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Re: Attention seeking vocabularies

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  • Jason Fisher
    ... For a similar effect, let me recommend Michael Chabon s Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure . [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 17, 2009
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      > As a counter-example, I suggest Gene Wolfe's "Shadow of the Torturer"
      > et al., where obscure vocabulary is used for a specific effect, i.e. creating
      > the sense of a baroque world, millennia in the future yet somehow archaic
      > at the same time.

      For a similar effect, let me recommend Michael Chabon's "Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure".

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Marie-Pierre BODEZ
      I m suprised that glad should be considered difficult by a person whose mother-tongue is not English. I think I learned that word during the first year of my
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 17, 2009
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        I'm suprised that "glad" should be considered difficult by a person whose mother-tongue is not English. I think I learned that word during the first year of my English lessons.
        I haven't found the reading of the book in the original language difficult, except some descriptions (names of plants etc.). But Lost Tales was quite a different thing...
        Marie (whose mother-tongue is French)



        > > >
        > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff > wrote:
        > >
        > > Thanks, Sue. I'm glad you like the piece. The more I study Tolkien,
        > > the more convinced I become that small details matter, and the more
        > > impressed I am by the sheer amount of work involved in his creating
        > > and perfecting his books (a characteristic I think his son Christopher
        > > shares).
        > >
        > > As for the matter of language difficulty in Tolkien, I recommend Brian
        > > Rosebury's TOLKIEN: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT [1992], which does a good
        > > job of refuting the claims that Tolkien wrote mostly in archaic
        > > language and syntax. In fact, as Rosebury points out, most of THE LORD
        > > OF THE RINGS is in good, straightforward modern English, with
        > > heightened vocabulary or sentence structures generally reserved for
        > > emphasis at particular points. I like your complementary point that
        > > often moments of great dramatic tension are presented very simply;
        > > I'll be on the look-out for this next time I re-read LotR.
        > >
        > > But of course it's true that Tolkien has a large vocabulary, and there
        > > will always be some readers for whom this will be a problem.
        > >
        > > --John R.
        > >
        > >
        > > On Aug 13, 2009, at 3:18 AM, Sue Bridgwater wrote:
        > > > Belated but nonetheless sincere congratulations to Edith on her
        > > > nomination - rooting for you!
        > > >
        > > > Congrats also to John D. Rateliff for his article in TS6, 2009 - A
        > > > kind of Elvish craft; Tolkien as literary craftsman. It is so good
        > > > to see this excellent opening up of the matter of the how of
        > > > writing. Tolkien was a literary craftsman par excellence.
        > > > One thing that often comes up on the Plaza when new (very) young
        > > > folk join, is that having seen the films, they try to read LOTR and,
        > > > particularly if they have not a great habit of reading, they find
        > > > the language difficult. I do understand this, and we older hands do
        > > > our best to nurture and encourage. One thread I started in this
        > > > connection was to encourage people to seek out passages in which
        > > > Tolkien had deliberately woven the text out of simple vocabulary,
        > > > and it turned out to be often at moments of deepest significance,
        > > > e.g on the slopes of Mt. Doom: I am glad that you are with me, here
        > > > at the end of all things, Sam. An entire sentence of monosyllables,
        > > > at just the right time. The mood and cadence are perfect. Only one
        > > > person, whose mother-tongue was not English, said that glad was an
        > > > unfamiliar word to him. Otherwise all agreed that you could not
        > > > call this difficult!
        > >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • David Emerson
        ... The Lost Tales can be difficult even for those of us whose mother tongue is English! emerdavid ________________________________________ PeoplePC Online A
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 17, 2009
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          >I haven't found the reading of the book in the original language difficult, except some descriptions (names of plants etc.). But Lost Tales was quite a different thing...
          >Marie (whose mother-tongue is French)

          The Lost Tales can be difficult even for those of us whose mother tongue is English!

          emerdavid

          ________________________________________
          PeoplePC Online
          A better way to Internet
          http://www.peoplepc.com
        • Diane Joy Baker
          Ohh, yes. Wolfe is using it just for that effect. It s one of the things that attracted me to the series. Aside from Severian s character. ---djb ... From:
          Message 4 of 24 , Aug 20, 2009
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            Ohh, yes. Wolfe is using it just for that effect. It's one of the things that attracted me to the series. Aside from Severian's character. ---djb
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: David Emerson
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, August 17, 2009 12:46 PM
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Attention seeking vocabularies


            >... Pat Wynne's cartoon about [Stephen] Donaldson (I still
            >have the original framed on my wall) - about Donaldson's (pregnant) mother
            >being frightened by a "thesaurus" (drawn as a dragon-like critter). Heh.
            >Now THERE was a vocabulary that was "showing off"!

            As a counter-example, I suggest Gene Wolfe's "Shadow of the Torturer" et al., where obscure vocabulary is used for a specific effect, i.e. creating the sense of a baroque world, millennia in the future yet somehow archaic at the same time.

            emerdavid

            ________________________________________
            PeoplePC Online
            A better way to Internet
            http://www.peoplepc.com




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • lynnmaudlin
            I always like it when I come across new words, ESPECIALLY when someone is speaking - sometimes it turns out to be a word I ve been mispronouncing in my head
            Message 5 of 24 , Aug 25, 2009
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              I always like it when I come across new words, ESPECIALLY when someone is speaking - sometimes it turns out to be a word I've been mispronouncing "in my head" for years--!!! I'm like you re: figuring out from context; I assume that's the common approach to unknown words but I don't really know... anyone? anyone? bueller?

              -- Lynn --


              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > On Aug 15, 2009, at 5:49 PM, Alana wrote:
              > >> But of course it's true that Tolkien has a large vocabulary, and
              > >> there
              > >> will always be some readers for whom this will be a problem.
              > >
              > > There will also always be some young readers for whom LotR becomes
              > > how they expand their vocabulary. :)
              > >
              > > -Alana
              >
              > Absolutely! But it's not just young readers I'm thinking about. I
              > don't mind at all coming across an unfamiliar word in something I'm
              > reading; I just make the best guess I can as to its meaning from the
              > context and make a mental note to look it up sometime. If the next
              > time I come across it my theoretical meaning still makes sense, I tend
              > to think I've more or less got it right.* That's how I've learned most
              > of the words I know post 1st & 2nd grade reading classes.
              >
              > On the other hand, some readers just resent what they see as writers
              > "showing off". I remember Darrell Schweitzer once wrote a piece
              > attacking Clark Ashton Smith more or less on the basis that CAS knew
              > more words that Schweitzer did. Like hobbits who want their books to
              > be filled with things they already know, these readers (who can be any
              > age) don't like writing that calls attention to itself, and that
              > includes unfamiliar words.
              >
              > As for Tolkien and young readers, I remember my high school librarian
              > telling me that readers of THE LORD OF THE RINGS tended to fall into
              > two categories: those who read a lot, and those who hardly read at
              > all, and that a surprising number of the latter got hooked on the book.
              >
              > Rowling is another example of an author who demands more of her
              > readers than the average reader is supposed to be willing to give.
              >
              > --John R.
              >
              >
              > *The one time I got it wrong and didn't realize it for years was the
              > word "tacit", since the meaning I'd guessed at was plausibly close to
              > its actual literal meaning.
              >
            • lynnmaudlin
              I enjoyed meeting him at Mythcon 14 but, man! he swung that vocabulary like a sledgehammer--! -- Lynn --
              Message 6 of 24 , Aug 25, 2009
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                I enjoyed meeting him at Mythcon 14 but, man! he swung that vocabulary like a sledgehammer--!

                -- Lynn --


                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Swain" <theswain@...> wrote:
                >
                > One of the things I've always liked about Donaldson is his
                > vocabulary....he's not a philogist, nor were his parents, but he has the
                > philologists' love of the *word* for its own sake, especially in his
                > early work.
                >
                > Larry Swain
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: scribbler@...
                > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: [mythsoc] Attention seeking vocabularies
                > Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 02:21:24 -0400 (EDT)
                >
                >  
                >
                > John Rateliff said:
                > >
                > > Absolutely! But it's not just young readers I'm thinking about. I
                > > don't mind at all coming across an unfamiliar word in something I'm
                > > reading; I just make the best guess I can as to its meaning from
                > the
                > > context and make a mental note to look it up sometime. If the next
                > > time I come across it my theoretical meaning still makes sense, I
                > tend
                > > to think I've more or less got it right.* That's how I've learned
                > most
                > > of the words I know post 1st & 2nd grade reading classes.
                > >
                > > On the other hand, some readers just resent what they see as
                > writers
                > > "showing off". I remember Darrell Schweitzer once wrote a piece
                > > attacking Clark Ashton Smith more or less on the basis that CAS
                > knew
                > > more words that Schweitzer did. Like hobbits who want their books
                > to
                > > be filled with things they already know, these readers (who can be
                > any
                > > age) don't like writing that calls attention to itself, and that
                > > includes unfamiliar words.
                >
                > I too usually picked up meaning from context (usually getting it
                > right).
                > It was an ingrained habit from an early age. So it was one reason I
                > wasn't particularly bothered by reading Stephen Donaldson. On the
                > other
                > hand, I fully appreciated Pat Wynne's cartoon about Donaldson (I
                > still
                > have the original framed on my wall) - about Donaldson's (pregnant)
                > mother
                > being frightened by a "thesaurus" (drawn as a dragon-like critter).
                > Heh.
                > Now THERE was a vocabulary that was "showing off"!
                >
                > Sarah
                >
                >
                >
                > --
                > _______________________________________________
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                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • lynnmaudlin
                There was a period of time where affected names were the rage, mostly in SF as I recall: lots of punctuation, no phonic sense... made me nuts, I d take to
                Message 7 of 24 , Aug 25, 2009
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                  There was a period of time where affected names were the rage, mostly in SF as I recall: lots of punctuation, no phonic sense... made me nuts, I'd take to thinking of characters as "double appostrophe" or "P hyphen" or other uneuphonious mnemonics...

                  -- Lynn --


                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Emerson <emerdavid@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > >... Pat Wynne's cartoon about [Stephen] Donaldson (I still
                  > >have the original framed on my wall) - about Donaldson's (pregnant) mother
                  > >being frightened by a "thesaurus" (drawn as a dragon-like critter). Heh.
                  > >Now THERE was a vocabulary that was "showing off"!
                  >
                  > As a counter-example, I suggest Gene Wolfe's "Shadow of the Torturer" et al., where obscure vocabulary is used for a specific effect, i.e. creating the sense of a baroque world, millennia in the future yet somehow archaic at the same time.
                  >
                  > emerdavid
                  >
                  > ________________________________________
                  > PeoplePC Online
                  > A better way to Internet
                  > http://www.peoplepc.com
                  >
                • lynnmaudlin
                  I have a friend who likes to read LOTR in French translation: keeps her French in practice & she processes the story differently... I ve never tried that but I
                  Message 8 of 24 , Aug 25, 2009
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                    I have a friend who likes to read LOTR in French translation: keeps her French in practice & she processes the story differently... I've never tried that but I wonder if my reading skill is good enough - there are so many different verb forms in French! *whimper*

                    -- Lynn --


                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Marie-Pierre BODEZ <m.bodez@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I'm suprised that "glad" should be considered difficult by a person whose mother-tongue is not English. I think I learned that word during the first year of my English lessons.
                    > I haven't found the reading of the book in the original language difficult, except some descriptions (names of plants etc.). But Lost Tales was quite a different thing...
                    > Marie (whose mother-tongue is French)
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > > > >
                    > > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff > wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Thanks, Sue. I'm glad you like the piece. The more I study Tolkien,
                    > > > the more convinced I become that small details matter, and the more
                    > > > impressed I am by the sheer amount of work involved in his creating
                    > > > and perfecting his books (a characteristic I think his son Christopher
                    > > > shares).
                    > > >
                    > > > As for the matter of language difficulty in Tolkien, I recommend Brian
                    > > > Rosebury's TOLKIEN: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT [1992], which does a good
                    > > > job of refuting the claims that Tolkien wrote mostly in archaic
                    > > > language and syntax. In fact, as Rosebury points out, most of THE LORD
                    > > > OF THE RINGS is in good, straightforward modern English, with
                    > > > heightened vocabulary or sentence structures generally reserved for
                    > > > emphasis at particular points. I like your complementary point that
                    > > > often moments of great dramatic tension are presented very simply;
                    > > > I'll be on the look-out for this next time I re-read LotR.
                    > > >
                    > > > But of course it's true that Tolkien has a large vocabulary, and there
                    > > > will always be some readers for whom this will be a problem.
                    > > >
                    > > > --John R.
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > On Aug 13, 2009, at 3:18 AM, Sue Bridgwater wrote:
                    > > > > Belated but nonetheless sincere congratulations to Edith on her
                    > > > > nomination - rooting for you!
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Congrats also to John D. Rateliff for his article in TS6, 2009 - A
                    > > > > kind of Elvish craft; Tolkien as literary craftsman. It is so good
                    > > > > to see this excellent opening up of the matter of the how of
                    > > > > writing. Tolkien was a literary craftsman par excellence.
                    > > > > One thing that often comes up on the Plaza when new (very) young
                    > > > > folk join, is that having seen the films, they try to read LOTR and,
                    > > > > particularly if they have not a great habit of reading, they find
                    > > > > the language difficult. I do understand this, and we older hands do
                    > > > > our best to nurture and encourage. One thread I started in this
                    > > > > connection was to encourage people to seek out passages in which
                    > > > > Tolkien had deliberately woven the text out of simple vocabulary,
                    > > > > and it turned out to be often at moments of deepest significance,
                    > > > > e.g on the slopes of Mt. Doom: I am glad that you are with me, here
                    > > > > at the end of all things, Sam. An entire sentence of monosyllables,
                    > > > > at just the right time. The mood and cadence are perfect. Only one
                    > > > > person, whose mother-tongue was not English, said that glad was an
                    > > > > unfamiliar word to him. Otherwise all agreed that you could not
                    > > > > call this difficult!
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Jason Fisher
                    ... I do the same with my Italian copies, and I ve read pieces of the French translations too. It s very good practice, and you do notice different things. I
                    Message 9 of 24 , Aug 25, 2009
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                      > I have a friend who likes to read LOTR in French translation:
                      > keeps her French in practice & she processes the story differently...

                      I do the same with my Italian copies, and I've read pieces of the French translations too. It's very good practice, and you do notice different things. I have a friend who likes to read the French while his high school students are doing busy-work. One of his students once asked, "Wow, so you know French well enough to read The Lord of the Rings in it?!" To which my friend replied, "Not really; it's the reverse: I know The Lord of the Rings well enough to manage with the French!"

                      Jase
                    • scribbler@scribblerworks.us
                      All this talk of reading Tolkien in other languages to practice the language is getting at me! I may give it a try, even though my French is very, very rusty.
                      Message 10 of 24 , Aug 25, 2009
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                        All this talk of reading Tolkien in other languages to practice the
                        language is getting at me! I may give it a try, even though my French is
                        very, very rusty. Maybe I'll do THE HOBBIT instead of the whole of LOTR.

                        Hmmm.... anyone know if someone has translated THE HOBBIT into Latin? :D



                        >> I have a friend who likes to read LOTR in French translation:
                        >> keeps her French in practice & she processes the story differently...
                        >
                        > I do the same with my Italian copies, and I've read pieces of the French
                        > translations too. It's very good practice, and you do notice different
                        > things. I have a friend who likes to read the French while his high school
                        > students are doing busy-work. One of his students once asked, "Wow, so you
                        > know French well enough to read The Lord of the Rings in it?!" To which my
                        > friend replied, "Not really; it's the reverse: I know The Lord of the
                        > Rings well enough to manage with the French!"
                        >
                        > Jase
                        >
                      • Marie-Pierre BODEZ
                        Try LOTR in French, it s great (I m afraid there is no Latin translation) ! My dream is to be able to read LOTR in Icelandic ! Tolkien has said that it was the
                        Message 11 of 24 , Aug 25, 2009
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                          Try LOTR in French, it's great (I'm afraid there is no Latin translation) !
                          My dream is to be able to read LOTR in Icelandic ! Tolkien has said that it was the best language to translate it, hasn't he ?
                          one day... perhaps... but it's so hard !
                          Marie




                          > Message du 25/08/09 19:52
                          > De : scribbler@...
                          > A : mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                          > Copie à :
                          > Objet : [mythsoc] Reading translations for practice.
                          >
                          > > All this talk of reading Tolkien in other languages to practice the
                          > language is getting at me! I may give it a try, even though my French is
                          > very, very rusty. Maybe I'll do THE HOBBIT instead of the whole of LOTR.
                          >
                          > Hmmm.... anyone know if someone has translated THE HOBBIT into Latin? :D
                          >
                          > >> I have a friend who likes to read LOTR in French translation:
                          > >> keeps her French in practice & she processes the story differently...
                          > >
                          > > I do the same with my Italian copies, and I've read pieces of the French
                          > > translations too. It's very good practice, and you do notice different
                          > > things. I have a friend who likes to read the French while his high school
                          > > students are doing busy-work. One of his students once asked, "Wow, so you
                          > > know French well enough to read The Lord of the Rings in it?!" To which my
                          > > friend replied, "Not really; it's the reverse: I know The Lord of the
                          > > Rings well enough to manage with the French!"
                          > >
                          > > Jase
                          > >
                          >
                          >


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • David Emerson
                          ... Don t know about that, but you could start out with WINNIE ILLE PU, which I read in high school for extra credit in 4th-year Latin. emerdavid
                          Message 12 of 24 , Aug 25, 2009
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                            -----Original Message-----
                            >From: scribbler@...
                            >
                            >Hmmm.... anyone know if someone has translated THE HOBBIT into Latin? :D

                            Don't know about that, but you could start out with WINNIE ILLE PU, which I read in high school for extra credit in 4th-year Latin.

                            emerdavid

                            ________________________________________
                            PeoplePC Online
                            A better way to Internet
                            http://www.peoplepc.com
                          • scribbler@scribblerworks.us
                            Oooo! Winnie! I did not know. I do have THE CAT IN THE HAT in Latin, though. A friend gave it to me for Christmas. She understands my Geekitude.
                            Message 13 of 24 , Aug 25, 2009
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                              Oooo! Winnie! I did not know.

                              I do have THE CAT IN THE HAT in Latin, though. A friend gave it to me for
                              Christmas. She understands my Geekitude.


                              > -----Original Message-----
                              >>From: scribbler@...
                              >>
                              >>Hmmm.... anyone know if someone has translated THE HOBBIT into Latin? :D
                              >
                              > Don't know about that, but you could start out with WINNIE ILLE PU, which
                              > I read in high school for extra credit in 4th-year Latin.
                              >
                              > emerdavid
                              >
                              > ________________________________________
                              > PeoplePC Online
                              > A better way to Internet
                              > http://www.peoplepc.com
                              >
                            • Croft, Janet B.
                              And then there s Alicia in Terra Mirabilis... Janet Brennan Croft From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                              Message 14 of 24 , Aug 26, 2009
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                                And then there's Alicia in Terra Mirabilis...

                                Janet Brennan Croft

                                From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of scribbler@...
                                Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 8:38 PM
                                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Reading translations for practice.



                                Oooo! Winnie! I did not know.

                                I do have THE CAT IN THE HAT in Latin, though. A friend gave it to me for
                                Christmas. She understands my Geekitude.

                                > -----Original Message-----
                                >>From: scribbler@...<mailto:scribbler%40scribblerworks.us>
                                >>
                                >>Hmmm.... anyone know if someone has translated THE HOBBIT into Latin? :D
                                >
                                > Don't know about that, but you could start out with WINNIE ILLE PU, which
                                > I read in high school for extra credit in 4th-year Latin.
                                >
                                > emerdavid
                                >
                                > ________________________________________
                                > PeoplePC Online
                                > A better way to Internet
                                > http://www.peoplepc.com
                                >



                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • alexeik@aol.com
                                ... From: Jason Fisher To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tue, Aug 25, 2009 10:25 am Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Congratulations x 2 ... I
                                Message 15 of 24 , Aug 26, 2009
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                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...>
                                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Tue, Aug 25, 2009 10:25 am
                                  Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Congratulations x 2

                                  > I have a friend who likes to read LOTR in French translation:
                                  > keeps her French in practice & she processes the story differently...

                                  I do the same with my Italian copies, and I've read pieces of the
                                  French translations too. It's very good practice, and you do notice
                                  different things. I have a friend who likes to read the French while
                                  his high school students are doing busy-work. One of his students once
                                  asked, "Wow, so you know French well enough to read The Lord of the
                                  Rings in it?!" To which my friend replied, "Not really; it's the
                                  reverse: I know The Lord of the Rings well enough to manage with the
                                  French!"
                                  <<

                                  I've done that with the Bible for years -- given that not only do I
                                  know the content pretty well, but it's the one book that's been
                                  translated in many of the languages I study.
                                  Alexei
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