June 20, 2018, 06:55:40 AM

Author Topic: Fantasy word choice funtime  (Read 3950 times)

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Fantasy word choice funtime
« on: December 30, 2017, 11:04:34 AM »

Poll: is it okay to use the word "insane" in a tolkienesque epic fantasy novel, or is that too modern?
"mad" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 11:06:53 AM »
Loon?
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

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Offline Yora

Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 12:48:29 PM »
Certainly better than crazy.

Though in the end, it really depends on the setting and how you imagine it. I am using aketon instead of gambeson because gambeson sounds too French, even though it is today almost the universally used term.
I also call the creatures I use trolls and not ogres, kobolds instead of goblins, and leshy instead of spriggans The way I envision them, either terms would be perfectly fine, but it evokes different cultural associations.
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Offline Peat

Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2017, 03:47:30 PM »
Works for me.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 04:26:14 PM »
Insane is fine.
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Offline cupiscent

Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2017, 09:11:45 PM »
Looks like it has a latin origin from the 16th century, so I don't see why you couldn't use that alongside all the other latinate terms you're no doubt using. :)

Offline Skip

Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 04:14:15 AM »
Context is everything. How is the word being used? Is it used by a character or by the narrator? Whichever, what is the tone of other language used by him/her? Any number of words suggest themselves: unhinged, touched, unsound, not right in the head, foolish, demented ... in English, there's almost always another way to say a thing.

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2017, 06:28:23 AM »
Beyond direct synonyms for crazy, mad, insane, etc., you might try the character using more specific terms for the behavior. Specificity in characterization is important, anyway, so terms like "nonsensical", "illogical", etc., might serve your tone better.
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Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 06:00:38 AM »
Looks like it has a latin origin from the 16th century, so I don't see why you couldn't use that alongside all the other latinate terms you're no doubt using. :)

That's good to hear, I quite like the word insane-- You get to pump that last syllable and it just sounds great.

I know criminal is another latinate word, but it really does feel modern.... that's one I'd  happily replace if I could figure it out.

Offline NedMarcus

Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2018, 11:48:57 AM »
Insane works for me.

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2018, 12:42:34 PM »
Ok--I know I've asked this before, but how about: shite vs. shit.  when did people start saying shite instead of shit?  Is it too modern? To my american ear it just sounds british.

Historically speaking, it was scite

https://newrepublic.com/article/116713/swear-word-history-where-your-favorite-curses-came

but what's more important is what readers will index when they hear it.  Will shite pull them out of the setting moreso than shit?


« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 12:46:33 PM by Bradley Darewood »

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 11:49:30 AM »
Also is using "thank the Light" as an expression too much of a rip off of Robert Jordan?

Offline cupiscent

Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2018, 09:31:24 PM »
Bloody Jordan. Took me literally days to come up with an alternative to calling my magical-source-of-power "the Source". *shakes fist*

imho, "Light" is a much more commonly-occurring and oft-referenced concept in fantasy, so I think you're probably good with it as long as it's well built into your world.

I don't have anything for you on shite though, except that to my ear it also sounds British/Irish, but I don't know when, where or how it became more popular.

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2018, 06:28:36 AM »
Instead of a name for magic, I came up with the name of its source (the Apeiron, and ancient and long-forgotten term) and the way its power is manipulated, through being Empowered or being Influential, with most characters not being aware of the difference.
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Offline Magnus Hedén

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2018, 08:32:50 AM »
Light is a universal concept and represents righteousness, purity, and general goody-two-shoeness in the cultural hive-mind, so using it like that shouldn't be a problem. But maybe there's something better? Why is the light a good thing, in your world?

For example, in my hopefully-still-prize-winning short story, someone says "thank the dawn". They live in a world where they are not sure when and if the sun will come up, so the light of dawn holds special significance to them. So they are saying the same thing, but with different words.
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