Wednesday April 23rd, 2014

The exercise:

Write something about the intricacies of: language.

Blame Greg.

Or me, I suppose. If, you know, you want to be all accurate and stuff.

Got some more work done in the garden today. Still totally behind. Forecast of rain tomorrow morning and my last shift at the gym tomorrow night are not helping matters.


The English language is cluttered with words and phrases that mean utterly different things to different people. Some of the confusion comes from location, some from culture. More than a few definitions are only known among a small circle of friends.

I'm well aware of this. But there are times that I forget.

Case in point: yesterday's post, wherein I said in reference to a hockey team that I hoped "... the rest will do them some good and the rust won't be too bad when they eventually get back on the ice for their next meaningful game."

The key word here is rust. Now, the idea of athletes suffering the ill effects of an extended layoff between games is something that's been in my general awareness for years. It didn't even occur to me that someone would consider it an odd phrase, yet there Greg was in the comments wondering what I'd been smoking.

Anyway, the basic idea is this: some rest between games is good. Too much can cause issues, as athletes have trouble getting back up to game speed after days of low intensity practices and general lack of serious competition. Especially when their next opponent has had no such lull between contests.

I hope that clears things up, and I shall try to be more aware of my words in the future.

Although to be honest, I'm not sure that I really want to. Because the idea of rusty hockey players, the image that puts in my head, just cries out for a corresponding story...


Greg said...

Heh, I've heard of skills getting rusty before, but that's usually because there's no practise going on, so the idea of ice-hockey players getting rusty didn't really fit into that. But thank-you for clearing it up. Like you, though, I'm sticking the idea of an actually rusty ice-hockey player :)

Odnose B. An ancient, dead language that has been proven to be horrible-sounding enough that it makes its speakers eventually commit suicide, and does unpleasant things to human vocal chords over a period of time. There are a couple of theories, but they're not really academic that it's not a human language and that it was only spoken because of the necessity of speaking to non-humans, but there's no proof of that. What there is proof of is that the man they call the Tailor definitely has access to someone, or some organisation, that is teaching people to speak Odnose B and using them as a means of secret communication.
Martin shrugged his jacket higher around his neck, but it fell back again and the snowflakes continuing melting as they struck the back of his neck. Klaus was dead, and although he'd been outed as a double-agent he'd still been a partner. The raw newness of his death, and the shock of the betrayal had left Martin feeling as cold as the weather. His breath condensed in the air in front of him, and he had to stop himself from kicking Klaus's corpse. The police would be unhappy that he'd disturbed their crime scene.
"Martin?" The voice came from behind him, and he half-turned. When he saw that it was Stephanie he turned fully. Her face was carefully neutral. "We have a radio transmission," she said.
Martin gestured at Klaus, but he didn't have any suitable words. She looked down at him and her lips twisted in digust.
"The transmission is in Odnose B," she said. "We're recording it, but obviously no-one can listen to it for longer than a few seconds at a time, so it'll take a while to translate. At the moment though... we think it's a numbers station."
"So what?"
"So you know the Tailo–"
"We knew the Tailor." His voice was flat, empty. It seemed as though Klaus might have know the Tailor a lot better than he'd realised; how much of what he thought was true was now misinformation?
"Well, only one of you can carry on hunting for him now."
Martin tried to pull the collar of his jacket up higher again against the snow. It was getting heavier.

David said...

I lost you. I can only say it so many times. I regret. But I lost you. Fifteen times I say it. But I could not be the guy who told you what you want to hear. Words mean something to you. They mean something to me. They seem to mean different things. I understood what you said. I just do not understand why you would say it. Why. I regret. I wish I could have a place all to my own. That is regret. You just. Just did it for me. But then you say, “Please let me go.” It burns me. It is inside of me. Why would you say those words? I saw you there. You were with another. A bizarre lil triangle. You, him, and me from afar. Does this happen all of the time? I am not that kind of guy. I lost you. I lost you. I’ve lost you. I’ve lost you. I’ve lost you. I need to get used to this. This new order.

Marc said...

Greg - wonderfully atmospheric take on the prompt. Really enjoyed where you went with that, though I'd be even more pleased if you chose to continue it on just a little longer :)

David - that's almost hypnotic at times. I can really feel the despair of your narrator, as you've managed to express it strongly but without overdoing it. Some very nice work here, as usual :)

Greg said...

Well, here's everything I've written on this theme so far. It's in reverse date order, sadly, so you'll have to start at the bottom and work your way up, and the first one way really just getting the idea down, so feel free to ignore it :)