a single episode). Also present tense for the flash-forwards seem to make sense since we're saying that they did this on the Island and they do that in the future. --     c      blacxthornE      t     15:52, 25 April 2008 (PDT)

I'm surprised to notice this discrepancy in policy, which never came to my attention before now. I agree it needs to be resolved. My vote would be to use past tense everywhere on the site, with certain exceptions. Let's see if we can agree on those exceptions right off the bat:

  • Picture captions should always be written in present tense. This conforms with standard usage in journalism. (The awkward practice of writing picture captions in a verbless present progressive tense is the problem at issue here.)
  • The mini-summary at the top of episode articles should be written in present tense and should wherever possible be the one provided by ABC Medianet and used by electronic television guide providers.

Now as to the treatment of flash-forwards and flashbacks, I think it's imperative they be treated the same in terms of tense, and identically to the way real-time events are treated. As Lindelof made clear in the recent conference call, "the show is a mosaic" and eventually the three will be ambiguous/indistinguishable inasmuch as real-time events will appear to be the flashbacks and the flash-forwards will seem to be the real-time events. My vote would be for past tense in the episode descriptions. We should be describing the show from the perspective of journalists reporting on the events of the show; we shouldn't be trying to substantially re-create the show in text. The arguments for making episode summaries in present tense are influenced by "Cliff's Notes"-type summaries. It's never been my feeling that's what we were doing in writing encyclopedia articles. I always thought we were writing an in-universe encyclopedia with descriptions of events; no encyclopedia article is ever written in the present tense. Out of curiosity, does Wikipedia have guidelines for tenses of summaries of fictional works, and if so, what are they? Preferably, provide a hyperlink. Robert K S (talk) 19:06, 25 April 2008 (PDT)

Wikipedia uses present tense [1]. See the section on Contextual Presentation. If you've got some time, read the whole thing. It gives the reasoning behind the tense, as well as how general plot summaries should be described. This is not specific to Wikipedia. In my experience, all plot summaries are done this way. The wikipedia manual of style gives explanations why. EDIT: Someone beat me to it. :P Jimbo the tubby 19:48, 25 April 2008 (PDT)
The exact language reads: "By convention, these synopses should be written in the present tense, as this is the way that the story is experienced as it is read or viewed. At any particular point in the story there is a 'past' and a 'future', but whether something is 'past' or 'future' changes as the story progresses. It is simplest and conventional to recount the entire description as continuous 'present'." Robert K S (talk) 19:50, 25 April 2008 (PDT)
This was precisely the logic I was using to defend present tense as well, however I reached an impasse when I realized this site is supposed to come across as being subjectively in-universe, not objectively analytical. From that sense, I can understand why past tense should be used. However because of the unique structure of this show where the time-frame is presented in a disjointed fashion, as well as the uncertainty regarding the exact nature of how time is experienced by the characters, I don't think it is a good idea to by default use the past tense. Until the flash-forwards were introduced, things that happened before the crash were past tense while events on the Island were the present. Perhaps when the show is finished and we understand the exact series of events that occur in a linear fashion, present tense would be appropriate. --Halcohol 19:52, 25 April 2008 (PDT)
Subjective in-universe is the biggest point, even aside from the time-frame. Actions have happenED in the past as soon as the next action happenS, then the second action has happenED as soon as the third one followS. To prevent going back to each and every article after the next one airs and making all the already completed actions past tense, the episode's completed actions should start in past tense from the onset. The only exception, I think, should be any action which has not completed in the episode and carries to future episode(s). When Jack walks somewhere to talk to Kate, as soon as that action has completed and they go somewhere else together, it turns into Jack walkED somewhere and they talkED about whatever before they are doing what they are doing now. The other problem is we know they are going to move us into the flashfoward part of the timeline when Island time as we currently see it will become the past. That will necessitate changing the articles for that reason alone, regardless of anyone's feelings on the matter of proper analysis, which I actually agree with, but went with the MoS per policy, not realising this one read differently. For episode summaries, I think past tense once the show has aired is a must, because we are stating it was the episode which aired on a specific date (and what happenED in that episode). If we were describing episodes per the DVDs, however, present tense would become the way to go, because watching them can be and is an ongoing event—e.g., (if it's true, I didn't look) Episode 17 IS located on DVD 3 of Season 2. -- LOSTonthisdarnisland 20:42, 25 April 2008 (PDT)
Your comment about describing show DVDs is the reason why present tense is what we should use. As a work of fiction, Lost exits, now in the present. As such, the actions within the work also exist currently. If I put in my DVD for "Tabula Rasa" I will see that Kate hides in Ray Mullen's barn, and when he discovers her, he offers her a job working on his farm, until he discovers that she is a fugitive and calls Mars to come and arrest her. Those will be the events currently happening as I watch. The work currently exists, whether I'm watching it or not, as such its contents also exist currently. This isn't specific to DVDs, nor even to Lost. Most summaries (indeed ever one I've seen) uses the present tense. Furthermore, regarding airdates, saying, for example, that ""The Shape of Things to Come" was an episode of Lost which aired on April 26th, 2008" is flawed. The episode is an episode of Lost, which aired on that date. Saying that it was an episode aired on that date implies that it is no longer the case that it was aired then, which doesn't even make rational sense (failing some sort of real world time travel device :P). Also, as a further note, from the back of the Season 3 DVD case: "As the power of the island to both heal and destroy comes into sharp focus, the lines between good and evil are blurred and loyalties are challenged when the survivors of the crash become tangled within the lives of the Others." Note that the DVDs also use present tense when describing events. This is how summaries are written, pick up DVD/book you own and check it out. Jimbo the tubby 20:58, 25 April 2008 (PDT)
I like the arguments that wikipedia gives for plot summaries being in present tense. Plus just aesthetically I've looked at articles done both ways and present tense seems to flow better for me. I think the best argument though is pragmatic. 98% of the episodes are already present tense. Ultimately it's just a matter of style and consistency is more important than what particular style we happen to choose. It's going to be easier to keep them in present tense then to go back and rewrite four seasons worth of episode articles. Maybe we could have a quick straw poll so we can decide once and for all and get back to editing the important stuff, content! :-) --Jackdavinci 00:12, 26 April 2008 (PDT)
LOTDI, I don't know if I understood your point completely but I really don't think we should make it mixed-tense. The episode summaries should either be all past or all present. No exceptions is better. It look really funny if we used past for completed and present for ongoing things:
Kate and Jack decided to go to the other side of the Island so they could get a better signal. They took the transceiver and walk through the jungle.
Besides it will be way too complicated to think about every single sentence... Did they do something else later? Did they complete it or not? You want to prevent going back to the episodes, but what you came up with is even worse, at least when you have to go back one episode and edit it completely into past tense, you know what you're gonna do. But if you have to do it for single actions, well, that's a pain. Anyway I've already voted: Present tense for episode articles and past tense for everything else. But I think this is a very chaotic way of voting. If we're gonna vote, we should do something like a straw poll, dividing it into sections like Character articles, Episode articles, Image captions as we do with Merge/Delete/Keep and everyone votes for a tense for each one signing it, with a brief reason if they want.--     c      blacxthornE      t     05:14, 26 April 2008 (PDT)
  • 20:42, 25 April 2008 (PDT): "... regardless of anyone's feelings on the matter of proper analysis, which I actually agree with, but went with the MoS per policy, not realising this one read differently..." -- LOSTonthisdarnisland 08:54, 26 April 2008 (PDT)
I think having a different standard for describing episodes as compared to everything else will be a confusing and difficult standard to adhere to. As some have indicated above, I too find writing about fiction in any tense other than present tense to be unnatural, and particularly difficult with a show like LOST, which jumps around in time so much.
The nature of fiction is such that the action is never completed; you can always return to it and have the action come alive again from the beginning. Taking a long view, this site is likely to be around long after the show goes off the air. Once that happens, it makes very little sense for someone rewatching the show starting with DVDs or reruns of Season 1 Episode 1 to read and write articles written in past tense with a point of reference following the end of Season 6 Episode 16. Using continuous present tense makes all articles relevant to all viewers.
Past characters, such as Shannon and Boone for example, have had very little influence or mention on the show following their deaths. Someone reading their articles is likely more interested in them as characters while they are alive, for which it makes more sense to describe their actions in the present: "Boone helps Jack get many of the passengers away from the wreckage..." Describing it in past tense sounds both awkward, because it runs against the conventions of standard English, and flat, because it treats the action as something that happened, rather than something that is happening in the narrative.--Hylas 15:33, 4 May 2008 (PDT)

Order of trivia

I was going to go through all the episodes and organize the trivia subsections to have the same order when I realized that there's no standard order for them. With that in mind, I'm thinking of ordering them as:

  • General
  • Production notes
  • Bloopers and continuity errors
  • Recurring themes
  • Cultural references
  • Literary techniques
  • Storyline analysis
  • Episode references

This is more or less the order we've been using for season 4 (however different episodes have different orders). The first three sections are the ones without nav-templates, while the next 4 are the ones with nav-templates. At some point (around season 3) the Episode references subsection got moved out of the trivia section and became its own section. In order to maintain consistency, I think we should pick either in or out and have it be like that for every episode. I think it should be part of Trivia, because the episode references are a form of trivia. I'm going to go ahead and do this. If there's any disagreement, I'm more than willing to go back and fix it later, but for now I think we should aim for consistency. Thoughts? Should we perhaps add this to the policy?  Jimbo the Tubby  talk  contributions  17:53, 9 May 2008 (PDT)

Production, Ratings and Critical Reception sections

I suggest we add these sections to episode articles. I'm amazed at how much information Lostpedia doesn't have on these subjects, Wikipedia's TTLG article is far more detailed than Lostpedias. I am aware the trivia sections are used to list information like this, but I think constructing the sections as paragraphs instead of lists would make them more readable. --CharlieReborn 13:25, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Found another one that I think I should mention, Wikipedia:Meet Kevin Johnson. This is amazing. The amount of detail and discussion thats been going on about that one single episode is enormous, and Lostpedia doesn't even seem to acknowledge it at the moment. There are even articles out there that reference Lostpedia:

Using Lostpedia as a reference, Nikki Stafford of Wizard pointed out that the chronology was not only almost inconsistent with the third season, but also with an earlier episode of the same season. -- Wikipedia:Meet Kevin Johnson#Critical response

--CharlieReborn 13:59, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Unanswered Questions tense

I think we need to more definitively state that Unanswered Questions should be written in present tense, because about half of the questions being added are written in past tense.  Jimbo the Tubby  talk  contributions  21:03, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

You don't think there should be some flexibility? A question like "Why does Charles Widmore leave the Island?" would seem inappropriate for "Jughead", since he did it so long ago in present-day time. Robert K S (talk) 21:08, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I think "Why does Charles Widmore leave the Island?" sounds fine for the same reason present tense sounds fine in episode summaries.  Jimbo the Tubby  talk  contributions  21:20, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
"Who builds the four-toed statue?" :-( Robert K S (talk) 21:38, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Robert, in general present tense is probably better but there are exceptions of things that happened far in the past that would sound better with past tense. --Minderbinder 21:50, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Meh, okay. I thought that present-tense was policy, but I guess not.  Jimbo the Tubby  talk  contributions  00:14, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

I understand the reasoning behind why the Unanswered Questions are generally listed in the present tense -- e.g. the reflection of the different time periods portrayed throughout the show -- but I personally find the non-traditional format somewhat jarring to read and gives the questions a real simple-minded kind of feel. Personally I think past tense would read much better -- the questions really are ours as viewers of the show having just completed watching an episode, therefore in the past. Just my two cents... Spiral77 20:53, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Again, consider the benefits of flexibility. A question like "Why didn't Kate want Jack to ask about Aaron?" implies that the situation has changed, that though she once felt this way, she no longer does. I don't see an aesthetic benefit to rigidly adhering to either past tense or present tense for all UQs. Robert K S (talk) 21:01, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I totally agree -- my previous post was not clear on that point; should say: past tense would read much better in many cases... I was not advocating a strict rule one way or the other; structuring them all in the past-tense would be weird too. Spiral77 19:06, 24 February 2009 (UTC)


Can we please put a rule in the policy about pictures on LP episode articles? So many times I've had to remove forced thumbnail size additions because they are forced smaller than I'd care to view. This is why we have the preference option to make our thumbnails a certain size. I have the benefit of a widescreen monitor, so I like my thumbs at max, but when someone forces it to 175 px, I'm stuck with that size until I edit and change it. Having it as policy would stop the problem in its tracks. ---- LOSTonthisdarnisland 05:46, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Unanswered questions wrap-up

Since all of the unanswered questions in Lost wil be wrapped up this season, would it be fair to say that by then, or soon after, all of the 'Unanswered Questions" sections in articles should be deleted? Their content either incorporated into the article , if the questions was answered, or proof that the question was invalid, if in fact it was not answered by season end. Cander0000 06:59, February 7, 2010 (UTC)

I always thought that we went about this the wrong way. This becomes even more clear once the series ends. Instead of having 'unanswered questions' each episode, which get totally erased when they get solved and therefore are basically pointless, we should have a 'mysteries' section for each episode, which can remain forever. Under which would be bullet points noting which major mystery categories are addressed that episode. For example, in the pilot, one bullet point could be "Polar bears: new mystery - why are there poplar bears on a tropical island? Next clue in episode X.XX". Or in What Kate Does "Kate's crime: Previous clue: episode X.XX. New clue - Kate is shown to have blown up her Dad because of abuse or potential of abuse. Next clue: episode X.XX. Related mystery: Kate's history on the run: Next clue: episode X.XX" This way we have an actual useful section that doesn't slowly disintegrate, that will help people follow the various mysteries as they develop in the episodes themselves. --Jackdavinci 07:33, February 7, 2010 (UTC)

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