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FOR WRITERS: Speaking the Times

time travel pixabay

FOR WRITERS Today’s writer topic comes from QSFer Hank T. Cannon: When writing historical or time travel stories, how much effort do you put into researching time-appropriate lingo? Do your characters use Polari? Do they use underground slang? Writers: This is a writer chat – you are welcome to share your own book/link, as long as it fits the chat, but please do so as part of a discussion about the topic. Join the chat: FB:

FOR WRITERS: Alien Languages

alien - pixabay

FOR WRITERS Today’s writer topic comes from QSFer Christine Wright: Do you address alien languages in your books? Do you write them and have a character / device translate, left it untranslated or just have everyone basically speak English or another basic human language? Or…? Join the chat

FOR READERS: Alien Terms

language - pixabay

FOR READERS Today’s reader topic comes from QSFer Christine Wright: Do you prefer a writer to stick with terms you can easily identify with or new terms for alien/fantasy items, government systems, titles etc. Writers: This is a reader chat – you are welcome to join it, but please do not reference your own works directly. Thanks! This is a legacy chat. Join the chat

QUEER HISTORY: Polari, the World’s First Gay Language


“Bona to vada your dolly old eek!” That may seem like a string of nonsense words from Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat or Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange but it’s a real-life greeting gay men in the UK would say to each other in the 1950s and 60s. It means “Good to see your nice face.” Until 1967, gay sex was illegal in England and Wales. To avoid imprisonment, gay men used Polari, a language that the Oxford English Dictionary says is “made up of Italianate phrases, rhyming slang and cant terms.” It had sprung up in the … Read more

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

Paramount Claims Copyright on the Klingon Language


Paramount is suing the makers of a crowd-funded Star Trek fan film on multiple copyright grounds. But what’s got the Trekkie world buzzing is Paramount’s claim on the Klingon language, which the defendants say cannot be copyrighted because no language can be. From the response filed by Paramount: “This argument is absurd since a language is only useful if it can be used to communicate with people, and there are no Klingons with whom to communicate,” stated a plaintiffs’ brief authored by David Grossman at Loeb & Loeb. “The Klingon language is wholly fictitious, original and copyrightable, and Defendants’ incorporation … 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

Discussion: Gay Speculative Fiction in Other Languages

Language Word Cloud

Is speculative fic (especially the LGBT variety) essentially an English language thing? Our gay Italian friends are here, and one of the LOVES sci fi, but he mostly knows it from films – many English Language sci fi books simply aren’t available in Italian. Do we need to make more of an effort to have our works translated into other languages?