Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Slang

Kathyrn--

It's great to hear that you are thinking about coming here. Summer will be perfect. I'll be completely settled in by then and know all the cool places to go. Spring break is coming up here next week so I'm going on the grand tour. I'm going to go the the Tranquility Base Museum to see the original LEM. I'll stay overnight at the Hilton Tranquility Hotel and Casino. Gambling isn't allowed in the towns, but "outside" as the locals call it is fair game. I wouldn't be surprised if the hotels don't import other types of entertainment as well. I doubt the oldest profession isn't represented in some manner even hear, although no one seems to want to talk about it.

After that I'll be going to the Mountains. Mt______ is taller than Everest. Near the top is cliff house (That's right another cliff house) It is a restaurant carved out of the face of the cliff itself. We'll be stopping there for lunch. We'll then take the rover down into the Sea of Tears where we will suit up and go for a stroll. I'd pick up a pebble to send back to you, but there are strict rules about disturbing the environment. These areas are the equivalent of national parks.

Finally, I'll take a leapfrog to Farside Settlement to visit the Conradium mines. It should take only three 20 minute leaps. I guess it's an efficient form of travel, but I don't know if I like the idea of a machine just jumping across the landscape.

On my way back I'll visit one of the ag domes. So, I'll be able to be your guide when you bounce in. Of course, by then I hope to be a glider.

I'll tell you I've been learning a lot of the local slang. It's been interesting. Alot of the slang has to do with the history of the moon. To "do an armstrong" for instance means to be a pioneer or to do something courageous. "It's a Collins" means to just miss out on something sort of like the earth expression "Close but no cigar." An avid golfer is called a "Shepherd". And to crash and burn emotionally is to "aldren."

Of course there are cliques and subgroups and the other groups have their own names for them. Lots of people spend a lot of time outside the domes playing low-g games, exploring or just having fun. They are sometimes called "Dust Bunnies" by those who prefer to stay inside and in return the "dust bunnies" call those who don't go out "cave rats."

Tourists often get the wrath of the native. They are called "leadbottoms" and sometimes "alien invaders."

The geography also provides a source for a few slang terms. For instance, To crater means to fail dramatically. It also means to crash into something by accident. To "dust" someone means to try and stir up trouble for them and to disrespect them.

Well, I need to get back to grading papers.

Take Care. I'll look forward to seeing you this summer,but before then don't be a stranger burn a couple of holo credits on us.

Carolyn

2 comments:

Frank Creed said...

Hello my old friend. Not that you're old or nuthin'--seems like I've known you forever now. The time just DRAGS with you around!

Ouch! Stop! I was joking!

THREE KINDS OF SLANG

One of the funestest parts of writing Flashpoint: Book One of the Underground was 2036 Chicago slang.

1) Archatype slang--I used Neros for anti-christians, and Capones for crime lords. Like doing an Armstrong.

2) Setting slang--not unlike your dust-bunnies, I used brand-names that acted as descriptors: an element of the cyberpunk genre. Electrocutoner shock-glove or PictureWindow computerized two-way mirror says it all.

3) Cliche slang--in a recent episode of CSI: Miami, a bad-guy asks Frank Tripp: "You serious?"
Tripp replies: "As a triple-bypass." Serious-as-a-heart-attack is new again. I replaced snowball's-chance-in-Hell with ice-cube's-chance-in-Egypt. The word "cool" has lasted a long time, but "ace", and "spiff" were slick synonyms.

Faith,
f

Terri said...

I love dealing with language. It changes slowly and rapidly at the same time. The basic "standard" language since the invention of printing has stayed fairly stable and stabilized even further with the advent of radio.

But slang is ever changing. The challenge of creating slang for the future and using it in a book is that you need the reader to be able to understand pretty clearly what you are talking about without needing a decoder ring.

For instance, my characters talk about "vids" as video shows, what we call TV. Many, though, use video instead of TV because it is more inclusive of the various forms video has taken. It's not beyond imagination that it would eventually be planed down to "vid" like television got planed down to TV or "The telly" in England.

It's fun, though.

Oh, your 2 way mirror PictureWindow. I used a variation on that theme for stained glass windows at the lunar church. The scenes change periodically and are different inside and out.


Terri