Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

A linguistic (question) thread


eva.reves
 Share

Recommended Posts

(After SinisterDeath's message, I've decided that the goal of this thread will be a bigger one.)

1. In TFOH (chapter 39) we can read this sentence: 'Nynaeve saw faces as pale as that of any Andorman and as dark as that of any of the Sea Folk'


I do not want to talk about the truthfulness of this statement, I'd like to get an answer to a simple question from English speakers.


'any' means that every Andorman/Sea Folk, without exceptions, or mostly, or randomly chosen?

 

2. Sometimes it really takes out of the story when Jordan using words like 'arabesque' and similar words. I remember there was a thread on Wotmania/Theoryland, where native speakers told us that they are really bothered words (from our world) like this. Are you bothered too by 'modern' words, or is it just a minor problem, or that's not a problem for you at all.

 

3. So maybe we can use this thread talking about things like above.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That sentence is a bit unclear.

My mother is darker than me, but whenever she went to a Doctor from Sri Lanka when I was younger, she looked British by comparison.

I would look darker next to an Irishman. It is a matter of just how much people compare to others when they travel.

 

It is an unconscious way of dealing with encountering totally different environments and societies that challenge someone at a intellectual, mental and emotional level.

 

If Nyneave did not do this, she would be even worse than her worst reactions that many do not like her for.

 

We all do it, because it links us to where we are from.

 

In the real world, nations which have people from unique cultures that are flourishing find this kind of travel easier, because these cultures find similarities and differences with whichever cultures they interact with. These cultures always have customs that encourage introducing each other, and they tend to get on well, as they learn and develop.

 

In Europe, they find this kind of travel even more difficult than Nyneave did, because those nations cultures have given way to religious culture, which is vastly different, and much more combative, even within the same religions.

 

At least once she left the Two Rivers, Nyneave found more in common culturally with Lan and the Borderlands than with anyone else on her travels, because the Two Rivers maintained the cultural norms that Manetheren gave them, which is what all the real world cultures do for their people, except for Europe, North America and Australia. The UK, Canada and NZ are exceptions for this, since each is vastly different to each other. 

 

In many ways, all of the Two Rivers 5 found these links once they left on their travels in different peoples they met.

 

Rand found it with the Aiel.

Mat found it with the Ebou Dari and the Seanchan.

Perrin found it with Saldaea and the wolves.

Egwene found it with the Aes Sedai.

 

They are as unique individually from their travels, as the peoples from the UK, Canada and NZ are in relation with their closest neighbours and each other.

Edited by wotfan4472
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, "any" does not mean "every" in this context.  It means that, given the palest Andorman, there are faces she sees that are at least as pale as that, and given the darkest Sea Folk, there are faces she sees that are at least that dark.  It's a comparison to the extremes found in those peoples, at least, the extremes known to Nynaeve, and has no meaningful implication about the norms of either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/27/2021 at 1:47 PM, Elder_Haman said:

Arabesque is a type of architecture:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabesque

 

And that word for the type of architecture is not 'modern' but dates back to at least the 16th Century.

 

I believe the complaint is that the etymology of the word Arabesque is referring to a specific real world culture that has no relevance to the world of the Wheel of Time. There are no Arabs in WoT, so there is not "Arabesque" architecture that would be reminiscent of Arab culture. It'd be like describing a character in the WoT as having an Americanistic idea of personal liberty. It's jarring because there is no America or Americans in WoT.

 

I'm aware of the counter-argument here, that the word has transcended actual culture references to just describe a style, and I don't necessarily agree with the objection. But some people find it jarring. Kind of like an anachronism, but to do with culture/history rather than being out of place in time.

 

2 hours ago, Thrasymachus said:

No, "any" does not mean "every" in this context.  It means that, given the palest Andorman, there are faces she sees that are at least as pale as that, and given the darkest Sea Folk, there are faces she sees that are at least that dark.  It's a comparison to the extremes found in those peoples, at least, the extremes known to Nynaeve, and has no meaningful implication about the norms of either.

 

I actually disagree. I don't think it's a reference to the extremes within either culture. I understand it to mean that there are people who'd blend in perfectly among Andormen and people who'd blend in perfectly among the Sea Folk. Now I'm sure we can have a broader discussion about how accurate such caricaturizations are, and even before modern globalization in our world people weren't 100% isolated ethnically and geographically. But I do think Nynaeve is generalizing here, and that is the intent of what is written.

Edited by Agitel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator
14 minutes ago, Agitel said:

I believe the complaint is that the etymology of the word Arabesque is referring to a specific real world culture that has no relevance to the world of the Wheel of Time.

Okay. Fair enough. But it seems a sort of picayune complaint. Jordan was clearly using the word in the architectural sense and not as a cultural marker. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

maneuvering, apeing, flexible, hypnotize, stygian, catechism, moue, voyage, recalcitrant, unholy, preach, automatically etc. 
 

voyage - naturally, Merriam-Webster tells us the 'First Known Use of', so voyage is not really a young/modern word, but I prefer journey or even travel, because voyage feels so 'un-English'.


apeing - according to Elaida, who is often or rather always wrong, there is no such an animal, and despite what I just said I prefer mimicking, imitating.


catechism, unholy etcetc - 'Christianity' is a major part / foundation of the series, but words like this pull me out of the immersion. Did Jordan use them intentionally? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...