Question: "High" concepts in Fantasy

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Tue Mar 4 14:51:26 EST 2003


Margaret said...
>
> and a comparable pleasure from being able to pronounce
> you'd-never-guess-it-from-the-spelling names....although that may be
> limited to the English-reading world, since most languages have adopted
> writing systems that give you at least a fair shot at pronouncing what's
> been written down.(Okay, not Gaelic. Gaelic isn't a language, it's an
> attitude.)

I can't speak to Scots Gaelic, but Irish Gaelic (or just Irish, as we call
it) is perfectly pronounceable - once you know the pronunciation rules (just
like German or Italian or Russian, really).

>  I expect you're used to it by now, but I'm still proud of myself for
> knowing that Kirkcudbright was really Kirkoobry even before we went
> there, and that Dun Laoghire was Dun Leary to the locals. (okay, that's
> not quite Great Britain, but close).

You managed Dun Laoghaire, but can you pronounce

Howth
Droichead Nua
Killala
Castletownbere
Ballina
Cobh

...? :-)
>
> The point of this being....how can we be sure that Cthulhu isn't
> pronounced Coaly by the, er, locals?

Hee hee.

> And can we think of any fantasy
> novel in which it's explicitly stated that Lord Xochipitl's name is
> pronounced Shoppit? I can't, but I bet somebody on this list can come up
> with an example.

I know I've seen such an explication, but I can't think where just now.
Bother.

(I don't know about you or the other writers on the list, but I actively try
to make made-up names pronounceable rather than confusing - not but what
they sometimes get confusing anyway.)

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian.
--
Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be
mistaken."
- O. Cromwell


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