Trope-a-Day: Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness

Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Inasmuch as Eldraeic is a language axiomatically optimized, grammatically and lexicographically speaking, for maximal precision and minimal ambiguity in the transmission of information while simultaneously permitting undertakings of verbal ludosity and operating successfully in minimal-context, including cross-cultural and polyspecific, environments, and maintaining properly exquisite mathematico-philosophic elegance, it’s really damn hard not to play this straight.  Especially, given the high percentage of its speakers who do this sort of thing simply because it’s fun.

Subverted, however, inasmuch as it not only has a bastardized pigeon for use by non-native speakers who don’t care about being looked down on, but also an officially-grammatical “clipped” dialect for when you need to say things like “Look out!  Truck!” or “Fire the torpedoes!” or “Eject!  Eject!  Eject!” right the hell now.

Trope-a-Day: Mathematician’s Answer

Mathematician’s Answer: The nature of the Eldraeic language, being designed as it was by mathematicians as well as logicians, philosophers, and linguists, positively encourages these. (So does the cultural attitude in favor of precision and in disfavor of the sloppy speaker and the plain intellectually inadequate.)

In fact, if asked a literally-translated “Is it A or B?” question, the only possible grammatical answers are “Yes” or “No”. If you really want to ask a question of that form – say, “Would you like tea or coffee?”, the way you say it in Eldraeic is “You would like tea how-related-to coffee?”, to which the answer is “neither…nor” (if you want nothing), “but not” (for tea), “not…but” (for coffee) or “and” (for both), any of which options can be expressed in a single conjunction.

(For a real-world example of this unusual grammatical form, this is also how Lojban does it.)

Observers of the modern Conclave on Linguistics and Ontology are unsure whether they’re saddened or delighted by how much this and other quirks of the language annoy and frustrate less precision-devoted non-native speakers, but they definitely aren’t planning on changing them any time soon…

Trope-a-Day: Elfeminate

Elfeminate: On the one hand, played straight. If there’s one thing that can be said for certain about the eldrae on first glance, it is that they are an extremely pretty species – by virtue of cultural virtues and fairly extensive engineering – that tends to the tall, slender, non-obviously-muscular, delicate-featured pattern. (Reference the Pretty Boy and Bishonen tropes if you like, dependent on your personal cultural region membership – although note that the male of the species, unlike various of those examples, can grow facial hair.) Other contributing factors include a lesser degree of sexual dimorphism (or quadrimorphism these days, but let’s leave the herms and neuters out of it for now), a common cultural tendency towards long hair, jewelry and discreet make-up being acceptable for both sexes, and a common social pattern that tends to be orderly, formalized, polite, and self-consciously civilized, which (at least if you ignore certain other factors) might read to, say, humans, as feminized.

On the other hand, the modal eldraeic stereotype of either sex is forceful, dynamic, heavily armed, and quite likely to stab you for making stupid, offensive comments. So it goes; everyone being evidently quite confused about how gender stereotypes for humanoids are supposed to work.

Buyer Beware

New Era Sophotechnology (the Seller) expressly disclaims and rejects any and all responsibility and liability for, and the Purchaser expressly agrees to accept such responsibility and liability for, and affirms its legal obligation to hold the Seller harmless for and indemnify the Seller against any claims resulting from, damage to person, property, liberty, society, geography, astrography, or local reality in any state, form, or aspect, attributable to uses of the purchased Technologies in violation of the warnings, restrictions, and other cautionary statements provided in the full documentation supplied with the Technologies, or any experimental modifications of the Technologies made by the Purchaser or subsequent Purchasers without the explicit knowledge and advice of New Era Sophotechnology or its authorized representatives.

Such damages or causes of claim shall be deemed to include, but are not limited to, loss of non-backed-up mentality, decoherence, impaired or enhanced volition, violation of mnemonic copyright, cerebral security violations other than security architecture flaws, fundamental or superficial change in species-nature, theological conundra, revelation of unwonted truths, fork divergence, hyperautism, identity-destroying self-modification, social unrest, economic dislocations, educational system collapse, psephological manipulation, ungovernability, incomprehensibility, identity and substrate complexification, personhood expansion, runaway intelligence excursion, baseline dependency syndrome, unintended recursive self-improvement, hard or soft take-off singularity, mass cryptographic failure, accidental or prohibited coadunation, Falrann collapse, hegemonization, perversion of any class, individual or collective apotheosis, and/or p-zombie apocalypse.

A Darkest Night Card

Remember the Conlang Card Exchange I mentioned a while back?

Well, now that it’s the new year and all the participants have presumably received their cards, I thought it was about time I posted it up here for general enjoyment. Here, therefore, y’all go:

A good-wishes card for the Darkest Night.

A good-wishes card for the Darkest Night.

What it says, transliterated:

An-el estkál xakorevár árjír idaratis qan árchal arícetár an-anan ké-el traquel jírileth ap silarí hál.

OBJ+ARG fate IMP+order+PRED PURPOSE FUT-AND-ONGOING QUANTIFIER year [sun-circle] bless+PRED OBJ+you/those-you-speak-for WITH-ARG ADJ-goodness freedom COMBINED-WITH prosperity IMP-AMPLIFIER.

“Fate is commanded to bless you with excellent freedom and prosperity in the coming year.”

A traditional eldraeic — the eldrae prefer to let the eternal verities know firmly what is expected of them—wish for the Darkest Night, the winter solstice/new year festival.

It’s written in eldraeic hexrunic, the one of their alphabets best suited for printing on cards, and signed with a personal ideograph, which I borrowed from one of my characters whom I’m sure won’t mind too much.

The background image is borrowed Creative Commons work, but represents the style of the original rather well, I think, and could well be an image of one of the Twin Worlds’ skies on the Darkest Night.

I Aten’t Dead

Not that you’d know that from my posting frequency as of late.

But no, aten’t dead.  Just more or less taken over by a large project in my Areas Of Work Other Than Writing, that has left me with precious little time and energy to be about my matters fictional, alas.  But as it happens, that project has headed into something of a lull, around about now, so hopefully things hereabouts will pick up again as I can scavenge some time back from other work.

So, that’s what’s been going on.

(And in the meantime, check out this book review!)