Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

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Postby Freakzilla » 09 Oct 2008 13:06

Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
inhuien wrote:How's your head :P


I've taken two ibuprofen and two aspirin today, I'm either going to feel better soon or pass out.

Either way, problem solved.

I feel OLD. :(


Just tell yourself its only a young man who would be dumb enough to get that drunk on a Wednesday. :wink:


"God, if I survive this, I'll never drink again." :wink:
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Postby inhuien » 09 Oct 2008 13:32

Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
inhuien wrote:How's your head :P


I've taken two ibuprofen and two aspirin today, I'm either going to feel better soon or pass out.

Either way, problem solved.

I feel OLD. :(


Just tell yourself its only a young man who would be dumb enough to get that drunk on a Wednesday. :wink:


"God, if I survive this, I'll never drink again." :wink:


I believe you mean that, but when I say it I believe myself as well :)
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Postby Freakzilla » 09 Oct 2008 13:42

I usually don't get drunk, I haven't in a long time. I just had a wild hair up my ass last night.
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Postby Tleszer » 09 Oct 2008 18:01

Freakzilla wrote:I usually don't get drunk, I haven't in a long time. I just had a wild hair up my ass last night.


Hair or hyppo?
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Postby Mandy » 09 Oct 2008 18:33

Px pls, if it was a hyppo.

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Postby Omphalos » 09 Oct 2008 19:05

Mandy wrote:Px pls, if it was a hyppo.


Id like to see its unholy visage too.

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Postby Freakzilla » 09 Oct 2008 19:10

I think my wife has a picture of me naked somewhere...
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Postby SandChigger » 09 Oct 2008 19:36

:shock:

Ahem.

Actually, "right" and "correct" are essentially the same word. ;)

Right, from Old English riht (adj & n), rihtan (v) or rihte (adv), is related to Latin rectus "ruled", both from an Indo-European root "denoting movement along a straight line."

Correct is from con "together" + rectus, meaning "made straight, ammended" in Latin.

Now back to the OP here:

I typed most of that from memory in the office. A few slight corrections:

The participles in question are for the derived Form II (Arabic verbs can have up to fifteen root modifications, expressing different shades of meaning. It's just like the Hebrew verb with it's Pa'al and Niph'al and other forms), which doubles the second letter of the root and usually adds a transitive or causative meaning to it.

The relevant example from that book I mentioned (Wightwick & Gaafar, Easy Arabic Grammar) was

yudarrib "he trains" (root: D-R-B) > mudarrib "trainer (one who trains s.o.)" and mudarrab "trainee (trained person)".

Finally, returning to the '-D-B root that gives mu'addib, it's not clear to me how FH got to

ADAB: the demanding memory that comes upon you of itself.

from

'adab pl. 'âdâb: culture, refinement; good breeding, good manners, social graces, decorum, decency; humanity, humaneness (etc). (p.9, The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic)
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Postby Omphalos » 09 Oct 2008 19:44

so its best to say "rectus = right." Wow. Ill have to tell my wife about the neuter form of that and see if I can get me any.

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Postby SandChigger » 09 Oct 2008 21:19

I rect'm so. :P
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Postby Freakzilla » 10 Oct 2008 09:11

Omphalos wrote:so its best to say "rectus = right." Wow. Ill have to tell my wife about the neuter form of that and see if I can get me any.


I'm interested to know if this worked before I try it.
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Postby loremaster » 10 Oct 2008 10:45

Chig, i got a sciency one for you...

As far as i can tell, "flammable" and "inflammable" mean the same thing. what's the basis for that?

I was reminded of it when a conversation on this board generated the word "nonirregardlessly" - I think it might have been AtOE who deserves the nod for that treasure.
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Postby Freakzilla » 10 Oct 2008 10:50

No difference whatsoever.

Blame it on Latin and its tricky prefixes. In the beginning, there was "inflammable," a perfectly nice English word based on the Latin "inflammare," meaning "to kindle," from "in" (in) plus "flamma" (flame). "Inflammable" became standard English in the 16th century. So far, so good.

Comes the 19th century, and some well-meaning soul dreamt up the word "flammable," basing it on a slightly different Latin word, "flammare," meaning "to set on fire." There was nothing terribly wrong with "flammable," but it never really caught on. After all, we already had "inflammable," so "flammable" pretty much died out in the 1800's.

"But wait," you say, "I saw 'flammable' just the other day." Indeed you did. "Flammable" came back, one of the few successful instances of social engineering of language.

The Latin prefix "in," while it sometimes means just "in" (as in "inflammable"), more often turns up in English words meaning "not" (as in "invisible" -- "not visible"). After World War Two, safety officials on both sides of the Atlantic decided that folks were too likely to see "inflammable" and decide that the word meant "fireproof," so various agencies set about encouraging the revival of "flammable" as a substitute. The campaign seems to have worked, and "inflammable" has all but disappeared.

That left what to call something that was not likely to burst into flames, but here the process of linguistic renovation was easier. "Non-flammable" is a nice, comforting word, and besides, it's far easier on the tongue than its now thankfully obsolete precursor, "non-inflammable."


http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 349AA7DRFz
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Postby Omphalos » 10 Oct 2008 11:17

Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:so its best to say "rectus = right." Wow. Ill have to tell my wife about the neuter form of that and see if I can get me any.


I'm interested to know if this worked before I try it.


Sorry guys. No go. Consider the linguistic approach to anal to be a bust.

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Postby Freakzilla » 10 Oct 2008 11:41

Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:so its best to say "rectus = right." Wow. Ill have to tell my wife about the neuter form of that and see if I can get me any.


I'm interested to know if this worked before I try it.


Sorry guys. No go. Consider the linguistic approach to anal to be a bust.


Oh well. Accidents will happen though. :wink:
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Postby SandChigger » 25 Oct 2008 20:12

I'm still trying to decide what exactly I want to say about hrethgir, so for today let's go with

RONIN

Some hack on p.67 of PoD wrote:Now he recognized the balding Whitmore bludd, a man with a purple birthmark on his forehead. He was one of the most capable fighters in the history of Ginaz. Duncan Idaho had studied under him, and Bludd had served as a ronin for House Ecaz for many years....

That caught my eye last night. Because it's just wrong.

Wondering if they had redefined the word in earlier books (like the House ones, where this character first appears), I did a search. Came up only with this, from the Legends:

Same hack in The Machine Crusade wrote:The most extraordinary of all mercenaries wore a white combat suit—sleeveless, with trousers to the knees—an outfit that offered no armor but permitted him full range of movement. A black bandana encircled his head, tied in the manner of the ancient ronin fighters of Old Earth. Though he cared little about impressing the ever-present onlookers, Noret wore the white suit so that they could observe his progress up the sheer rock face.

Doesn't appear they've redefined it, then.

I gotta tell you, I have NO IDEA what the fuck they're on about here. In either passage, actually.

First off, a ronin (more properly rounin or rônin) is "(in feudal Japan) a wandering samurai who had no lord or master." So a ronin wasn't a different type of fighter like a ninja or something, only one who was out of a job and looking for a new one. (Maybe interesting side note: Young people who fail to get into their first university of choice and decide to wait a year and try again are commonly referred to as ronin, and they count the years they spend waiting as ichi-rou, ni-rou, etc. I used to know a guy who got up to roku-rou on his parents' tab. He was a bum. ;) ) So it makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE WHATSOEVER to refer to Bludd as a ronin for House Ecaz. It's just wrong and they obviously didn't bother checking into it at all.

As for the Legends reference, no idea what they're talking about there with the bandana, either. No doubt you've all seen pictures of samurai and how they wore their hair. They shaved the middle of the top of their head and pulled the remaining hair (grown long) into a ponytail at the back which was then tied and laid on top. Wearing their hair in that style (chon-mage) was a privilege that came with being a retainer in someone's employ. Ronin were not entitled to do so and looked more like this:

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I'm guessing they got mixed up with the gi of some other martial art like karate or judo. After all, they all look the same. :roll:

(Hontô-ni atama ni kuru yo, konna baka-na machigai. = This sort of stupid mistake really burns me up! :twisted: )
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Postby TheDukester » 26 Oct 2008 00:06

SandChigger wrote:I gotta tell you, I have NO IDEA what the fuck they're on about here. In either passage, actually.

They don't, either. Not a clue between them. It sure sounds cool, though.

Their conversation probably went something like this:

KJA: "Hey, Brian, I'm thinking we should use some super-cool ronin in the next book!"

BH: "Look ... a butterfly."

KJA: "Brian? Are you with me, big guy?"

BH: "Brian so sleepy."

KJA: "Sigh. Okay, I'll write the ronin, then. Oh, and could you sign my check? The banks close at 4."
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Postby SandRider » 26 Oct 2008 00:13

Hey Duke, when you get time, could you write some more of that dialog ?
Maybe just drop it in randomly somewhere.
I could read that all day. (not kidding)

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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby SandChigger » 26 Jun 2009 05:02

Bump. :D

OK, this goes to depth of knowledge/quality of research and quality of writing, using something from a non-McDune KJA book.

While taking a break this afternoon I decided to leaf through Terrier Incontinence a bit (I still just can't make myself read it). I lit upon this passage (Ch.56, p.276 after section break, in case anyone's in a bookstore and wants to find it ... yeah, right!):

Back at Calavik, they passed through the towering gates in the stockade wall, where villagers greeted them in their complex northern dialect, which Mateo still did not understand even after almost a year in Iboria. A domesticated mammoth stacked trimmed logs....

(The mammoth part is irrelevant here; I just quoted it to give a bit of the flavor of the thing. To wit: silly.)

So ... what does the underlined part tell us? That either this Mateo character is a moron or KJA has no idea what he's on about.

Let's consider the first. This Mateo has been living in a village for "almost a year" and still cannot understand the local language, which while "complex" is also described as a "northern dialect", meaning (normally) that it's a form of his own language. (It's entirely possible that somewhere before this passage we're told that they speak an entirely unrelated language. But in that case it should be "their complex language" or even "their complex tongue", not "their complex northern dialect". It's also entirely possible that KJA is using words in his own idiosyncratic way without regard to what they usually mean.) I don't care how bad you are with languages or how "complex" the language in question, if you haven't picked up even casual greetings (which tend to be short and sweet and usually fixed in form) after a few weeks, let alone nearly a year, then you're either brain dead or simply not trying. And this Mateo is one of the main characters and presumably not supposed to be stupid.

Which leads me to conclude that the KJA doesn't know what he's talking about here. Or just didn't think things through sufficiently. Which wouldn't surprise me if he's a complete monoglot. I wish when we did the email interview I'd thought to include something like "Do you speak or read any other languages?" (His having done a minor in Russian History doesn't guarantee that he has studied any of that language. Nor does his trip to the Caribbean mean any facility with Spanish.)

Anyway, here's the bad writing part: just ten pages later (p.286), in Ch.59, Mateo and his shipmates are to escort a northern woman back to Calay to marry their king:

Broeck told Mateo to keep her company, which Mateo did awkwardly, since he was not fluent in the northern dialect. "Talk to her in Tierran," the destrar suggested with a shrug. "She'll have to learn it sooner or later."

So ... rather suddenly Mateo goes from "not understand[ing]" the northern dialect to "not [being] fluent" in it. Wow ... he must have used that Rosetta Stone software! :roll:

Again, I'm not sure whether that "Tierran" refers only to a (simpler?) southern dialect of the same language, or a completely separate language (Mateo's native one). Whichever, it seems that once again KJA has been rather sloppy in making later chapters conform to what he has told readers in earlier ones.

Par for the course.
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby SadisticCynic » 26 Jun 2009 06:04

Two things. 1) he's went up how many chapters in ten pages? and 2) If Mateo can't pick up a language after spending a year immersed in it, how will the woman pick up his language just by him babbling at her? :crazy:
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby TheDukester » 26 Jun 2009 10:10

Towering gates ... complex dialect ... domesticated mammoth ... trimmed logs.

And that's in two sentences!

No wonder he can go on and on about his word-counts and page-counts: every noun gets a modifier of some sort.

I literally can't read this guy (and I do mean "literally"; I can't do it). I couldn't even get through the sample chapter for his ridiculous superhero book (every noun was modified there, too). He's beyond being a hack; he's the worst writer being published today. He's utterly free of talent or skill.
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 26 Jun 2009 10:45

SandChigger wrote:Bump. :D

OK, this goes to depth of knowledge/quality of research and quality of writing, using something from a non-McDune KJA book.

While taking a break this afternoon I decided to leaf through Terrier Incontinence a bit (I still just can't make myself read it). I lit upon this passage (Ch.56, p.276 after section break, in case anyone's in a bookstore and wants to find it ... yeah, right!):

Back at Calavik, they passed through the towering gates in the stockade wall, where villagers greeted them in their complex northern dialect, which Mateo still did not understand even after almost a year in Iboria. A domesticated mammoth stacked trimmed logs....

(The mammoth part is irrelevant here; I just quoted it to give a bit of the flavor of the thing. To wit: silly.)

So ... what does the underlined part tell us? That either this Mateo character is a moron or KJA has no idea what he's on about.

Let's consider the first. This Mateo has been living in a village for "almost a year" and still cannot understand the local language, which while "complex" is also described as a "northern dialect", meaning (normally) that it's a form of his own language. (It's entirely possible that somewhere before this passage we're told that they speak an entirely unrelated language. But in that case it should be "their complex language" or even "their complex tongue", not "their complex northern dialect". It's also entirely possible that KJA is using words in his own idiosyncratic way without regard to what they usually mean.) I don't care how bad you are with languages or how "complex" the language in question, if you haven't picked up even casual greetings (which tend to be short and sweet and usually fixed in form) after a few weeks, let alone nearly a year, then you're either brain dead or simply not trying. And this Mateo is one of the main characters and presumably not supposed to be stupid.

Which leads me to conclude that the KJA doesn't know what he's talking about here. Or just didn't think things through sufficiently. Which wouldn't surprise me if he's a complete monoglot. I wish when we did the email interview I'd thought to include something like "Do you speak or read any other languages?" (His having done a minor in Russian History doesn't guarantee that he has studied any of that language. Nor does his trip to the Caribbean mean any facility with Spanish.)

Anyway, here's the bad writing part: just ten pages later (p.286), in Ch.59, Mateo and his shipmates are to escort a northern woman back to Calay to marry their king:

Broeck told Mateo to keep her company, which Mateo did awkwardly, since he was not fluent in the northern dialect. "Talk to her in Tierran," the destrar suggested with a shrug. "She'll have to learn it sooner or later."

So ... rather suddenly Mateo goes from "not understand[ing]" the northern dialect to "not [being] fluent" in it. Wow ... he must have used that Rosetta Stone software! :roll:

Again, I'm not sure whether that "Tierran" refers only to a (simpler?) southern dialect of the same language, or a completely separate language (Mateo's native one). Whichever, it seems that once again KJA has been rather sloppy in making later chapters conform to what he has told readers in earlier ones.

Par for the course.


Just another case of KJA dumbing down his characters.
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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby DuneFishUK » 26 Jun 2009 12:57

I'm going to support KJA a little bit in this one.

The reference to a Northern Dialect makes me immediately think of the old Yorkshire dialect. It is still English, but in the days before mass media and standardised language it ended up completely warped in places.

The old song: "On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at" is about being "on Ilkley Moor without a hat" and it's a big leap from "a'te lekkin' owt?" to "are you doing anything?" despite both being technically the same language.

BUT - a year? That Mateo has not been paying attention ... and how the hell did either of those quotes make it to final print? They're fucking dire :shock:

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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby Freakzilla » 26 Jun 2009 13:14

Baraka Bryan wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:Just another case of KJA dumbing down his characters.


he does it so he can feel smarter than someone :P



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Re: Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Postby Freakzilla » 26 Jun 2009 13:20

SadisticCynic wrote:Two things. 1) he's went up how many chapters in ten pages? and 2) If Mateo can't pick up a language after spending a year immersed in it, how will the woman pick up his language just by him babbling at her? :crazy:


My first post in the army was in Northern Bavaria, Germany. It took me one weekend at the disco to learn; please, thank you, your welcome (please and your welcome are both bitte, I thought that was weird.) one beer, please, where's the bathroom, can I bum a ciggarette, taxi, train station, I love your body, etc...
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