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Author Topic: What's with all the apostrophes?  (Read 1601 times)

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Offline Thekherham

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What's with all the apostrophes?
« on: July 27, 2009, 03:33:17 PM »
I've been taking a tour through the science fiction section and looking at all the different alien species. I have just one question: What's with the apostrophes??? Does adding a bunch of apostrophes to a name make it alien? If the apostrophe is there for a reason then the name had better be pronounced different. If it's pronounced the same way, then there is no need for an apostrophe or two or three, is there?

I'm sorry, but that is one of my pet peeves.

If this is in the wrong section, then please move it to someplace more appropriate.
Thekherham/Kykherhenha

My name is pronounced Tee kee' rahm and my whistling dragon's name is pronounced Kich' kee ree' nah. Any other questions?

Offline manfred

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Re: What's with all the apostrophes?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2009, 04:02:54 PM »
The apostrophe thing... well, okay, it is a cliche. It looks good and kinda alien (or at least like a different language). If you are a GM/storyteller on the budget, adding one or few can make a name look different easily, preferably without unprounounceable sounds to torture your players or readers with.

Note that some of those subs do contain the preferred pronunciation. If it doesn't differ from the expected, it may be just a cultural thing, or have some different meaning, something only captured while writing.

I admit it can look silly if overdone - but hopefully most of them aren't too bad. :)

In the end though, it is the content, that is king... if you like something with a bad name, you can of course rename it.


(Moved here from the questions thread of freeform rpgs.)
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: What's with all the apostrophes?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2009, 07:47:19 PM »
I like apostrophes in small measures!
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Offline Strolen

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Re: What's with all the apostrophes?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 08:55:59 PM »
I think we should use more of these: ? § Ø ß þ ‡

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Offline Pariah

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Re: What's with all the apostrophes?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2009, 04:24:11 AM »
I've no problem with apostrophes, but I think that's because I've been inured to sounds the human throat isn't supposed to make.  Generally speaking I just read them as glottal stops.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: What's with all the apostrophes?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2009, 08:49:14 PM »
Haha, ooops, this is probably at least partially my fault. I use a lot of apostrophes in the Kel'Regar language because it is, in my mind, a very pace-and-inflection dependent language. That apostrophe in my writings is not quite a glottal stop, but a point in the word where the inflection changes as if you had just had a glottal stop, without the full stop.

Could be worse. We could be using clicks and glottal explosives...

Offline MoonHunter

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Re: What's with all the apostrophes?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 11:32:28 PM »
I too am guilty of over use of apostrophes. It takes some practice to say words with gutterals and hard pauses. I know, I had a unit on it in an Anthropology class I took.  However, since most Human Languages do not use this sound (adding the tongue click and <g> to that pile), you can make something sound non human by using them.

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Offline Pariah

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Re: What's with all the apostrophes?
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 07:51:20 PM »
What noise exactly is <g>???
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline MoonHunter

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Re: What's with all the apostrophes?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2009, 09:00:00 PM »
Old designation. I can not type the new one.  It sounds like

g-long a-r-d smooshed together.

It is a sound not used in English.
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Offline Cressida

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Re: What's with all the apostrophes?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 09:59:00 AM »
I hope necro-threading isn't frowned on here, but I just wanted to point out that this phenomenon is quite widespread.  TV Tropes even has a name for it:  the Punctuation Shaker (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PunctuationShaker).

(Warning:  I am not responsible for the consequences of people wandering over to TV Tropes and getting sucked in.)