WRCR rules: The good, the bad, and the [bleep]

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WRCR rules: The good, the bad, and the [bleep]

Post by Senechal » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:00 pm

First of all, the link: http://ooyamaneko.net/download/mahjong/ ... s_2015.pdf

I want to preface this with the intention that the thread is meant to comment and criticize the rules, and by extension, any relevant meta enforced by the community it comes from. I don't think it is wise to blame a single person for anything contained within, but there are things worth saying, and venting on a public forum is a fair way of going about.

Please don't engage in personal attacks on the main author: he has moderation privileges here but RM has always been a fairer community for conversation.

-----------

#1 (S1+2.1): In a magnaminous use of goodfact and doublethink, the uncalled version of a "pon" is now a "pung", uncalled "chii" -> "chow", and uncalled "kan" -> "kong". The reasons mentioned relate to how the rules aim for an international audience, and that these terms are "widespread among English speakers and avoid any ambiguity".

Having said that, unless I get my hands on an M-W or OED to verify, wikitionary has the uncalled version of "pon" [as defined here] as "pong", not "pung" in English, has "pung" in French, proving the lack of said international prevalence of the term. I had discussed previously in the #osamuko chat channel before these even came out that this was the kind of change that I was expecting to occur but dreaded. Using shuntsu, koutsu and kantsu was not helpful in the 2013 edition of the rules. But set/triple/triplet, run/sequence, as well as quad are apparently too alien to the English language to use. The rules have a tendency to complacently kowtow to the ESL community, the English language be damned. If these rules ever get adopted by the EMA and get disseminated in other languages, the French will continue to pronounce them differently, the Germans to write them differently, and there goes the internationalization argument.

#2 (S2.1): "Big Melded Kong" (called kan) and "Small Melded Kong" (filled kan). These sound googlefished, one character at a time: I have yet to hear anyone say these anywhere. Whatever.

#3 (S2.3[.7]): "... the sum of each hanchan scores". More ESL. "...all hanchan scores" or "...every hanchan score".

#4 (S5.4.x): To call, you must use the call name clearly, but if you don't, a later section says not to care. I mean, how can you after this? No indication on how to treat silent callers, or people in the Russosphere who will mix P/R, or the number of Francophones who don't use consonants when calling, confusing "pon" and "ron" in a different but equally annoying manner.

#5 (S6.1+S6.4): Yes, it does say that you need a yaku. But someone, somewhere, using these rules as their starter document will eventually pull the same "is dora yaku" questioning a lot of us did when starting to play mahjong. There should be a definite reminder in Section 6.4 on principle.

#6 (S6.5.x): "Itsu" is wrong (extra t, plus a macron), and the spacing of romanized yaku names follows someone's logic but with no clear rule or guideline. A fear for putting numbers with other words, yet "daisangen" is fine. I expect to see "daisan gen" or "dai san gen", or an explanation of the logic.

#7 (S7.1[.2]): Talking about point penalties of -1P. Not present or applied in the rules. Nothing more but remnant verbiage.

#8 (S7.2): Good point: any kuikae leading to a discard is penalized with a dead hand. Bad point: "empty call" penalties, with the definition of the "empty call" penalty being "nothing" in most cases. The whole page 28 should be printed out, burned to a crisp and rewritten.

#9 (S7.2[.17]): "Substitute players are scored normally and then not included in the ranking." It would be nice to see the EMA actually implement this, as they have a significant history of tournaments with "SUBSTITUTE PLAYERS" jacking everyone else's score. --- Does this also mean that a person designated to substitute for a player absent all tournament wouldn't be allowed to rank up ?

#10: The document still has that horrible draft feel to it. The headings look horrible, and in the yaku list, there should be a more visually appealing separation between the English and Japanese yaku name. As much as I can appreciate the lack of italics used in the document, if anything needs it, it's that. The header and footer are also deficient, when the fonts don't match, it looks like an amateur did this, not a committee. (Again, I'm attacking the document, not the writer.)

I think there was also an instance of the word drawn written as "drown" somewhere, but Osamu caught that, not me.


Overall, this is on the high end of what we expected would come out of an EMA-friendly process. But there are many issues remaining. "No foreign objects" was not included, but there are mentions of "obstruction" penalties... I doubt the rules were meant to be interpreted in that way though.

The most significant thing missing though is the series of comments made by the main author on his own website, here: http://ooyamaneko.net/mahjong/bookcmp/v ... 015COMM_en . 70-80% of that should almost have been included in the rules verbatim, or with a bit of layout magic. Visual yaku are not needed from the comments, but the rest seemed very good.

The rules, adjustments and changes (priority call with no window) are a step in the right direction. The description thereof though has a lot weighing against it. Rewriting page 28 and translating the groups from ESL to English would help immensely. Doubt it will happen though.

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Re: WRCR rules: The good, the bad, and the [bleep]

Post by gemma » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:22 pm

Hi Senechal,

As always, thank you for your feedback and criticism! It's great to get constructive feedback like this. The author wrote the rules of course, so I'm sure there are some things he would like to comment on. I am only going to comment in my capacity as the head of the WRC committee. It's not a final word, as such, because the committee could decide I'm a crazy despot and a successor could change the direction.

Most of the English language stuff, I am going to throw that squarely at the feet of the native speakers in the committee who checked it. (I have a horrible tendency to back off after many a time I am told that it is "American English" but perhaps I need to step back in to the fray more forcefully.) Your comments have been heard. I'll find a way to improve the process in the future so that Sylvain doesn't have to worry about silly English issues and focus on the rules.

For things like "foreign objects on the table" etc. These items will actually be a part of another supplementary documentation that will be used alongside the rules. Sylvain's rulebook is really to guide the mechanics of the game itself. Indeed, some parts of this version may get moved into the supplementary documentation as we look at it. It has always been our intention from the initial meeting at the WRC 2014 to create such a document and also to be able to guide and empower referees to make judgements (judgments) where necessary. Tournament format is another matter again. I am afraid it is an organic process at the moment for its pros and its many cons. As Sylvain has pointed out in his interview with Mahjong News, there were issues in the formalizing of the rules within the committee. This is an issue I am using my thinking brain on to find a better way to make the process work so poor Sylvain is not chasing us (me) up all the time.

Regarding the use of terminology, everytime this comes up, it becomes a discussion point. I don't think a compromise that has been accepted on all sides has been found yet. But we can revisit this issue again.

So athough I can't wave a magic wand and make all the issues right (or perferably make everyone agree at least...), but what may make you feel more relieved is that we are planning to discuss the rules on an annual basis to ensure that we are keeping up with developments with rules across the international organizations and the way players are using the rules. (If any gross disasters come up, we can always issue amendments.) I'm hoping that this will keep the organization flexible and able to react with *relative* speed to issues that arise and constructive criticism as your own.

TL;DR: We're gonna keep getting better with a little help from our friends. ;)

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Re: WRCR rules: The good, the bad, and the [bleep]

Post by Senechal » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:50 pm

As long as criticism can be heard, expressed, exchanged and compared upon, then we're heading in the right direction. In the past, the common response was delete, block, and deny legitimate criticism {regardless of venue} if it ruffled the wrong person's feathers or fur.

Some know me for having a venomous sting when I mention these kinds of things. My sole motivation is to make sure that riichi mahjong can stand proudly outside Asia for what it is: a game of Japanese origin that has organically evolved into its own greatness. When I see retro-sinicization of terms, I feel like the game's Occidental stewards redefine it as a subordinate and subserviant branch of Chinese mahjong... in short: "tile-clacking version B".

Mind you, I'm not for weeaboo supremacy either: words such as machi can easily be translated to wait/attente.

It's just hard to discuss when voices are spread so far apart we can't even hear echoes. :riichi

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Re: WRCR rules: The good, the bad, and the [bleep]

Post by Shirluban » Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:03 pm

Pung VS Pong
The question of "pung" VS "pong" never rose during the rule revision, but now that I take a close look at it, I'll insist on "pung".
(FI, The question of using plain English terms did rose.)

According to Sloperama's "Rosetta Stone", pung is far more prevalent among authors:
http://www.sloperama.com/mjfaq/mjfaq06.htm
Spoiler: show
PUNG

Babcock......Pung
Barr.........Bump, Pung
Bell.........Pung
BMJA.........Pung
Carkner......Pung
Constantino..Phoong
Dutch(FN)....Pong (pung)
Glass........Pung
Huang........Tri (triple, kou)
Japanese.....Pon (spoken. Noun: kootsu ; exp.: minkoo; conc.: ankoo)
K & F........Pon
Kohnen.......Pung
Li...........Three-of-a-kind (pèng)
Lo...........Noun: Triplet; Verb: declare Pung
Mhing........Triplet (verb: pung)
Millington...Pong
MJM..........Pung (J: pon, C: pàng)
NMJL.........Pung
OCOCCMJ......Tri (noun); Pen or Pen Pie (verb)
P & C........Pung
Pritchard....Pung
Robertson....Pung
S & E........Pung
Shanghai.....Pong / Triple / Pon / Pung (4 voices)
T & M........Pung
Tjoa.........Peng
Tsui-IMJ.....Bango (verb: bang)
Tsui-WUMT....Pung (verb: pung)
Walters......Pung
Whitney......Triplet
Willoughby...Triple (kèzi, pùng)
WPAFB........Pung
Wu...........Triplet (if formed by penging, Peng - if concealed in the hand, Ko)
Jyut Ping....Pung3 (noun: Kaan5)
Chinese...... (noun: )
Preferred....Pung (verb: pung)
A quick search on English-language websites also gives more fuel to "pung":
RM.com forum: pung: 98 posts / pong: 25 posts
mahjong.us.com forum: pung: 30 posts / pong: 2 posts
Osamuko: pung: 4 articles / pong: 2 articles
Mahjong News: pung: 53 results / pong: 35 results

According to the Concise Oxford English dictionary (2009), none of them are actual English words, at least not in this meaning.


So, I'm confident saying "pung" has international prevalence in the English language. Be it first or second language.

I had discussed previously in the #osamuko chat channel before these even came out that this was the kind of change that I was expecting to occur but dreaded.
I don't know how to take that remark; if you were expecting some dreadful changes, why not contacting the author beforehand to raise your concern?


#4 (S5.4.x):
$7.2 "Wrong word":
"Using alternative terms is not penalized, as long as the player makes clear what he is intending to do."
If someone says "pron" and reveals two tiles from his hand, then he undoubtedly made a pung call.
If someone says "pron" and reveals his whole hand, then he undoubtedly made a ron call.
In both cases there are no real disturbance, so no real need to beat the player.

But yes, the rule could use a defined penalty for unclear calls.

Yaku list
The spacing of Japanese names is quite tricky, since it doesn't exist in Japanese.
But yes, it lacks standardisation.
The good news is I regard this as an edition error, so it should hopefully be corrected before the next revision. For example, when the WRC will have a logo I'm pretty sure the rulebook will have to be re-edited to include it.
("Re-edited" = changing visual stuff, NOT changing the text.)

Point penalties
If anything, point penalties are here to give referees more options.
And they ARE present and applied in the rules. See §7.2 "Calling with a dead hand", "Phone ringing", "Being late for a hanchan" and "Missing a hanchan".
See also anything marked "at the referee's discretion".

Substitute players
If it's known right from the start a player will be absent for the whole tournament, and a single player takes its seat to play like everyone else, then I don't really see how he's a substitute player and not just a normal player like everyone else.
But that's just my personal opinion.

Horrible draft
For the challenged header and footer, I blame MS Word inability to select the whole document when requested to do so.
For the horrible titles, feel free to give it a try.
At this point I'm surprised you said nothing about the 1 sou not showing the drawing of an actual peacock.

No foreign objects
It'll certainly be included in the next revision.

Comments
To be honest, the "visual yaku" are only here to fill up space.

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Re: WRCR rules: The good, the bad, and the [bleep]

Post by Senechal » Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:40 am

Shirluban wrote:Pung VS Pong
{...}
A quick search on English-language websites also gives more fuel to "pung":
RM.com forum: pung: 98 posts / pong: 25 posts
mahjong.us.com forum: pung: 30 posts / pong: 2 posts
Osamuko: pung: 4 articles / pong: 2 articles
Mahjong News: pung: 53 results / pong: 35 results
I don't know why Osamuko was included in the list, as I sincerely doubt that pung or pong is used on a regular basis for anything. I could go and check the articles, but articles containing "pon" or articles containing "triplet" would dwarf those numbers completely. Overall, not relevant.
Shirluban wrote: According to the Concise Oxford English dictionary (2009), none of them are actual English words, at least not in this meaning.
So, I'm confident saying "pung" has international prevalence in the English language. Be it first or second language.
Prevalence has a meaning: if it's not in the concise Oxford, then it isn't prevalent. Adding to that, it really isn't relevant how guides for non-Japanese mahjong transliterate words or replace them.
Shirluban wrote:
I had discussed previously in the #osamuko chat channel before these even came out that this was the kind of change that I was expecting to occur but dreaded.
I don't know how to take that remark; if you were expecting some dreadful changes, why not contacting the author beforehand to raise your concern?
I have no weight in the WRCC, the EMA, or any organizational body. My remarks are often treated like molotovs: ignored when possible, dodged when necessary. As a highly-appreciated member of the Canadian community, my efforts are best spent here at home running actual events (I did, finally!), since we have yet to incorporate into any legal structure (until we have a network of clubs, there is no point). As for contacting the author, I already know what I need to know. It sounds arrogant saying this directly to you (we're both part of the vanguard of the riichi wave online) but I know what you are capable of, and why this came about. In your shoes, I'd probably make the same decision... but in your role, I wouldn't. I don't think any less of you as a person for it. Assuming if I wanted to contact someone on the subject, there's the "when" and "to who" questions. A lot of these discussions take place either in secret or in communication channels not freely accessible to the public, not to mention the issue of standing of stakeholders wishing to contribute (which in my case, I don't have any). By the time that the lambda user hears about it, everything has been decided upon.


As for the formatting of the document, having serif page headers, footers and the table of contents in TNR when the rest of the text is sans serif is a visual sin, as well as indented headers. The only time a header shouldn't be flush left is if it's centered along with justified text as if you were writing a novel. If this is still a draft version, then you can ignore the remark for now: it is fair to say that we were under the impression that this was a final version of the document. It seems there are some logos and other style elements to be included in the future so here's to hoping.

And for calls, well nothing in the rules prevents people from saying "call" or "kwijibo". I appreciate the fact that the idea supporting "actions speak louder than words" is accepted, but how far are we willing to go in regards to acceptable call words? Once you let people feel comfortable in doing whatever, you'll end up with a result equal to "whatever". I don't know if you remember me in Copenhagen in 2011, I had a fingersnap back then, which I followed with the proper audible call name. Could a person get away with just a fingersnap if they aren't mute?


TL;DR: WRCR went from a store brand cola to Pepsi. Pepsi is amazing, but the fizz is gone and the taste is off when served in a Coke bottle.

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Re: WRCR rules: The good, the bad, and the [bleep]

Post by Kyuu » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:23 pm

Shirluban wrote: Yaku list
The spacing of Japanese names is quite tricky, since it doesn't exist in Japanese.
But yes, it lacks standardisation.
The good news is I regard this as an edition error, so it should hopefully be corrected before the next revision. For example, when the WRC will have a logo I'm pretty sure the rulebook will have to be re-edited to include it.
("Re-edited" = changing visual stuff, NOT changing the text.)
I blame Sen for this "standardization"; but it works:

http://arcturus.su/wiki/List_of_yaku

Anything as "4-syllable", we split into "two words". But anything "3-syllable or less", we joined into one word. We used to have some written in a manner similar to "san ankou" and "suu ankou". Overall, these are things in the English language, that we actually have some level of control over. After all, it is our language.

===

As for "pong", "pung", "pon", and the like, any mahjong player should be able to recognize these terms as synonyms without being bothered.
Shirluban wrote:Substitute players
If it's known right from the start a player will be absent for the whole tournament, and a single player takes its seat to play like everyone else, then I don't really see how he's a substitute player and not just a normal player like everyone else.
But that's just my personal opinion.
Well, every tournament at risk of having a "no show" or a "deserter" ruin the event. Hence, it is necessary to have a number of substitutes on the side.

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Re: WRCR rules: The good, the bad, and the [bleep]

Post by Senechal » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:08 am

To be fair, pointing to a reference majoritarily written by myself (edit: not that specific list, but it was built from an IRC list in the past and the editing rules are elsewhere on the wiki) merits a bit more scrutiny than to simply call it a gold standard. But there are people who oppose some of what's been proposed by myself so I guess there is a slightly more collaborative process.

Let me try explaining that specific rule. I've seen people justify writing "Ii peikou", "Ryan peikou", "San ankou". So the rule seemed to be that numbers were separable, but then that breaks down with "dai san gen", "shou suu shii", "tsuu ii sou"... should numbers be kept separate on both sides, and why should we split "ii sou" but not "itsu" when both are written with the same characters... because it was exceedingly rare that "hon itsu" and "chin itsu" were ever written with a space. Then the whole proper or common noun issue, and multiple capitalization just kept making things look like poop.

And since stuff like "koku shimusou" were coming up, and any rule separating digits should lead to "chuu renpoutou". Sometimes, spaces were used to split apart things with semantic meaning: "tanyao chuu" when "yaochuu" is a concept that is not dissociable. Using macrons or not in English is a style issue, whereas in French, they are almost imposed due to the u / ou confusion.

The brief rule in regards to that can be distilled to:
* Yaku are common nouns. I didn't specify mahjong as a common noun as I don't have the authority to force people to overthrow closely-held beliefs and practices... but as for "flush", "straight", and "full house", poker hands are common nouns, so they should be in mahjong as well. Capital letters only apply at the start of a sentence, or depending on the type of list (yaku list: leading capital letter; general term list: no capital letter).
* 3-character terms are indissociable.
* 4-character terms are split, generally two by two.
* Exceptions: ikkitsuukan (to match ittsuu)... and I guess the more esoteric terms like "betaori" that will almost never be used in normal discussion.
* Romanize directly to Hepburn and do not re-adapt vowels or consonants. (Do not use "tanyou" or "tchii")


I agree that it sounds like nitpicking, but it is fair to say that despite the dissemination of mahjong literature, no standards were made, and if there were any, it's only with initiatives like Simon N's regarding rule collections that external stakeholders get a say, if any. The wiki is the best thing we have as a resource that unapologetically caters solely to riichi mahjong.

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Re: WRCR rules: The good, the bad, and the [bleep]

Post by Shirluban » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:05 pm

I was thinking about removing every space, safe:
Daburu riichi
Menzen tsumo
Rinshan kaihō
Sanshoku dōjun
Sanshoku dōkō
Kokushi musō
Chūren pōto

Using correct Hepburn:
Tan'yao
Hon'itsu
Chin'itsu
Ittsū

And shorten Toitoi hō to Toitoi.

... Which turns out to pretty much the same results.
But I doubt apostrophes will be very popular.
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Re: WRCR rules: The good, the bad, and the [bleep]

Post by Senechal » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:21 pm

Time to beat a dead horse for more meat.

Collins, Oxford, Robert and Larousse are in agreement: neither pong, pung, chow or kong havr any mahjong definition whatsoever.

Thus the prevalence claim is a myth.

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