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Nov 9th 2015 at 11:42:51 PM •••

The page currently lists this as an "Author's Mistake":

  • Language of Truth: If it is impossible to make a false statement in a language, it's impossible to make any statement in it at all.

Firstly, this seems to be a misunderstanding of something said on the Language of Truth page: if it's impossible to say something untrue in a language, then it must also be impossible to say some true things. "You can't say everything" isn't the same as "you can't say anything".

Secondly, if we correct that, then where's the problem? In which way is it an author's mistake? Or any kind of mistake at all? I feel like there's some logical problem that's just eluding me, to justify its inclusion here...

Aug 17th 2011 at 6:03:10 PM •••

Whenever someone uses anything Roman, like Caesar. They don't pronounce it properly. They say it in English instead of the Roman Pronunciation. "Kye-Sar"

You wouldn't pronounce "Guillermo" as "Geeller-mo." You'd pronounce it "Gi-yer-mo."

However, even in English they don't pronounce it right. Wouldn't it make more sense, given the letters, that it's pronounced "Shay-sar." The people who pronounce it as "Seize-er" fail grammar forever.

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Nov 9th 2015 at 11:38:01 PM •••

I realise I'm replying to a four-year old comment, but this is a topic near to my heart, and maybe it'll help someone else...

The "typical" English pronunciation of Latin is not a modern mistake by the uneducated. It's the product of centuries of educated English speakers, speaking Latin alongside their own language, through all its shifts and sound changes.

It wasn't until a century or so ago that English speakers started pushing for a "purer" Latin pronunciation, which meant either reconstructed Classical Latin, or (strangely enough) ecclesiastical Latin. (Strange, because as the Latin that Darthvoorhees decries is Latin-by-way-of-English, so Church Latin is Latin-by-way-of-Italian.)

And in any case, if "Caesar" was a native English word (unlikely with that "ae" in there), its pronunciation would surely be "kay-zer", to rhyme with "razor" and "laser"?

Jun 20th 2010 at 4:47:04 AM •••

I know of two examples of a supposedly "British" character using American English; as well as Dan Brown's notorious example of Gunther Glick, the "British" journalist who exclusively uses Americanisms such as "gas" instead of "petrol", there's also Damon Knight's "Rule Golden" in which a BBC announcer says "in Commons today...". Omitting the article like that is an Americanism; a real BBC announcer would say "in the House of Commons", which after all only takes about half a second longer to say than "in Commons".

There's also the opposite error in John Brunner's "The Sheep Look Up", in which a Midwestern DJ uses the British word "bollocks" — which was probably unknown in the US until the rise of the internet.

I would enter these, but I don't know which trope they belong under. Perhaps a new one?

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Jun 20th 2010 at 2:52:31 PM •••

"Bollocks", or variations thereof, has been recorded in US slang for years as far as I know, and is generally a much milder word with no testicular association whatsoever.

The others are prtty subjective; British and US English are just tendencies to prefer certain kinds of language, and they've been exchanging words constantly since Independence. There is Separated by a Common Language though.

Jun 20th 2010 at 4:14:05 PM •••

The Brunner quote I referenced actually used "bollocks" to mean "testicles" — it was the final rhyme of the filthiest lyric I've ever seen in print. (The novel in question was published in the early 1970s and set Twenty Minutes In The Future.)

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