WORDS ARE KING to writers - THEY ARE OUR #1 PRIORITY!

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krastev
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Fri May 15, 2020 4:44 pm Post

Floss wrote:
krastev wrote:
Floss wrote:please don,t do that.

Star Trek's Klingon, Avatar's Na'vi, Lord of the Rings' Quenya, Sindarin...
So why not?

two of those are tv/movie settings where the created languages are designed to flit by in a few moments and are never actually dwelled upon or intended to be understood. the actor conveys the meaning through emotion, but it,s either meant to be glossed over, or it,s translated via subtitles/actual liveaction translation.

if you look at lotr -- how many made up words actually are there. names, sure. places, obviously. but you have to do a fair bit of reading to find them.

i,d have been more impressed if you,d used the examples of lewis carroll or the absolutely delightful walter moers, but again, with the exception of the very short work of jabberwocky, how many new words did they actually use between them, and how frequently were they deployed.

let,s do some maths on the scenario proposed by our young hero. let,s conservatively say that thousands of new words means two thousand -- the smallest number that logically fits that description. in a 50,000 word novel , assuming the words are actually used -- otherwise why bother -- that means at least 1 word in every 25 is made up. let,s say that each word is used at least twice -- again otherwise why bother inventing a word, and my scrivener stats on word frequency say that 3-6x is pretty standard for the more obscure words in a novel length manuscript so 2x is conservative... that means that actually 1 in every 12ish words is made up. that,s roughly 1 a sentence.

how tiring would that book be to read.

go back and compare that to lotr -- how many sentences do you go through before you come to an invented word that isn,t a place or character name. let,s make it easier... how many pages. or is it actually chapters.

my advice -- don,t do it. it,s a lot of effort for something that you,re bound to overuse. just write in the language your reader speaks. after you,ve finished your first draft, if you still think that the manuscript would be improved with some colourful elements then go back and tastefully add.

unless you, re walter moers

##

tl;dr -- please don,t do that


Your personal opinion is totally irrelevant. You may not enjoy it and/or find it difficult to read but that's just you. Some people love it. Let the OP write what his heart desire.
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kewms
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Fri May 15, 2020 5:11 pm Post

Well, Tolkien was a trained linguist, so probably more capable of inventing coherent languages than many of the people who have attempted it. And he *still* inflicted pages and pages of bad Elvish poetry on his readers. I love LOTR, but there are definitely parts that would have benefited from a more skeptical editor.

With that said, the wisdom of the OP's idea really isn't relevant to his suggestion, and there's no need to critique it in this thread.

On the other hand, adding tools capable of managing thousands of invented words would certainly be a large and challenging task, and probably only of interest to a relatively small number of users. The OP might be wise to consider other tools rather than waiting for Scrivener to implement this.

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Floss
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Fri May 15, 2020 5:56 pm Post

krastev wrote:Your personal opinion is totally irrelevant.
i,m sure you,re right.
thank you for correcting me.
i am happy to give feedback on short passages.

be warned, though. my feedback can be blunt... always well intentioned and aimed at helping you improve, but possibly more honest than you are used to.

as such, i will only chip in if directly invited.

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Fri May 15, 2020 6:08 pm Post

kewms wrote:The OP might be wise to consider other tools rather than waiting for Scrivener to implement this.

Or just create glossaries as Scrivener documents and spell-check them, pressing Alt-A to add as needed. And recognize that no grammar checker will process all that custom lingo. Course preemptively and categorically battling away suggestions conveys they'd fain lament the darkness with illumination at hand.

Rgds - Jerome

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auxbuss
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Fri May 15, 2020 7:44 pm Post

Throwing Riddley Walker into the mix.

ta
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Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:03 pm Post

Found this while doing a search for "how best to create/manage glossaries in a project".

While I tend to agree that the excessive use of invented language/words can become a bit of a vice for a writer, there is the question of uncommon technical terms that need definition within a work. Nearly every trade/profession/field has its own terms, and sometimes those terms are the same words used by others for totally different purposes and meanings.

Being able to build a glossary for these specialized terms in order to clarify precisely what the author means would not be a totally useless and edge-case function within a piece of software like Scrivener. For someone doing technical writing, I dare say it would be an essential feature, along with "build index".

I'm at least trying to figure out how best to structure what I'm writing in order to make export to an actual DTP program as simple as possible, and I'm not finding any "best practices" anywhere in the manual. Also, not having a hell of a lot of luck finding much that is on-center here in the forums. If anyone has the time and the experience with these issues, I'd appreciate them chiming in...

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kewms
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Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:18 pm Post

If I needed a glossary, I would use a Glossary sub-folder in my Binder and add one document to it for each term. That should be completely adequate for up to a few dozen terms. For hundreds or thousands, you might want a specialized dictionary tool.

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lunk
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Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:18 pm Post

Nobbo wrote:I am creating a whole universe with several THOUSAND non-standard words:
- - -
This rings true for EVERY writer out there - fiction or non-fiction. New words and specialist jargon is rife in everything, as are proper nouns.

No, very few writers create thousands of specialist words. Most probably doesn’t produce any new words at all. Words are our #1 priority, but existing words, not new, because the readers only know existing words.
What’s the point of using words that the reader doesn’t understand?
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devinganger
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Tue Apr 13, 2021 11:19 pm Post

lunk wrote:What’s the point of using words that the reader doesn’t understand?


I see your point and raise you Neal Stephenson's "Anathem."
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kewms
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Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:26 am Post

devinganger wrote:
lunk wrote:What’s the point of using words that the reader doesn’t understand?


I see your point and raise you Neal Stephenson's "Anathem."


I've read it. The Glossary runs 20 pages, at about 10-12 words per page. So a few hundred words, not thousands. Most of which were sufficiently understandable from context.

FWIW, most writers are not Neal Stephenson, and even he IMO is sometimes a bit overly casual with the reader's attention.

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devinganger
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Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:10 am Post

kewms wrote:FWIW, most writers are not Neal Stephenson, and even he IMO is sometimes a bit overly casual with the reader's attention.


True, but that wasn't the point Lunk seemed to be trying to make. Taken to its logical conclusion, "What’s the point of using words that the reader doesn’t understand?" takes us to a very dull, drab place where the only words that can be used are those of the lowest common denominator.

It's one thing to have a nice discussion about how many new/niche words is appropriate for a given work, how much they affect the ability (and willingness) of a new reader to tease out the meaning. It's an entirely different thing to attack the use of new words as a general practice (as Lunk's question appeared to be doing) and doing so ignores the whole nature of language, which is that words have meaning that is agreed upon and shifts, and that people learn new words and new connotations and meaning of words as they morph.

At one point, "grok" was a made-up word. "Tintinabulation" was a made-up word. At one point, nobody knew what those words meant except for the person first using them. If our corporeal bodies are made of star-stuff, our verbal bodies are likewise new combinations.
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lunk
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Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:57 am Post

devinganger wrote:It's an entirely different thing to attack the use of new words as a general practice (as Lunk's question appeared to be doing)

I didn’t.
I have been teaching at university level for over 35 years and teaching the students a new, professional vocabulary is a part of that. But storytelling is different. If you tell someone a story or a joke, introducing lots of new words will shift focus from the content to trying to understand what you are trying to tell. Writing a novel in English but having all dialogue in French, Chinese or Swahili, will probably make most readers drop the book.

Introducing new words, for things yet unheard of, is common in fantasy and s-f, but more or less inventing a new language and using it extensively in a novel, will most likely reduce your potential number of readers to a minimum, or even zero.
My point is that Scrivener is not built for helping a few persons to invent their own personal language, but to tell stories, of different kinds.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
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auxbuss
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Wed Apr 14, 2021 10:40 am Post

devinganger wrote:I see your point and raise you Neal Stephenson's "Anathem."
Mention of Anathem always brings to mind its top review on Goodreads – and it's pertinent in this case,
I think that Neal Stephenson is very intelligent and a terrific writer. That said, I found all the made-up googlies in this snarfle, really boinged my thnoode. Surely there is a slankier way of telling us that we are reading about another zoof than to make up every other googly. It made it very difficult to forkle the snarfle and I put it down after only 80 ziffies. This will not stop me from attempting the next Neal Stephenson snarfle, however.
Then, of course, there's the magnificent Jabberwocky, which shows how it can be done, albeit in a poem.

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Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:26 am Post

Gruenbgle juvita non-hysapjaic chiverisanmoblic.

Rovenerri sechha vorbitel hencjellin fokemadvit.

IMO, of course.

Merx

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Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:33 pm Post

Then, of course, there's the magnificent Jabberwocky, which shows how it can be done, albeit in a poem.


That's how you know you've done it right, when your invented words become canon and then entries into the OED. Shakespeare was first out the gate, in this regard. I think he's number one, still, and Lewis Carroll was only a distant second.

Of course, in his day, there waren't any dictionaries or agreed-upon spellings; 'twas the literal Wild West of ye olde Englishe language, and the lexicographers were following other languages down dark alleyways, knocking them over the head, and then rifling through their pockets for good vocabulary...

it's just too bad they didn't steal consistency and phonetic spelling from one of the ones like Icelandic or Polish, though. At least, that's my humble opinion.