Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby Schu » 02 Jul 2009 21:47

Wood with honeycombs in it would most certainly not resonate well.

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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby SandChigger » 02 Jul 2009 21:51

I wasn't really sure about the acoustics of that bit, but I figured it would definitely reduce the strength of the wood. (I think that's why he included the "tiny" in describing the beetles. ;) )
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby Schu » 02 Jul 2009 22:08

Well I would imagine little honeycombs would make the instrument extremely hard to dry, which is paramount in musical instruments. It would also make curing/treating it difficult, because the agent used would seep into the honeycombs and through it, which would tend to wreck any acoustic properties the honeycombs give (not to mention the wood itself).

But the main concern for me would be that the honeycombs would actually absorb the sound. This is bad - it's meant to transmit vibrations, not dampen them. This would be like making a musical instrument from egg containers - pretty fucking quiet.

Even the light woods used for musical instruments are used because they are structurally dense (meaning they DON'T HAVE HONEYCOMBS TO ABSORB SOUND!).

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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby TheDukester » 02 Jul 2009 22:12

None of which bothers TheKJA in the slightest, of course. Here's his entire motivation for including those concepts:

"They sound neat!"
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby Redstar » 02 Jul 2009 22:15

TheDukester wrote:None of which bothers TheKJA in the slightest, of course. Here's his entire motivation for including those concepts:

"They sound neat!"

I've been waiting forever for the opportunity to bring up that point!

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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby Schu » 02 Jul 2009 22:18

We've known about this one for ages.

It's the "wouldn't it be cool if..." principle.

Wouldn't it be cool if:

- we made a CRAZY plot twist and Paul were born on Kaitan!

- we had TERMINATOR ROBOTS!!

- we could reveal Teg's superspeed as a secret... again!

- The people that looked like advanced face dancers turned out to be THE ENEMY WE CAME UP WITH ALL ALONG!
etc. ad nauseam.

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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby Redstar » 02 Jul 2009 22:26

Schu wrote:We've known about this one for ages.

It's the "wouldn't it be cool if..." principle.

Wouldn't it be cool if:

- we made a CRAZY plot twist and Paul were born on Kaitan!

- we had TERMINATOR ROBOTS!!

- we could reveal Teg's superspeed as a secret... again!

- The people that looked like advanced face dancers turned out to be THE ENEMY WE CAME UP WITH ALL ALONG!
etc. ad nauseam.

Exactly. I grabbed a book from the library on the basis that the cover art was cool, and this was the one time that this "judging a book by its cover" actually failed me.

The first chapter ended with the twist that everyone died after intense fighter pilot-battles were actually wearing VR helmets and controlling jets the size of DUST and battling DUST-sized robots that were released into the area by cyborgs using aerosol cans.

The entire book was filled with just such things, and made me realize that all those "cool" ideas you come up with that after a few days you realize aren't so cool and you discard actually make it into some books... Because the writer never gets to the point where it isn't cool anymore.

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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 03 Jul 2009 00:44

Schu wrote:Well I would imagine little honeycombs would make the instrument extremely hard to dry, which is paramount in musical instruments. It would also make curing/treating it difficult, because the agent used would seep into the honeycombs and through it, which would tend to wreck any acoustic properties the honeycombs give (not to mention the wood itself).

But the main concern for me would be that the honeycombs would actually absorb the sound. This is bad - it's meant to transmit vibrations, not dampen them. This would be like making a musical instrument from egg containers - pretty fucking quiet.

Even the light woods used for musical instruments are used because they are structurally dense (meaning they DON'T HAVE HONEYCOMBS TO ABSORB SOUND!).


Actually a honeycombed wood would be extremely resonant, being freer to vibrate. That's a big part of what makes wood such a nice sounding resonant body is that the cell walls act as individual "soundboards" - one guitar company I deal with builds acoustic guitars out of wood that they have treated with a special bacteria that eats all the inside guts of each cell, leaving the wood more resonant. It sounds like marketing BS, but I have had the chance to try quite a few side by side with the exact same models without the treatment (they offer it on all their models as a 100$ option), and it makes an incredible difference.

Honeycombed wood would be weak, and would not offer much sustain (which requires high mass), but it would create a very loud and complex sounding instrument. It would be like a hollowbody guitar compared to a solid body. The more surface area = more vibration that is transfered from a solid medium to the air, hence a louder instrument.

KJA actually did ok on that idea, but it's far from original, as I just showed it's essentially a crappier version of the bacteria treatment already in use.
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby SandChigger » 03 Jul 2009 01:25

Hmm. Learn something new every day. :P

My points remain valid: the names are silly and unimaginative. And there's the bonus of the basic idea not being original. So he's either read about it somewhere or (more likely) someone has told him about it.

Win, win. ;)

Added:

Here's another, new one: Alia's guards are constantly (invariably?) described as "amazon guards". :?

(Think he's worried about Amazon? :P )
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby Freakzilla » 03 Jul 2009 08:35

SandChigger wrote:Here's another, new one: Alia's guards are constantly (invariably?) described as "amazon guards". :?

(Think he's worried about Amazon? :P )


Isn't that what Frank called them? :?
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby Schu » 03 Jul 2009 08:39

Frank just called them Amazons, I believe.

Thing - oops, my bad. Apparently I was talking from my ass :(

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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 03 Jul 2009 10:46

Schu wrote:Frank just called them Amazons, I believe.

Thing - oops, my bad. Apparently I was talking from my ass :(


No, you were on the right track. Solidbody electic guitars use very hard dense woods because this rigidness and extra mass actually work to keep energy vibrations in the strings, rather than tranfering into soundwaves in the air - the reason for this is because the pickups on an electric don't "hear" sound, they only "hear" magnetic feild fluctuations, thus, the quieter the guitar apears to be when it is not plugged in = the louder and longer it will ring when it is plugged in. The extception to this rule is for hollowbody electrics and guitars with tone chambers - but these are used to modify the tone, rather than to increase volume and sustain.

The opposite is done with accoustics - hard wood is used for the backs/sides and neck - but a softer wood like spruce or cedar is almost always used for the top (soundboard) - both those woods are extremely straight grained, and have alternating layers of hard and very soft wood, which creates an extremely resonant body, which makes the guitar transfer all the vibrations from the solid medium (wood) to the air.

That said - soft bodies no not resonate well. A pillow will not resonate! The reason it works for wood is because each cell wall is actually very hard, and this is what resonates, softer vs harder woods all have hard cell walls, they're just more or less tightly packed (as I understand it).

A good illustration of why the chambering works so well to increase resonance is paint. One might think that something as simple (and low mass) as painting/laquoring an acoustic guitar would not change the sound. After all, there is only a tiny amount of paint - BUT what happens is that the paint holds the wood still, it stiffens it - which lowers it's resonance. And, just like that paint holds the wood still, so does each layer of wood/cells hold the layers next to it more rigid - so if you can increase the surface area by say honeycombing the wood, you're also freeing each section of the wood to move more freely.


Sorry for the ranting, I love audio to the point where I could talk all day - maybe I should teach.
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 03 Jul 2009 12:22

Baraka Bryan wrote:well this shit is interesting! i'd take that class :P


I thought about enrolling in a $40,000 audio engineering program, but half way through their sales pitch I realized that I could probably be teaching their first year courses, so I asked if there was some way I could challenge tests and skip ahead - no point wasting so much money for them to teach me stupid shit like "this is a microphone. It uses a transducer to change sound waves into electrical waves. This is an XLR cable, it plugs into the mic". They said no, it's all or nothing, and said I was being cocky, I should just take their course. I then pointed out that for 40K, I could go to one of the best pro engineers/studios in the world and offer to be their apprentice, but I'd pay them. Or, I could hire professionals (not failed professionals, which is what most of the teachers there were) to tutor me at home for that much money. They got flustered, so I told them to fuck off.

I think most universities should have audio courses, and if you take any physics course they will cover lots of wave physics, and some of those waves will be sound.
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 03 Jul 2009 12:42

Baraka Bryan wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:well this shit is interesting! i'd take that class :P




I think most universities should have audio courses, and if you take any physics course they will cover lots of wave physics, and some of those waves will be sound.



i'v edone some physics studies and as a musician I always found the material on the math and physics behind music the most interesting. for a while I couldn't play the piano without thinking about resonant frequencies and harmonics :P


If you want to properly blow your mind, what you should research is the difference between our 12 note equal temperament (12TET) system, where we divide the octave into equal notes, and what is called Just Intonation, which tunes according to ratios like 2/3 (if your root note is 100hz, a 2/3 harmony would be 150hz), or 5/8 etc - what is astounding is that Just Intonation is the most perfectly in tune system (ours is actually a bastardized out of tune compromise of Just Intonation) and that WE DID NOT INVENT THE MAJOR SCALE - we FOUND it. The harmonic content of any musical note you play, say on a piano, naturally contains all the notes of the major scale, with the root note being the note you played.

Absolutely eye opening for me, and very profound in regards to the human relationship with the natural universe. If I was religious, I would consider this to be emotional (not rational!) evidence of a higher power. But since I'm not, I recognise is as the human mind yearning for order and symetry, and finding it in harmonies that do not produce "beating", thus leading us to naturally discover the 7 notes of the major scale.
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby Schu » 03 Jul 2009 13:53

Ah, now just intonation is an area where I genuinely do know my shit :P

One of the most fun things you can do with just intonation (that you can also do with 12 tone equal temperament but it doesn't sound anywhere near as good) is build chords using addition and difference tones: when a sound of frequency a and another of frequency b are heard, other tones of frequencies a-b and a+b are heard, along with, to a lesser degree, all frequencies xa+yb so long as x and y are integers. This leads to my favourite method of chor construction: the Fibonacci sequence! Since everything in it is addition, it's naturally self-reinforcing with addition and subtraction tones. a good 1 1 2 3 5 8 sounds like an exceptionally pure major chord, and rather nice sounding fully diminished seventh chords, typically considered a device for modulation rather than a genuine chord, can be made with 7 5 12 17 or 3 7 10 17 etc. etc.

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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 03 Jul 2009 14:16

Schu wrote:Ah, now just intonation is an area where I genuinely do know my shit :P

One of the most fun things you can do with just intonation (that you can also do with 12 tone equal temperament but it doesn't sound anywhere near as good) is build chords using addition and difference tones: when a sound of frequency a and another of frequency b are heard, other tones of frequencies a-b and a+b are heard, along with, to a lesser degree, all frequencies xa+yb so long as x and y are integers. This leads to my favourite method of chor construction: the Fibonacci sequence! Since everything in it is addition, it's naturally self-reinforcing with addition and subtraction tones. a good 1 1 2 3 5 8 sounds like an exceptionally pure major chord, and rather nice sounding fully diminished seventh chords, typically considered a device for modulation rather than a genuine chord, can be made with 7 5 12 17 or 3 7 10 17 etc. etc.


Interesting, what I'm assuming causes those "phantom notes" is that A and B both have harmonics that line up, thus doubling and becoming louder? I was studying a way to construct a totally usable Just Intonation system for pianos, and just to play in the key of C minor, and to use all possible Major, Minor, Flat Seven, Sus 4 and Add 9 chord I had to use something like 19 keys per octave - because a perfect 5th from a certain note wouldn't line up exactly with what that note should have been tuned to in relationship to the root... I think I ended up with 4 different versions of F, but some notes needed no duplicates. I only did it on paper though, I'll maybe send you my math and results some time so you can tell me if I'm blowing hot air!

JI is something I've only been learning about for about a year, and just from that short speach I can tell that you know vastly more than I do on this subject.
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby SandChigger » 03 Jul 2009 19:05

Back to them nasty womens. ;)

FH used "amazon" or some form thereof only 12 times in Messiah (4) and Children (8):

DM:
1. Fremen amazons (=plural noun modified by proper noun/adjective)
2. guard amazons (twice, plural noun modified by noun)
3. one of her amazons said. (plural noun, modified by determiner)
CoD:
1. Alia's guardian amazons (plural noun, modified by noun[ phrase]s)
2. the amazons (plural noun, with determiner)
3. priestess amazons (pl. noun, with noun modifier)
4. the two amazons (pl. noun, with determiner and number)
5. how few amazons (pl. noun, with adjective phrase modifier)
6. Her pet amazon (singular noun with determiner and modifying noun)
7. the Keep's amazons (pl. noun, with modifying noun phrase)
8. the amazon aide (used as noun modifier itself)

FH used a bit of variety. I'm talking "amazon guards" being used EVERY TIME it comes up.

Another phrase that gets less usage but which is equally annoying is "Huanui deathstill". FH never used that exact phrase. And KJA/BoBo used it ONLY ONCE before, in House Atreides. But it seems to have become the invariable form now.

The problem is that Huanui is the Fremen name/word for "deathstill". FH uses it 5 times in CoD. What's stupid about this new usage is that it's like saying "shai-hulud sandworm" every time you mention one.

:roll:
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby SadisticCynic » 04 Jul 2009 17:56

A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:well this shit is interesting! i'd take that class :P


I think most universities should have audio courses, and if you take any physics course they will cover lots of wave physics, and some of those waves will be sound.


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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby SandChigger » 04 Jul 2009 23:30

REASON #3: APPARENT IGNORANCE OF DUNIVERSE LANGUAGES

Alia had studied the details of the ceremony so many times that she barely noticed as the Qizara spoke in Chakobsa, following traditions as old as the Zensunni wanderers who were the forebears of the Fremen, while the Sayyadina spoke afterward in flowery ancient Galach, using words that had once been uttered by Priests of Dur in royal wedding ceremonies, before their recent fall from grace.

Considering that Chakobsa was the Atreides battle language, that it was the "hunting language" used by the Fremen, and that it was from its very origins a language used in secret for purposes of concealment, why the fuck would a Qizara use it in a wedding ceremony open to the public and no doubt intended to be disseminated across the Imperium later via recordings? Does that make any sense to anyone? Sounds like a rather stupid way to keep it secret.

Chakobsa was NOT the language the Fremen used in their everyday lives. They spoke a language derived from Arabic among themselves and used Galach to outsiders.

FH in DM wrote: Stilgar moved across the steps, hid the ghola from Paul's view. In Chakobsa, the hunting language of their sietch days, Stilgar said: "That creature in the tank gives me the shudders, Sire, but this gift! Send it away!"

FH in CoD wrote: "Mu zein! "'The Preacher said, waving his right hand in a cutting gesture. This is no good!

"Koolish zein," Leto said, voice soft. This is all the good we may ever have. And he added, speaking in Chakobsa, the Atreides battle language: "Here I am; here I remain! We cannot forget that, father."

Mu zein and koolish zein are derived from Arabic.

(On the bad writing front: note the completely unnecessary "who were the forebears of the Fremen" ... which I guess is given as background info for readers to the series or a reminder for forgetful pretards. And the "using words that had once been uttered by Priests of Dur in royal wedding ceremonies, before their recent fall from grace" crap is another one of the egregious references to McDune bullshit additions, in this case the Priests of Dur that Paul destroyed in PoD :roll: )

[2009.10.27 edit: added REASON header]
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby chanilover » 05 Jul 2009 17:22

SandChigger wrote:
chanilover wrote:Iboria. Calay. Is this shit real or have you just made it up, Sandchigger?

Agh! One silly parody chapter and my credibility is RUINED forever!!! :angry-screaming:

:lol:

I. Shit. You. Not.

Seriously, it's like he started out with the southern continent's peoples and culture and made up more original names, but then he got tired or ran out of ideas and just fucked off on the rest.

And people are going on about how creative and original the setting is. The only explanation is they're idiots who are totally ignorant of history and geography.

Average Americans, in other words! :lol:

It's fucking awful. I looked at the damned thing some more yesterday afton and then grabbed China Miéville's The Scar to soothe my eyes and brain. (It's supposed to be about ships and such, too. And Bas-Lag IS a vastly more creative imaginary world. No wonder KJA hates Miéville! :lol: )


Calay reminds me of Calais, that smelly dump of a town in northern France where people from the UK go over on cross channel ferries for the day to stock up on cheap booze and ciggies. Maybe that's where Comb-Over met BoBo.
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby SandChigger » 05 Jul 2009 18:42

Hollywood movie or musical in there: When Scary Met Silly? :shock:
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby SandChigger » 06 Jul 2009 18:56

REASON #4: INSENSITIVITY TO DUNIVERSE TERMINOLOGY (=FAILURE TO DO RESEARCH)

Kevin seems to have a real boner for the title Lisan al-Gaib in WoD and seems to be using it as an alternative to Messiah.

The Lisan al-Gaib was properly an offworlder prophet. The Mahdi was the real Messiah figure in Fremen legend.

FH used Lisan al-Gaib 29 times in Dune and never again. Mahdi appears 7 times in the same book, 5 times in Messiah, and 7 times in Children (there are also four occurrences of Mahdinate in the last).

If you think about it, once Paul-Muad'Dib became Emperor, his origin as non-Arrakeen-native prophet became less important than his role as The One Who Would Lead to Paradise. I guess it's too much to expect KJA to be sensitive to the meanings of the names and how they're used by FH.

Same story as for Kralizec. No progress, no growth. :roll:


cf. http://baheyeldin.com/literature/arabic ... -dune.html for notes on the literal Arabic meanings.

[2009.10.27 edit: added REASON header]
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby Schu » 06 Jul 2009 23:21

Yeah... he can hardly be a voice from the other world anymore when he's a naturalised Fremen.

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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby SandChigger » 08 Jul 2009 07:56

Update on the "huanui deathstills":

Towards the end of the book there are two occurrences of the word huanui that are in accord with what I think should be its proper usage based on how FH used it, one in an epigraph and one in the main text. Managing to get it right, finally, just makes the earlier cases where it was obviously wrong seem all the more inexplicable and makes me wonder if the last two weren't flukes.
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby Hunchback Jack » 13 Jul 2009 16:53

KJA probably just wasn't paying attention. I doubt he could tell you which form he used where even now.

Re: Priests of Dur: another case of KJA trying to refer to "canon" elements to give legitimacy to his own crap. Even though he uses them completely inappropriately. Whatever.

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