[DWJ] timetravel/and other things

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Tue Jun 24 14:28:21 EDT 2008

On Tue, 24 Jun 2008, Elizabeth Parks wrote:
> Colin wrote:
>> I recognise the prescriptivist rules as a social phenomenon, and (as I
>> have indicated in other posts) rank them with the rules of fashion or
>> cookery, or for that matter bridge. What I react against is people
>> treating them as though they were something far more weighty.
> Wheras I think it's utterly ridiculous to rank bridge (which, after
> all, has a shorter time frame, and is also not used by almost every
> living person) as the equal in importance of language, which
> influences all human communication, including legal and religious
> systems.

And I would argue that the rules of fashion are incredibly
weighty. People get or lose jobs, friends, promotions,
relationships, and respect all the time because which rules of
fashion they choose to obey, how well they follow them, and how
cleverly they manipulate them.

Even in my crowd, where there are many self-described geeks who
claim not to be obeying any set rules of fashion, there are
absolutely fashion codes: black T-shirt tucked into jeans means
one thing; feathered hat on a gentleman means another; which free
computer company logos adorn your clothing means yet another;
which Monty Python slogans or webcomic jokes; who chooses to wear
skirts; who has visible tattoos or facial piercings; who has blue
hair; which straight women dress like dykes and which queer women
wear lipstick; who wears visible signs of religion on their
jewelry and is it Christian or pagan or other. One could argue
that (off the Internet) fashion is more important than language,
because you judge people by their clothing so early that if you
find them wanting you will never get a chance to hear how they
use words.

... I'm straining for a ObDWJ here and coming up with Howl,
Torquil, and Chrestomanci, but I'm not sure where to go with
that. Actually, how about Tanaqui's rugcoats, found so strange by
everyone else in that world who sees them?

The main character is a misogynistic, hermaphroditic,
heavy-drinking, ultra-cynical aardvark. It's an acquired taste.
 	-- A member of the DWJ list, on Cerebrus

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