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11/04/2021 8:10 am  #1


Things Storytellers Keep Getting Wrong

This is a variant of similar threads, only it's about things that people regularly get wrong when creating works of fiction. Obviously in cases where people have superhuman powers, some allowances must be made, but this is for things that are wrong even allowing for that. I'll include categories because I suspect that certain themes will occur more than others, e.g. Legal.

Legal:
Incorrect: Lawyer stands right by a witness who is testifying.
Truth: That is a serious breach of protocol. This would only happen in the most extraordinary of circumstances if ever, and only with the judge's consent.

Legal
Incorrect; Criminal sentenced to a term in a jail-like asylum for being criminally insane
Truth: If you are judged legally insane, the setting is more hospital-like, and you're only there until you have recovered, not for a term. Likely there will be time where you're allowed to go outside but under carefully sueprvised circumstances.

Legal
Incorrect: Anyone who's deemed crazy can be sent by a court to an asylum
Truth: At least in Canada and the US, and likely most western countries, you can just be seen as crazy, or else a high percentage of murderers would wind up there. You have to be incapable of fully grasping what you did. In the real world, the Joker would have no chance of winding up in an asylum because he is fully aware of his crimes and delights in them.

Communcations
Incorrect: People ending a CB radio transmission finish with "Over and Out".
Truth: "Over" means the person speaking has finished talking but is giving the other person an opportunity to respond (and is expecting them to do so). "Out" by itself means the call is ending. It's the same reason that you wouldn't say on a phone "I'm hanging up now but keep talking".
 


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11/04/2021 9:17 am  #2


Re: Things Storytellers Keep Getting Wrong

Hospital dramas:

Women getting defibrillated while still wearing their bras. There's an obvious reason why shows don't want to be accurate here - depending on the film/show nudity can be a no-no - but in real life if they need to defibrillate then all clothing on the upper body has to come off. 

Nasal cannulas - those tubes that go under the noses of people in hospital. They are for delivering oxygen to patients with breathing issues, so most patients don't need them, but umpteen hospital dramas see them used for anyone in hospital, regardless of what they are being treated for.

 

 

11/04/2021 9:32 am  #3


Re: Things Storytellers Keep Getting Wrong

Loki wrote:

Hospital dramas:

Nasal cannulas - those tubes that go under the noses of people in hospital. They are for delivering oxygen to patients with breathing issues, so most patients don't need them, but umpteen hospital dramas see them used for anyone in hospital, regardless of what they are being treated for.

 

Not sure if this counts as a "breathing issue", but every time I've been put under anesthesia they've been put on me.

 

11/04/2021 9:49 am  #4


Re: Things Storytellers Keep Getting Wrong

zuckyd1 wrote:

Loki wrote:

Hospital dramas:

Nasal cannulas - those tubes that go under the noses of people in hospital. They are for delivering oxygen to patients with breathing issues, so most patients don't need them, but umpteen hospital dramas see them used for anyone in hospital, regardless of what they are being treated for.

 

Not sure if this counts as a "breathing issue", but every time I've been put under anesthesia they've been put on me.

For being put under, sure, but watch how many dramas have them on anyone who is lying in a hospital bed.
https://static0.srcdn.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Family-standing-around-a-patient-in-bed-in-General-Hospital.jpg?q=50&fit=crop&w=740&h=370&dpr=1.5

https://s2.r29static.com/bin/entry/3d6/0,0,2000,1050/x,80/2028760/image.jpg

https://i.insider.com/5d38b24b36e03c2818047873?width=700&format=jpeg&auto=webp
https://i.insider.com/5d38b2ae36e03c282822e962?width=700&format=jpeg&auto=webp
https://www.media2.hw-static.com/wp-content/uploads/house-fox-hugh-laurie-with-patient_27825615-625x500-625x500.jpeg

https://i.insider.com/5c33b21301c0ea00f078f7ca?width=700

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a6/f4/ba/a6f4ba64b36badf051447eb9a0b6f65f.jpg

 

11/04/2021 11:28 am  #5


Re: Things Storytellers Keep Getting Wrong

A couple of Combat ones:

Incorrect: If you step on a landmine, putting a weight below it will prevent detonation.
Truth: Unless the landmine is meant for tanks or is a dud, it will detonate immediately upon being stepped on, and best case scenario is already losing the leg.

Incorrect: If you knock someone out with a blow to the head, they'll eventually wake up a bit dazed but otherwise no worse for the wear.
Truth: Unless unconsciousness is very brief, brain injury is very much on the table. So a hero would not be able to spring into action shortly after waking up. On the flip side, if he or she are the one doing the punching and the criminal is still out when the police find them, the hero is likely facing serious charges unless it's self-defense, even if they're deputized. Captain Marvel (Billy Batson)'s tendency to punch out Sivana on multiple occasions even after Sivana's already been stopped would likely land him in jail for a long time.


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11/05/2021 7:34 am  #6


Re: Things Storytellers Keep Getting Wrong

More Legal:

Incorrect: One side in a trial can surprise the other side in a trial with new evidence or testimony.
Truth: Both sides are supposed to fully disclose both to the other side prior to the trial. If new evidence were to show up mid-trial, both sides would need to be made aware of this to properly prepare their arguments.

Incorrect: A good lawyer can get the guilty party to confess during a trial, be they the accused or a witness The guilty party immediately goes to jail.
Truth: While not impossible, this is unlikely (changing a plea to guilty is common but not a tearful breakdown confession). I'm not sure if someone in the US would be arrested on the spot as they';d be waiving their Fifth Amendment but likely it would simply be the start of an investigation. In Canada, testimony is immune from direct direct prosecution but the police can use the information provided. So if you confess and say the murder weapon is in your garden, your confession can't be used against you, but the police will be heading to your garden.

Incorrect: Sentencing happens right after a guilty plea or conviction.
Truth: Sentencing usually takes months or even years, in part because if the accused is cooperating with the police against a "bigger fish", how useful the information is might take a while to determine.
 


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