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[personal profile] redsixwing has a thoughtful post about "impossible colors" and how they are not actually impossible but just places where our tools -- whether linguistic or mechanical -- break down.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the August 4, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "dancing" square in my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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... from the Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger

As the article suggests, some of these were probably jokes, while others may have been power names from a sacred clown.  But there's another possibility not mentioned.  In a culture without jails, people need a way to discipline those who misbehave; and when their language uses descriptive names, it's an obvious way.  In many tribes, one horribly foolish, hilariously memorable moment can saddle you with a name that may take decades to get rid of.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
"La Belle et la Bête" is a French film that goes back to the roots of the classic fairy tale.  I stumbled across a trailer online, and it looks quite good.  I am particularly charmed by having the original French dialog with English subtitles.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
All dialects are linguistically equal.  All of them have grammar

I am particularly intrigued by the stressed-bin example, which is not one I've encountered before, but I note that it follows a similar set of rules as Southern done as an auxiliary verb.  Done means something like "all finished" or "all the way," which is much like a perfective marker, but it can also be used for emphasis or distant past.  Mostly it's a perfective, as in "He done chopped the wood."  You hear the emphatic version in things like "He done had enough" and the hints of distant past in "She done give up on men."  But like stressed-bin, you can't make a question with it: *"Done she give up on men?"

Writing an unfamiliar dialect is very challenging, because it's easy to make mistakes like that if you haven't heard it spoken regularly.  When I write dialect, it's either one I've heard or I'm using what references I can find.  There aren't many references on dialects outside the mainstream ones, because privilege, and what sources there are, often aren't very good.  But I'd rather make my best attempt at them than write everything in newscast-English.  0_o  So I cite my sources if I'm using them, and let it go at that.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Learn some words and phrases in Lakota for talking about a powwow.

They left out frybread. >_< How can you have a powwow without frybread?  Every Indian is going to say that, because the first thing you say at a powwow is: "Where is the frybread?"  There are about a dozen bumper stickers especially devoted to frybread. Of course, this is only part 1.  Maybe they will cover powwow food in a later part.
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I got to talking with some friends about the uncanny valley, and then I found this video of two chatbots talking together.  The imagery is basically two talking heads, with a voiceover. The uncanny valley effect works in audio as well as visual mode, and it is creepy.  For those of you whose impaired vision has left you out of the uncanny valley based on sight, here's a chance to experiment with hearing it instead.  Or anyone else who thinks it's cool.

The conversation runs 6:37.  I didn't last a minute before tapping out.  Other friends variably lasted about two minutes, and less than ten seconds.  How long can you make it?
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This post includes written and vocal samples about tribal affiliation.

For what it's worth, Wazí Aháƞhaƞ (Pine Ridge) is the reservation where my father's brother has kin by marriage. Yes, that's complicated. It's also perfectly ordinary for tribal people to trace connections through long trails of relatives.

On my mother's side, our Cherokee ancestor, we don't know who she was.  She was one of the ones who survived by assimilating.  But I am still finding bits of things, all this time later, where family traditions overlap Cherokee culture.  Burying fishheads in the garden, that one was obvious!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This sounds promising.  Sacagawea will be played by an actual Native woman.  They also hired a bunch of consultants to cover all the tribes that will be featured, in pursuit of accuracy and respect.  This is how you do a good job of cultural representation.  Even if it doesn't turn out perfect I think it'll be really good, and they are certainly making concrete efforts.  If nothing else, it's making jobs for a lot of Native people.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the April 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [personal profile] corvi, and [personal profile] lynnoconnacht. It has been sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth. This poem belongs to the Valor's Widow thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, after the introductory events of "Valor's Widow."

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the April 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] lynnoconnacht and further discussion with the person who drafted the character of Sintonizao. It has been sponsored by EdorFaus. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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