Lessons from the Muse Online: Part 4

The following is the fourth assignment for the World Building workshop at the Muse Online writers' conference:


Apergis Barracks


Officer Candidate Gunnery Sergeant Lew Diamond Puller

Assignment 56A

The officer candidate shall give a short explanation of languages and their usages within the empire.

A number of major languages are currently in use within the Erin Empire.

The standard language of inter-system trade, government, and military coordination is Imperial Standard. The present thinking on the origins of Standard is that it was a development of either American or English, two early languages. At the moment, there is great disagreement over which of these languages is the true root (several academic duels are fought each semester with occasional loss of life in addition to maiming over this subject. Conrad of Bad tolz being the most famous because of his defense of the proposition that, at one time, the two languages formed a single unitary language he called "Canadian"). Until a few years ago, it was the fashion to include High Brazos' Texican within this family. There is at present a symposium in Blood Rivier on Bantu headed by Dr. Shaka Retief to settle which of these two root languages is included in addition to Zulu and Afrikaans that make the creole that is Bantu. The form of standard normally spoken on Tara is sometimes hard for offworlders to understand and between representatives of remote regions of the capital planet, Imperial Standard is used as a trade language.

On Yamato, a form of Nipponese is spoken and a semi-pictographic written language is used. There are certain similarities between the written Nipponese and the Xenese used by the CPM. There is aslow shift from the pictographic to an alpha-numeric written language in motion among the younger Yamato. a new fad for a mixture of Nipponese and Standard called "Yamard" is fashionable in Eto.

The Bayern of course speak Bayern. Here also is argument among language scholars. The two sides maintain Bayern is an outgrowth of one of two ancient languages: Bavarian or German. Conrad of Bad Tolz refused to involve himself in the discussion as he believed that the matter was trivial when compared to his thoughts on "Canadian."

As a note, next term, I will begin instruction in Arkmese in preparation for my possible posting to that planet. This will, of course, depend on the course of the insurgency referred to as the "Nipo rising."

DVDs for Christmas (Note to FTC: I bought this dang DVD myself!)

Dr. SEUSS' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (staring Boris Karloff) and Horton Hears a Who! Warner. 26 minutes each.

I ran into the Grinch back in fourth grade. Our school library had a bunch of these slightly off-center works of Dr. Suess (aka: Therodor Suess Geisel) and many of us were scarred for life. As it happens, the Grinch was the first of his books I read. Rather than Santa and plastic reindeer, it posulated the subversive idea that Christmas isn't a matter of getting, but giving of oneself. When you think of it, it's a story of conversion sparked by the Grinch witnessing the whos' living their faith. Instead of the unfortunately common plot of the sinner realizes his mistakes and imediately begins to preach the good news, the Grinch quietly joins and is accepted by the whos. Dr. Suess was a good writer because he could be subtle.

When How the Grinch Stole Christmas appeared on TV in 1966, Boris Karloff not only narrated but was apparently the model for the Grinch's facial expressions. When the green one gets his wonderful, horrible idea, it's purest Karloff (think Dr. Scarabus in the 1963 movie The Raven). As he carves the roast beast with his new friends the whos, the Grinch smiles beatificaly (no one could smile as saintly as Karloff--also think Dr. Scarabus).

This is the true Grinch. On the same DVD is Horton Hears a Who. And the joy is Jim Carrey--who the heck is Jim Carrey?

18 December 2009: Feast of St. Winebald of Wessex, Hannibal wins Battle of the Trebia - Second Punic War 218 BC, Mayflower lands 1620, Piltdown Man found 1912, Operation Linebacker II 1972.

1 comment:

  1. hello Walt,

    ya don't know who Jim Carrey is?

    hope ya have a good weekend! :)