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Why A Linguist Thinks They Suck

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 19:29
by SandChigger
TOC: REASON #2 - REASON #3 - REASON #4 - REASON #5

REASON #1: GENERAL LINGUISTIC IGNORANCE & FAILURE TO DO (EVIDENTLY) ANY RESEARCH

Let's start with this connection they're trying to make now between their Muadru and Muad'Dib. (I'll try to get to interesting things like hrethgir someday as well.)

First off: Frank liked to "mix it up" a bit when playing with the Arabic (and other) words he used in his books. The name Muad'Dib is a perfect example. There is an actual Arabic word, mu'addib, a participle of the verb '-D-B (from which adab is also derived, btw), meaning "teacher" (lit. "one who imparts culture" or something like that; remember that Frank has Stilgar tell Paul that the muad'dib/kangaroo rat is also called the "instructor-of-boys").

In transliterations of Arabic, the apostrophe usually indicates alif, the glottal stop (the sound between the vowels in "uh-oh!" So you have to stop your breath between the "u" and the "a"; the Arabic word here would never become "mwa-" in other words). Frank moved the apostrophe to between the two "d"s...rendering it basically meaningless (it's unpronouncable there, between two other stops), but resulting in an exotic and memorable orthographic variant.

Returning to the original Arabic word, the alif, "d" and "b" are the triliteral root, the essential elements that bear the meaning. The mu- prefix, vowels "a" and "i" and doubling (gemmination) of the "d" are all added as part of the morphological process of forming a verbal participle in Arabic. (Aren't you glad that in English we usually just add "ing" or "ed"!) There are, as a result, literally thousands of Arabic words beginning with mu-.

Because Kevin and the other guy are obviously fairly ignorant when it comes to things language-related (and can't be bothered to do any actual research...it BLOCKS Kevin's creative juice flow, evidently), they probably thought they'd just coin some word that kinda looked/sounded like Muad'Dib and later try to say they were related.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that in the real world. Or more importantly, even in Frank's Duniverse. (Look at Muadru. They've obviously analyzed Muad'Dib into two elements, muad + dib, taken the first and added some suffix -ru [of GAWD knows what meaning] to it.) But I guess in the Hacked Duniverse, anything goes?

Something they're going to have to explain:

Why the main element of the name of a vanished people (muad) became part of the name given to a rodent that wasn't transplanted to Arrakis until Pardot Kynes began his terraforming efforts. (Were the Muadru teachers? We know they were gifted with prophetic abilities from the Legends books, right? :roll: )

[2009.10.27 edit: added REASON header at top] [2010.11.09 edit: added ToC links at top]

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 19:41
by Freakzilla
Great post, I find this stuff fascinating. But I'm curious what "orthographic" means to you because it means something completely different to me (I think). In this context does it refer to spelling? Please forgive my ignorance.

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 19:58
by SandChigger
Yep. Orthographic < orthography "correct [lit. straight] writing". :D

I was tooling through a little Arabic grammar review/summary thing I picked up in the States over the weekend and got to wondering about the mu + double consonant thing when I got to the part on participles. (If the last vowel is "i" it's the "person doing"; if "a" it's the "thing done". That's kinda neat, huh?) Found a discussion in a forum online where someone mentioned the '-d-b verb and went and found it in my little "Green Demon" copy of the Wehr dictionary. I don't think the guy who did the "Islamic/Arabic influences" page included anything on Muad'Dib. (Will check again later, and post that forum link, too. It's on the home machine.)

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 20:10
by Freakzilla
Honestly, I'd never hear it used that way. In my circles it always refers to things being projected at right angles.

I wish I had the knack for other languages, English makes so little sense. In the time I've spent abroad (Germany) other languages seem to flow so much more logically and it was easy to pick up what they were saying when immersed in it. I just can't seem to sit in front of a book and pick it up.

Have you used that Rosetta Stone software, any opinion?

Sorry to derail the P&tB bashing...

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 20:48
by Nekhrun
Freakzilla wrote:Have you used that Rosetta Stone software, any opinion?

Sorry to derail the P&tB bashing...

I'll let it get back to the bashing after this quick note. I've used Rosetta Stone for Spanish and have found it to be a very effective way to learn a new language. We have many adult English language learners in the settings I work in and they use it to learn English as well. It's worth the price. (Though when I used it I could access it for free through the state library system).

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 20:56
by Freakzilla
What does "donde esta mi amigo?" mean?

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 20:57
by Freakzilla
Freakzilla wrote:What does "donde esta mi amigo?" mean?


where is my friend???

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 20:59
by Nekhrun
Freakzilla wrote:What does "donde esta mi amigo?" mean?

Where is my friend? (I think)

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 21:09
by Freakzilla
Some chick wrote that about my facebook page.

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 21:17
by Lisan Al-Gaib
Nekhrun wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:What does "donde esta mi amigo?" mean?

Where is my friend? (I think)


Where are you, my friend?

or

Where is my friend?

Are the the best translations, depending of what he wants to say.

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 21:25
by Freakzilla
Lisan Al-Gaib wrote:
Nekhrun wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:What does "donde esta mi amigo?" mean?

Where is my friend? (I think)


Where are you, my friend?

<snip>

Are the the best translations, depending of what he wants to say.


SHE!

That makes more sense.

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 23:01
by SandChigger
Or could be a Latino drag queen from one of those gay bars you used to hang around in, flirting and leading them on for drinks.... :P


(I haven't used Rosetta Stone, don't really know anything about it, though I did see a booth for it set up in Dallas airport on the way back this year.)

Posted: 08 Oct 2008 23:10
by Freakzilla
SandChigger wrote:Or could be a Latino drag queen from one of those gay bars you used to hang around in, flirting and leading them on for drinks.... :P


(I haven't used Rosetta Stone, don't really know anything about it, though I did see a booth for it set up in Dallas airport on the way back this year.)


I'm not that kind of replicant, Mr. Deckard.

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 02:08
by Lundse
Freakzilla wrote:Honestly, I'd never hear it used that way. In my circles it always refers to things being projected at right angles.


Maybe you are thinking of 'orthogonal'...

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 04:53
by DuneFishUK
Lundse wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Honestly, I'd never hear it used that way. In my circles it always refers to things being projected at right angles.


Maybe you are thinking of 'orthogonal'...


No, it's definately orthographic - as in an orthographic drawing. I use the same meaning, I never knew it had an alternative meaning.

(or maybe it's just that cad monkeys can't tell their linguistic arse from their linguistic elbow... :wink: )

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 05:03
by Lundse
DuneFishUK wrote:
Lundse wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Honestly, I'd never hear it used that way. In my circles it always refers to things being projected at right angles.


Maybe you are thinking of 'orthogonal'...


No, it's definately orthographic - as in an orthographic drawing. I use the same meaning, I never knew it had an alternative meaning.

(or maybe it's just that cad monkeys can't tell their linguistic arse from their linguistic elbow... :wink: )


The way I, that is wikipedia, see it (I will check with Webster if someone favours mashed trees to bits and one old-school authority to the authority of networks):


"Ortho" - from the Greek word ὀρθός meaning "straight" or "correct.

"Orthogonal" - two vectors are orthogonal if they are perpendicular, i.e., they form a right angle.
(What it sounded like Freak was referring to, although he may have meant something related to the next term).

"Orthographic projection" - is a means of representing a three-dimensional (3D) object in two dimensions (2D).
(I presume this derives in some way from the mathematical term).

"Orthography" - the orthography of a language specifies the correct way of using a specific writing system to write the language.
(Directly from the greek root, only a 'cousin' relationship with the 'right angle et al.'-stuff).

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 10:27
by GamePlayer
Yeah, that other meaning for orthographic is definitely news to me. Orthographic has always meant a "3-view" diagram of an object. Especially in the world of mechanical design, orthographics is something I've encountered almost my whole life and I took CAD when I attended my first technology institute. Schematics and orthographic drawings are some of my favorite elements of mechanical design and art design in science fiction.

Macross orthographic sample:
http://www.new-un-spacy.com/miscellaneo ... matics.gif

Good stuff :)

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 10:31
by Freakzilla
It's a nice feature in AutoCAD that keeps your lines at neat, right angles.

Or, when calibrating a tablet, you enter your points and can have the program correct your error othographically.

My head hurts.

:(

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 11:44
by sparafucile
Freakzilla wrote:It's a nice feature in AutoCAD that keeps your lines at neat, right angles.


Ortho is good, but I prefer Esnap ;)

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 12:05
by Omphalos
See, now there is a weird linguistic thingie I have thought about before (but never looked into). Personally I am fascinated with etymology, so here is a question for you linguists out there.

According to the definitions Lundse has put up, "orthographic projection" refers to a right angle rendered in 2D, while "orthography" refers to the correct way to write something.

In everyday usage I use the words "right" and "correct" interchangebly so signal truth or veracity. However in the definitions of very similar words above, the words "right" and "correct" are used differently, one to signify veracity and the other to signify direction. Maybe Im just chasing phantoms here, but do the use of the words which in another context are synonyms ("right" & "correct") lead to the use of the homonyms ("orthographic")?

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 12:13
by Freakzilla
You have to wonder where the term "right angle" comes from. Maybe because 90 degrees is most often the correct angle?

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 12:37
by Freakzilla
Baraka Bryan wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:You have to wonder where the term "right angle" comes from. Maybe because 90 degrees is most often the correct angle?



because the person who discovered it had taken a right turn....

i wonder what a left angle is then?


Two wrongs don't make a right but three rights make a left. :wink:

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 12:39
by inhuien
How's your head :P

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 12:42
by Freakzilla
inhuien wrote:How's your head :P


I've taken two ibuprofen and two aspirin today, I'm either going to feel better soon or pass out.

Either way, problem solved.

I feel OLD. :(

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 13:02
by Omphalos
Freakzilla wrote:
inhuien wrote:How's your head :P


I've taken two ibuprofen and two aspirin today, I'm either going to feel better soon or pass out.

Either way, problem solved.

I feel OLD. :(


Just tell yourself its only a young man who would be dumb enough to get that drunk on a Wednesday. :wink: