Saturday, February 19, 2011

Made-up words

Been meaning to do this for a while - I've just uploaded a wordlist for Song of Scarabaeus to my website.

I tend to get a little disheartened to find a glossary in the back of novels. Even worse, a cast of characters, which is just a warning there are too many to keep track of. So I'm glad this list doesn't appear in my book. I would hope that the words I use are either self-explanatory in context or that I give sufficient explanation. This is just for reference.

It seems the words fall into four categories:

Words that sound made-up but aren't (lag, shiv, slater)

Real words that I've appropriated or redefined - consider them futuristic mutations (such as spur, drub, leash, the Reach)

Classic sci-fi words that someone else made up, or made up something similar (gravplating, magkey, nodespace, wet-teck, medfac)

Invented words (biocyph, nanofinds, neuroxin)

3 comments:

twelvedaysold said...

I loved the sciencey words in SoS. You're right, they were very self-explanatory!

Tez Miller said...

I love glossaries - they make me feel less stupid ;-) If I don't understand something, I just look it up, and then I know!

Mardel said...

I totally agree with the dread of seeing a cast of characters....but I don't agree with the glossary thing. There's been so many times that I've wished for a list of meanings somewhere in a novel I'm reading. OR, sometimes an author uses say...French phrases peppered throughout a book and I don't know what the characters are saying. Other times it's Spanish, which is easier for me to figure out.

Basically though, I do wish if an author were using many words that are either made up or another language that they would include a glossary. It's helpful, and it's fun sometimes to learn (for the moment anyway - as long as the meaning stays in my fleeting memory bank - lol)a few words here and there.

Thanks for posting a list on your website - although I also agree that in Song of Scarabaeus, the words were easy to figure out...I think. I might have understood some wrong... :)