Rebellion! Insurrection! Vocabulary! (Also, superheroes.)

More questions from over on G+:

How do the words “insurrection” and “rebellion” translate from Imperial to Earthian? Here they have a few too many overtones of “You should be happy that my boot is embracing eternity with your face”, something tells me that those connotations would not exist there.

Well, the answer there is “with great care, mostly, because of the connotations”.

For “rebellion”, you have your choice of three common phrases in the Eldraeic:

  • travocíë livrás, which glosses as – more or less – “citizen default”;
  • tradaranan paléëf, which glosses as “coadunate self-defense”; or
  • tradaranan ca-paléëf, which also glosses as “coadunate self-defense”, but in super-sarcastic sneer-quotes.

The first implies that you had a sovereignty contract (not, obviously, an implicit social contract which is no contract at all) and you defaulted on it, rather than exercising whatever exit option there might be. Implicitly, therefore, you’re rebelling against a Society of Consent, and as such that has all the “You Rebel Scum!” connotations you might care to include.

The second implies you’re rebelling against a non-consensual government, which is just a fancy form of collective self-defense and might as well be called such.

The third, which is used rather more often, also implies that, but in the fine spirit of The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized denotes that the speaker thinks that you’re just as unpleasant a bunch of slaving thugs as the people you’re notionally rebelling against and are, indeed, primarily motivated by a desire to inflict your flavor of nonconsensual oppression rather than by an earnest desire for liberty and her handmaidens.  Connotations vary by tone and attitudinals, from weary cynicism to “fuck you guys right in the ear”.

For “insurrection”, you can probably get closest with ulmúrahain, although since that most accurately glosses as “war to unmake the emergent order (of society)”, can in theory attach to anything with enough participants that fails to respect the rights of person and property from an occupation up through a riot to an outbreak of civil war, and implies that the people participating in it are hosti sapienti generis who should probably be exterminated forthwith on general principle, it may be a little harsh for many of our uses of the word.

Also, do they have a recognizable superhero genre? In both the Soph With Powers, an Modern Myth senses.

Yes, with the caveat that dressing eccentrically, developing theme-based gadgetry, and fighting something loosely definable as some sort of good fight or other is at least halfway to being a respectable profession (they usually call those ones “adventurers“), which does change the perspective a bit.

But there is no denying the popularity of the transmedia franchises built around Captain Cosmos, the Orichalcium Fist, the Accomplished Perfect Academician, Lady Fusion, the Steel Engineer, etc., etc., etc., and feel free to consult Exalted‘s list of Alchemical names for other appropriate monikers.

(They do have a disproportionate number of the gadgeteer types – say, the Orichalcium Fist, who is essentially the local interpretation of the Iron Man archetype – given their predilections for smart people and shiny things.)


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