modern speakers

archaicsextoy  asked:

147 for Klance? for the writing prompt thingy *eye emoji*

PSH, IF YOU EXPECTED SOMETHING ANGST, I GOT ANOTHER THING COMING YOUR WAY.

Also, it’s short bc im dyin.


147: “I can take care of myself just fine.”

“I can take care of myself just fine.”

Lance rolls his eyes as he pops his hip to the side, looking unamused.

“Keith, you have a crab hanging from your big toe.”

Keith pauses. He then looks down to his leg that hangs in mid air and winces when his foot wiggles a little, making the tiny crab on his toe to tighten its hold.

“Um, so, yeah anyways, like I said, I can take care of myself.”

“Keith, just come! My family is not going to bite you and Mama always brings her first aid kit, it’s fine!”

“Lance, no! I will just go back to my shack -”

“Keith, you will be - how you say that? Uh, cogeando? Lifting? Li -  limp? Limping! Dude, you will be limping the entire way there and it’s like, miles away!” Lance huffs, crossing his arms over his chest and Keith makes an effort on not following the movement because damn, Lance’s abs could have a showdown with the Mona Lisa and they would win in the imaginary On What Will Keith Spend His Time Staring At Conest.

Instead, Keith bites down on his lower lip and nods his head, resigned to his fate and finally accepting that his toe is starting to hurt.

Fucking crab.

But he’s still a nervous wreck, because being friends with your secret crush is one thing but meeting your secret crush’s family? Bro, that’s like….

He doesn’t know much about baseball bases but he knows it’s like one of the highest bases.

“Come on, you big baby,” Lance teases, grabbing him carefully by the arm and pulling him closer until Keith’s arm is resting over his shoulders and he’s holding him up by the waist, starting to walk, “I guess you’re lucky that I was on the beach today, huh?”

Hah…yeah, because Keith definitely didn’t know that Lance was going to be here today, of course not. Just like he definitely didn’t make his brother to drive him to the beach early in the morning nor did he brought his binoculars with him in search for a familiar brown mop of head.

He did but that’s besides the point.

“This is so embarrassing,” Keith mumbles quietly as he tries to hide his face with his free hand and flushes when Lance’s laughter shakes him slightly.

“Dude, it’s fine! And it’s good because my family can finally meet you; they have wondered who is this mysterious lab partner I keep hanging out with, ya know.”

Keith’s heart skips a beat at the words but he has no chance to voice anything before they arrive to a big canopy tent where at least twenty people sit under it. He swallows the nervous lump in his throat but still waves shyly with a small smile at the million pair of eyes as soon as Lance speaks up.

The entire family waves back at him friendly and greeting him warmly. Lance’s mama is quick to get on her feet and making Keith to sit on one of the free beach chairs, taking out a small white box from one of the big bags laying on the sand before starting to treat Keith’s bruise.

She’s careful to remove the tiny crab slowly, sending Keith a soft apologetic look when the teen flinches out in pain but she cheers when the crab finally lets go. She puts the crab on a small bucket next to her and gets to work.

“Mama was a lifeguard back in the day!” Lance shares excitedly as he sits on the sand next to his mama and helps her with passing the things she requests him as she treats Keith’s toe, “That’s why she’s always prepared for any kind of disaster we may make.”

“With you as her child, I can imagine.” Keith jokes weakly but his smile grows when the entire family chuckles with him and at Lance’s mocking offended expression.

One of Lance’s nephews, Jose if Keith recalls correctly, crawls towards the abandoned bucket where the small crab is and then he gasps in awe.

“Can we keep it?” The four years old asks, voice high pitched and tugging at the sleeve of his mama’s dress, “Mama, pleaaaaase?”

“No, corazón, we can’t keep the little guy because he belongs in the beach, you know this.” Lance’s sister replies, patting her child on the head playfully.

Keith smiles softly when Jose just pouts at the answer, clearly upset that he couldn’t keep his new little friend. Then, the kid’s eyes shift and they fall on Keith.

The teen’s stomach drops suspiciously when Jose beams at him and tugs once again at his mama’s sundress while pointing at Keith with his free hand.

“Can I keep him then?”

Keith chokes on his own saliva, nodding in thanks when Lance’s father pats him on the back with a chuckle.

“Uh -” he starts but then Lance’s laughter cuts him off.

“I’m sorry, buddy, but I called dibs long ago,” Lance declares, tilting his head to the side to catch Keith’s eye before winking at him.

Keith’s blush just spreads over to the point that Lance’s mama thinks he’s having a stroke.

i keep seeing the stereotype that latin is a less poetic language than greek, and i’d like to push back on that. for one thing, i don’t think any language is inherently more poetic than another, though some use certain signifiers that we [modern english speakers] might consider poetic more often than others. secondly, poets and poetry flourished in ancient rome, regardless of modern aesthetic concepts of what kind of marked speech “should” comprise poetry. finally, the complexity and cleverness of the word order in latin poetry cannot be conveyed in an english translation because it must be converted into a language with strict word order. it’s like installing windows on a mac. look.

inter quas phoenissa recens a volnere dido
errabat silva in magna; quam troius heros
ut primum iuxta stetit adgnovitque per umbras
obscuram, qualem primo qui surgere mense
aut videt, aut vidisse putat per nubila lunam,
demisit lacrimas…


among them phoenician dido, freshly wounded,
was wandering in the great forest; the trojan hero, as he first
stood near her and recognized through the shades
her gloomy [form]–like one who, early in the month, either sees
or believes he has seen the moon rise through the clouds–
let fall his tears…(aeneid  6.450-5)

we have two feminine nouns here, dido and the moon (luna), and they merge seamlessly into a metaphor via the adjective obscuram, which appears to apply to both of them at second glance; but at first glance, you don’t find out that vergil is describing the moon until the very end of the next line:

obscuram, qualem primo qui surgere mense
aut videt, aut vidisse putat per nubila lunam

so as the audience you experience the same uncertainty as aeneas here, the subject of the metaphor suspended and unclear until the end. but vergil’s metapoetic word order is obliterated by english word order. 

all of this is also written in beautiful dactylic hexameter, which most english-speaking readers wouldn’t even realize is a meter, if they happened to be reading a translation that attempted it.

tl;dr: don’t call latin a less poetic language because it doesn’t conform to preconceived modern english notions of poetics.

brittmarietrimmer  asked:

Okay so I have a story in which a third-generation Chinese girl goes to an alternate dimension. Her legal name is Sha-heng but she goes by Sarah because she wants to seem more American. However, Sha-heng is easier for the people in the alternate dimension to pronounce, and she ends up wanting to learn more about her culture by the time she comes back to our dimension because she's gotten so used to being called Sha-heng. Is this okay?

Wanting to Learn More About Culture Because of Chinese Name

To be honest, if your character is 3rd gen, more likely than not Sarah would be her legal name, due to some assimilation with the previous generations. It’s still likely she’d have a Chinese name, but it’d either be a middle name (i.e. Sarah Sha-heng) or something that Mandarin speakers might call her. 

Also, as someone who’s 2nd gen, it’s really likely Sarah’s going to seem more American to Chinese people who were raised in China/Taiwan/HK, at least, although it does depend on how she’s raised. But it’s likely she’d be more assimilated with American culture to begin with.

I can’t speak for other Chinese, but as someone who hears her Chinese name pronounced correctly on a somewhat regular basis, I’d need more than that to want to connect with my heritage. 

–mod Jess

Unless you establish a fairly large “hmm” type situation in her mind, where she’s kinda been on the fence for learning more about her culture for awhile, you’re not going to get a tipping point with that. Like, it took being in multiple university classes that focused on Native life/modern struggle+ guest speakers accepting me back into the culture despite my assimilation+ my whole life of being told “you’re Native I just know nothing about it” for me to get to where I am now.

And even then, I don’t even pretend to know everything. I’m never going to reach the point of somebody who was born and raised in their own culture, and that is a struggle for me. It’s a completely unique experience to dive back into where you came from (especially when language is involved and you weren’t bilingual from childhood— it’s a lot more work to learn a language later in life) and you can’t really use first gen stories for research.

It’s possible to get back to your culture after being assimilated, but it’s a super complicated thing that isn’t just filled with wonder and curiosity. There’s grief and pain and anger and happiness and a whole bunch more, so it’s very much not the “was content being Americanized and suddenly isn’t.” There needs to be a progression.

~ Mod Lesya

Hey Koizumi, I was wondering if you could explain why is Edward ‘Longshanks’ called “King Edward I” if he was actually the fourth King of England named “Edward”.

There are several reasons for this Hinata-kun. The short answer is that all previous “King Edwards of England” had reigned during the Anglo-Saxon period and by the time Longshanks had risen to the throne they were a distant memory. So there was a clear distinction between him and earlier Edwards. However this is only the beginning of a more clear anser. 

We need to remember that just because historians today are in general agreement and consistent when it comes to labels, that doesnt meant his was the case for then contemporary writers. Actually there are a few sources towards the end of King Edwards life that give him a regnal number but they mistakingly call him Edward the Third because they had overlooked the brief and unfortunate reign of the teenage king Edward the Martyr. For most of Edward I’s reign he was simply referred to as “King Edward” and if people felt the need to specify him it was usually as “King Edward, son of King Henry”.

The regnal numbering of “Edward the First” started to become popular in 14th century accounts. This is because by that point there had been two more King Edwards, namely the son of Longshanks and his grandson. Specifying which “Edward” one was talking about by identifying his father was no longer practical because you now have two kings who were “Edward, son of Edward”. Writers thus decided to specify them by “1st, 2nd and 3rd” and on occasion might add “Since the [Norman] Conquest” to specify they were not referring to the Anglo-Saxon kings 

You can sorta compare it to how he wouldve been unfamiliar with the modern names for his dynasty, Plantagenet. The word “Plantagenet” was only coined in reference to a dynasty in the 14th century and it was only during histories written during the Tudor period that you start to see it used more generally.

The other thing thats interesting about the name “King Edward” however is that its actually the only name that you see with both Anglo-Saxon kings as well as post-Conquest kings. Back in the 1200s the name “Edward” was seen as a rough Anglo-Saxon name and would be seen as somewhat alien the way names like “Æthelred” seem alien to modern English-speakers. But King Henry III was known to be a rather religious person and in particular was devoted to the saintly cult of his predecessor Edward the Confessor. He adopted Edward the Confessor as his patron saint and built shrines and churches in his name so naming his firstborn son after him was seen as yet another way for Henry to honor his favorite saint.  

youtube

Hey all!

As I announced in my previous recording, I’m very excited to share something new with you today: my first recording in Hittite! The Hittites were a people who lived in central Anatolia (modern Turkey) during the Bronze Age; at its greatest extent, in the 14th and 13th centuries BC, their empire included Syria to the south and reached the shores of the Aegean Sea to the west. The Hittite language is particularly interesting because it is the oldest written Indo-European language. This means several words are recognisable by modern-day English speakers, one of the most well-known being watar which means - you’ve guessed it - water.

The text chosen for this recording is a prayer known as the Prayer of Kantuzili. Kantuzili was a Hittite prince who suffered from some kind of sickness; seeking relief, he turned to the Sun-god Ištanu. I did not record the entire prayer, because it’s too long and several parts are damaged, making them difficult to read. Instead I chose what I found to be the most striking passages. I hope you enjoy listening to them.

A note on pronunciation: unlike Ancient Greek, Hittite pronunciation is near impossible to reconstruct, so the way I went about it is pretty much hit-and-miss. As a basis, I used variations in spelling, transliterations into other languages, and etymology. For example, it’s debated whether Hittite š was pronounced s, sh or something in between; I chose the middle road as a conciliation, and also, more subjectively, because I wanted Hittite to have a different sound quality from Ancient Greek.

Finally, for those of you who like my Ancient Greek recordings, fear not! I’m not going to stop making them anytime soon. Rather, I hope to expand the project to other languages while keeping the usual Ancient Greek hymns and poetry. Along with Hittite, you can expect Akkadian and possibly Sumerian in the future.

Thank you for your support, and as always, comments and suggestions are welcome! :)

TEXT

§2 Ammel šīunimi kuitmuza annašmiš ḫašta numu ammel šīunimi šallanuš. Numušan lāmanmit išḫieššamita zikpat šīunimi. Numukan āššawaš antuḫšaš anda zikpat šīunimi ḫarapta innarāwantimamu pēdi iyawa zikpat šīunimi maniyaḫta. Numuza ammel šīunimi Kantuzilin tukašta ištanzanaštaš ÌR-nantan ḫalzait. Nuza DUMU-annaz kuit šiunašmaš duddumar natkan šākḫi nat kanišmi.

§5 Ḫuišwatarmapa anda ḫingani ḫaminkan. Ḫinganamapa anda ḫuišwanniya ḫaminkan. Dandukišnaša DUMU-aš uktūri natta ḫuišwanza. Ḫuišwannaš šiwattuššiš kappuwanteš. Māmman dandukišnaša DUMU-aš uktūri ḫuišwanza ēšta manašta mān antuwaḫḫaš idāluwa inan arta manatwa natta kattawatar.

§10 Numu pirmet inani peran pittuliyaš pir kišat numu pittuliyai peran ištanzašmiš tamatta pēdi zappiškizzi. Nu wētti mieniyaš armalaš maḫḫan nuza ūka apeniššan kišḫat kinunamušan inan pittuliyaša makkēšta. Nat šīunimi tuk memiškimi.

TRANSLATION

§2 My God, since my mother gave birth to me, you, my God, have raised me. Only you are my name and my reputation, my God. Only you have joined me together with good people, my God, and to a position of strength, my God, only you have directed my deeds. My God, you have called me, Kantuzili, the servant of your body and your soul. Since childhood, my God’s mercy, I recognise and acknowledge it.

§5 Life is tied to death. Death is tied to life. A child of humankind does not live forever. The days of his life are counted. If a child of humankind could live forever, even if human ills and sickness arose, they would not be a grievance to him.

§10 But my house, because of the sickness, has become a house of anxiety, and because of the anxiety, my soul is dripping away to another place. Such as someone who is sick throughout the year, so have I become, and now the sickness and the anxiety have grown too great. My God, I keep saying it to you.

NOTES

  • ḫašta, “to give birth”, literally means “to open”
  • ÌR is the Sumerogram (a sign that stands for an entire word, taken from Sumerian) for “servant”. A Hittite would’ve read it out loud as the Hittite word. In this text, I have replaced several Sumerograms and Akkadograms with their Hittite equivalents (šīunimi for DINGIR-YA, annašmiš for AMA-YA) but unfortunately the Hittite word for “servant” is unknown, so I had to read out the Sumerogram instead.
  • the same goes for DUMU, “child”
  • manatwa natta kattawatar: until recently, researchers were unsure whether this was a rhetorical question (would they not be a grievance to him?) or an assertion (they would not be a grievance to him). The publication of a Sumerian hymn to the Sun-god Utu has shown that the sentence is directly adapted into Hittite from the Sumerian text, and that it is an assertion: if human beings could live forever, sickness wouldn’t matter anymore.

Stuff that makes the pronoun discussion more complicated:

  • The thee/you distinction is both an example of singular/plural form and a familiar/formal form. “You” is plural but would also be used for individuals as a mark of respect.
  • Because English lost thee/thou, modern speakers who haven’t had a good Shakespeare class tend to assume that it’s the formal form simply because it’s unfamiliar
  • Tolkien decided to confuse everyone by occasionally using “thou” to represent deferential language because it’s archaic even though it’s actually the familiar form. This is especially confusing when characters shift from “thee/thou” to “you” because it means the opposite of what it would mean historically
Ethnic Groups in Modern Egypt

The CIA World Factbook lists “Egyptians” as 99.6% of the population, and “Other” as 0.4% (2006 census). “Other” refers to those who are not citizens of Egypt, who come to Egypt to work for international companies, diplomats, etc. The vast majority of Egyptians are native speakers of modern Egyptian Arabic. 

Minorities in Egypt include the Copts who represent ~10% of the population and live all over the country, the Berber-speaking community of the Siwa Oasis (Siwis), and the Nubian people clustered along the Nile in the southernmost part of Egypt. There are also sizable minorities of Beja and Dom. The country was host to many different communities during the colonial period, incl. Greeks, Italians, Lebanese, Syro-Lebanese, Jews, Armenians, and Turks, though most either left or were compelled to leave in the 1950′s. The country still hosts some 90,000 refugees and asylum seekers, mostly Palestinians and Sudanese.

SHAKESPEARE WROTE ALL HIS PLAYS IN MODERN ENGLISH, OR EARLY MODERN ENGLISH IF YOU WANT TO BE A DICK ABOUT IT. OLD ENGLISH AND MIDDLE ENGLISH ARE LANGUAGES THAT WOULD BE UNINTELLIGIBLE TO MOST MODERN ENGLISH SPEAKERS.

THE REASON WHY SHAKESPEARE’S WORKS MAKE NO SENSE WHEN YOU READ THEM IN YOUR HEAD BUT BECOME SUDDENLY CAPTIVATING WHEN YOU SEE IT AS A PLAY OR MOVIE IS THAT IT WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE READ AS A BOOK, BUT TO BE SEEN AS A PERFORMANCE.

Logansport Mall of the Dead

The other week, my lady friend took me on the mother of all perfect dates: a day trip to a (nearly) abandoned mall in the middle of a small town in rural Indiana. 

Now, a few things of note before we start this article, the first being that I’ve never had the guts to ever go urban exploring. I honestly don’t know how some people are able to sneak into old, boarded up buildings and take a downright ridiculous amount of beautiful photos before slipping away without getting caught by security. Knowing my luck with cops, they’d all be having a donut party inside the day I decided to sneak in. So as pansy as that makes me sound, I’ve never had the opportunity to explore an abandoned building, despite how much I’ve always wanted to.

Second, the lady friend told me up front that this mall only had a few stores left in it, but I, being the naive city slicker that I am, assumed that “a few” meant anywhere between six or eight. Surely a mall can’t survive with anything less than that, right?

Oh, dear readers, I had no idea.

My jaw actually dropped when I walked inside. The atmosphere of this place was downright bizarre; over hidden speakers, modern Top 40 music was blasting for absolutely no one, while the little remaining decor looked as if it hasn’t been touched since the mid-80s. Large metal gates covered every single window, with the faintest dusty outlines of store logos still somewhat visible overhead. This place was a dead zone, and yet the lights and the music continued to reassure me that it was still somehow open for business.

Almost all of the storefronts were simply sealed up and forgotten about. Kiosks were dusty and neglected. For me, the strangest sights were all of the empty vending machines. Even the ones that weren’t had old, washed out, long expired treats on the inside. I was half tempted to actually buy something from one of these machines and see what kind of time capsule would come out, but picking one that actually worked would’ve been a 50/50 gamble that probably wouldn’t have been worth the 25 cents.

It’s not as if this mall was doomed from the start, either. As we walked through, my lady friend kept giving me a sort of back-in-time tour of the place, pointing out where each store used to be. FYE, Walden Books, the food court, a little independent toy store…she painted a picture of a small-yet-fun mid-90s hang out spot. Alas, something happened, and now there are only a whopping three stores left: JC Penny’s, Dunham’s Sports, and a freaking GNC. Not exactly the hip place to chill during the summer anymore.

What remained of the food court was now hidden in shadows behind the busted fountain. A pair of shoes and some cleaning equipment indicated that there was a maintenance man wandering about who had the misfortune of being tasked to fix a broken fountain in the middle of an abandoned mall. Knowing he was roaming around somewhere in this giant empty wasteland made me feel a bit on edge, like a teenager in a bad slasher movie.

By the way, the fountain and the food court were directly placed in front of the most fascinating part of the entire mall, and the only place that housed even the saddest little spark of life: “The Amazing Space”.

“The Amazing Space” was a tiny little nook smack dab in the middle of the mall that acted as something of an arcade. The multicolored walls and flashing lights must’ve made this the go-to spot for kids back in the day, like a mini Chuck E. Cheese in the middle of a shopping center. 

Lights flashed and arcade cabinets beeped, but literally no one besides the two of us were around for these nostalgic sights and sounds. The radical narrator from Crazy Taxi tempted me over and over to sit down and crash through half of LA, but I decided against it on account of the fact that the seat looked like it had never been clean since its installation. 

Also, anyone else remember those terrifying “swinging clown” vending machines? We had two near my house growing up, and they always scared Little Steve’s Aladdin socks off. Fortunately for us, ol’ Ziggy up there wasn’t even plugged in on that day.

I think the most bizarre find of the day had to be this crane game. Upon first glance, these were cheaper-than-dollar-store-level plushes, with not a single licensed character to be found. However, looking through the right side window revealed one hell of a time capsule. 

Dora the Explorer was probably the most recent addition to this vending machine, because  right next to her were an original talking Taco Bell Chihuahua and an original Pound Puppy!

These three toys were so impossibly out of place within this claw machine that I’m actually beginning to think that the owners of “The Amazing Space” just filled it with whatever they could find in their basements and at various garage sales.

Soon the depressing nostalgia became a bit too much for us, and we decided to leave this ghost mall. But not before stumbling upon the greatest treasure that it had within its crumbling walls:

Surrounded by shadows and loneliness was a single child’s ride based on The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Does anyone else remember this franchise? I was obsessed with it as a toddler, and Lowly Worm was my character of choice. Again, though, Richard Scarry stopped being popular around the late ‘90s, and was practically driven into obscurity by the early 2000s. What was Lowly Worm and his apple car still doing greeting customers into this deserted mall?

I kind of wanted to pick it up and take it home with me. Absolutely no one would’ve bothered to stop me. 

So that was my trip to a practically abandoned shopping center. It was eerie, to say the least, and certainly more than a little depressing. I don’t want to get too political on RFR, but there was a big, shiny Walmart just across the street from this place, its parking lot practically full. If you can think of a better physical analogy to describe the fall of the American Dream, I’m not sure I’d even like to hear it.

Honestly, though, I kind of want to raise a glass to Logansport Mall. Despite literally every single thing going against it, it’s still trying to hang in there for as long as it can, providing nostalgia bloggers in the Midwest with article materials for a few more years.

boys-say-go  asked:

still angry over the fact that they never taught us that du and thou is the same thing in middle school. i went YEARS thinking that english just FOR SOME REASON called "ni" du. Instead of saying "ni" to everyone, even your friend. which they do.

i KNOW. it is so confusing when reading modern english speakers trying to write old fashioned english by using thou as a formal you.

but then. suddenly i looked upon the word Thou. and i realised. that is just “Du” but prounanced in a english language way! and it was like. oh.

and then.

why did they stop using thou? why go around and call all their friends Ni? (for german speakers, Ni is similiar as formal Sie). *shakes head*

english, that strange cousin in the germanic langagues family group that for some reasons replaced almost everything with just: “you”.

*grumbles to english languages* what ever happened to the about 20 differents grammatical versions of you, that the rest of us germanic languages have?

Zenith Midcentury TURNTABLE Stereo Console with All New Modern Upgraded Electronics, Speakers, Turntable, Amps. Buy it now on Etsy- etsy.com/shop/retromodradio

#vintage #stereo #console #retro #midcentury #midcenturymodern #midcenturyfurniture #vintageaudio #refurbished #repurposed #interiordesign #vintageshop #50s #60s #madmen #recordplayer #audiophile #antique

Destiny characters' favorite modern day foods

The Speaker: Filet Mignon

Ikora Rey: tea and cake

Zavala: black coffee

Cayde-6: pizza

Shaxx: Buffalo wings

Saladin: Salad, but the leaves are made of iron and the dressing is molten gold

The Cryptarch: Ramen noodles

Eris: those burgers with the black buns that turn your shit green

Amanda Holliday: starbucks

Atheon: Atheon is one of those people you see on those shows about weird ass addictions who literally eats glass

Crota: McDonalds happy meal (with the toy being a sword)

Oryx: Meatloaf and whatever other stereotypical dad foods there are

Skolas: Cap'n Crunch

The Stranger: mystery-flavored airheads

Petra: fruity pebbles

Mara Sov: Dairy Queen

Uldren Sov: anything so long as Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” is playing in the background

Brian Jacques was an English writer who was most beloved for his Redwall series, which included 22 books in total. Other books of his include a short series about the Flying Dutchman, a few picture books, and a cookbook, but the never-ending stories of Redwall were the ones that won him popularity. His descriptive use of storytelling, and the warmth in Jacques’s delivery, from delectable made-up foods, to his admirable characters, shines through even in ink on a page. His purpose for writing and his profound sense of imagination and inspiration are only part of the reasons he should be better acclaimed.

Jacques was born in 1939, Liverpool, England, where he grew up by the docks. From a very young age his family and friends discovered that he had a special skill for telling stories. In grade school at age ten he wrote a story about a bird and a crocodile, which his teacher thought was too good to be written by a child. In fact, the teacher accused him of copying the story, and he was since framed as the classroom liar. This didn’t discourage him from writing; rather, it made him realize that he loved to write.

At age 15, Jacques quit school and left home to be a sailor. He traveled across the Pacific and Atlantic, purely for adventure—but after the sea life took its toll on him, he returned to Liverpool where he had several different jobs. He’s been a stand-up comedian, a Bobby, a bricklayer, a boxer, and a bus driver among other things. However, during the time he was a milkman he wrote stories for children at a School for the Blind. This is when Redwall really began.

One of the things that makes the Redwall series so unique is the detail and description—this was so that those who were blind could visualize for themselves the exciting, terrifying, and suspenseful stories told to them. While Jacques’s literary debut was actually a few playwrights that were brought to life on stage, his good friend and English instructor read Redwall the manuscript and, unbeknownst to Jacques, sent it to a publisher. One thing led to another, and Jacques suddenly had a contract with the publishing firm and his very first book was bound and printed—respectively titled Redwall.

Redwall is the abbey he created in a country called Mossflower, which he based off of his childhood neighborhood. Here was the setting in which mice and rats waged war. Like J.K Rowling created the world of Harry Potter, Jacques created a world of talking animals in the least childlike way. Villainous sea rats were based off of men he encountered on his travels over the ocean. The constant rivalry and conflict in the stories are based off of life in World War II, as Jacques experienced the Battle of Britain. Hares were based off of the RAF’s (Royal Air Force), who protected the people of Liverpool during daily bombings.

However the most prevalent factor in all of the Redwall books is courage, as well as pride and bravery. Each story fosters a main character—whether it be a mouse, a squirrel, or a badger—who has been wronged in some way. These “wrongs” span from oppressive tyrannical forces, slavery, and kidnapping. As a result the characters overcome and defend themselves, their home, or, more specifically, Redwall. This theme comes from Jacques’s determination to protect his home and to be proud of where he comes from.

Something else that occurs in Jacques’s writing is incredible loss. In every Redwall book, several characters die or are murdered, if not severely mistreated. Jacques experienced war firsthand and lost a brother. He includes tragedies such as this in his stories to, as realistically as possible, draw connections to his readers. Reason being, grief is something everyone endures one day, and it’s in literature that some find comfort and a sense of coping at the same time.

Why Jacques uses animals to convey these intense, real life lessons, is simple: “Mice are my heroes because, like children, mice are little and have to learn to be courageous and use their wits.” This is partly where his purpose for writing comes through. Jacques started Redwall for children in the first place. They are the intended audience.

Redwall was first published in 1986. The main character was a mouse called Matthias, who discovered a sword special to the Abbey, and with it beheaded a snake and defeated villain Cluny the Scourge. In 1989, the sequel Mattimeo was published; this covered the topic of Matthias’s son, who was captured and enslaved by a fox named Slagar. Matthias and others set out to bring back the kidnapped and defeat the fox army. Martin the Warrior, published in 1993, takes place before Matthias and Abbey itself. Martin is a slave of weasel Badrang the Tyrant and escapes with companions to Mossflower country, where in the end he establishes Redwall. These three books among the 22 are associated together because they have related characters who eventually all use the same sword to defeat oppressing forces.

In all of the Redwall stories, however, Martin the Warrior has been linked to each of them. It’s in this way that Jacques manifests in great detail an entire world. Although Jacques has told Redwall readers again and again that there is no religion in his world, in a way Martin the Warrior is portrayed like God. In Redwall Abbey there’s a tapestry of him with rhymes and prophecies on the back. One of the rhymes reads, “I am that is,” which, unscrambled, spells Matthias. The Abbey dwellers tell stories about Martin and continue to remember his legacy. In addition, Martin the Warrior visits characters in their dreams, and for a select few villains, haunts them.

Jacques also created languages. There’s Loamscript, which only few characters are able to translate—it’s an equivalent to Latin for modern-day English speakers. There’s also something called Mole Speak, which is described as more of a dialect than a language. All of the moles in the stories talk like this, and for first-time readers it’s usually a bit difficult to understand. For example: “Harr, he’m be noice an’ soft, sur. Baint no rock nor root to stop us’ns, straight furrer we’m a-thinking” (63). Jacques has also had to explain that “burr” and “hurr,” phrases most used by the mole characters, means “um.” It has been concluded that when Jacques was a truck driver and drove into the Somerset region of England, the accents he heard inspired Mole Speak. What’s more, he uses parts of old languages to enrich his characters’ dialogue. “Eeulalia,” just for instance, is a war cry badgers say; Jacques has explained that it is Celtic/Norse for “victory.”

As song writing is another thing Jacques has been experienced in doing, he includes lullabies and ceremonial songs in his stories. These songs are written as poems in the structure of the books, but they actually have melodies and tunes. In the 60’s, Liverpool had a light shine on it when the Beatles became popular. It was then that Jacques, his friends, and his brothers started a band together. They were called The Liverpool Fisherman. Not only did Jacques include in this world historic figures, godlike deities, and various kinds of accents, he made an entire culture.

There was, evidently, a TV show adaptation of Redwall. There were only three seasons, each one covering the stories of Redwall, Mattimeo, and Martin the Warrior, of course. The first episode aired in 1999. It was relatively popular in the UK, France, and Canada—because it was French and Canadian television programs that most wanted to launch Redwall the show; eventually it appeared on American PBS, as well. Each episode opened with Jacques himself, either describing a brief summary of the episode, or saying his famous line: “In our imaginations we can go anywhere. Travel with me to Redwall in Mossflower country.” Potentially, there was going to be a fourth season starting in 2003, but because there was no financial support from American broadcasters, the show never picked back up.

Even near the end of his life, Jacques could not believe himself as a writer. Meaning, he could not believe he was doing what he loved for a living. He wrote in his garden, no matter what kind of weather there was. He wrote with a typewriter and his favorite pen. He once told the New York Times, “I have a working-class ethic. I get up in the morning, and I still feel guilty about being a famous author.” His very last book from the Redwall series was published in May of 2011, The Rogue Crew. It was in this book that the main character was inspired by a fan. Although he was known for vastly detailed writing, throughout his entire writing career Brian Jacques believed that he did not create characters well. As such, most all of his characters are created after real people in his life. Constance the Badger was created after his grandmother. Mariel the Mouse was created after his granddaughter. He, himself, is a character, too—Gonff the Mouse Thief.

As for the School of the Blind, Jacques had been an active, loyal patron until he died in 2011. He will always be remembered for his generosity: the creation of fantastical adventures following mice, squirrels, badgers and moles, for the sake of those who could not see. Moreover, for those who found great pleasure in growing up with stories developed from the very ground of Liverpool, the very source of compassion, and loveable characters. For these reasons, Brian Jacques should have been better recognized when he was alive, but also appreciated now that he’s left his legacy of Redwall.

Headcanon Wednesday: Quarian Languages

I’ve been thinking a lot about quarian languages recently. I think my thoughts about them are still evolving (and will probably continue to do so, especially as I start analyzing the small sample of vocabulary that we have), but here’s a first shot.

The phrase “quarian language” is as much a misnomer as the phrase “human language” would be—just as there’s not just one human language, there’s also not just one quarian language. But it is fair to say that quarians have less of a diversity of languages than other sentient species; during the population crash of the Morning War and the Exile, whole cultures were lost, along with their languages. Furthermore, the tradition of the Pilgrimage and of switching to a new ship upon adulthood has the side-effect of splitting up families, making it harder for groups with smaller populations to retain their languages. The loss of so many quarian languages is seen as one of the great tragedies of the Exile, a cultural blow as profound as their loss of much of their artwork. But nevertheless, language diversity does exist on the Fleet—and is preciously guarded by those quarians who speak a non-dominant language.

Keep reading

Dying Heritage: Furry Language Down to Less Than 200 Native Speakers

Most modern furries only know the old tongue by the loanwords that have survived in English; yiff, scritch, murr. And a few thousand intrepid furries hoping to get closer to their cultural heritage might even have reached a conversational level. But as recent as two hundred years ago, it was a different story.

In 1785, it was estimated there were 300,000 speakers of the furry language. It was during this time that the great literary works of our culture were written, such as Rocko The Wallaby Dandy, The Learned Mouse and the Fool, and The Conniving Carnival Caretaker: A Scoobert Hound Mystery. (Like so much of the literary wealth of Furry, they are known better by their English language adaptations.)

Revival efforts have met lukewarm success, partially owing to the complex system of glyphs in which Furry is written, such as :3 and *^w^*. Though it seems doubtful Furry will ever achieve the status it once held, now may be our last chance to learn Furry from living speakers, and at the risk of editorializing, it is vital that we do so. The day we lose our language is the day the words of our ancestors fall mute, and we will have no choice but to study The Looney Toons in the language of our fursecutors.