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'Earthisms' to be avoided, and their alternatives

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by solojones, May 2, 2004.

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  1. Darth_Elu

    Darth_Elu Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jan 2, 2003
    Maybe there should be, if not already, a thread with a list of words and curses and places that are from Earth next to their GFFA counterpart.

  2. TheBothanJedi

    TheBothanJedi Jedi Master star 2

    May 16, 2004
    Thanks for the advice Mistress_Renata. I'll try to do something like that.

    That's a good Idea Darth_Elu. Someone should start a thread like that.
  3. PresidentKang

    PresidentKang Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jun 23, 2004
    I'm a big fan of "Sithspit" but I use it in the conotation of "oh S&%$!" Why? Well using profanities for profanity sake is just shock value and shouldn't be done.

    However I am a firm believer in a human reaction. And I know when something big happens or something bad is about to happen Oh S---- is a very natural response. Also its kinda funny too. It lets the air out of the baloon at bit then the tension picks up again.

    I dunno who made it up first, I think Stackpole in the X-Wing/ I, Jedi novels. But I know for sure Kyle Katarn says it a few times in "Jedi Outcast".

  4. TheBothanJedi

    TheBothanJedi Jedi Master star 2

    May 16, 2004
    I agree Kang. Inventing your own profanity for characters to use in stories makes the characters more Human in their responces to what happens. It also gives the story a very real and gritty feel to it.

    I myself like using Sithspit, and I have invented terms like "Feth!" to replace Fornication Under Consent of the King, and "What the Kessel?" to replace "What the hell?"
  5. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    For a list of some Earth words and their SW alternatives, here's an older thread: [link=]SW equivalents to our everyday technology[/link].

    I could have sworn there was another one as well with even more, but I haven't been able to find it yet.

  6. Jedikma

    Jedikma Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 5, 2004
    timely up
  7. Jazz_Skywalker

    Jazz_Skywalker Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 3, 2002
    I can't stand seeing the word 'crap' in a fic, or 'wristwatch'. I did see a fic one time where one of the Jedi looked at their wristwatch in a scene.

  8. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 20, 2002
    "Crap" doesn't bother me, because it's in Shatterpoint. And I figure that makes it EU canon. Not that I always agree with EU canon :p but it worked for the character who said it (Nick Rostu).
  9. Myri_Antilles

    Myri_Antilles Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 3, 2004
    I just found this, and I noticed that in the first couple pages someone was wondering what to call pets. In one of the Zahn books, Han tells Luke that he looks "like something the proom dragged in." I would guess, then, that proom = cat.
  10. Jedikma

    Jedikma Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 5, 2004
  11. Viola_Telcontar

    Viola_Telcontar Jedi Master star 1

    Nov 14, 2004
    I think GL used second and meter because they are two of the seven SI units i. e. the International standard. If you want to look them up, go [link=] here [/link]
    There you can also find the definitions of the units (e.g. one meter is the length of the distance light moves in vacuum for a period of 1/299792458 second... does my translation make any sense?).
    The problem is day (why 24h?), month (I shudder to think of planets with more than one moon), and year (considering that the standard year on earth has 365,25 d; there are not only leap years, but also leap seconds. We still have this crazy what's-a-year-war here on our small little planet: physicists against astronomers, they still fight over said leap-seconds, not to mention the historians: "How old are you if you were born 10 B.C. and now we have 10 AD? 18 or 19 or 20?" ).
    There are differences for every planet.

    I'd say you can use glass, too, because it is a description of the structure of a material (similar to crystal).
    The correct chemical definition of window-glass e.g. is "undercooled liquefied material with short-range order, but without long-range order". It might be surprising to some of you that our normal glass indeed is liquid.
    I've recently read that normal water probably has about 10 different glass-structures (they still have to prove it, though, but it would explain why water is so special sometimes). In fact, that's not so surprising if you consider the 6 different types of ice water has (there is no Ice-IV, because someone believed they had found it, but was wrong).
    I'm talking too much about chemistry...
  12. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    No, that's really cool, V_T! Maybe we should start a thread of techno-bunnies? Cool more-or-less real scientific stuff that could be used as otherworldly SW stuff? I know that SW is actually as much "science" fiction as the Wizard of Oz is, but sufficiently advanced technology, indistinguishable from magic, etc., etc., etc.

    Also, water-glass is an extremely neat idea. I am suddenly convinced that this is what those domes around Ootoh Gunga were made of. You--the fanfic author over in the corner! Go write a fic about glass made from water. Now, you do it now!!!

    Er . . . yeah. [face_blush]

    In no particular order, some Star Warsified words and phrases I've used or run across recently:

    "Cityshine," to describe the ambient light on Coruscant during the night. I think this might have been solojones'. If it wasn't hers, then it probably belongs to a non-TFN author called padawankat. I can't remember right now.

    "Pedway," for sidewalk. That's definitely sj's. I like it.

    "Smugglers' Roulette" my idea of Russian roulette in a universe without Russians

    Can't think of any other good ones at the moment, although I know I find these/make these up all the time. I'll have to keep more careful track.
  13. Jadeling

    Jadeling Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jan 25, 2005
    Another favorite curse word used in the the novels is "Shavit;" Mara used it a couple of times in the Hand duology.

    "Blast" or "Blast it" can replace "Damn" or "Damn it."

    When using exclamations like "What in the world?" and such I find it useful for the character to start the euphuism, but never quite finish it, either someone interrupts or he or she finishes with another thought like.

    "What in the- How did this happen?!"

    Just a thought.
  14. Analise

    Analise Jedi Youngling star 1

    Nov 8, 2004
    Along with Sithspit, there's also Sithspawn. I've seen both used.

    And someone at some point in one of the books explaimed "Emperor's black bones!" So. Yeah.

    But yeah, I've caught myself in fic trying too hard to get away from earthisms and so usually, try to hold back on making everything 'star-warsy'.

    On the subject of cats, they have various feline species, so they could have cats. Or maybe the pet could just be named some version of "feline" in the sense of "felis" or something, but not "felix". :)
  15. LastOneStanding

    LastOneStanding Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 19, 2004
    Kuat of Kuat has a felinx (basically a kitty-cat) in the BHT.
  16. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 9

    Sep 27, 2000
    "Cityshine," to describe the ambient light on Coruscant during the night. I think this might have been solojones'. If it wasn't hers, then it probably belongs to a non-TFN author called padawankat. I can't remember right now.

    Nope, that one wasn't mine, but it's nice :)

    "Pedway," for sidewalk. That's definitely sj's. I like it.

    Thanks. I really didn't want to use 'sidewalk' because not only is it an Earthism, it's an Americanism. They don't even use it in the UK, for instance. So I settled for there being skyways (where things fly), streets (the physical 'floor' of levels as we see in AotC), and pedways (where people walk). I don't know, it made sense to me :p

    [hl=darkgreen]-sj loves kevin spacey[/hl]
  17. Knight_Aragorn

    Knight_Aragorn Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 15, 2003
    What do people think of Mara's "By all the star-dragons ever spawned" or whatever it was in BP when she realised she was pregnant? I thought that one sounded a bit made up, myself. Can you imagine actually using it? It seems way to long and elaborate.

    There's also words like "stang" and the good old Imperial-derived "kriff" -- I don't know if anyone's mentioned them previously. I use "kreth" sometimes in fics as an alternative, but I'm not sure whether I read it somewhere or made it up... I think I was originally thinking of 'kriff' but wrote that instead and thought it sounded okay. :p I hope that's where I got it from, hate to think that I've been using someone else's word without meaning to...
  18. vader_incarnate

    vader_incarnate Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 29, 2002
    I like four-letter words when I'm swearing. :p Short, concise, to the point: if I'm severely ticked at someone, I'm not going to take the time to call them the Force-blind spawn of two male nerfs that hump the fence rather than the females. o_O I might wish I'd said something as elaborate later, but my brain ain't quick like that unless it's already a habit.

    So I could deal with Mara saying that if she'd had a habit of saying similarly wacky curses in the past. Otherwise it's the Robin-syndrome. Stars that boy had some weird curses ...
  19. Jesina_Dreis

    Jesina_Dreis Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 8, 2004
    [link=]Swear Words In Star Wars[/link] <--- Extremely useful thread. Has just about EVERYTHING you could think of (including two variations of "Hells of Corellia" as a curse ;) )

    I use "chrono" for watch or clock, "flimsy" or "flimsiplast" for paper, "blasted" "shavit" and "kriff"/"kriffing" for swears, "standard hour" or just "hour" for time, "refrigeration unit" for refrigerator, "transparisteel" for glass, even though it's not exactly the same thing, "durasteel" for steel, "duracrete" for concrete...

    Star Wars seems very utilitarian, which is why I think things like "refrigeration unit" work

    Never thought of "conservator" as refrigerator... I think likening that to a crisper is good

    I saw someone use "kitling" for kitten once, which I liked a lot.

    I think "Emperor's Black Bones" sounds ridiculous.

    I use "what in the galaxy"... "What in Kessel" works too.

    I hate Earth Names, but there are some that are canon. Wes, Luke, Derek, Anni, Gavin, Mara etc... In my current story I'm writing a lot of Ralltiirians, and since Hobbie ("Derek") is from there, I've been trying to have names that Earth ones or at least similar. I've used Alek, Sera, Ana, Karin, Karl, Alisse... A lot of times it just takes playing with the spelling to make them suitably SW-ish.

    I use apartment, refresher, bedroom, sitting room...

    All metric units... which makes trying to say things like "she inched forward" interesting...

    I use Mister and Miss... I try to avoid the abbreviations, and Master/Mistress seem too formal for regular conversation or for kids referring to their parents' friends or something.

    I've seen "shimmersilk" used somewhere... but I can't remember if that was in a fic or in a book.
  20. LastOneStanding

    LastOneStanding Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 19, 2004
    Notice that they never say movie in the Star Wars EU...they use the term "holovid."

    "Emperor's Black Bones" was a curse phrase used a lot by Han Solo.

    I just remembered that there are dogs in Star Wars...the Nek Battle Dogs from DE come to mind.

  21. Viola_Telcontar

    Viola_Telcontar Jedi Master star 1

    Nov 14, 2004
    Yesterday I wrote something like "...said the police officer" and this line annoyed me so much, it made me give up writing the story.
    Well, it was my 4th attempt to kill this plot bunny, and it never worked out. I just need a break :(
  22. Darth_Snuggle

    Darth_Snuggle Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 5, 2005
    I'm a newbie here in the fan fiction area (hello there!) and was doing a bit of research into my own little fic when I came across this thread. It's come in pretty useful!

    Shimmersilk was first mentioned in "Han Solo's Legacy." I think it's been mentioned in one of the modern books as well, but I only say that because it popped up during a 'net-wide search I did using keywords like "Star Wars clothing and fabrics."

    I think the Visual Dictionaries tend to have a lot of these little things like fabrics and devices, but I'm not sure how canon you'd consider them.
  23. Princess_Arulmozhi

    Princess_Arulmozhi Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 16, 2004
    I've used 'Shimmersilk' myself. And there're 'moonstones', for jewelry. Not sure who exactly came up with it...but I first read it used by VaderLVR64, and it stuck. :)

    I coined a new word (new, because I've never seen anyone else use it) -'kaft'. Roughly the equivalent of 'idiot!' And I also coined a 'dazph-head'. Conjuring up names is easier for me. :p

    Am going to use sj's 'pedway' somewhere soon... :D
  24. Aerex_Matare

    Aerex_Matare Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jul 5, 2005
    Try "constable" or "security officer."

    If I'm dealing with characters from more obscure worlds, I make up swears and curses based on their culture. They can be short ("Aw, blackmoon", "Krall blood!") to extravagant ("What in the Eight Hells of Trelphus?", "By the Prophets of Anat-Kord!"). For others, I use the standard "Spast", "Blast it", etc.

    Here's a question about using SI units: what about units named after Earch scientists. Farads, Ohms, Pascals, Joules, none of these would mean a thing to GFFA folks. A few units have managed to slip in--watts, for instance--but some are just too blatant. I think it would work to just make up units here. I think in KOtoR, one of the scientsts in the Hrakert Rift uses some unit for pressure (I don't recall what, someone else might). EDIT: [link=]Here[/link] is a list of scientific units named after people.

    Just some thoughts.
  25. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 7, 2002
    [face_dancing] As of ROTS we can say elevator, and don't have to use lift.
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