Sunday, July 10, 2011
Don't be Hostile to a Hostel
This snappy little caption was made for Martha. My goal was to make something that was simple in execution, yet still touched a few buttons. Oftentimes Martha asks about things that I put in the captions, that tend to be foreign to someone not from America. Mostly pop culture references, but idioms, old sayings, and the like tend to go over her head. It isn't her fault, it is probably mine that I use so many things as short cuts in my elaboration to stories.
I mean, if my friends and I are playing a fighting game on the Xbox 360, and someone gets completely beaten, they are "Drago'd" aka what happened to Apollo Creed in Rocky IV. We drop a lot of dialog from Kevin Smith movies, and have own own verbal shorthand. The more obscure the better, but when trying to make captions that people will want to read, I have to remember to be as inclusive as I can. If anything, I want them to feel that they are in on the situation and what is going on behind it.
The "No! Not the bore worms!" is a dreadful line reading from the Flash Gordon movie. When I was younger, if any of my friends got an over the top punishment (like grounding for a week or no phone, or whatever) we would cry out, "NO! Not the bore worms!" Another quote we'd use a lot was "KAHN!!! from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn as screamed out loud by William Shatner. We'd convert it into "COOOOOORN!" or what ever fit the mood.
So anyway, that is why I try to be opaque but give some guidance on how to view any caption I make. I noticed this more when I had posted some captions to TF Media, Since they didn't have a clue as to WHY Jennifer liked bondage and blowjobs, or that Bren loved revenge stories, or who the hell Dee was and why was she so mean to everyone else. When I am making captions for Haven people (which is 99 percent of what I make) I can often shortcut what is said because "Hey, its for Caitlyn, and everyone reading it already knows what she likes, blah blah blah". One of my goals is to try to make them a little less "insider knowledge" and make them a bit more universal without losing the familiarity for the person that I am creating it for.
If I can create a good balance between the two, then I will have done what I wanted to, and to the best of my ability. I hope that within the context, they won't miss anything TOO important.
Originally, I had the last line being "and then jilling herself to sleep." but when I had Jennifer proof it for me to make sure it was understood, she said, "what is jilling?" I thought that was a relatively common term for female masturbation, the equivalent to "jacking off" but I guess its a regional thing, sort of like how a a sandwich on a long bun can be called: a sub, a torpedo, a grinder, a poor boy, a hoagie, etc ... I just went with the most common way to say what I meant.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: Have you ever had an issue with a regional way of getting your point across, whether in a caption, or even just trying to communicate with someone from another area, state, or country? Not so much that it was a total different language. Everyone was speaking the same native tongue but in a much different fashion.
For instance, I always took Hostels to be more of a European thing, and most people in the U.S. didn't know much about them until the horror movie with the same name came out a few years ago.
Also, how much should a caption for someone be tailored exactly towards the recipient and how much should it be more universal?