1. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    Why you should always check words you "made up."

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by E. C. Scrubb, Jul 26, 2012.

    This post is part confession, part humor, part "learn from someone else's mistakes."

    So I'm starting a new story. It's been one that's been bouncing around in my brain for a couple years now, but has never really gotten off the ground until a couple days ago.

    Writing the first paragraph, I got a bit of a surge and pushed on, just making up words as titles for a few things. Tonight, I decided that it might be a good idea to do a quick check on the words - just to see if something close to that has ever been used.

    Here's what I found:

    For "king" I used "Salope." I thought I made it up. I swear I made it up. Maybe it's just coincidence, but when I searched on Google (those who know French - you're already laughing, aren't you?), here is what I found: (warning, bad language follows)



    salope nf. bitch

    ***
    'salope' also found in translations in English-French dictionary:
    slutty n. salope

    skank n. pouffiasse ; salope ; traînée

    slutty adj. délurée ; vulgairement sexy ; de salope

    real bitch n. vraie salope

    (THIS ENTRY REMOVED BECAUSE IT PROBABLY VIOLATES TOS)

    muck up v. bousiller ; saloper ; gâcher

    ____

    What lesson did I learn? NEVER trust that I just "made up" a word. Either someone else has already made it up, or I've ran across it somewhere. Has this happened to anyone else?
     
  2. DomTheDoxx
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    DomTheDoxx Member

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    I don't usually make up titles for characters in my book. Even so, considering that salope has a different meaning in french, i don't think it really matters, you should still use it.
    There are a lot of words in different languages that which are "curse words" but have different meanings in another language which is completely unrelated.
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I remember the time I made up a name for a character. The name was 'Harridan', and for the longest time, I thought I was epic for coming up with such a bizarre name...until I went online and learnt that it meant crabby old lady, and it has been in usage since the days of Mark Twain.

    But hey, now I've learnt a swear word in French! xD
     
  4. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Salope Antoinette - has a certain ring to it.
     
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  5. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have the same philosophy for the names of my characters -- I always want to make sure the name I thought I made up out of thin air isn't actually someone I heard about on television or read about in a news article somewhere. So I always run them through google, as well. (Usually there are a bunch of people with the name, but as long as they're not famous, I don't worry about it.)
     
  6. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    Just goes to show that you never know what's bouncing around in your subconscious. That's a funny story though, as soon as I saw the word I chuckled.
     
  7. inkdweller
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    inkdweller Member

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    Lol, doesn't it though?

    When I was very young I drew a porcupine thing and named it the n-word. Well, not exactly, but close enough to be offensive. As you can imagine I was quickly brought up to speed.
    I always google things, even words or titles purely based off of common English, just to make sure it doesn't coincide too much with something that has a bad connotation or has been used too famously before.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, a dictionary wouldn't have helped me, and perhaps Google might not have either. Once, I decided I'd called a patch of woods in my fantasy world the "Ring Wood" - I know, not exactly a made-up name but whatever, I thought it sounded kinda cool, y'know?

    And then I was telling my friend about it.

    I said, "My character goes into Ring Wood..."
    "Huh? I used to live there!"

    :rolleyes:

    But then again, it's not as epic as Terry Goodkind, since he's actually published and wrote like 12 books or something - his female MC (who lives in a fantasy world, btw) is from the Midlands xD For the non-British out there, that's an actual region in England!
     
  9. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol it does if you rather dislike opulent tyranny.
     
  10. Jamie Senopole
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    Jamie Senopole Member

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    You all are so right! Words that you "think" you made up have probably been sitting in your subconscious for a while, not even realizing that you came up with it because you've already seen it or heard it before! That reminds me of what I learned in a psychology class. When you dream of people or faces that may seem like a stranger to you in your waking life, is actually a face you have passed by at some point in your life. Supposedly, your brain collects images, even when you don't think you're paying attention. So it seems as though that is the case with words too!
     
  11. mickaneso
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    mickaneso Member

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    When I was a kid I used to make up stories using my action figures, and like anyone who aspires to be a fantasy fiction writer I had a natural passion for world building. I made up tons and tons of fantasy lands. One of them dubbed "San Francisco". Now I'm Irish, so I had no idea that such a place actually existed, so you can imagine my surprise as I heard the name referenced on my moms weekly soap fix. "Holy shit! I have some freakish gift of coming up with places that exist". Funny thing is, 10 years or so later (again I must stress that I am Irish.. as in Ireland) I found the love of my life. Who happened to be from where I hear you ask?

    The reality was even more magical than the fantasy (cheese levels have reached maximum capacity).


    Oh.. though my point was it's funny what our subconscious can pick up.
     
  12. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    This reminds me of my dad and his blunders. When he was stationed in Germany we went to a church off base for Americans. However a few Germans also attended. I guess to work on their English? I don't know. They were darling people though and a few "adopted" us as family.

    In any case, one night my dad made his normal statement that he made when it was time to leave someplace by announcing "I guess it's time to round up the ankle snappers and go".

    Our "aunt" Johannah became offended and told him not to call his children that. Dad was confused. He always called us that. Apparently, in German (at least in Bavarian German dialect) the term snapper is a derogatory term for a penis. Not sure if the spelling is the same. However the pronunciation is close enough to make a little old German lady spazz.
     
  13. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    BFGuru,

    Absolutely hilarious. Of course, if we heading towards talking about churches and minister slips and mess-ups, (Okay, we're not, but I wanted to include this!) Go search for "Blake's Big Mistake."

    I couldn't stop laughing. Poor guy.
     
  14. I Am Vague
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    I Am Vague Active Member

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    A story I've been working on involves two different worlds. The dominant one was Reticulum based on the Reticle constellation, and the second was going to be a sort of kinda twin kinda not name. So, being the smart GUY i was, I picked Speculum thinking of spectacle, like a piece of glass to lookety look through. I don't know if guys where everyone else is from learn this on their own or not, but, you know, Being a GUY, I personally was never brought up to know what a speculum really was >.> Needless to say when i found out, I was like... "whaaaat?"

    I've never changed anything in my writing faster. XD
     
  15. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    Is this the video about the youth pastor preaching about pitching tents? I died laughing watching that. However, with a dad who is/was (retired) pastor...who also has a speech impediment...I have tales. In fact...make a thread and I will add to it. My dad has offered much comedic relief and many moments where we have held our laughter together just long enough to run home and fall on the floor. It normally ended with him being angry at us because we wouldn't stop laughing at him, but boy, oh boy...the memories.

    Off to find the video.


    Edit. Yes it is. This warrants my annual repost to face book. I cackle ever time I see it.
     
  16. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    Oh Lord, What I wouldn't give to hear some of those stories!
     
  17. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    Me thinks the Lounge is a good place for that discussion.
     
  18. tinyplanets
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    tinyplanets Member

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    Some really funny stories here.

    I often accidently make up words in general conversation. Perhaps they are not as made up as I assume and I have embarrassed myself on occasion:redface:

    Oh well, ignorance is bliss.
     
  19. Quabajazzi
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    Quabajazzi Member

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    You're all probably going to laugh at me, but when I was 10 and was making up character names after reading some book, I thought I'd created Miriam and Lyla. Tut tut Then I found the internet.
     

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