Purple prose and families

+7 votes
72 views
I find quite a few biographies have sentences like "He was a wonderful father band loved by all that knew him" I think biographies should be strictly factual and not tributes. Just because someone loves their parents doesn't mean they were actually good person.
in Policy and Style by Richard Belcher G2G6 (7.4k points)
I see nothing wrong with it. Just factual, although most of the time that can't be helped, is boring.

6 Answers

+3 votes
Not seen that 'yet' on any profiles.  Though the same could be said for gravestones etc...
by Anonymous Bowling G2G6 Mach 5 (59.5k points)
+8 votes
I gather you don't like reading the old biography of X county books?  Or obituaries, for that matter?  I suppose some of the people who die were not good, but I think most people are loved by those in their families and their flaws are covered up by phrases like "he had a hard life but always ..."
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (408k points)
+7 votes
I have one example of this but it is referenced to an obituary. Are you happy with that?
by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (257k points)
+5 votes
I don't think we should be telling people they can't honor their family in their bios.
by Nan Starjak G2G6 Pilot (269k points)
+3 votes
Philosophically I tend to agree with Richard, although I am not inclined to try to persuade others to do things my way.  When I write a bio, I try to be very careful to separate factual material from my interpretation of it, or my spin on it.  IMHO, if we can clearly distinguish between documented facts and embellishment due to a writing style, then mission accomplished, and I'm willing cut you some slack on how you honor your ancestors.
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (427k points)
+3 votes
If the bio was written by the person's child (in which case it is presumably private and no one cares about it except family members), I don't have a problem. However, if it is not clear that the person writing the bio is a child and has the first-hand information, there should be a source (preferably in-line) for the statement, just like for all other statements. For example, if the bio was written by a granddaughter and her mother told her that her maternal grandfather was a wonderful father and loved by everyone, it is OK to say that, but the bio should indicate that that was according to his daughter, as told to his granddaughter.
by Chase Ashley G2G6 Pilot (217k points)
If we get too pedantic all we'll achieve is driving people away. Live and let live. We need to mind our own business and not push our own style/preferences/expectations on others.

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