Onions in the SubShafts

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Onions in the SubShafts

Post by Geoduck on Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:48 am

The topic of the moment on the feedback box so..

(SPOILERS)

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The device in SubShaft 44h recently mentioned "onion rings". Two important things to remember about the SubShafts: first: by the standards of most sentients, in and out of the strip, they/it behave very erratically and cryptically, so a lot of the time things just aren't going to make sense, even to a veteran dweller of the area. (For instance, in 44f, the other text-display gizmos always use English/Humanish) Second, via certain Arcane Means, the SubShafts have access to information and concepts that the vast majority of people in-strip do not, whether said people live in the Basement, or the wider Human-dominated society above. So, most Basement dwellers would have no idea what an onion is (and the handful that have heard of them only got it second-hand from old Human books), while most Humans have probably never heard of the concept of slicing them up and deep-frying them.

In this specific case.. as far as the 44h Device is concerned, if you go far enough in one direction you find onion rings, while in the other there are chocolate eclairs. "Left"? "Right"? "North?" "South"? How can those be used accurately with all these zarking twistpoints?

As for folks understanding "Ettinese" when it is spoken or displayed.. In-universe, I'm going with the idea that if you spend enough time in the SubShafts, and have the Right Sort of mind, you gain the ability to understand/auto-translate Ettinese when exposed to it. Crud can do it, but Chunner, being a closed-off cynic, probably can't understand it, or is far from fluent in it. (Tho he is smart enough to figure out/remember a count-down when he hears it.)

Out here in the real world.. yes, at some point over the years I've probably contradicted myself on all this. In my defense, I will note that at least some of the time, the symbols are being displayed visually, rather than spoken. It's even possible that's what's happening here, despite Crud speaking of shouting and being deaf. (similar to my previous point re: being erratic, this is Crud we're dealing with..) In future, I will attempt to stick to this method whenever possible; if the symbols don't have a speech-bubble around them, then they are visual.

As for the second style of Ettinese now appearing.. stay tuned.
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Re: Onions in the SubShafts

Post by BiggerJ on Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:27 pm

Some more info: Subshaft Ettintech clearly shows the ability to learn on their own. The Ettins probably didn't know about Humanese, but they DEFINITELY didn't know about Manglish, the evolving language based upon human writings, which has been displayed by at least one piece of Subshaft Ettintech. Manglish is new, having been created by the escaped Ettin-zoo exhibits of the Basement (keeping in mind that their shorter lifespans compared to those of humans means history gets made faster for them).

As for there being two versions of Ettinese, we may already know why they exist...

(POSSIBLE SPOILERS)

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The Ettins are based on a race of two-headed giants from Dungeons & Dragons. However, Mansionverse Ettins had only one head each. Their brains, however, lived up to the DnD stereotype, either consisting of halves that functioned more independently than the sides of our own brains, or actually existing in pairs. Because of this, the ettins had two written (and likely spoken, as recently seen) languages, one for their left-brains and one for their right-brains.

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Re: Onions in the SubShafts

Post by whitehound on Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:17 am

OK, the idea that the machine is using the same language as the Gnoll but displaying it phonetically in Ettin characters makes perfect sense, and explains the rather basic attampt at pronouncing "onion" as un-yun. You get exactly the same effect when people write modern English using Norse runes or Ogham.

[Of course, it's unlikely that they're really speaking English here, so the word would be something quite different from "onion", but we understand the theatrical convention that their own language is presented as if it was our language, and that the "un-yun" thing means that the Gnoll made a similar but different crude pronunciation of whatever the word is in his own language.]

Have you read CJ Cherryth's Chanur series, in which there is a worm-like creature (whose name I forget) which has five brains and communicates in sentences which form 5-by-5 matrices which make equal but different sense on each row and column?

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Re: Onions in the SubShafts

Post by Geoduck - Guest mode on Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:19 am

This is a test by Geoduck in Guest mode to see if this message gets posted.

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