Buzz Words

Hey folks, The Butcher here with a few words about words.

Specifically,
buzz words
.
Buzz words
irritate me.
Buzz words
serve no other purpose than to allow people who are basically unfamiliar with a process to sound cool by using imaginary lingo instead of the accepted terminology. It's redundant, pretentious, and irritating to me, The Butcher. And if it irritates The Butcher, it's gotta go. Just to show you how
buzz words
have infiltrated our consciences and industry, for the remainder of this article, all
buzz words
will be in italics. Note that even the term "
buzz word
" is a
buzz word
in and of itself. Dammit, that's irritating!

Perhaps the most annoying
buzz word
to surface recently is
tweening
. A recent article in a nationally published animation magazine (*ahem*) described the entire processes of creating the drawings in between key poses as
tweening
. The drawings themselves were even referred to as
tweens
. Not once were the terms "inbetweening" and "inbetweens" used - not even to show where these annoying
buzz words
came from. People, there is no need for new words to describe the process of in-betweening and the inbetweens themselves! Changing the word does not make it more interesting, or easier to understand for the masses. It's less descriptive than the proper term: an "inbetween" intrinsically sounds like something that goes in between two other things - in this case, two other drawings. The only proper use of the word
tween
in cartooning is as a sound effect for a bullet bouncing off of Superman's chest.
Tweeeeeeeeeeeeen!

Computer technology has completely replaced certain processes. Before computers, if an artist needed to see one drawing overlaid on top of another, they'd either hold the two sheets of drawings up to the light, or place the drawings on a lightbox. In the
digital realm
, you don't have
physical sheets
to shine a light through, but the computer can simulate the effect. What is this called when done on a computer? Lightboxing? Nope. Transparency? Nope again. They call it
onion-skinning
. To "lightbox" two drawings might be a little vague, and to "put them on transparency" gives an idea of what might be going on. But onion-skinning is something you do in the Army when you're on KP.
Onion-skinning
is culinary, not cinematic. Keep it in the kitchen, okay?

Animation is a process. It is NOT the finished product. Thus, I'm getting sick of hearing people talk about "
animations
for the web". "I make
animations
".....oh, shut up - that really sounds lame. No one says that they like watching saturday morning
animations
. Call it cartoons, or call it Quicktimes, or call it AVIs, or call it quits. You can not express the word animation as a plural!! So there.

As long as we're on the topic of software, here's an annoying expression that comes up alot especially where tech support is concerned:
twenty-four-seven
. STOP THAT!!! It's overused faux hipster-speak. Just knock it off.

Equally annoying is the term
toons
. We can trace this one back to "
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
", a movie in which the cartoon characters that lived in the real world were referred to as
'toons
. However, somehow the word
toons
became a substitute for not only cartoon characters (as in "Goofy is my favorite
toon
"), but for animation itself - as in "I work in
toons
". It's another over-used expression, and as such I hereby undertake to refuse to recognize it as a legitimate term, except for when it refers the animation production software made by SoftImage, which is spelled with a
z
instead of an
s
, anyway.

It's great that technology is now making possible for the average joe to create animated projects on a scale ranging from a short piece for the internet to a feature-length film. However, it seems totally unnecessary to invent new terms for the benefit of those who are unfamiliar to the technical and artistic aspects of animation. If you want to learn animation, then learn animation. If you want to teach it, then teach it, but don't re-invent or reverse engineer the wheel in the process.

Remember folks, The Butcher swings his cleaver in anger because he cares. But say the word
tween
in my presence and you'll find my cleaver swinging towards your neck. See ya.

The Butcher

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