30 October 2016

In The Other Direction This Time

The drift in language happens in gaming in the other direction too.

Anglic is the official language of the Third Imperium.  It's a descendant of American English.

"Present" day in my Traveller universe is Imperial Year 1110, the year the 5th Frontier War vs the Zhodani ends.

That's 5631 AD to us Solomani types.

Three thousand six hundred fifteen years.

That's more time than Roman Latin had to turn into Italian.  A lot more time.

While on one hand you could say that computers and digitalization of what we read and the permanence of audio-visual entertainment compared to even 50 years ago would slow linguistic drift...

The volume occupied by the Third Imperium wasn't all one nation the entire time.  Anglic has only been the official language for 1110 years.  Even assuming no drift in that time, there's still 2505 years of people left to their own devices just making it up as they go, as people will.

That's also skipping the American English tendency to outright steal words from other languages as it suits them.  Other English does too, but they express it as "borrowing".

Traveller Anglic is probably as similar to English as Coptic is to Ancient Egyptian.  If they're really, really lucky it's a modern vs ancient Greek drift.


  1. How about:

    "English doesn't borrow from other languages.
    English follows other languages down dark alleys,
    knocks them over and goes through their pockets
    for loose grammar."
    (I'd give it attribution if I could remember where I stole it from, I blame my early onset 'situationally convenient' Alzheimers and a ... generally acquisitive nature)

    The A/V point is taken, but look to just how much British English has been affected, as spoken by 'der yoots', 'by' all that A/V input from you colonial types. Whilst it is mainly in the area of the 'addition of slang' it has caused some significant grammar and syntax 'issues' (and just don't start me on 'Americanised/Americanized Spelling' - a particular personal bugbear which being completely honest ... yours actually closer to the historically correct spelling, but ...).

    And what about the impact of 'technology itself', e.g. the effects of text-speak?

    Nope (I was indoctrinated into using 'that' Americanisation by a 'cult group' out of Texas who 'forced' me to eat 'beans'n'franks', drink 'bourbon' and daily worship at the alter of JMB - and me a good Anglo 9mm man from birth) I suspect there 'may' be some similarities maintained by A/V 'historical' records but, much as America/Britain today it would be 'two nations divided by a common language' situation at best, and in spades.

    1. If it makes you feel any better, when I was a yoot stationed in West Germany we routinely butchered German as bad as we did English.

      We ordered things at the local McDonald's "mit aus" some ingredient. That's not the right "out", we were looking for "ohne" to get them to skip onions. The teens hanging around picked up OUR way of saying it! There was even a news report on the deleterious effect on the German language we auslanders were causing.

    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Nicoll by the way.

  2. Hmm, I like the original better and shall ... amend my quotations from this point onwards.

    (It's a sad indictment of self to admit that almost anything vaguely intelligent I have to say is almost entirely made up of quotes, and often misquotes, from others - classical authors occasionally, but embarrassingly many by Sci-fi authors, Terry Pratchett of course and .... gulp, 80's song lyrics seem to occur 'way too often'. I like to claim it's because they said what I mean better than I ever could, but suspect I may just be an intellectual pilferer attempting to sound ejikated).

    1. There's another English to American difference, we spell ejikated; edjamacated!

      See how edjewkashunal this was!


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