My Story

Sirloin

Strategos
Muriel is a woman's name, it is a bit outdated, unless it has come around again for babies, as outdated names tend to once our great grandmothers have been dead longer than new parents have been alive.

I had a boss called Muriel. If in doubt google it rather than making it the writer's issue that your general knowledge sucks.

This may be partly my bad mood talking, but the point is valid.
 

Archon of Corinth

Guest
For whatever reason, it's not taking me to the 30 second screen :(
I suggest that you stop posting until the bug is fixed :p

Good story btw figgy. Let's see some more. :)
 
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a pebble

Strategos
Muriel is a woman's name, it is a bit outdated, unless it has come around again for babies, as outdated names tend to once our great grandmothers have been dead longer than new parents have been alive.

I had a boss called Muriel. If in doubt google it rather than making it the writer's issue that your general knowledge sucks.

This may be partly my bad mood talking, but the point is valid.
Actually, it's the writer's job to cater to the audience. If using an incredibly rare, outdated name for a female, the writer should make it immediately clear the she is female. If writer's no longer have to cater to audiences, then literature is about to die.
 

Sirloin

Strategos
It is not incredibly rare and my boss is still alive.
I took the trouble to google it for you too, and visited the wikipedia page, cos that seemed mainstream enough... but even Urban Dictionary is very clear throughout that Muriel is a girl (or a sissy man)

Here are some excerpts. Some of these may be a little too rarified for the masses, but I am surprised you have managed to avoid encountering all of these sources pebble.

Muriel (Animal Farm), a wise old goat in George Orwell's novel Animal Farm
Lady Muriel Orme is one of the main characters in Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno novels
Muriel Heslop, lead character in the 1994 iconic Australian film Muriel's Wedding
Muriel Stacy, Anne's teacher in Anne of Green Gables, which had a big influence upon the development of the main character
Chandler Muriel Bing, one of the male lead roles in the US TV sitcom Friends (1994-2004) - explaining the joke here, its funny cos its a female name...
Muriel Weasley, elderly gossipy great-aunt of Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2009)
Muriel, the main antagonist in the film Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

Also, as has been explained by others, the clues were already there when paired with Samuel.

Whilst it is of course up to the writer to avoid being obscure unless that is part of the art, he should not be chastised for not sticking to the mundane. I doubt the story would have been better if they had been named John and Anne. Your comeback (Actually) sounds more about having to be right than being right. Not really the critic's prerogative. The writer's audience is broad and international. If he must therefore stoop to the lowest common denominator then literature already died.

Its a girl's name. Google it already!
 

Varun

Strategos
^That

And if you are having troubles believing that Muriel is not a girl's name then watch Courage the Cowardly Dog. I insist.


I'll give you a cookie if you do. Maybe two. Just maybe.
 

a pebble

Strategos
It is not incredibly rare and my boss is still alive.
I took the trouble to google it for you too, and visited the wikipedia page, cos that seemed mainstream enough... but even Urban Dictionary is very clear throughout that Muriel is a girl (or a sissy man)
Roughly 60,000 people in the U.S. have the name Muriel. That means that 38 out of every 100,000 females have that name. It's rare. Your boss is anecdotal and conformation bias and thus irrelevant. But, if we want anecdotal evidence: I asked my 61 year old boss as well as my 42 year old mother if either of them have ever heard the name. Neither have. When asked to guess whether it was male or female, both thought male. So I'm winning the rarity and instant-perception argument. The actuality of it being female is horribly irrelevant if the people don't know it is female (which was my argument in the first place...)

Here are some excerpts. Some of these may be a little too rarified for the masses, but I am surprised you have managed to avoid encountering all of these sources pebble.
Oh boy...specific instances from literature, let's look!

Muriel (Animal Farm), a wise old goat in George Orwell's novel Animal Farm
Lady Muriel Orme is one of the main characters in Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno novels
Muriel Heslop, lead character in the 1994 iconic Australian film Muriel's Wedding
Muriel Stacy, Anne's teacher in Anne of Green Gables, which had a big influence upon the development of the main character
Chandler Muriel Bing, one of the male lead roles in the US TV sitcom Friends (1994-2004) - explaining the joke here, its funny cos its a female name...
Muriel Weasley, elderly gossipy great-aunt of Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2009)
Muriel, the main antagonist in the film Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
Animal Farm by Orwell: Never bothered to read it. Don't care to. But, either way:

As this is Orwell, he likely has the skill to show this character to be female right off the bat.
Also, this book was published 70 years ago - Muriel was likely more common.

Lewis Carroll Sylie/Bruno:

She's called Lady Muriel Orme...no matter the commonality of the name, he made the distinction she was female...Simple...
Either way, it was published in 1889 - the name was likely more common.

The Austrian Film:

Because everyone watches Austrian film? This proves nothing except your struggle to find adequate examples for your point.

Anne of Green Gables:

Oh yes. This certainly, by all means, will have educated reads of his story on the name Muriel with such certainty that my suggestion of making a clearer distinction early on relevant. Yes. You've won. Oh wait...No...

If your entire point is predicated that these names have been used before in literature then you're failing. Not only is this woman a teacher (a female profession during the time period of Anne of Green Gables), she is also likely detailed as a female by the author (probably by using the female profession if not a simple pronoun).

Friends:

The third most recent example you listed. It's on a male character. Despite any humor involved, it's associated with a man. Sure, female name in actuality, but the existence of a female name on a guy (and a purposefully rare female name at that) is still a poor argument.

Muriel Weasley:

Ahhh, Harry Potter. Still, her existence in Harry Potter does not necessitate the commonality of the name. Definitely does not mean it is well known.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters:

Yeah...ok. First, she's a witch (term for a female) - so it's called out then and there. Then, it's a movie which, by very nature of the medium, shows her as being female and thus calling it out clearly.

Nevertheless, you have 12 instances of media having the name and 27 total if you consider all the public figures listed on your source, Wikipedia. 27, out of all instances of media, added to your source. Yeah, it's rare.


Also, as has been explained by others, the clues were already there when paired with Samuel.
Perhaps, yes. Perhaps not. First, assuming people don't recognize it is a female, the married couple could be homosexual. Without knowing the name is female, it is just as plausible - especially if they think the name is male.

Second, if they dont think it's a male or female name (and are just unsure), they have ambiguity until Samuel (and potentially after him referring to point 1).

So, we could just solve this issue such pathetic ease: a pronoun reference. Using Mother or wife. Introducing Samuel first and have a reference to man and woman. And more ways if I wanted to list them. It's a pathetically easy thing to add in/fix. Not doing so for the benefit of the reader, which is by no means a small percentage of the audience, is lazy.

Whilst it is of course up to the writer to avoid being obscure unless that is part of the art, he should not be chastised for not sticking to the mundane. I doubt the story would have been better if they had been named John and Anne.
Never said he had to be mundane with "normal" names. Just that when using those names that are a bit more rare to call them out. Also, I'm not chastising him. All I said was: "Give some hint to who Muriel is. Thought it was a guy at first." If that's chastising, either you or he have REALLY thin skin, especially after I qualified it later with: "Do know this is not me being rude. Just giving some advice."

Your comeback (Actually) sounds more about having to be right than being right. Not really the critic's prerogative. The writer's audience is broad and international. If he must therefore stoop to the lowest common denominator then literature already died.

Its a girl's name. Google it already!
If I needed to be correct, I'd likely go elsewhere. Being correct here serves no benefit to me as I warrant such a small level of importance of being wrong in the forumers' eyes about topics as trivial as this. Especially in this section. But, even if I am wrong - dead wrong - and every reader that ever encounters this story knows the name is female without a doubt in the world, would he really like to risk it? All that can be fixed with such ease? Really this big a fuss? Hush. I'm trying to help him.

And now, I rest my case. Do whatever the hell you want with your story. Take my advice, or dont. I honestly don't care anymore. Didn't feel like getting hounded after giving advice, but it appears people have to harp on everything with such animosity. Good luck.
 

cloaca maxima

Guest
I might let you see some more in a week or so. ;)
Depends on how quickly I can get my errors corrected.
I applaud you. Write what you want. If others don't like it, too bad. And if all they can see are picky corrections, they are not seeing what you see.

I am a bit older than you-I worked as an editor for 22 years, have a published book and 15-20 published magazine articles. Correcting errors is easy. What is hard is having something worthwhile to say to begin with-that is the problem most people cannot overcome.

If you enjoy what you are writing, keep writing doing it.

(I now resign myself to the critics and editors to pick apart what I have said.)
 

a pebble

Strategos
Jesus dude, had a bad day?
Not really. Just annoyed with people impeding someone from bettering their story with minor fixes.

I applaud you. Write what you want. If others don't like it, too bad. And if all they can see are picky corrections, they are not seeing what you see.

I am a bit older than you-I worked as an editor for 22 years, have a published book and 15-20 published magazine articles. Correcting errors is easy. What is hard is having something worthwhile to say to begin with-that is the problem most people cannot overcome.

If you enjoy what you are writing, keep writing doing it.

(I now resign myself to the critics and editors to pick apart what I have said.)
Pick apart? Not really. Just saying that your entire stance on "picky corrections" is very...poor. Making the audience aware of character gender is not picky, but it is helpful. Also, I encourage him to keep the name Muriel - to write what he wants. I'm not bothering myself with content - just with how it was presented. I wasn't evn being rude or condescending. Just trying to help the guy with his story and was attacked.
 

Joseph Nieves

Strategos
I was writing. Thanks for the suggestions though.
As for the story I think it is going well, though as pebble said that first sentence could be changed.

Also not really sure why people are arguing with pebble, he was only suggesting a little improvement. Aside from Animal Farm I have never seen that name before, and the name didn't click as a female's name until I finished reading the dialogue between her and Samuel. Think it is great you are not using common boring names like mine, but a clue in the story about what the character's gender is would be helpful. At least when it is a name that is uncommon :)
 

cloaca maxima

Guest
Pick apart? Not really. Just saying that your entire stance on "picky corrections" is very...poor.

. . . . .

Just trying to help the guy with his story and was attacked.
My point is not that corrections do not need to be made-they certainly are important.

My point is that where most people fail is not grammar or minor points. The problem with most people's writing is that after they clean up all the grammar, etc., it turns out that they basically have nothing interesting to say in their writing and nobody wants to read it.

The kid seems to be telling a fairly interesting story. I'd like to hear a little more of what he has to say.

Sorry if I stepped on any toes.
 

Jorisva1

Polemarch
Jesus dude, had a bad day?

Repost.

I'm not even a native English speaker and I do agree that Muriel is a (rare but) female name. It's indeed not very common. But sounds like a normal female name. Sorry Pebbs, but I think you might have overreacted.. a bit :)

Great story btwn I enjoyed reading it :)
 

a pebble

Strategos
Repost.

I'm not even a native English speaker and I do agree that Muriel is a (rare but) female name. It's indeed not very common. But sounds like a normal female name. Sorry Pebbs, but I think you might have overreacted.. a bit :)

Great story btwn I enjoyed reading it :)
Interesting. Everyone else I've asked (now at 5, not including myself) has assumed male.
 

Jorisva1

Polemarch
Everyone I've asked (now at 33, including myself) has assumed female.

Come on pebbs. Let them post here please so we can actually discuss with them.

If everyone could actually come here and say whether they think Muriel is male or female.. that would be great.
 

a pebble

Strategos
Everyone I've asked (now at 33, including myself) has assumed female.

Come on pebbs. Let them post here please so we can actually discuss with them.

If everyone could actually come here and say whether they think Muriel is male or female.. that would be great.
They aren't on the forums (or any PX game, more than likely). Just my parent, boss, and 3 friends. And I sincerely doubt you've asked 33 people.

And again, it's not about whether it's male our remake. It's about that it could be confusing but easily solved.
 

Sirloin

Strategos
Try asking google :rolleyes:

I guess I could ask the 450ish people working at the same office as my exboss... gonna guess that would get a knowledge/experience as similar to mine as your parents is to yours.

The fact is, it is a woman's name, whether you have experience of it or not, and if you don't, well, you just learned something from figtree's writing, which is a big + to him.

So yeah, it could be a homosexual couple, or a trans couple, or any other sort of mix. Does it matter? If it does then that will emerge as the story progresses, and maybe challenge your (and many people's) prejudices. Another + for figtree's piece. Perhaps keeping you in suspense is part of the plan, or perhaps it really doesn't matter and you will be left to make your own mind up. All possible and valid literary aims.

I could be wrong (yes, that is a worthy statement to aspire to also) but out of the people posting here that they have never experienced the name before, are most from USA and under 25?
 
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