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LGBT Slang – Discussion Point

The LGBT community has gone through many changes over the years and one aspect of that is its evolving lexicon. I thought it would be interesting to discuss this both as an historical subject and regarding the extent to which current LGBT authors incorporate slang terms into their writing. It is hard to tell how far back LGBT slang goes. Certainly the eighteenth-century molly subculture had its own lexicon, with some terms borrowed from thieves cant. No doubt the nineteenth century then adapted this to suit its own purposes as the decades passed. However, it’s in the twentieth century and … Read more

The Totes Amazing Way Millennials Are Changing the Language

Totes Amazing

There’s a way that young people talk these days, and it’s totes hilars. You see it on Twitter a lot, people exclaiming about their totes delish spags or their totes redic boyfs. Linguists Lauren Spradlin and Taylor Jones call this practice “totesing” — the systematic abbreviation (“abbreviash”) of words to effect a certain tone. The fad might have started with “totally” becoming totes, but at this point, no entry in the English lexicon is safe. The following are some real words produced by real human beings on Twitter: totes tradge (tragic): David Bowie dying is totes tradge. bluebs (blueberries): Bluebs … Read more


Worldbuilting Week

Welcome to the first annual Worldbuilding Week at QSF. We’ll talk about all aspects of building a world for your story, including languages; alien/magical races; history and timelines; culture and politics; sex, marriage and reproduction; and tools and techniques. It should be a lot of fun. Today we’re talking about languages, and Erica Pike will be our moderator. Have you ever created a language for a story? How do you go about building the fundamentals? Are there tools online to help? Does your language offer clues to your culture? And how do you make it work for your readers? Join … Read more

Discussion: Using Really Foreign Languages

Language Word Cloud

Today’s topic comes from QSFer Ruff Bear: I just started a story in which a character is called l’bkh!’dar, which is close to “bright light” in Marathi, a language spoken in western India. The exclamation mark is used to mark a clicking sound common in southern African languages. How do people feel about hard to pronounce names for characters? How do people feel about using non-Latin writing systems and non-English languages (with or without translation)? I’ve used Italian in a couple of my stories, but of course it’s still fairly similar to English – same basic character set, many similar … Read more