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Old August 31 2013, 05:54 PM   #26
Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
^I often seem to receive my copy of a new book Down Under a few days - sometimes even a week - before anyone in the US. Does that mean I can quickly skim read it and post spoilery details of each book within hours of receiving it? Even before Pavonis has read it?
By my definition, yes. Whether it's douchey or not shouldn't matter to the definition of what is a spoiler or what material is considered spoilery. It's out, therefore by definition not a spoiler. Not widely known, perhaps, but not a spoiler anymore.

No, because each book doesn't arrive in each world location at the same time. Some places still have a two to three-month delay due to distributors using sea freight.
Doesn't matter, as far as I'm concerned. Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness were both released everywhere other than the US first. Wikipedia had the entire plot for both movies posted within hours (maybe minutes?) of the release of both films anywhere in the world. If I can look it up on Wikipedia, I don't think anyone should consider it a spoiler. Might as well say that the knowledge of Titanic's sinking is a spoiler, too, so that tweenage girls that haven't seen James Cameron's Titanic aren't spoiled on the ending.

The fact that not everyone could see a film or read a novel immediately shouldn't be part of the definition of what is and what is not a spoiler. It's easier that way. Spoilers before release, not spoilers after release.

Spoilers used to be for plot details that shouldn't be known before the release of the story. They were for people in the know, and everyone else wasn't supposed to know. Spoilers were classified material, not for public release until a specified date. Now spoilers are anything that someone else doesn't know. Well, then, everything is a spoiler to someone. A six month ban on uncoded spoilers is just as arbitrary as a one day ban or a ten year ban. Where's the data that says that "most everyone" (and what percentage is that?) who "wants" to read the book or see the film will see it in any particular time frame? Show me some statistics! Get some data! Then make a policy.

No matter what, though, I'd reserve the word spoiler for unreleased material. If you need a new word for released-but-not-widely-distributed-yet plot details, make some other word up and use that.

Can I stand outside live theatres showing Shakespeare or Agatha Christie plays shouting "XXXXX dunnit!"? Those stories have been around for years, after all.
Yes, go ahead, do it. Again, maybe doing so is douchey, maybe rude, maybe it's even just stupid, but you're not, by my definition, shouting out spoilers.

Anyway, I don't understand people who don't want to learn something about works they've not experienced yet. I've seen so many "fans" avoid simple things like advertisements for upcoming films and call them "spoilers". That makes absolutely no sense. Officially released announcements and advertisements for media cannot be spoilers, and yet people regularly label things such. Is the knowledge of the mere existence of upcoming media a spoiler, too, then? "Oh, I want to be surprised", people say. Well, better just avoid society then, because you may accidentally learn of the existence of an upcoming story that you may - *gasp* - enjoy! The horror!!
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