Nov 4, 2012

The Art of Languages Part Two

Originally posted in October:

      Yeah, I'm just starting out the day with a random photo of a record player. I'm too lazy to dig out something more appropriate. I'm up and actually have time to write, so I'm not going to waste my time.

      Today, I'm going into some tougher language rules I've learned. Please bear wtih me--I know that some of these can be difficult and that I probably won't explain some well  enough. Feel free to yell your questions at me in the comments. I'll try my best to answer them.

      So, without further ado, and before I start brushing my hair like a madwoman, here are the rest of my tips:

     5. Idioms aren't for idiots.

      I'm sorry. I've just never been able to get past how the word, idiom, seems so similar to idiot in looks. But, really, they aren't for idiots. A proper language has proper terms that don't make sense to us. I mean, our language is full of attrocities like 'the cat's pajamas.' In Latin there were plenty of strange ones too.  But not all idioms have to be confusing: Facta non verba, for example, means 'deeds, not words.' Honestly, this is very similar to our saying that 'talk is cheap.'

      Idioms are a part of the language, and more importantly, the culture the language comes from. I doubt most other countries will be sitting around talking about how X is the 'bee's knees.' Our languages need that realism that makes them believable. Idioms are no exception, and should most definitely not be classified as for idiots.

      6. Insults

      These  aren't that different from idioms. Imagine an idiom, but as an insult. Really, I don't have to throw examples here (and I don't really want to) that are in our language. You hear insults? You're going to think of the many different insulting words and phrases you've heard. We all have them. It doesn't matter which culture you go to. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me is a big lie.

      And, like idioms, they can be vague. I have one insult that a tribal nation of mine uses where they're pretty much asking their god to claim his victim. However, all they say is "come on fight." It's enough to make us sit back and scratch our heads since we don't fully know the meaning, but in their culture, it's a very serious statement (that's only said all the time. . .I'll never get these people).

      Some insults can be classified as cuss words. I really don't do much work here. Sometimes, one will just randomly strike me as a curse word for the language, while others are so simple like part of their word for the sun. Now, y'all are free to go out and think of the most evile fake cuss words you can come up with if you'd like. I don't really find it necessry for my story, so I'm not going to do many. Maybe some simple, mild ones for the language to appear real (I mean, we're not just going to have one cuss word in our vocabulary), but sometimes it's easier just to say that so-and-so cussed. I'll leave that to your own decision.

      6. Rules and rule breaking.

      Remember back when you took English? You had to learn all of those fancy sayings like 'i before e except after c' and all that jazz? There were rules to English. Languages need and have structure. So too must yours. Once you make up some of it, learn some phrases, and the like, look for certain similarities between the words and how you can make them flow better or be more natural. You might decide to keep an 's' at the end to signify a plural. You might decide to have an 'i.' You might even go with first declension Latin and end with 'ae.' Your decision.

      The main thing is, you need to find your rules, then keep them. Sure, most languages have their exceptions. Don't be afraid to break the rules occasionally. But most the time? Play by the fancy-schmancy rules.

      I have enjoyed going through my rules with y'all so much. Thank you very much, KatanaLeigh, for asking me to go into this. If any of you have anything in particular you want me to go about writing for y'all, don't be scared to let me know. I seriously enjoy it. While my rules might possibly stink (hey, I'm still a work in progress), I thank you all for listening. Now, go have an excellent day. Hopefully I"ll be right back here tomorrow morning.

      -Silence K. Grulkey

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