User:Mrthejazz/It's not an in-joke

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Okay folks, this is a huge pet peeve of mine, so I'm letting it out now. I have seen, time and again, the rationale of "It's too in-jokey", for arguing against features or to explain why an article is bad or maybe not quite up to cuff. Problem is, half of the time what these people are describing is NOT an "in-joke."

Nutshell.svg This page in a nutshell: Self-referential humour is not an in-joke.

The definition of in-joke

An in-joke is a joke that, due to jargon, or perhaps a conversation that happened a long time ago, etc, only a select group of people get. In-jokes have two sources of humor. 1) The bizarre event that produced it, and 2) The fact that other people aren't in on the joke.

What isn't an in-joke

The following items belong is separate categories altogether. While they aren't mutually exclusive, an article is not necessary an in-joke just because...

The article mentions uncyclopedia in the title

If I wrote an article titled "Uncyclopedia is being overrun by the queeros." That is not an in-joke. Why? Because you don't have to be an editor of uncyclopedia to "get it." The whole turnoff with in-jokes is that it's "haha, you don't get the joke, haha." If anything, I would consider "uncylopedia articles that mention uncyclopedia" to be more self-reference, or a weird kind of group vanity, which isn't always better, but it's not the same thing. In my mind, it's more forgivable if the article is really good. Uncyclopedia Needs More Snakes is an article I specifically remember falling victim to this on VFH. If I've visited uncyclopedia and read a few featured articles, then that would be enough for me to get the jokes on that page, so the whole rationale falls apart. Sure, I may think, "these guys are egoistic assholes", but I wouldn't think, "I don't get it."

In-jokes that are referenced in the article

Look, if you let the guy in on the joke, it ceases to be an in-joke, right? So, say I link the article that explains the in-joke, or I even have a little disclaimer at the beginning for the especially thick witted, that should be enough. Let's give our audience a little credit. You have to have at least some lights going on in your head to even want to read satire. The truly thick-witted avoid satire like rats with herpes.

Again, the moment you explain the joke, it ceases to be exclusive and thus an in-joke. You're all clear, homey.

Satire of something in the public domain that somebody just so happens to not have read

Again, I've seen this called an in-joke, and I wanted to bludgeon somebody. I'm writing this during the whole Egypt protest thing. If I were to write an UnNews about Egypt, and our reader just so happens to not know anything about Egypt, that's not an in-joke. This has the "haha you don't get the joke haha" quality to it, but it's not our fault if a person is generally unread. Hell, anything could be an in-joke with this rationale. Want to write an article about bees? What about the guy who's lived in a cave his whole life and has no knowledge of bees? Oop, can't write that, it's an IN-JOKE. AHHHHH!

References to old articles that seem to be in-jokes even though the references stand as funny on their own

Hunh? What's that now?

I'll explain with example.

Many people know the article Captain Obvious. If I start writing like I'm captain obvious, I'm not being in-jokey, because even though I'm referencing an article, the joke of being obvious still stands on its own.

If I did that with an article like AAAAAAAA! on the other hand, then that would be an in-joke. The original joke with the article is that Wikis are supposed to be full of information, and the article is instead just well formatted A's. If I just started writing "AAAAA" to somebody I didn't know, the joke wouldn't carry over to well, because it's no longer a parody of anything, it's just me typing the letter "A" over and over.

In Conclusion

Stop calling everything an in-joke...OR I WILL DESTROY YOUR HOME PLANET! (Get it?)