Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by alienyouthct, Jul 30, 2002.
Ah, but in your example you would have been a fool NOT to use it that way. (Seriously, I mean that was a perfect use.)
If it were going to be used, then that seems to be a clever way to insert GFFA into a fic
That's interesting linguistically, as in which ones are 'okay' semantically to each reader and which ones make the brain say 'tilt.' Like Traviss' made up language, and others' 'Alderaani marble,' for instance, does a completely innovative word like 'osik' sound more in U *and require a glossary* and be perceived better than the lazier 'Alderaani marble'? *drags out old linguistics textbook*
"Osik" will forever sound like some GFFA Holonet slang to me: "oshi-"
I should clarify my previous statement by saying that I don't think most people in the galaxy far far away--at least on the well-populated, technologically advanced Core and Mid-Rim worlds--would ever so much as encounter paper books of any sort. But I still think there should be some, though they would be mostly be kept in exclusive University and museum archives where they would not be available to the general public. As for paper itself, there is flimseyplast, at least in fanfiction, which seems to be close enough to paper for government work. And if you want to go before the movies, even thousands of years before the movies, things might have been different. (Yes, I know that in the video games set 4000 years before the movies, the technology is exactly the same. There's not much of an excuse for that. In my opinion, they just didn't even try.)
Yes, you don't see anyone use a book in the movies. But you don't see anyone reading on a datapad (which must have originated in the EU) either. They're action movies--the characters are fighting for the republic or the galaxy, not studying for their exams in Modern Chandrilan Thought.
But in general, I try not to make too many sweeping statements that apply to the GFFA as a whole. It is comprised of numerous different cultures, and planets, which are then made up of numerous, varied individuals. The movies couldn't have hoped to even show glimpses of everything that is possible for that sort of universe.
And finally, I'm going to return to the point I ended with in my last post: electronics do not last. More importantly, they frequently fail. Yes, even in the GFFA--remember all the trouble they had with the Falcon in Empire Strikes Back. I have lost more electronic files than I care to think of, but I have never lost a paper manuscript.
And yes, I allow that if there ever were an official statement on the matter, it would turn out that paper has been obsolete in the entire galaxy, down to the last dump in the Outer Rim, for millennia, and all written material is in electronic form. If so, I can't help but think that is the galaxy's loss. We may not be part of a republic spanning the stars, but we are becoming more and more technically advanced, especially in the First World, and we still have paper books, some of which have survived for hundreds of years. There's a reason for that.
Oh, and to return to the subject of "earthisms": I have never liked the term "vibroblades." I think they're supposed to be the all-GFFA equivalent of knives, but I've never been sure. All I know is that when I read the word, I imagine these knives that are literally vibrating.
How about vibro-anything? Like a vibro-mop. Seriously, what.
*splorfle* Or dura- steel, aluminum, what have you ...
Eh, I can tolerate durasteel. It sounds like a brand name that became a part of everyday vernacular, like Dumpster. And hearing commercials for Duralast batteries, you get used to that "dura" prefix. It's just a metal alloy that is steel-like and durable. Durasteel.
Someone on Wookieepedia complained about the usage of "asthma" in a couple of novels. They argued that the author could have called it something different. Well, judging by how real-world sports are translated into a adjective-noun, adjective-verb, verb-noun, etc name (greenputt, smashball, rumble pins), then the most plausible GFFA equivalent would end up being something like "hackwheeze." Is that really better?
Some people use real world terms/illnesses/objects ect. ect. ect to help paint a picture or draw a parallel. To use the asthma one readers might get after a bit that the character has asthma but to state right away that they are having an asthma attack incites worry for the character if they are having an attack. Now if they used the word "Dasten" you would be guessing what it is or the author would have to explain what it was.
It's easy (and fun) for the moment to picture Leia all curled up in bed reading a romance novel (or a Fantasy one) and enjoying it or Luke watching the Star Wars equivalent of a Western or Han cursing because he spilled some oil on his instructions while working on the Falcon.
Never heard of Duralast batteries but I have heard of Duracell.
I use the names of real illnesses most of the time. Otherwise it is too confusing to the reader. They get concussions, heart attacks, asthma, and such. They won't get Lou Gehrig's disease...that I will rename. I also avoid brand names. They have bandages and not bandaids. Or facial tissue instead of Kleenex. A bed should be a bed. Common items that are the same on Earth as the EU should be called the same. Not everything should be changed. Floors, walls, feet, toes, bathtub, showers, towels, blankets, shampoo...why change the names? I can understand changing the names of food and drink sometimes. They drink alcohol and not Alabama Slammers. I am writing the fanfic in English...the reader will just have to assume I translated Basic into the English equivalent.
And Duracell are batteries Duralast are auto parts.
And Vibro-anything. Why not, adding vibro to things always seems to make them better.
So which is it? Are lightsabers powered by Energizer, Duralast, or Duracell? Inquiring minds need to know.
Yes, not using the brand names of items! That is a true pet peeve. They stopped off on Naboo for some Kleenex and Bandaids? Not only are those pet-peeving Earthisms, but not everybody on this planet has heard of those names. There are other countries and they do have their own names for products and things in general. To me the whole point of not using Earthisms to is make the point that we are not on this planet, but in the GFFA. So liking the idea of paper and books somewhere in the GFFA is your right, but it doesn't make it GFFA to me. It makes it related to Earth.
@TrakNar: vibromop? Seriously?
The Chiss Library on Csilla used "books" to archive their records, not trusting electronic means. The material on which these books were printed was not mentioned, to the best of my recollection. Wookieepedia lists a number of references to books in canon sources. Relatively fewer to paper, although there is precedence for that, too. I believe flimsiplast is used considerably more often as the GFFA equivalent to paper.
lightsabers in my house are powered by whatever batteries are in the house.
Mine are powered by the Force.... and Costco brand, Kirkland, batteries which make my lightsaber just as bright because I have lots of lightsabers That reminds me, I need batteries.
I don't like the idea of Alabama Slammers as drink names, either. I find it interesting how most writers use GFFA drink names: Corellian Ale, etc. I think there is a world of fun to be had with that. Alderaan Fizz, Tatooine Sunshine, Slugslide...
Many of what some of you are calling "Earthisms" don't bother me as much, but when I'm writing I'm usually careful to check the Wook to be sure that there is something in the GFFA, or if certain planets produce certain products. And that list of curse words has come in handy from time to time, but I also freely borrow from other fandoms when I need to. I can definitely see how all of this is is YMMV, however.
I find that the "earthisms" that bother me most are phrases that are...I'm not sure if anachronistic is the right word, but you know what I mean. I once read a fic where someone exclaimed "What on Earth are you doing?!?" or something of that ilk and it stuck out like a sore thumb.
Sometimes 'What in the world?' bothers me since they are a galaxy spanning society
The Chiss Library on Csilla used "books" to archive their records, not trusting electronic means. The material on which these books were printed was not mentioned, to the best of my recollection. Wookieepedia lists a number of references to books in canon sources.
I didn't know that. The only excuse I have for not going to Wookieepedia and looking for the information myself is that I wouldn't have thought it would be there*. I am familiar with the concept of "flimsiplast," under several spellings, and I've had characters deal with memos and such written on it myself. The name makes it sound like it's more plastic (yes, I'm just going to call it plastic) than paper, but it works enough like paper to count.
And I did just remember that according to her wookieepedia article, Padme's niece, Ryoo Naberrie, studied a form of calligraphy called Futhork--which according to its wookieepedia article, was an ancient handwritten form of calligraphy used on Naboo. Apparently, you can see it writ on some of the Naboo pilots' helmets in The Phantom Menace. The article doesn't say what they wrote this calligraphy out on--but I'm assuming it couldn't be an electronic screen.
I agree about specific brand names not being on in Star Wars--or to be honest, any secondary world. It's probably the thing most people will agree about.
I have checked the Wookieepedia in the past for details, usually when I want it to do some of the work for me, but I don't hesitate to disregard anything I think is, well, stupid.
Also, regarding the vibromop: it is like a swifter, but superpowered. After several generations, they shall become droids, and clean on their own.
*ETA: I'm still surprised there is actually an entry for "paper." Turns out that there *is* a role-playing guide that claims there isn't a single sheet of the stuff in the entire galaxy, just as I suspected. This view was corrected, and softened, in a later source. But even if it hadn't been, I wouldn't regret any ancient parchment books from the dawn of the Republic I may or may not have written about in the past. I don't follow the EU, and I ignore most of what I do run across.
I've used books and parchments for writings that go back to the earliest days of the galaxy, either Pre-Republic or very early Republic. Otherwise it makes sense to stick with digital media for reading materials if a story is set in a later era.
In regards to the matter of using "Earth" terms in the GFFA, sometimes it really is better to go with the terrestrial term if the extraterrestrial term would just look ridiculous. The sci-fi writer James Blish talked about this concept when he referred to calling a rabbit a "smeerp". Basically, the argument goes the writer should use the commonly known word instead of using a made-up word if you're describing something that is exactly like something on Earth. You don't use a made-up word to describe a rabbit unless the creature being described is some alien version of a rabbit, if that makes sense.
What I think is funny is it is acceptable to use military time in the fanfics, although it is based on a 24 hour day (I guess you can argue it is based on another duration...but I've never seen "See you at 2700 hours"), but it is frowned on to use 4 PM...but then I read spacefight scenes where pilots are saying, "I have your six"...which is based on a 12 hour clock.
I was just going to mention that! And the characters, IIRC, were horrified
Time is such a difficult thing--especially because not only do planets have different zones (maybe?), there's a galaxy full of planets
Isn't there something like Galactic Standard Time which is something like our Greenwich Mean Time? Or JC Board time?
^ I'm just glad SW is at heart space fantasy/opera because could you imagine trying to keep track of planetary time (years, months, etc.) AND a Galactic Standard Time? Someone could say, "I'm 6 on my planet, 42 on this one, and 54 Galactic." Yikes - how would one keep track of one's attaining age of majority - for that matter, how could the Order specify 13 as be chosen/go to Agricorp when some initiates would be middle-aged by their birth planet standards or still infants?
Occasionally I work in different gravities, which is something else entirely and yet a similar thing - and my gosh, look at the habitable planets - have a breakdown, land on the nearest planet. It's survivable.
It's survivable in fics, maybe because writing about surviving a crash landing on gas planets (would it be possible to crash?) or crushing gravity planets is for the more scientific writer, of which group I am not.