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The platonic ideal for trope-naming. These are to trope names much as Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics are to Artificial Intelligence:

  1. The name of a trope must be clear, so that readers can intuitively guess the definition at a glance;
  2. The name of a trope should be concise, so long as conciseness does not conflict with clarity, defined above;
  3. The name of a trope should aim for witty, provided it does not conflict with either of the first two.

The specific order of these items is very important: Names that fail in clarity will attract misuse more often than names which are overly long (but clear), or so clinically devoid of humor that it should be a crime. It's no mere hyperbole, either, but a proven fact of the Trope Repair Shop—renames are proposed (and evaluated) on the grounds of active misuse or misleading titles more often than any other criterion.

That said, we also acknowledge that sometimes a good trope name can fail to meet these requirements. It's an undeniable fact that many legacy trope names did—but it's also a fact that some of those names are now practically standard terminology not only within the troping community but in the literary/writing world at large. We're not going to be annoying pedants and reject a good name just because it doesn't fit these rules. But try to follow them, anyway.