Children's TV Lexicon

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Children's TV Lexicon

The Children's TV Lexicon describes the world on the other side of the screen. Obviously the world on TV is not the real world, there are just too many differences between the two. So what are the basic concepts of this other world?

One should probably note that the language of the Children's TV Lexicon lacks consistency[1] and can easily be interpreted to contradict itself.

Means of expression

  • Metaphor - Something is interpreted differently to how it is obviously presented.
  • Film transition - A cut or dissolve can represent an association between scenes (e.g. a dissolve from a person to a tree can be interpreted as the question if the person could be seen as a tree).
  • Allusion - An allusion is an obvious or hidden similarity with another story or event.
  • Opposite - Something is represented through its opposite (or one of several possible reversals).
  • Anti-pattern - Something is represented by how it should not be or how it should not be done.
  • Ambiguity - Several of many possible interpretations lead to a deeper meaning (without representing a meaning as true, they are at best questions or cause for thought).
  • Homophone - An association is proposed through similarity of words (possibly words in different languages, e.g. the German language).


The metaphors can be seen as a secret language: If you want to understand more of the language you have to decode more metaphors. For children and teenagers a secret language can be naturally interesting.

be - "to be, are": appropriate relationship error.
bird - a metaphor for somebody who flies a lot.
clothing - a metaphor for civilized appearance: observance of rules, ethics and social behavior.
door - "door -> doa : denial of assistance": to refuse help or cooperation.
eating - a metaphor for learning.
fly - a metaphor for indecisiveness, impulsivity or the avoidance of exaggerated behavior and extreme views.
group, city, planet, everybody - a larger group is a metaphor for different opinions (possibly of one person) or badly considered opinions (anti-pattern).
hair, hat - a metaphor for thoughts, missing thoughtfulness or the uncritical adoption of thoughts of other people (e.g. prejudices).
house - a metaphor for a sensible position with well-considered borders.
metal - a metaphor for an exaggerated opinion of oneself ("me tall").
name - a metaphor for personal relationships (nah' me).
object - a metaphor for passivity or lack of objection ("to object").
Riese - a metaphor for lack of reason (Riese).
robot - an object that follows arbitrary rules.
see - to see and respect the problems and needs of other people.
sorcerer - see superman
sun - a metaphor for misbehavior: (Sonne -> "So, Nee" -> No, not like that).
Superman - a metaphor for the ability to do things that should be impossible ethically or according to the rules.
taxi - to follow an external stimulus without sufficient thought (see: taxis).
television - a metaphor for lack of planning and control through others.
tree - trees cannot make decisions and cannot make plans, which is why they grow in all directions (see: decision tree).
water - "What err?", a metaphor for uncertainty or instability of information or the necessity of theory formation.
Cquote1  Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers in the preceding generation ... Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. Cquote2

Richard Feynman


The Children's TV Lexicon has one primary exercise. The exercise is:

  • If you can understand what it means the problem may be on your side. Is anything wrong with what you have just understood and if so — what is wrong with it?

The misconceptions are likely to include prejudices, logical fallacies, cognitive biases, oversimplification, overgeneralization, exaggeration, illogic, randomly changing points of view and flaws in ethical reasoning; rejecting the misconceptions can lead to interesting insights.


The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Cquote2

Albert Einstein

An example for this exercise is the question:

  • How long can you benefit from an undue advantage (metaphorically knowledge of the Children's TV Lexicon) if the justification is mostly a rationalization that may act as a self-fulfilling prophecy? (The answer given in the Wikiversity Assistant Teacher Program is "up to one or two years" and its called the "variable entry phase".)


Ah, but you didn't see coming that I am actually you!

King Julien XIII as Skipper

Okay, nicely played. But if you are me, then by processing of elimination I must be you!"

Skipper as King Julien XIII, Go Fish


  1. Lack of consistency (Parent Education Course Writer's Guide, Wikibooks)

See also

in German: Kinderfernsehlexikon

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