Posts belonging to Category Language and Linguistics

The Naming of Characters

It’s often asked, “What’s in a name?”
The answer is invariably “more than you think.” Along with giving people definite references for the individuals they describe, names tend to carry images in and of themselves, imply background, and try to fill ten words for every one they include. And that isn’t even getting into the story [...]

The Venereal Game

What I seek to introduce you to today is a game, but more than just a game. Once, knowing how its older members had played was necessary to sound wise in the relevant circles. Now, it is a pastime primarily shared by linguists and wordsmiths. In itself, it can serve as an excellent worldbuilding tool, [...]

Telling Them Apart

It’s pretty much a narrative imperative; at some point you’re going to have multiple characters in one room, all having a conversation. The difficulty at this point is, of course, making it as clear as possible when different people are talking. How do you make sure they don’t all blend together?
The first trick, and the [...]