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Author Topic: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace  (Read 129603 times)

mastahcheese

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #75 on: July 23, 2013, 02:29:17 am »

The end times are upon us, when all wagons shall be scuttled and Dwarven Civilization shall descend into anarchy! Wagnarok is upon us!
You sound like some old doomsayer who has no teeth.
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Oh look, I have a steam account.
Might as well chalk it up to Pathos.
As this point we might as well invoke interpretive dance and call it a day.
The Derail Thread

InfinityOrNone

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #76 on: July 23, 2013, 02:31:14 am »

Sounds better with a German accent.
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Larix

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #77 on: July 23, 2013, 02:46:20 am »

It has begun... Cartmageddon.

[pedantic post about the etymology of the name Armageddon]

Etymology tells us where words come from, not what they mean. And it's a portmanteau word anyway, like Wagnarök.

If we stuck to etymologies, 'apocalyptic' could be a synonym for 'revealing'.
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Drazinononda

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #78 on: July 23, 2013, 11:35:10 am »

It has begun... Cartmageddon.

[pedantic post about the etymology of the name Armageddon]

Etymology tells us where words come from, not what they mean. And it's a portmanteau word anyway, like Wagnarök.

If we stuck to etymologies, 'apocalyptic' could be a synonym for 'revealing'.

"Where they come from" and "what they mean" are two very, very closely related things. For example: What does the word "da" mean? Well, first you must answer another question, is the person speaking that word from Russia or from Scotland? And while not quite the same here -- the two meanings of 'da' were developed independently, not sequentially -- when asking what words like "sarcophagus" and "necromancy" mean, one must first determine the cultural or linguistic context of the usage. Heck, even contemporaries will use the same words differently, when speaking (ostensibly) the same language. Ask a Brit what a "fag" or a "republican" is and you'll get very different answers than if you ask an American.

In addition to all that, a portmanteau combines parts of two words to generate a third word that shares their meaning. A modern portmanteau of "cart" and "Armageddon" is fairly nonsensical, since the city of Megiddo is no longer inhabited, or indeed, standing. It would make sense if applied to the ancient, living city of Megiddo, since that city was on a trade route -- but then we descend into the irony of applying ancient meanings to modern words, which is the reverse of the original dispute in the first place.
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Children you rescue shouldn't behave like rabid beasts.  I guess your regular companions shouldn't act like rabid beasts either.
I think that's a little more impossible than I'm likely to have time for.

wierd

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #79 on: July 23, 2013, 12:17:35 pm »

Seriously, are we arguing about words again?

etymology is useful, dont get me wrong-- and if you know better, you should do your part to retain heritage in language-- But language isnt about stasis of meaning. language is about conveying intentions and concepts, which is exactly why portmanteaus and malapropisms get created.

What you are arguing is that "Wagnarok" is a malapropism, as well as a portmanteau. And you would be right-- but that is PURPOSEFUL, and-- if the word is novel enough in meaning and intent, it will stick around. Like "Catsplosion".  Once it starts sticking around, it becomes its own fixture in the language, and cant be whisked away by the pedantry broom, no matter how hard you try.

That's why "Armageddon" is synonymous with "The end of the world", and not "Burning trash fires" at the landfill in the megiddo valley.

Likewise, "Catsplosion" does not normally deal with "Exploding cats"-- it deals with an "Explosion OF cats". (And sometimes, an explosion of exploding cats!)

I realize that some people have intrinsic needs for extreme amounts of order inside their heads, and need for definitions of words to remain constant and rigid to avoid having cogitative dissonance. The problem that their insistence upon that though, is that they stifle the creativity of others, and make themselves into targets for insults when they try to enforce those strictures that only THEY need, as though "everyone" needed them.

Remember, For most people, language is a flexible and malleable substance that is MEANT to be twisted to create humor, and new intent. 

Take for instance, XKCD's "Malamantaeu" comic. Seen here

This comic panel was created in response to Wikipedia's pedantry in explicitly calling every portmanteau a portmanteau, and ever malapropism a malapropism, and pointing out how the editorial staff of the site seemed to have a fetishistic fixation on doing so-- and was making fun of it.

In response to the comic, several enterprising individuals created a wikipedia entry for Malamanteau.

The implosion of infighting and super-pedantry at wikipedia was breath-taking.

So, unless you want to be mocked and ridiculed like the wikipedia editors for being unable to take a joke, and unable to cope with creative word creation, I would strongly suggest you get off the pedantry wagon before it is too late, and just have fun like everyone else.

:D

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laularukyrumo

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #80 on: July 23, 2013, 12:49:05 pm »

Amen.
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wierd

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #81 on: July 23, 2013, 01:10:29 pm »

World War Wagon? (I prefer the neologism "W^3") ;)


Clearly, our top dwarven scientists are hard at work creating a new breed of SUPER WAGON that can survive being scuttled by enemy wagonmancers! These new super wagon troopers will be able to carry TWICE the cargo, be 1/3 the size, and NEVER scuttle!

Let's see what those wood hating elves do THEN!
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Snateraar

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #82 on: July 23, 2013, 01:11:57 pm »

It has begun... Cartmageddon.

[pedantic post about the etymology of the name Armageddon]

Etymology tells us where words come from, not what they mean. And it's a portmanteau word anyway, like Wagnarök.

If we stuck to etymologies, 'apocalyptic' could be a synonym for 'revealing'.

Why is my username in that post? I never said that..
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wierd

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #83 on: July 23, 2013, 01:16:59 pm »

Behold! It has BEGUN! The pedantry Wagon has scuttled the thread, and spilled off by one quotation errors everywhere!

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Bandreus

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #84 on: July 23, 2013, 02:25:36 pm »

World War Wagon? (I prefer the neologism "W^3") ;)


Clearly, our top dwarven scientists are hard at work creating a new breed of SUPER WAGON that can survive being scuttled by enemy wagonmancers! These new super wagon troopers will be able to carry TWICE the cargo, be 1/3 the size, and NEVER scuttle!

Let's see what those wood hating elves do THEN!

And signed. Hope you don't mind  ;)
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Clearly, our top dwarven scientists are hard at work creating a new breed of SUPER WAGON that can survive being scuttled by enemy wagonmancers! These new super wagon troopers will be able to carry TWICE the cargo, be 1/3 the size, and NEVER scuttle!

Drazinononda

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #85 on: July 23, 2013, 06:59:43 pm »

So, unless you want to be mocked and ridiculed like the wikipedia editors for being unable to take a joke, and unable to cope with creative word creation, I would strongly suggest you get off the pedantry wagon before it is too late, and just have fun like everyone else.

Aaaand what if I have fun on the pedantry wagon? If you look closely, you'll notice my mention of the etymology of Armageddon is a joke, if a bit of a dry one.

However, I'm also a linguist in my spare time, and I have (in my own opinion) an excellent grasp of the use of words, both correctly and incorrectly, and both intentionally and unintentionally. I'm not the kind of guy that, upon hearing the use of a malapropism, feels compelled to correct the offending individual -- generally context is enough to make the correction internally, so I still know what they're talking about, and that's good enough for me. There are cases where the malapropism and the intended word are both contextually relevant, and in those cases it becomes necessary to ask for clarification, but in general a flexible and creative use of language is fine with me. So I can handle things like "cartmageddon" without having an aneurysm or whatever it is that pedants do for a hobby.

I do however, as a student of language, take topical offense at the implication that the origins of a word or phrase are irrelevant to the meaning. Even slang which bears little or no resemblance in meaning to the dictionary definition of the words used can be traced in an etymological fashion to determine how it gained the slang meaning.
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Children you rescue shouldn't behave like rabid beasts.  I guess your regular companions shouldn't act like rabid beasts either.
I think that's a little more impossible than I'm likely to have time for.

wierd

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #86 on: July 23, 2013, 07:46:30 pm »

That the original meaning behind an abstract symbol for that meaning can be lost is not a new pheomenon.

Take for instance, the thesis of the famous book "simulation and simulacra".

"Armageddon" is a prime example, since originally, it meant, quite literally "mound/mountain of Megiddo", but the "fires and perdition" connotations of the word come from the rather infamous landfill outside the city, and the raging fires it often hosted. The scene it presented was one of wasted desolation and decay. This is theorized as being one of the reasons why it was used figuratively in the book of revelations to describe the blasted deslation of the final war it describes.

This original chain of meaning is nearly completely forgotten by everyone except ancient historians, biblical scholars, general polymaths (like myself), and linguists. The abstract unit, the word "armageddon", has lost this ancestry in the conciousnesses of most people,  making it what Baudrillard refers to as a "second order simulacra".  Or, "a symbol that stands for itself, and has lost its original meaning."

So much so in fact, that if you used "armageddon" in line with that original chain of meaning, it would sew only confusion in modern readers who were not of the above qualificatons.

If you can stomach philosophy drier than the cinnamon challenge, I would recommend the above book for you. It sounds like you could use it. :D
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 07:59:19 pm by wierd »
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Kolnukbyne

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #87 on: July 23, 2013, 10:53:39 pm »

It has begun... Cartmageddon.

[pedantic post about the etymology of the name Armageddon]

Etymology tells us where words come from, not what they mean. And it's a portmanteau word anyway, like Wagnarök.

If we stuck to etymologies, 'apocalyptic' could be a synonym for 'revealing'.

Why is my username in that post? I never said that..

I... I don't know, that was me.

Spacespinner

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #88 on: July 24, 2013, 12:18:14 am »

The wagon shudders and begins to move!
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Drazinononda

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Re: Here lies Wagon: may he rest in peace
« Reply #89 on: July 24, 2013, 01:00:13 am »

That the original meaning behind an abstract symbol for that meaning can be lost is not a new pheomenon.

[...]

The abstract unit, the word "armageddon", has lost this ancestry in the conciousnesses of most people,  making it what Baudrillard refers to as a "second order simulacra".  Or, "a symbol that stands for itself, and has lost its original meaning."

So much so in fact, that if you used "armageddon" in line with that original chain of meaning, it would sew only confusion in modern readers who were not of the above qualificatons.

You've touched on the next point I was going to make, having foreseen that the conversation would lead to it:

words are not real things.
People forget this, but a word is a collection of sounds (often represented by a set of written characters, in the world of man) that acts as a label for an intangible concept stored in a brain. Some are more culturally consistent than others; most Americans will picture the current president when they hear "the President," whereas most Americans will picture a generic monarch when they hear "the King." And some are more rigidly defined than others; it's a lot simpler and more widely known exactly what "seventeen" is than exactly what "impressive" is. But none of those words is an actual thing in and of itself. You can't go for a walk and find a necromancy lying on the ground; you could, theoretically, find a cent lying on the ground; but it might be a penny, or a few flecks of gold or a handful of sand. And those examples are of nouns, which should be the most tangibly definable, if anything is. Smirking, jesting, and denouncing are words that don't even refer to an object of any sort themselves. They are just symbols which refer to gestures which refer to attitudes which refer to stimuli.

The entirety of language, which encompasses every intelligent thought, is nothing but ideas and daydreams. There isn't a single concrete factor to it. It's constantly shifting, not as quickly on the whole as the mind of an individual does, but it is certainly never static. Which leads to a second point,

"correct" English is complete nonsense.
Even disregarding that English is the child born from an orgy of other languages, English itself has changed so much since its emergence as a distinct language that any attempt at an etymological "correctness" in the usage of English would render it completely non-understandable to anyone living, with the possible exception of a handful of language scholars of various sorts. Most Americans even have trouble following many Colonial era or early US documents because the use of the English language, even in things such as syntax and paragraphical structure, has changed so much in the past 2.5 centuries. Going back even further, there are "translations" of works such as Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Gawain and the Green Knight because the English that they were written in looks like gibberish to modern-day English-speakers. Even spell-checking doesn't help much; so many of the words are either no longer in use or no longer in the same usage that the meaning entire sentences is lost on the layman trying to read them.
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Children you rescue shouldn't behave like rabid beasts.  I guess your regular companions shouldn't act like rabid beasts either.
I think that's a little more impossible than I'm likely to have time for.
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