troperville

tools

toys

SubpagesLaconic
Main
Quotes

main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Antiquated Linguistics
Kaiba: Your brash nature offends me, Mr. Moto! I shall soon put an end to your impertinence!
Yami: You have assembled several creatures! Surely this is a violation?
Kaiba: My affluence makes a nonsense of the regulations!

Chapter the Firſt: In Which a Trope is Deſcribed.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I perceive that you are all familiar with the language conſtruct of which I endeavour to ſpeak! It is the phenomenon among tele-visual programmes ſet in the era betwixt the years 1850 and 1930 to portray thoſe of the time-frame as being flummoxed with the concept of abbreviations! As though it never occurred to thoſe buffoons that ſaying "tele-viſual device" is bulky whilſt they converſe over their electro-magnetic tele-phonic tranſmitters!

Furthermore, as diſplayed in this body of work, hyphens were of common uſage for words with well-defined pre-fixes, in addition to thoſe words known to be compound! Indeed, it appears that only in the laſt half-century did the glorious ſibling to the daſh become relegated to its current duties of word-ſplitting and word-wrapping!

This is eſpecially note-worthy conſidering that thoſe works which actually come to us from the time-frame in queſtion do not diſplay ſuch typographical oddities.

Further reſearch may be found under Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness and Purple Prose, ſhould the reader feel the deſire to peruſe them. Some ruffians would claim this to be a ſub-ſet of Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe, but such claims are as diſtanced from reality as are the air-borne capabilities of ſwine!

In defence of what may appear to be an utterly ſcandalous trope, many publications of the ſeventeenth and eighteenth centuries after the birth of our Lord, the Christ, may ſeem to adhere to this ſtandard. Peruſe the writings of Meſſrs. Hume, Locke, Smith, and the ſeveral founders of the United States of America (or perchance simply the Conſtitution which they wrote), amongſt others! Tranſlators of writers from the European Continent will at times feel an inexplicable and irreſiſtible urge to tranſlate the works of thoſe who lived contemporaneouſly with theſe noble thinkers in the ſame manner. This may indeed be justifiable and entirely in the way of God's Natural Reaſon, for the manner of writing prevalent in Germany and France did indeed tend towards the ſame patterns as their brethren across the Engliſh Channel and the vaſt Ocean Atlantic (which for reaſons incomprehenſible and unfathomable to the ſpeakers of the preſent time have termed a "pond") and tranſlation in the ſame ſtyle could be what this inter-communicative data-ſets have termed a "Translation Convention." The reader is aſked to peruſe Rouſſeau, Kant, Voltaire, and Goethe at his own riſk.

We would conſider it to be in moſt good form if the reader not confuſe us with thoſe ſimply GHASTLY ruffians over at Talk Like a Pirate. Confuſion with that downright archaic, though charming, form of miſplaced oration known as Flowery Elizabethan English is alſo to be ſtrenuouſly avoided. One might also find it adviſable to contraſt the linguistic affect of one Elizabeth Summers and her associates and those of Mr. Spock.


Chapter the Second: In Which Examples Are Expounded:

    open/close all folders 

    Animated Serials of Nipponese Origin 
  • Rock Lee of the animated episodic production Naruto, as translated into the English by the Viz Media Co'y., abjures all contractions. This is done because in the original work of said title, young Master Lee speaks in the most formal declensions and pro-nouns of the many on offer to a speaker of the language of those hailing from Cipangu.
  • Hotohori, the esteemed monarch from Fushigi Yuugi, is rather inclined to make his articulations in this fashion. He does of course enunciate with the occasional usage of contractions.
  • From Tenjho Tenge, we have the current head of the Natsume household and figurehead of the Toudou Academy's extracurricular association Juken, Maya Natsume, whose manner of speech is most befitting of her role, as much as her excessively curvaceous figure, or the childlike bodily receptacle which she takes on to conserve her physical and spiritual strength, may lead spectators to believe otherwise.
  • In the Kannagi sequential art publication, Nagi's out-of-date Japanese is translated in this fashion, with a little of the verbal stylings of the author J. R. R. Tolkien admixed in. ("Fool of a Jin!")
  • Within the first arc of the saga known as Yugioh 5 Ds, the female protagonist Akiza finds herself engaging in a duel against a foe known as Sir Randsborg, who converses in this manner.

    Novel-based Sequential Art 
  • The illustrated supplement known regarding the adventurous lives of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is narrated in a well-articulated fashion, even when describing the pornographic escapades of the tale's main characters! God bless the Queen, indeed.
  • The primary comical element in the item known as "Raffles the Gentleman Thug", found in the regular collection of comic cuts known as Viz, is the rewriting of familiar coarse exclamations of provocation, anger, or amatory appreciation in this manner.
  • Doctor Grordbort's Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory, published by the enterprising fellows at Dark Horse periodicals, is a catalogue of the wondrous wares of the aforementioned Doctor Grordbort; that well-known purveyor of all manner of contraptions and contrivances steampunk-ish. This fascinating and handsome hardcover volume (a copy of which should grace the bookshelf of any Gentleman Adventurer worthy of the title) has been penned entirely in this spiffing style. Not that any person of class and breeding would expect less from the good doctor, whose company advertises itself with the splendid slogan "Protecting scantily clad minxes since back in the day!"
  • I, Grimlock, after being gifted with remarkable intelligence, adopted this manner of speaking. Although I, Grimlock, am still stuck with certain linguistic idiosyncracies. Mustn't complain too much though, wot?

    Tales Authored by Amateur Devotees 
  • I dare say I shall not be held in contempt by you the Noble Reader should I add to this "bullet-ed" list the fine and exceedingly well-wrought work The Luck Of Dennis St Michel Viscount Stokington, which is composed primarily in just the manner and fashion described above!
  • Mr David Langford, the noted essayist and critic on the subject of scientific romance, wrote an epistle in such a style for a periodical aimed at enthusiasts (or "fanatic-magazine") in which he described a hypothetical convention of scientific romance authors in the year of Our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Eighty-Two. An electronic transcription of this article may be found herewith.
  • Some amateur-authored works for Axis Powers Hetalia tend to exaggerate to a marked degree the canon tendency by the embodied character of Austria to speak in very formal and proper language. That is, unless said character is either distraught or speaking most privately.
  • The oeuvre of Total Drama devotee Gideoncrawle is replete with discourse of this sort, albeit in subdued form, for such is a notable facet of that worthy's natural style. Nor do these narratives lack for the occasional unalloyed or even exaggerated example, such as rendering dates in the form, "The Year Of Our Lord Two Thousand Six".

    Kinematographic Motion-Pictures 
  • A motion picture entitled Time Changer, noted for its wholesome Christian influence on the impressionable minds of the young, is also noted for its tendency to employ this trope. (In the words of one reviewer: "Victorian speech apparently consisted of big words, no contractions, and saying 'sir' a whole lot.")
  • The new Sherlock Holmes Kinematic. It must be said that said persons partaking in the participation of this kinematic have all adhered to the inherent traits of the persons therein.
  • The fine Kinematic picture Kate and Leopold has of course the impeccably Victorian measured politeness of Duke Leopold... which of course others assume is but an act.
  • The animated Kinematic Tangled features several spoken lines of dialogue in this manner by the Lovable Ruffian Flynn Rider, when he first encounters Rapunzel, the female protagonist. Following this, he unsuccessfully attempts to seduce her.
  • Within the Kinematic Pirates of the Caribbean, the right gent Captain Jack Sparrow conducted his speech in this manner.
  • The character of Thor in the Marvel Kinematic Universe has a quite formal and slightly antiquated way of speaking, as does Loki:
    Loki: You need the cube to bring me home, but I've sent it off, I know not where.
  • The characters within the Kinematic adaptations of Messr. Tolkein's Film.Lord Of The Rings speak in this manner, exempli gratia: "It would seem like wisdom but for the warning in my heart."
  • The 16th-century Russian characters in the Soviet Kinematic Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession, speak using slightly antiquated grammar and employ words that are no longer in wide usage but are still recognizable by the audience (mostly through the Russian Orthodox Church's use of Old Church Slavonic). Naturally, Real Life 16th-century Russian has many more differences from its modern-day counterpart.
  • The 1885 characters in Back to the Future Part III use some archaic nineteenth-century language, leading to a Subverted Catchphrase joke about "Nobody Calls Me Chicken" becoming "nobody calls me yellow". On the DVD Commentary, screenwriter Bob Gale says that he turned to Mark Twain's writings to try to figure out the American vernacular of the period.

    The Printed Word 
  • The prime exemplar of this trope must surely be William Hope Hodgson's epic set after the death of the Sun, The Night Land - published in 1912, yet written entirely in such antiquated and convoluted prose as to be almost unreadable. Which is, withall, a most unhappy matter; for this is a work of great imagination, rightly praised by Brian W. Aldiss in Billion Year Spree.
    • Herewith a small (yet representative) sample: "Now I went forward for a space, and took heed not to look backwards; but to be strong of heart and spirit; for that which did lie before me had need of all my manhood and courage of soul, that I come to the succour of that Maid afar in the darkness of the World, or meet my death proper, as it might need to be."
    • It's all like that. And there are a lot of pages...
  • As a most prime example of setting the above-mentioned precedent, I daresay H.P. Lovecraft wrote in the fashion of the decade eighteen hundred and ninety, in opposition to the decade of the nineteen hundred and twenties, the time in which he put many of his tales to paper.
    • This is further perpetuated, and I should declare distinctly aggravated, by the many aspiring hopefuls who indulge in mimicry of the aforementioned Monsieur Lovecraft, further removing said style from the rightful antiquity it should call home.
    • And it is worth noting that Lovecraft himself was influenced by Lord Dunsany (see below).
    • Though if any should peruse the works of other scribes of the time, perchance the original Conan the Barbarian tales by one Robert E. Howard, one would discover that his seemingly antiquated style was that which was quite commonplace for the era.
      • Of course, it should not escape the attention of the gentle reader that Messrs. Lovecraft and Howard were most amiably acquainted and literary compeers, often taking up residence in the same fictional environs. Such a consideration lends credence to the notion that such charming, if sesquipedalian, circumlocutions were a sign of private solidarity, rather than blindly populist apery.
  • The fiction of Mr. Jack Vance is noted for its highly eloquent linguistic style, resembling that of James Branch Cabell in the eyes of certain critics.
  • Lord Dunsany, who was born in the 19th century, but lived well into 1950s was famous for his use of archaic language to give an otherworldly feel to his stories. Unlike most of the people who sought to imitate him, he did it well.
    • His fellow resident of the Britannic Isle, a Mr. Neil Gaiman, penned a volume of fiction - or "novel", as the modern youthful persons are calling these paper-made knowledge deposits - entitled Stardust in a similarly old-timey style of phrase-ology.
  • The ponderous tome of one Miss Clarke, entitled Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which features the daring escapades of several practitioners of various schools of magicks both theoretical and practically applied during the reign of George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, France and Ireland, and Defender of the Faith shews a proverbial cornucopia of the particular trait under discussion. Moreover, it is always pitch-perfect. Yet she rises, at times, to affect the severer elegance of her great model.
  • The Khaavren Romances of Dragaera purport to represent novels of a historical nature from the country in which they occur, which title is used to describe the full series, and indeed are meant in some portion as a work to render appreciation to another, that most well-known of providers of examples of this characteristic, Alexandre Dumas.
  • The Book of Mormon was written in an antiquated style reminiscent of the King James translation of the Bible.
  • The honorable gentleman that went under the sobriquet of Patrick O'Brian once elected to pen a number of maritime adventures — for which he is most famous now — in the style and grammatical conventions of the period described in these: namely, a glorious days of the struggle with that French abomination (indeed, only those godless republicans ever could produce such a creature), Napoleon.
  • Mason & Dixon. There is some form of justification hereat, however, as the tome in question is set during the early seventeen-hundreds, when people really spake in the here-described manner, despite its actual status as having been penned by that eremite Thos. Pynchon during the Gay Nineteen-Nineties.
    • "Golly, Mr. Pynchon," exclaimed our young hero, "How did you absorb the language of American boys-own stories of the early 00's so well—I thought Remains of the Day was as up-to-date as an Electric Car!!"
  • Noöne exhibiting the Least Sense could fail to notise that The Sot-Weed Factor, written by one D—— B——, is composed entirely in the style and ideom of its Time, that being roughly the Latter Days of good Queene Anne (D.G.), and set both in Englande and in the sauvage lands of the Virginian Plantation, and containing within Itself numerous Japes, Witticisms, Coïncidences, Deaths-bed scenes, and matters not suitable for Ladies or for the Young of any sex.
  • A cove would have to be dead blind, perhaps on some sort of exotic hooch, not to notice that Charles Stross' Trunk and Disorderly is set in Modern Times (centuries after the near-collapse of the human race) but is written in the barbaric yet spiffing idiom natural to the early 20th Century master P. G. Wodehouse; enough to drive a cove near to distraction, as Uncle Philpott once remarked. (Additionally, there exists a Dalek.)
  • Doctor Grordbort's Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory is a stimulating compendium of Death Ray weapons, electro-motive engines and health-enhancement machines for all enthusiasts of the genre known as "steam-punk", plus those gentlemen of leisure who feel that their masculinity would be grossly enhanced by the acquisition of an Exterminator of Prodigious Dimensions.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events is a superlative specimen of the a fore mentioned topic composed for juvenile consumption. The volumes' diction is delightfully yet comprehendibly dusted with archaic words.
  • Wondermark creator David Malki! is rather fond of writing parodic Victorian novels.
  • Subversions most able and ironic may be found among the works for the stage created with the pen of Mister William Shakespeare, with a most direct and, dare I say, common manner of speech of such memorable characters as gravediggers and watchmen.
  • In the chronicles of Twilight, one Sir Edward Cullen is often referred to as enunciating in this manner. However, there is not a single procurement of the good Master Cullen conferring in this style of vocalization. Indeed, it would be apparent that Master Cullen articulates in a manner more associated with young ladies and gentlemen entering their final years of American public education and not in the manner of refined, elderly gentleman born in the year of Our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Ninety Four. It is for this reason that one may reasonably be driven to conclude that Cullen's grandiloquence is merely an Informed Attribute.
  • The renowned Peers Helion and Phaethon (and sundry others) of John C. Wright's The Golden Oecumene speak in a refined, rational, and exquisitely well-reasoned manner, suitable to immortal and para-human intellences. Of note, also, our heroes, Helion and Phaethon belong to a school of thought to which affectations of Victorian-Age linguistics and decorum are encouraged.
  • The book (and film) A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess frequently uses 'thou', 'thee' and 'thine' in addition to many made up words inspired by Russian slang. These actions were primarily taken because the author himself feared what he was writing about would not be published if it was written in plain English.
  • The honourable authoress Emma Donoghue is known to pen certain of her novels (viz. Slammerkin and Life Mask) in the aforementioned style; however, one may state with verisimilitude that the lady's style of écriture is most right and proper, as her respectable novels are set during the reigns of Their Majesties King George II and King George III.
  • This trope is explicitly stated to have been averted in the introductions to the Penguin translations of Émile Zola's novels. The translators felt that what Zola wanted to accomplish would be better rendered in modern English slang than in the period equivalent to the nineteenth-century French in which Zola wrote, which would sound comic to English readers and damage some of the integrity of the works.
  • The main character of The Full Matilda authored by David Haynes verbalizes as such, and her chapters are penned in such a style. This may be a Justified Trope, because her father instilled this virtue in her so she could differentiate herself from the various colored and Negro dialects of the era (and she does refer to other people of her racial persuasion in such a way). She also demands that her brother's offspring use such a style of elocution.
  • Darkness Visible, being a scientifiction novel set firmly in the reign of Queen Victoria, naturally falls into this trope.
  • In Gemma Doyle, a Gaslamp Fantasy, they talk... well, like normal Victorians did back then.
  • As they take place during that period of history when Napoleon Bonaparte was Master of the Continent and an enemy to all Englishmen, the adventures of Captain William Laurence and his faithful, eponymous draconic companion Temeraire are naturally composed in the language of their day. It is a not-uncommon observation by a certain class of reader these volumes of fiction resemble the potential result of the combined efforts of authoresses Jane Austen and Anne McCaffrey—after a thrilling round of Dungeons & Dragons.
  • The noble members of the unfathomable, formerly united organization V.F.D. are upheld in Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography to speak in a manner most genteel, towards both each other and the ignoble members.
  • Not seen in the tomes entitled Brother Cadfael, where the language is not altered to be antiquated.
    • The English of the era that the events of those volumes occur in is a decidedly dissimilar tongue to the English even of Shakespeare.

    Tele-visual Productions 
  • Within the tele-vised world of staged gladiatorial combat, there is a gentleman of the appellation Bob Backlund whose calling card has become the berating and dressing-down of others using such vocabulary.
  • I should like to submit an observation, to-whit, that Michael J. Nelson, a notable past participant in the beloved tele-visual comedy program known as "Mystery science theater, three-thousand" has published several essays of a humorous nature. In said essays, Mister Nelson oft-times affects a highly formal syntax, somewhat redolent of this particular trope. In-deed, as exemplified in the paper-back compendium, Mike Nelson's Movie Mega Cheese, such prose, when applied to a discussion of such frivolous moving picture dramas as Action Jackson, or tele-visual serials like unto "Bay-watch", can quite often provoke an amused reaction in the reader.
  • French televisual Broad-cast Nicolas Le Floch chronicles the Adventures of the eponymous Police-man at the court of Louis XV. Although its Stories are somewhat common, 'tis a peculiarly delightful Show, thanks to the old-fashion'd linguistick Affectations of the Characters.
  • Dead Gorgeous is Antipodean televisual production, chronicling the adventures of a trio of sisters who shuffled off the mortal coil in the year of our lord 1860. One hundred and fifty years later, the siblings are permitted to return to Earth as ghosts to attend the boarding school that now occupies the structure that was once their family home. Much comedy is dervived from the juxtaposition of extremely formal - and, indeed, antiquated - speech patterns of the ghostly triad with the far more colloquial utterances of their modern day schoolmates.
  • It distresses me no end that I see here no reference to the lamented Deadwood, a series notable for its distinctive linguistic stylings in phrasing as well as its more frequently remarked achievements in vocabulary. The residents of and visitors to the colorful mining-camp community of Deadwood, Dakota Territory, were frequently heard to express themselves in lengthy, precisely structured, and apparently extemporaneous complex compound sentences, with never a word out of place or a clause left fuckin' dangling.
  • Almost entirely absent in Murdoch Mysteries, where the characters use the occasional antiquated word if a modern one was not in common use.

    Phonographic Recordings of Musical Artistes 
  • Messers Hall, Gates and Edgar (performers of comic ditties who have banded together as the musical ensemble known as Tripod) chose to scribe the sleeve notes to their phonographic recording titled Songs from Self Saucing in this distinctive linguistic style. As an illustration, the section that might have been described as the 'Track Listing' upon more prosaic albums by lesser musical talents, is far more accurately entitled upon this compilation as "A Complete Listing of the Songs from Self-Saucing: For the benefit of those prevaricating upon the purchase of this Audio product".

     Works of Fiction in queer and new-fangled media (likely or not as they are to 'catch on') 
  • The purveyors of Partake of Your Kim-Chee - a kinematographic documentarian series based in Han-Sŏng of the Cho-Sŏn Empire - Mr. and Mme. Simon Stawski Esq., in the wake of the latter contracting the Spanish Influenza and incapacitating her laryngeal capabilities, have made an entry in the characteristic of Turn-of-the-Century silent kinematographia, whereupon they savor delights purchased from Mom-and-Pop corner drugstores amidst other varieties of tomfoolery. It is note-worthy for its postlude, in which the doublet give an encore rendition of Shots by LMFAO using the vocabulary and poetic styles of the contemporary period.
  • For those with inter-networking between electronic computing engines, the Homestar Runner locale has the "Old-Timey" sub-space, whose Strong Bad doppelganger is well-known for this trait. In addition, those who send him "telegrammaparcels" such as the one quoted herein appear to mimic or share his speaking traits.
  • Would you kindly examine this image? And, if you would again be so kind, consult the nearest etymological repository - rest assured, you will find that the use of the word cheese far predates the invention of the "photo-graph," and therefore no-one need refer to that most delicious of concoctions as "milk curd" unless they are a firsthand witness of Arthurian legend. It must be conceded, however, that the phrase "cheeseburger" is, indeed, an invention of 1938.
    • Though one should scarcely anticipate accurate grammatical constructions in such circumstances, this cataloger of recurrent artistic motifs needs despair at such haphazard concatenation of erroneous verbal conjugations and personal pronouns.
    • I daresay this example has been subverted by the appearance of an actual antiquated photo-graph featuring a feline awaiting its meal, from the year of our Lord Nineteen-Hundred and Five.
  • The first paragraph of the inter-network's parody encyclopedia, Uncyclopedia, has composed an article on Charles Dickens, and is written in such a manner so as to distinctly resemble the famous author's prosery.
    • Scholars of the movable-type printing press's productions have made extensive notations on the indisputable fact that the srivener known as Mr. Charles Dickens repeatedly indulged himself with such precision and verbosity in no minuscule division for the purpose of receiving a heightened salary, as the gentleman in question had renumeration distributed upon him based on the vast quantity of verbiage utilized in each of Mr. Dickens' literary endeavors.
  • Employed during a recapitulation of The Condensed Programme of Yu-Gi-Oh where the young and affluent businessman, Seto Kaiba, reiterates his most famous line of dialogue from the series' beginning thusly:
  • On the website known as YouTube, there are a collection of videos wherein users would edit the TF2 Meet the Team shorts and 'dub' them with an electronic text-to-speech voice speaking in this manner. Typically accompanied by top hats, monocles and mustaches, as well as classical music. Should you wish to endeavor to view a motion picture of this category, click here.
  • Despite its typically vulgar nature, the inter-net colloquially referred to as "4Chan" occasionally has well-versed discussions amongst those visiting it on matters ranging humourously amongst whatever seems to suit their respective fancies - be it weaponry, foreign culture, or simple pr0nz. The, "meme", as it is known, is typically called "verbose" or "gentleman".
  • The titular gentlemen from the strange and oft unsettling series Salad Fingers is wont to speak in such linguistic styles.
  • Reinterpretations of contemporary expressions of the lyric arts in such a style - or an attempt at a facsimile thereof - often adorn reproductions of Joseph Ducreux's exercises in self-portraiture.
  • In Darths & Droids, Darth Maul has diction similar to a detective from hard-boiled printed works.
  • Sir Suzaku has a diction of this sort in the condensed series authored by Master Sehanort.
  • GameChap is the owner of a YouTube channel, devoted to the production of Minecraft Let's Play videograms. He utilises this style of linguistic usage.
  • Jake English of Homestuck speaks in a manner befitting a gentlemen living in the heady days of the turn of the twentieth century, irregardless of his having grown up in the twenty-first century. He is, tragically, wholly unawares of the anachronistic nature of his diction, going to far as to make jocular statements on the issue in such a way as to produce the phenomenon known as "irony".
    TT: ...
    • Jake does, however, periodically breach the typical structure of this diction with fucking profanity.
  • Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and be astounded, at the amazing Dr. Carefree's etheric-ray feet.
  • Frilly Shirt displays this in prodigious abundance, in keeping with its humorous conceit of being the journal of a Belle Époque baronet of thoroughly bohemian sensibilities.
  • Demonstrated by the humble recapper of an episode of Bleach which hardly pertained to the overall plot in an effort to mitigate its distastefulness — Chapter One-Hundred and Eighty-Four of the Tale of Bleach.
  • A notable feature of the literary productions of H. Albertus Boli, L.L.D., displayed most signally in the Celebrated Magazine of the aforementioned savant.
  • In a rather peculiar move, the author of Hark! A Vagrant only utilizes this linguistic style in the issue from which her series of illustrations has obtained its name. Despite being an illustrative series based on numerous periods of time, the characters speak in so-called "modern English", likely to increase the value of comedy.
  • As a rather minor, yet nevertheless legitimate example of this trope, Daniel Sexbang of the Game Grumps when referring to the areas of a video game, instead of using the more-commonly accepted terms "levels" or "stages", uses the term "boards". Said expression was only typically common during the early ages of video game history and has not been in common lexicon for decades, though this fits in with Daniel's experience mainly being rooted in two-dimensional video games.

    News-papers 
  • In print media, a spoofery known as The Onion was responsible for a tome that they called Our Dumb Century. Just about every news-paper front page from this time frame included the style of speech you see here, accentuated by the occasional gratuitous hyphen for a compound word.
    • The news-paper informatives entombed therein merely reflected the precise and exactness of literary undertakings of The Onion's long-time Publisher, T. Herman Zweibel. One can only marvel at the weakening of the linguistic faculties in the authorial experts now employed whilst one compares them to Zweibel.
    • "Fisticuffsmanship!"
  • Further comparison can be made to the independently-published magazine Timothy Mc Sweeney's Quarterly Concern, whose editors make a point of utilizing Victorianesque titles and appellations (the front page always providing the most apposite examples) to create the atmosphere of a sophisticated and important publication.
  • It always amuses me greatly to open the pages of one of my fine monthly motoring periodicals* and observe that the summation of the past month's events is placed under the heading 'Matters of Moment'. It is most pleasing to see some aspects of the modern world still rooted firmly in the past. (* Motor Sport magazine)
  • The British gentleman's quarterly The Chap is rife with such dashing hyphens, antiquated wordery and other varied linguisto-sartorial japes.
  • One memorable instance of the daily illustration entitled Calvin and Hobbes begins with the formerly named member of the titular troupe and his mother engaged in a typical discourse (the boy announcing his temporary departure, and the mother expressing suspicion of, and subsequently warning against, any mischievous intentions on his part), remarkable chiefly in that the exchange on both sides was conducted in a mode of speech indisputably reminiscent of that commonly found within the theatrical plays of the Bard of Avon. This unusual display continued for a full three-fourths of the work's allotted structure, before reaching its conclusion, depicting the same pair seated in front of a "tele-vision set", observing upon it what one may logically infer to have been a staged production of said Bard's works. The youth, visibly displeased with the entertainment, and once again adopting in his habitual mannerisms, expressed his desire that the set be attuned to the signal of a different broadcast, perhaps a drama focusing on the execution of the law, where the players spoke in a decidedly more modern verse, a request which his mother, watching in rapt attention, quietly shushed.
  • It requires the intense coöperation and stylistic haberdashery to keep the diäcritic marks half as poëtical as they are in a certain New Amsterdam periodical.
  • There exists in the Antipodean capital a publication called BMA Magazine; an undistinguished trifle distributed free for the edification of the unwashed masses. However, the periodical is enlivened by a column entitled "Egads!", in which one Gideon Foxworthy-Smythe (who purports to be a temporally displaced Edwardian gentleman) quite rightly lambasts the youth of today for their lack of manners and ludicrously low-hanging trousers.

    Desk-and-table-top based Amusements (cards aside) 
  • The free-form acting multi-player amusement Spirit Of The Century employs such diction throughout its publication, and further encourages the usage of said diction amongst those choosing to perform said free-form acting.
  • Planescape has planar cant, a construct of Shakespearean English with a few unique terms for fantasy stuff. Here is a list.
  • The good Baron Munchausen has produced a "role-playing" game "in the New Style", over the course of several brandies and expensive lunches from his publisher, and this fine work is, of course, written in the vernacular of a true British Gentleman. Indeed, it encourages, nay, requires the participants thereof to do the same, as well as to maintain the proprieties of true etiquette and precedence. While the Baron recommends that disputes between Players are resolved as between Gentlemen, whether with pistols or swords (and devotes much of a chapter to the importance of finding a good second), he also notes that there are some persons lilied of the liver, with jaundiced bellies ( and the French) who may seek to avoid such Gentlemanly Pursuits, and so recommends that Game commonly known as "Rock, Paper, Scissors", although his description is, of course, somewhat Fantastical.

    Electronic-computing-machine-based Novels and Games 
  • The Mr. Handy automata in the Fallout series use this vernacular approach in order to invoke the image of a British butler from the moving pictures of the century past.
  • The XIIth Entry of the ironical appellation-bearing Final Fantasy serial utilises this dandy Mode, its Cyclopædia of Marks and Beasts being of especial Prominence.
  • Discussed in Guild Wars 2: "Sirrah, I can't find anyone to tell me the story of the old ruins." "Sirrah? Nobody talks like that anymore." "I do." "And that's why no-one is talking to you."
  • This was one of many, many jarring changes made to the King's Quest series by King's Quest: Mask of Eternity. For seven games everyone's talk was mostly plain and modern, and then out of nowhere it's pseudo-Shakespeare city, even though this is supposed to be happening a decade or two later.
  • The Icarus, a stout Yeoman following the divinity of James within the realm of Sacrifice, speaks in linguistics appropriate for a piloting ace for jolly old Britain during the first World War.
  • Beatrice, the millenium old witch of Umineko: When They Cry, utilises such an archaic diction, albeit it hardly corresponds to her veritable personality.
  • Venerable King Gilgamesh, The venerable ancient hero who makes his dashing appearance in Fate/stay night, speaketh only the oldest and most respectable dialect of Nipponese.
  • In Robopon, young sir Cody has a touch of this.
    Cody: Should I put an end to Bisco's goon's treachery?

     Theatre (both respectable and base) 
  • Sir William Schwenk Gilbert and his associate Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan did write their famed oprettas in the era in question, however, Gilbert still qualified for this discussion by creating dialogue that seemed quaint and antiquated even by the standard of Victorian England, hence its humorous quality. "I wouldn't say a word that would be reckoned as injurious/But to find a mother younger than her son is very curious/And that's the kind of mother that is usually spurious/Tarradiddle Tarradiddle Tol-lol-lay!"
    • And in a musical number in Utopia, Limited, these lines can be heard:
    Scaphio: A pound of dynamite
    Phantis: -amite
    Scaphio: Explodes in his auriculars.

    Animated Serials from Europe and those civilised portions of the Americas (the Occident) 
  • Mr Herriman, the leporine Head of Business Affairs of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, articulates his thoughts in this manner without interruption.
  • As well does that illustrious captain of industry, the nucleo-energo-harnesser robber-baron C. Montgomery Burns.
    Mr Burns: You there! Fill her up with petroleum distillate. And revulcanise my tyres, posthaste!
    • In an episode of the popular televisual entertainment dedicated to chronicling the comic antics of The Family Simpson (the vignette in question bearing the cognomen "Helter Shelter"), the eponymous kith and kin find themselves conversing in this fashion whilst participating in a documentary dedicated to recreating life as it was lived in the year of our lord 1895.
    • In yet another, one finds postulated an electronic-tablet application dubbed, "Rosetta Crone", which translates such flibbertigarkey into the vernacular of the twenty-first century, as well as the inverse procedure.
  • Hedonism Bot, the decadent automaton from Future-'Rama, spoke almost exclusively this way: "Oh sirrah! A man writing an opera about a woman!? How deliciously absurd!"
    • As did the mechanical gentleman Bender, when he decides to switch his voice to "King" mode.
  • Stewart, that cherubic rapscallion from The Gentleman of the Family, is wont to indulge in this.
  • Also in Family Guy, Brian once proposes marriage to a much older lady. When she terminates the nuptuals, she starts screaming at him to leave the keys to her house on the davenport, and other such antiquated terms for furniture. This implies she is much older than she said she was.
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Luna, monarch of our nearest celestial sphere from Mine Own Diminutive Equine: Camaraderie Is Enchantment, speaks in such a manner, as is befitting of one who has spent a millennium secreted in an oubliette.
  • Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, known by his similarity to a flight-less bird native of various parts of the southern hemisphere, is also known for articulating his thoughts in this manner.
  • The Venture Bros.: Dr. Byron Orpheus, MASTER of the necromantic arts! He effortlessly combines his antiquated vocabulary with his tendency to act like a grandiose portion of the flesh of swine to the swelling tune of a vociferous orchestra! BEHOLD!:
    Dr. Orpheus: Hear me out! [clears throat] When young women reach estrus, the, uhh, lignum, ummm, craves theeee stamen-like skills of the yonie. This is quite natural.
    Triana: Dad. Come on. I'm doing you a favor.
    Dr. Orpheus: It's just that boys at their age have unchecked desires coursing, nay RAGING AS A TEMPEST WOULD!! Through their tingling nethers!

    Wireless Telegraphy 
  • Ed Reardon's Week recounts the tale of a wordsmith so ensconced in the orthography of the past that he cannot adequately ape the speech patterns of his contemporary fellowmen, consigning him to penury.

    Factual Happenings, Past and Present 
  • In his auto-biographical narrative God's Smuggler, Brother Andrew (1928 - ) explains he first learned English by using a Dutch-English Dictionary and The King James Bible (first printed in 1611). In his book, he said he once passed on a request for butter as "Thus sayeth the neighbor of Andrew, that thou wouldst be pleased to pass the butter." Add into this the fact that he had a Dutch accent of great thickness which provided him with difficult concerns as to pronouncing the "Th" digraph, and one might conclude that those by which he was surrounded may have been caused eminent confusion.
  • If you were to engage in a conversation a fine citizen of England in possession of a Yorkshire accent, you might hear them employ such archaic words as 'thee' and 'thou'. This is particularly audible in the splendid melodies of those Chiefs of Kaiser.
  • In a similar fashion, if you were to engage in conversation with a speaker of the English language from the southern part of the African continent (that is, the Republics of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi), you would in all likelihood discover that the patterns of speech common to the region seem to be remarkably like those of earlier times—certainly no later than the nineteen-fifties. This is of course a consequence of British rule and its character in that part of the world, and in particular its educational system, which has preserved many delightfully antiquated mannerisms and pronunciations. This tendency is quite deftly portrayed in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and its subsequent novels by Mr. Alexander McCall Smith.
    • Also true in India and neighbouring counties- to the point that many there pride themselves on speaking 'proper' English, unlike many native speakers- having preserved the accent and syntax as approved just before the dismantling of The British Empire.
    • One would find an element of this under the trope of Separated by a Common Language. The majority of words found to differ between fair Columbia and pernicious Albion date from the period between the War of Revolution and the advent of tele-communications.
  • A sort of French equivalent: Guernsey French, AKA Guernesiasis, spoken on the island of Guernsey—a few miles off Normandy, but technically under the British crown (though with independent government). It's said to be a version of the northern dialect of French marooned there after the last territory on the European mainland held under the descendants of William the Conquerer fell to France in the 15th century. (It's also spoken with a heavy English-ish accent- most Channel Islanders these days speak English anyway- so practically incomprehensible to modern French speakers.
  • Ritual used in Freemasonry is heavy with archaic English usages that often confuse non-members (and even some members!). Actually understanding what's being said is a more effective password than the actual passwords.


Chapter the Third: In Which The Reader Is Made Aware of Additional Articles:


Aliens Speaking EnglishArtistic License - LinguisticsDid Not Do The Bloody Research
Aliens Speaking EnglishArtistic License - LinguisticsDid Not Do the Bloody Research
Anthology FilmOlder than TelevisionAside Glance
Anti-HumorComedy TropesAnti-Sneeze Finger
Ancient KeeperSelf-Demonstrating ArticleApologises a Lot
Amazingly Embarrassing ParentsImageSource/Web ComicsBehind the Black
Animal TalkLanguage TropesArtistic License - Linguistics

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
83552
0