dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #750

Sarah sarah-neko at dove.gen.nz
Tue Nov 18 16:33:44 EST 2003

> Nothing so very very bad, only that it's one further instance of the 
> tenuous
> relationship between pronunciation and orthography, and a compelling
> metaphor for the tenuous nature of our minds' hold on reality 
> itself....
> Charlie

At least it's not as bad as trying to work out how Chinese words should 
be pronounced from how they're romanised.

> I had assumed he was used to people saying "Groening" as if it were 
> spelt
> "groaning", which goes very well with complaining, and that's why he 
> chose
> "complaining" as his example.  Does that make sense?
> Minnow

You might be onto something there!

> - --- HSchinske at aol.com wrote:
>> By the way, I just recently read a teen novel,
>> 1950's I think, in which a
>> couple of girls remark on the utter swooniness (or
>> words to that effect) of the
>> name Jon-without-an-H.
> Do you remember what it was? it sounds like a quote
> I'll have to use sometime.
> Jon

Hs in names are funny things. Whenever I meet a Sara, or someone 
mistakenly spells me Sara, I think of the line from 'Soul Music' that 
the name 'cries out for a prosthetic H.' It just doesn't look... 
Also, in my family at least you pronounce it differently, to rhyme with 

> All fans of Beachcomber (JB Morton) know that
> "actually" is the Persian word for fertiliser.
> Jon

If you pronounce it 'eckchulah,' certainly!

> When I was at university in York I was taught by Dick Whittington and
> examined for my PhD by Robin Hood. But neither of them appeared in 
> panto
> (that was Berwick Kaler, and very good he was).
> Charlie

How can parents DO that? I suppose in some cases the unfortunate 
combination of names is cause by marriage... but then how could you do 
that to YOURSELF?
Now I'm thinking of Carol Shields' 'Unless,' in which a girl named 
Summers falls in love with a boy named Winters and realises this is 
going to be a *problem*.
Which takes me back to my theory that in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' the 
reason we are never told Faith's last name is that it's Winters and so 
she doesn't want people to either laugh or go 'Oooooo, how ironic!'
I think about people's names a LOT.

> I just finished The Monstrous Regiment. A bit of a one-joke book, but 
> the
> joke is such a good one. It's really hard to discuss without spoilers, 
> so
> before I say anything, has anyone else read it?
> Robyn

Yes, I was lucky enough to be given a copy shortly after it came out. I 
thought it was quite good, but a little bit of a let-down after 'The 
Wee Free Men,' which I thought rocked. But it never came close to 
disappointing me as much as 'Thief of Time,' so it gets a passing grade.

> Yes.
> I knew what the joke was from the start, having read the full version 
> of the
> title quote (I never get to be in on these things; I felt all smug and
> happy), but I had no idea it was going to go so *far*.  We are in the 
> middle
> of watching the Sharpe movies starring Sean Bean and the last one we 
> saw,
> "Sharpe's Regiment," kept bringing the Pratchett book to mind.  
> Especially
> the recruitment scene.
> Anyone know if this is a permanent change for Pratchett, away from the 
> light
> humor toward a more serious story enlivened by humorous moments?  
> _Night
> Watch_ was in the same vein, so I wonder....
> Melissa Proffitt

I think it's just the style he finds most enjoyable and satisfying by 
now. I knew the quote too, but when I first learned that the book was 
to be called that, without any other information on the plot, I 
wondered if he meant the word 'regiment' in the same sense Knox did - 
'rule' or 'leadership.' I thought it might be a story about queens of 
the Discworld - Ptraci, Keli, the likelihood of Esmerelda Margaret Note 
Spelling being the sole heir to the throne of Lancre?
I actually found it slightly annoying rather than satisfying that he 
carried the idea so far. It wasn't plausible for me.

> Otter:
> Being a devotee of certain periods of English history, I
> was familiar with the quote, too.  Good old John Knox.
> What a right bastard _he_ was.

I have a friend who studied in Edinburgh and peed on the doorstep of 
his house. She's quite proud of this!
Regarding the increasing seriousness of the books, he seems to be doing 
it as the Disc, or Ankh-Morpork at least, gets closer and closer to 
our-world 'modernity.' 'Small Gods' has very serious themes but not at 
all a serious tone.

E you later,
(the artist formerly known as Sarah-neko)

Air and Angels Anime Shrines

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