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  1. Wolf_22

    Wolf_22 New Member

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    Trying to understand how I should use this kind of verb...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Wolf_22, Jun 4, 2017.

    I have a sentence that describes an action that a character can perform that isn't a standard kind of action like run, jump, etc. It's a word used to describe a somewhat "proprietary" capability inherent to the kind of characters being used in the story being written, similar to a human superpower or something along those lines. For the sake of simplicity, let's assume this action word / verb is "gaette" (and pretend the word describes a thing someone can do by way of thought alone).

    So with that in mind, an example of a sentence I'm trying to write that used the above word might be as follows:

    "John Smith gaetted once, and when he did, he was able to understand the puzzle."

    My question is this: Should "gaetted" be capitalized since it describes a proprietary action inherent to the story's universe / characters / culture or is the way I wrote it above perfectly okay?
     
  2. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

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    Aside from its being invented, it looks fine.
     
  3. Wolf_22

    Wolf_22 New Member

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    Thanks and the invented part of all that was on purpose. The word will mean something to those in the story, so yes, it is basically a new word. Because of that, I wasn't sure if it should be capitalized (I was thinking a word used in that context might need to be as it reflects something specific to a cultural understanding but maybe I'm just overthinking things).

    No. :) I feel like a twat for asking about all this though! Ha. Maybe something like, "I really twatted all this up." Ha!
     
  4. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Supporter Contributor

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    Robert A. Heinlein got away with inventing the verb "grok" in Stranger In A Strange Land, and did not capitalize it. Go ahead and leave it uncapitalized.
     
  5. Dr.Meow

    Dr.Meow Contributor Contributor

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    I think it depends on what the word means. Is it something that pertains to a specific ability? Looking back at the Mistborn novel, anything that pertained to Allomancy was capitalized, and honestly, it helped me a lot to understand this was something of significance. Otherwise, there's a few places in the beginning that I would have been completely confused by. I understood immediately that it was important and probably had to do with an ability.

    P.S. @Pinkymcfiddle Bartender asks, "Hello there, what'll it be, stranger?"
     
  6. Wolf_22

    Wolf_22 New Member

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    Yes, it's an ability.
     
  7. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    2p.png

    If the verb is unique and not likely to be confused with another, more mundane action, my opinion is to leave it as is, without any sort of unusual orthography or fontography. Like the verb jaunt from the old Tomorrow People show, which was their way of saying teleport. I mean, sure, jaunt exists as a real word, but unless your book contains an effete individual who affectedly makes use of an unusual idiolect, who speaks that way in real life?

    Now, ever the devil's advocate, my story also contains people with certain meta-capabilities, but the verbs (or nouns) to describe these things are words that have a much more mundane, common use as well, for reasons of the setting, so I am using capitalization for these words to mark the distinction. For now, anyway. I am prone to change opinion on these sorts of things. :)
     
    Wolf_22 likes this.

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