On topic (specifically, changes in language usage)

J A 'Dusty' Sayers dusty at sayersnet.com
Thu May 1 16:16:14 PDT 2003

Mark A Mandel wrote:

> On Fri, 25 Apr 2003, BLACKSTOCK, ROB wrote:
> #All right... I have a question for you guys which is (gasp!) actually on
> #topic!
> #
> #Has there ever been an explanation for the change in the language style
> #between the anti-interregnum and the Taltos era?  Or, did the language
>             (ante-)
> #style not change, but had simply been "enhanced" by Parfii in his
> #romances?
> I've always assumed that this is Paarfi's style, plain and simple. Well,
> and added to the fact that it's VERY different from Vlad's style and the
> way most of the Jhereg talk. If you compare Paarfi's dialogues with
> the way Morrolan, Aliera, Sethra, and Lady Teldra speak in the Vlad
> novels, I think you'll find them a lot closer.
> -- Mark A. Mandel
>    http://world.std.com/~mam/Cracks-and-Shards/
>    a Steven Brust Dragaera fan website

I had gotten the impression (perhaps wrongly) that some of the change was due
to the informality and chaos of the interregnum.  Just as titles became less
meaningful and society cumbled, so did language, as people expressed things
in simpler, less erudite ways.  After all, it hardly mattered if one's speech
could hold up in court--there was no court at which to present it.  I think
someone on this list suggested this a while back, perhaps shortly after the
book became available.  I could be misremembering, but I think I saw this
theory, in some form, advanced somewhere before I thought of it.

Also, it could be that, now that Paarfi is writing for a commercial
publishing house rather than for scholarly journals, he no longer has to
adhere to the usages of Dragaera's scholarly class.  After all, it was
explained that he writes the way he does because, on Dragaera, all scholars
write like that.

Sorry I don't have any page numbers; I do not have my books handy at the

J A Dusty Sayers

Home Page http://www.sayersnet.com/~dusty/
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