robardin

Would Marsh be going a bit mad in Era 2+ from language shift?

23 posts in this topic

I don't mean from his hemalurgic spikes, I mean just from having lived for over 350 years among humans, while slowly building up irritation from everybody starting to talk so badly! Not to mention elevating Spook's Eastern Street Slang into High Imperial! Never notting wasing the thinking!

Per a WoB, Marsh has extended his lifetime on Scadrial so that he's still around to interact with Marasi at the end of Alloy of Law by using the Rashek Maneuver: compounding atium, which he has because he seized KanPaar's bag as Ruin's chief pawn right before the Catacendre. For reasons as yet unexplained, Ruin had also given him a spike for F-atium, and so we have Marsh the Indefinitely Prolonged Inquisitor!

In Bands of Mourning, Marasi comments that Marsh ("Death") had an unusual accent, one unlike anything she'd heard before: no doubt a reference to the fact that Marsh's native accent is hundreds of years out of date, and nobody else would have it except maybe Harmony, if He ever wanted to put it on (Wax doesn't notice anything unusual when having his Talking With God moments in SoS and BoM).

This got me thinking about Rashek having lived for over a thousand years. As we can see from Alendi's logbook and other relics, the languages that Rashek grew up with, both Terris and Khlenni, had changed significantly so that only a Keeper could decipher them. Yet Rashek speaks perfectly understandably, though with what Vin considered an "accented voice" the first time she heard him talking.

What's that? You think someone would naturally and happily adapt to accept whatever the changes in speech patterns and vocabulary were around him? How old are you? Ha ha, I'm only serious!

Now of course, one aspect of living through hundreds upon hundreds of years - versus skipping forward as from a time capsule, or returning from a trip traveling at near-light speed - would mean that you'd continue to understand familiar languages as they changed over time. Imagine if someone from Chaucer's or Shakespeare's time were pulled forward into our era: they'd likely have a lot of trouble (at least at first), but someone who'd actually lived in England continuously for the past 600 years due to some supernatural effect would have been able to communicate continuously.

...Except for the irritation of noticing the changes in the language! I recently turned 50 years old and have children now aged 17-21, and few things make me feel older than hearing the way they talk and the slang they use or decry as outdated ("nobody says THAT to mean THAT any more!"). And despite growing up and going to schools in the exact same city and even the same neighborhood as I did at their age, there are pronunciation shifts in "regional dialect" by generation that I've noticed.

And this is something that's noticeable to me just from having lived for fifty years. What would I notice, and likely be irritated by, over 150, 350, or a thousand years?

Like, right around the time of Shakespeare was what is called The Great Vowel Shift in English, when from between 1450 and 1650, vowel sounds in all dialects of English changed dramatically. Nobody really knows why. But imagine someone from 1400 (Chaucer's time) living through that, end to end. How annoying would that be?

And that's just in terms of pronunciation: there's also changes in language use. For example, the words "awful" and "terrible" used to be much more dramatic, literally meaning "that which inspires awe/terror". You can find people complaining 150 years ago about this "new slang" to use them simply to mean "rather bad", or even as intensifiers ("how does the phrase it's not terribly good even make any SENSE?").

Heck, in the past 15-20 years I've seen that word "literally" get abused so much that it became commonly sarcastic or ironic, and finally just an intensifier. Whereas 30 years ago one might have said "it was literally freezing in my house last night!" specifically to mean that water in a cup or a pipe actually froze solid (I am not kidding!), by 15 years ago it would be understood as likely being an ironic exaggeration, and by now we've gotten to the point where the Merriam-Webster dictionary entry for "literally" literally has the meaning "virtually" as the second definition. (Like, literally literally!)

Now Rashek, he was kind of a rageaholic. It's surprising he didn't try to "freeze" the language the way he had done advances in technology and societal changes. Who knows, maybe he did to some degree, but gave up the effort of being a one man language cop after two or three lifetimes. Even possessing infinite bronzeminds and electrumminds can only go so far before you figure, I have better things to do with infinity. (Like canning food in his basement.)

My head-canon is that he knew of and used duralumin to compound Connection to help him deal with this. A man adrift in time, even a Fullborn Sliver of Infinity, would be grateful for that, right? I'm sure it's what Hoid has been doing? And he would have had access to duralumin, since Vin was able to get some made for her in WoA shortly after TLR had fallen.

But Marsh, ah, Marsh! He's no Fullborn. While he's far from a "common Inquisitor", other than being the only one left in the world, all of his powers beyond being a Seeker are indeed "endowed fabrications", as The Lord Ruler put it, via hemalurgic enhancement. And while we don't know why Ruin gave him a spike for F-atium, considering it would have required sacrificing one of a very small number of Keepers captured for that purpose, there's no way Ruin would have created a spike for F-duralumin when it was all but impossible to also create a spike for A-duralumin from a Misting gnat (it would require sacrificing a Mistborn as well!).

And so, poor Marsh has to just deal with all the people around him slowly talking funnier and funnier and using words more and more wrong to his ears.

Someone like Wayne would have fun in "going with the flow", language-wise; we see him intentionally adopt the regional/class accent "of a generation ago" to seem more paternal to the gravedigger in BoM, and he was keenly interested in "absorbing" whatever archaic accent Marsh spoke with.

But Marsh seems like a more stern and stiff type of person. He's gonna hate it after a while.

Maybe he can get TenSoon or other kandra to "talk proper" to him for old time's sake from time to time!

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Of course it drives him crazy.

 

Why do you suppose he's the last thing so many people see before they die...

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4 hours ago, robardin said:

I don't mean from his hemalurgic spikes, I mean just from having lived for over 350 years among humans, while slowly building up irritation from everybody starting to talk so badly! Not to mention elevating Spook's Eastern Street Slang into High Imperial! Never notting wasing the thinking!

Per a WoB, Marsh has extended his lifetime on Scadrial so that he's still around to interact with Marasi at the end of Alloy of Law by using the Rashek Maneuver: compounding atium, which he has because he seized KanPaar's bag as Ruin's chief pawn right before the Catacendre. For reasons as yet unexplained, Ruin had also given him a spike for F-atium, and so we have Marsh the Indefinitely Prolonged Inquisitor!

In Bands of Mourning, Marasi comments that Marsh ("Death") had an unusual accent, one unlike anything she'd heard before: no doubt a reference to the fact that Marsh's native accent is hundreds of years out of date, and nobody else would have it except maybe Harmony, if He ever wanted to put it on (Wax doesn't notice anything unusual when having his Talking With God moments in SoS and BoM).

This got me thinking about Rashek having lived for over a thousand years. As we can see from Alendi's logbook and other relics, the languages that Rashek grew up with, both Terris and Khlenni, had changed significantly so that only a Keeper could decipher them. Yet Rashek speaks perfectly understandably, though with what Vin considered an "accented voice" the first time she heard him talking.

What's that? You think someone would naturally and happily adapt to accept whatever the changes in speech patterns and vocabulary were around him? How old are you? Ha ha, I'm only serious!

Now of course, one aspect of living through hundreds upon hundreds of years - versus skipping forward as from a time capsule, or returning from a trip traveling at near-light speed - would mean that you'd continue to understand familiar languages as they changed over time. Imagine if someone from Chaucer's or Shakespeare's time were pulled forward into our era: they'd likely have a lot of trouble (at least at first), but someone who'd actually lived in England continuously for the past 600 years due to some supernatural effect would have been able to communicate continuously.

...Except for the irritation of noticing the changes in the language! I recently turned 50 years old and have children now aged 17-21, and few things make me feel older than hearing the way they talk and the slang they use or decry as outdated ("nobody says THAT to mean THAT any more!"). And despite growing up and going to schools in the exact same city and even the same neighborhood as I did at their age, there are pronunciation shifts in "regional dialect" by generation that I've noticed.

And this is something that's noticeable to me just from having lived for fifty years. What would I notice, and likely be irritated by, over 150, 350, or a thousand years?

Like, right around the time of Shakespeare was what is called The Great Vowel Shift in English, when from between 1450 and 1650, vowel sounds in all dialects of English changed dramatically. Nobody really knows why. But imagine someone from 1400 (Chaucer's time) living through that, end to end. How annoying would that be?

And that's just in terms of pronunciation: there's also changes in language use. For example, the words "awful" and "terrible" used to be much more dramatic, literally meaning "that which inspires awe/terror". You can find people complaining 150 years ago about this "new slang" to use them simply to mean "rather bad", or even as intensifiers ("how does the phrase it's not terribly good even make any SENSE?").

Heck, in the past 15-20 years I've seen that word "literally" get abused so much that it became commonly sarcastic or ironic, and finally just an intensifier. Whereas 30 years ago one might have said "it was literally freezing in my house last night!" specifically to mean that water in a cup or a pipe actually froze solid (I am not kidding!), by 15 years ago it would be understood as likely being an ironic exaggeration, and by now we've gotten to the point where the Merriam-Webster dictionary entry for "literally" literally has the meaning "virtually" as the second definition. (Like, literally literally!)

Now Rashek, he was kind of a rageaholic. It's surprising he didn't try to "freeze" the language the way he had done advances in technology and societal changes. Who knows, maybe he did to some degree, but gave up the effort of being a one man language cop after two or three lifetimes. Even possessing infinite bronzeminds and electrumminds can only go so far before you figure, I have better things to do with infinity. (Like canning food in his basement.)

My head-canon is that he knew of and used duralumin to compound Connection to help him deal with this. A man adrift in time, even a Fullborn Sliver of Infinity, would be grateful for that, right? I'm sure it's what Hoid has been doing? And he would have had access to duralumin, since Vin was able to get some made for her in WoA shortly after TLR had fallen.

But Marsh, ah, Marsh! He's no Fullborn. While he's far from a "common Inquisitor", other than being the only one left in the world, all of his powers beyond being a Seeker are indeed "endowed fabrications", as The Lord Ruler put it, via hemalurgic enhancement. And while we don't know why Ruin gave him a spike for F-atium, considering it would have required sacrificing one of a very small number of Keepers captured for that purpose, there's no way Ruin would have created a spike for F-duralumin when it was all but impossible to also create a spike for A-duralumin from a Misting gnat (it would require sacrificing a Mistborn as well!).

And so, poor Marsh has to just deal with all the people around him slowly talking funnier and funnier and using words more and more wrong to his ears.

Someone like Wayne would have fun in "going with the flow", language-wise; we see him intentionally adopt the regional/class accent "of a generation ago" to seem more paternal to the gravedigger in BoM, and he was keenly interested in "absorbing" whatever archaic accent Marsh spoke with.

But Marsh seems like a more stern and stiff type of person. He's gonna hate it after a while.

Maybe he can get TenSoon or other kandra to "talk proper" to him for old time's sake from time to time!

You think Marsh has problems?

Kelsier (upon returning North): “I spend a few decades in the South and they completely Ruin the language?!”

Note that most of the people who survived were common Skaa. Despite his claims otherwise, Kelsier spent most of his time among the nobility. That means he likely never lost his noble accent, a difference exacerbated  by his time in the South. Separated from other Northern speakers likely led to his original High Noble accent returning in full, with some possible syntactic and dialectic alterations caused by extensive use of the Southern language. Also some extra-Scadrian adulteration. By the time he returned North, Kelsier was likely speaking a completely different dialect of Skaa.

Marsh, at least, spoke something a lot closer to the base dialect to begin with and didn’t miss the first 70 odd years of its development. The fact that his little brother has more trouble with the language than he does likely goes a long way toward ameliorating his distaste for the linguistic shifts.

Edited by Kingsdaughter613
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Just now, Kingsdaughter613 said:

You think Marsh has problems?

Kelsier (upon returning North): “I spend a few decades in the South and they completely Ruin the language?!”

Note that most of the people who survived were common Skaa. Despite his claims otherwise, Kelsier spent most of his time among the nobility. That means he likely never lost his noble accent, a difference exacerbated  by his time in the South. Separated from other Northern speakers likely led to his original High Noble accent returning in full, with some possible syntactic and dialectic alterations caused by extensive use of the Southern language. Also some extra-Scadrian adulteration. By the time he returned North, Kelsier was likely speaking a completely different dialect of Skaa.

Marsh, at least, spoke something a lot closer to the base dialect to begin with and didn’t miss the first 70 odd years of its development. The fact that his little brother has more trouble with the language than he does likely goes along way toward ameliorating his distaste for the linguistic shifts.

That just means that murdering people who use language badly is "doing my brother's work".

See, it turns out that Wax's uncle and his hooligans are all jive turkeys, and the Life-Death Brothers aren't having any of it.

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3 minutes ago, Aliroz-The-Confused said:

That just means that murdering people who use language badly is "doing my brother's work".

See, it turns out that Wax's uncle and his hooligans are all jive turkeys, and the Life-Death Brothers aren't having any of it.

Kelsier: I find it rather amusing that I’m Life and you’re Death.

Marsh: Because you’re the murderous psychopath and I’m not?

Kelsier: I was going to say because I died and you didn’t, but that works too.

Marsh was speaking from the POV of Survivorist theology, not his own opinions. Apparently he’s of mixed minds on the ‘murdering people for poor linguistic abilities’ thing.

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That was a fun analysis and some good food for thought!

30 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Kelsier: I find it rather amusing that I’m Life and you’re Death.

Marsh: Because you’re the murderous psychopath and I’m not?

Kelsier: I was going to say because I died and you didn’t, but that works too.

Marsh: I did die once, but the God Beyond works in mysterious ways. Which would also explain you.

Edited by Weltall
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Just now, Weltall said:

Marsh: I did die once, but the God Beyond works in mysterious ways. Which would also explain you.

Kelsier: No, Brandon changed his mind so you were never dead. Good thing too, or I would have had to kill him, which might have caused some problems.

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Don't give him ideas, Kelsier does so like the idea of punching gods in the face...

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1 minute ago, Weltall said:

Don't give him ideas, Kelsier does so like the idea of punching gods in the face...

Kelsier does not believe in the God Beyond... mostly. He does in the sense that he wants to believe something’s Beyond, but he doesn’t actually think there is.

He is, however, well aware of Brandon’s existence. And has threatened him on occasion (probably).

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6 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Kelsier does not believe in the God Beyond... mostly. He does in the sense that he wants to believe something’s Beyond, but he doesn’t actually think there is.

He is, however, well aware of Brandon’s existence. And has threatened him on occasion (probably).

Well, if Brandon dies becasue of brain complications we know who to blame

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1 hour ago, Frustration said:

Well, if Brandon dies becasue of brain complications we know who to blame

One with a perfect alibi. I doubt Kell would do it though; he needs Brandon to write his story.

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I also like to imagine somebody trying to impress Death with their knowledge of High Imperial, figuring this ancient mode of speech from the days of the Lord Mistborn would surely be a familiar comfort to an ancient being such as he.

"Death! The Last Inquisitor! Umm.... Notting wasing the expecting of the meeting! Wasing I the doing of nothing! Is that right? Notting wasing I the doing of anything? PLEASE!"

"*deep sigh* Not again."

 

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59 minutes ago, robardin said:

I also like to imagine somebody trying to impress Death with their knowledge of High Imperial, figuring this ancient mode of speech from the days of the Lord Mistborn would surely be a familiar comfort to an ancient being such as he.

"Death! The Last Inquisitor! Umm.... Notting wasing the expecting of the meeting! Wasing I the doing of nothing! Is that right? Notting wasing I the doing of anything? PLEASE!"

"*deep sigh* Not again."

 

Kelsier, however, LOVES it when people do this.

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Fifty four years old, and I will simply say I completely agree and sympathize- both with you and with Marsh.

I routinely ask for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change when I listen to younger folks speak.  Even professionals, paid to speak on TV or radio, are starting to sound semiliterate to me.

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I now imagine old man Marsh "these darn  kids and their funny way of talking!"

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54 minutes ago, StanLemon said:

I now imagine old man Marsh "these darn  kids and their funny way of talking!"

Kelsier: (in a High Noble accent completely inexplicable to modern Scadrians) Finally! Something we agree on.

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He probably ended up accepting language changed with time after a century or two

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28 minutes ago, mathiau said:

He probably ended up accepting language changed with time after a century or two

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t annoy him.

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I reiterate. "These darn kids and their funny way of talking!" ~Old Man Marsh...probably

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2 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t annoy him.

Didn't mean accept in a 'I know it will happen' way, I meant becoming fine with it

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29 minutes ago, mathiau said:

Didn't mean accept in a 'I know it will happen' way, I meant becoming fine with it

I think Marsh likes being annoyed. It’s his grumpy old man thing. Y’know, where he grumbles about everything, but secretly likes it?

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1 hour ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

I think Marsh likes being annoyed. It’s his grumpy old man thing. Y’know, where he grumbles about everything, but secretly likes it?

I could see him do that^^

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