ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Steven Pinker is a favorite linguist of mine, and here's a piece about his views on grammar. Link courtesy of my partner Doug.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)

This poem was written outside the prompt calls, inspired by discussion with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer about her character Aidan.  It also fills the "Wild Card: Daily Rituals" square in my 6-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest.  It has been selected in an audience poll for the general fund.  This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

The following is a morning/evening prayer that Aidan uses, from his childhood, which is thousands of years ago.  It's bilingual in a version of Proto-Indo-European and English.  The cool thing about PIE is that it's primarily a set of word bones with a few grammatical guesses.  So if you want to extrapolate what a historic tribe might have been speaking, you can pick and choose among the variables until you get something you like.  Several linguists have done this for our world; listen to an example here.  (I can actually parse words out of that.)  Here's one for Terramagne.
 

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... piloting a BattleMech.  This is a brilliant metaphor that will make sense to many gamers.  Remember that once the systems have overheated, it takes time  to cool down to a functional level again.  This is useful if you or someone you know has PTSD or any related condition.
ysabetwordsmith: Paranormal detective Brenda in a wheelchair (PIE)
In context of the upcoming P.I.E. fishbowl, a comment raised the issue of vocabulary in terms of disabled vs. handicapped.

For my mobility-impaired or otherwise challenged friends in the United States (where Brenda lives), what are your thoughts on this matter?  Are "disabled/disability" and "handicapped/handicap" synonyms or not?  If not, what's the difference you perceive?  Is one more limiting or more pejorative?  Are there other terms you use?  What has shaped your perceptions of ability vocabulary?  What do you think Brenda would say?  Do you find her vocabulary in the previous poems jarring or not?
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Jahai language includes a spectrum of smells.  Why?  Smells are important when you forage to survive.  You don't want to bring home something with "a bloody smell that attracts tigers."  They have a word for that.

Of course, I'm still wolf enough to think with what nose I have in this body, which is far enough above human-average that I can actually taste with it, so I've absorbed a lot of the perfumer vocabulary and can pretty well classify smells into categories like earthy, woody, resinous, smoky, floral, medicinal, musky, etc.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the August 5, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl and is the second freebie for Twitter user Harriet Clough as a new prompter. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fill the "je ne regrette rien" square in my 7-30-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a mostly tongue-in-cheek post about describing fair skin in some of the ways that dark skin is often described.

I have actually used "marzipan" as a skin tone. Also cream, peach, toast, porcelain, bisque, alabaster, grub (as in insect, not food), and uncooked bread dough. (Some of the descriptions were from a less-than-positive perspective.) Also in the white-people range are the pinkish-fair tones that are not copper, so things like ruddy, flushed, coral, and rosy apply.

Kay in Schrodinger's Heroes is Hispanic, but has fair skin, which I have described as vanilla latte: a dark cream or the palest possible brown.

Then there was the time I spent over an hour hunting around for synonyms and metaphors of "brown" that were based on things NOT associated with the slave trade, preferably things relating to African culture. Kola nut was a favorite. Ebony, which is dark brown to black, is a sacred wood in Africa and thus legit.

My desertfolk often have two or three colortones combined: rose-gold, rose-mocha, toasted-peaches-and-cream.  It's very rare to see truly pale skin or very dark skin in the Whispering Sands, but they cover an enormous range in between with subtle and complex variations of ruddy, shadowy, and tawny hues.  Very beautiful.  Oh, and to them "melon" is specifically the color of ladyparts and they make jokes about it.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the August 5, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] laffingkat.  It also fills the "WILD CARD: linguistics" square in my Wordsmith Bingo card.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I continue to be impressed with the Cherokee tradition of linguistic eptitude.  It's one of the few native languages to devise its own writing system, and now it comes in Braille too
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is, in essence, an elegy inspired by an article, "The Story of One Whale Who Tried to Bridge the Linguistic Divide Between Animals and Humans," and therefore posted for free. It also fills the "Stockholm syndrome" square in my 6-10-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. It belongs to the Aquariana thread in the Polychrome Heroics series.

The name "Noc" is pronounced "NOH-see."

WARNING: This poem features many intense topics, some of which actually happened in our world. The warnings contain spoilers; highlight to read. These include human/cetacean challenges, past enslavement of a sapient cetacean from childhood to death, Stockholm syndrome, survivor guilt, rough telepathic contact, grudging response to apology, and other issues. Viewer discretion is strongly advised. Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether to dive in.

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Zabernism

Jul. 17th, 2014 03:20 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Useful to know there is a word for this:

zabernism -- misuse of military authority; bullying
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came from the June 3, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Naomi Rivkis. It also fills the "toys and games" square on my 3-6-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Someone has proposed a learning disability for foreign languages.  

Actually, humans are born with their language window wide open.  It begins to close in early childhood.  At the onset of puberty, most people find learning a new language to be challenging.  By adulthood, almost everyone finds it difficult and it is downright impossible for many.  This is NORMAL.  Some people have a gift for languages and their window does not close.  Yay!  I'm one of them.  It makes me weird.  It doesn't make you mentally handicapped if you can't do it.  

If you want people to learn multiple languages fluently, all you have to do is raise them that way from the beginning, like civilized nations do.  America introduces foreign languages late so people will NOT be able to learn them well; that's not an accident, not a learning disability, it is linguistic imperialism.  Waiting until people are too old to learn a skill well, and then tormenting them for doing it poorly, is just sadistic.

The stupid, it burns like hydrogen. 

EDIT: People with learning disabilities may have issues which affect their native language and then make foreign languages much more difficult.  One of my readers thoughtfully linked this article about teaching foreign languages to LD students.
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
This poem came out of the June 3, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "traveling" square in my 5-22-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the May 6, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chordatesrock. It was sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," and "Green Eggs and Hulk."  

Fandom: The Avengers, Hulk
Characters: Hulk, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanova, Tony Stark, Phil Coulson, Betty Ross.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Past abuse. Canon-typical violence. Bruce and Hulk have a relationship that is currently somewhere between self-harm and domestic abuse depending how you look at it.
Summary: Hulk muses about the sources of his inner strength.
Notes: Communication issues. Rejection. Courage. Team as family. Friendship. Acceptance. Hope. Nonsexual ageplay. Nonsexual intimacy. Love. Hulk needs a hug. Bruce Banner needs a hug. #coulsonlives.

Based on feedback for "Saudades," I'm posting the whole poem at once. It's not critical to the storyline, so you can skip it without losing track of anything major; it just gives an inside view of Hulk's experiences on the run and with the introduction of game night. This poem also fills the "language and translation" square in my 1-2-14 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo  fest.

See the next story, "Am I Not."

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