October 30, 2020, 07:13:30 PM

Author Topic: Inventing new words for normal things  (Read 757 times)

Offline ScarletBea

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Inventing new words for normal things
« on: June 11, 2020, 06:24:47 PM »
How do you feel when the writer invents new words for normal things?

In RJ Barker's Wounded kingdom series he created words for the seasons that I really like:
Yearsbirth, yearsgrowth yearslife, yearsage and yearsdeath

There have been others, in other books, that I can't remember now, but usually I quite like these snippets of imagination.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 08:01:57 AM by ScarletBea »
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Offline Bender

Re: Inventing new words for normal things
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2020, 07:55:07 PM »
Was reading the supervillainy saga and the supervillain calls his women sidekick as henchwench. Thought it was funny.  ;D
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Offline isos81

Re: Inventing new words for normal things
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2020, 08:13:26 PM »
I like it if it fits well with the world. I generally see seasons or months in new words and I'm not bothered if the names are not confusing.
Kallor shrugged. 'I've walked this land when the T'lan Imass were but children. I've commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I've spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?'

'Yes' said Caladan Brood. 'You never learn'

Offline cupiscent

Re: Inventing new words for normal things
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2020, 01:16:02 AM »
I like new words for cultural things - like seasons, or months, or time-counting. Things that are subjective. (Seasons are relative to location - the four standardised seasons aren't really a great fit for a lot of real-world places, let alone fantasy worlds.) These things can help with worldbuilding, really showcasing the priorities and viewpoints of the cultures the story is happening within. Though if the calendar matters - i.e. you're time-stamping your chapters because they're happening out of order or the passage of time matters - then you'd better have a chart for reference!

When fantasy books start having zany new terms for "cow" or "carrot" though, I start rolling my eyes.

Offline CameronJohnston

Re: Inventing new words for normal things
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2020, 01:45:53 PM »
I'm with cupiscent on this one. Calling a rabbit anything other than a rabbit just eye rolling - really, what's the point and what does it add. Have fun with seasons and such though, if it fits the setting. 

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Offline Rostum

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Re: Inventing new words for normal things
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2020, 03:07:18 PM »
Yeah, don't do this. Adding new words for unknown concepts I can sometimes live with. New words for known things is an unnecessary waste of words.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Inventing new words for normal things
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2020, 12:35:53 PM »
Inventing expressions and driving habits is something different, maybe more acceptable?

I've got 2 things I picked up from works.
One is the use of "fracking", from Battlestar Galactica (especially if I've been watching it recently)
The other started recently, also from RJ Barker's books: counting seconds as "one, my master, two, my master, three, my master..."
@Peat , did you also start this? ;D
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 01:43:16 PM by ScarletBea »
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Offline isos81

Re: Inventing new words for normal things
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2020, 01:16:58 PM »
The other started recently, also from RJ Barker's books: counting seconds as "one, my master, two, my master, three, my master..."

Wasn't it something like one, Mississippi, two, Mississippi :)
Kallor shrugged. 'I've walked this land when the T'lan Imass were but children. I've commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I've spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?'

'Yes' said Caladan Brood. 'You never learn'

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Inventing new words for normal things
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2020, 01:42:50 PM »
That's right but I never liked/used that.
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Offline Peat

Re: Inventing new words for normal things
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2020, 02:11:30 PM »
Inventing expressions and driving habits is something different, maybe more acceptable?

I've got 2 things I picked up from works.
One is the use of "fracking", from Battlestar Galactica (especially if I've been watching it recently)
The other started recently, also from RJ Barker's books: counting seconds as "one, my master, two, my master, three, my master..."
@Peat , did you also start this? ;D

I have every now and again  ;D


I think 90% of the time my reaction is kind of "Cool the author did a thing nice" and then forget about it. I'd forgotten about the season renamings in Barker's books f'ex. I guess when I do notice it I'm sorta with Cupi - cool if it's adding flavour to cultural things, bit weird if its calling rabbits smeerps.

That said, if its the learned people call rabbits rabbits and out in the countryside, they call them folksy stuff like Old Longears or Hoppers or Cottontails then we're kinda back to cultural things. That adds to a story for me.

Online Alex Hormann

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Re: Inventing new words for normal things
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2020, 02:41:20 PM »
Inventing expressions and driving habits is something different, maybe more acceptable?

I've got 2 things I picked up from works.
One is the use of "fracking", from Battlestar Galactica (especially if I've been watching it recently)
The other started recently, also from RJ Barker's books: counting seconds as "one, my master, two, my master, three, my master..."
@Peat , did you also start this? ;D

'Motherfracker!'  remains one of the all-time great lines of dialogue.

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Offline cupiscent

Re: Inventing new words for normal things
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2020, 01:30:34 AM »
Inventing expressions and driving habits is something different, maybe more acceptable?

I've got 2 things I picked up from works.
One is the use of "fracking", from Battlestar Galactica (especially if I've been watching it recently)
The other started recently, also from RJ Barker's books: counting seconds as "one, my master, two, my master, three, my master..."
@Peat , did you also start this? ;D

'Motherfracker!'  remains one of the all-time great lines of dialogue.

I never picked that one up - then again, we only watched about a season and a half of BSG - but "Holy motherforking shirtballs" ala The Good Place has definitely entered our household vernacular.