The Day After, Conventions, and Linguistic Subconscious

The morning after Day 40, and the atmosphere in my office is totally transformed. So peaceful, so quiet, so serene. ‘Course there’s hardly anyone here, but even so, it’s like a benevolent wind came and whisked away all the tension and anxiety and stress, leaving everyone blinking and grinning.

Although I am a little scared to open up my to-do list or bring up all the emails I’ve flagged as “needs response.”

In other news, I got my official guest approval letter from Dragon*Con the other day. I’ll again be wearing multiple hats at D*C this year. And OutlantaCon begins today. I’ll be at the opening ceremonies tonight. Hope to see folks there!

   


Writing Stuff

Haven’t had much time for writing these last couple days—a situation which is greatly alleviated now—so only managed something like 300 new words on “Rampion.” Did have an amusing instance of subconscious serendipity though.

I like for the names I give my characters to be somehow meaningful to their nature or their role in the story. I often spend far too long researching etymologies and the meaning of names to find just the right one, although I also sometimes just use whatever strikes my fancy at the time.

In my current WiP, I have a character who is obsessive, driven to assuage an unappeasable intellectual hunger, and I came to the point of “he needs a name now” while in the middle of some good writing flow. So I didn’t want to pause to do my usual name deliberation. Often in circumstances like that, I just stick in “XXXX” and go back later and do a Find–>Replace on the appropriate holder text. But this time, the name “Esur” popped into my head, and it felt right. So Esur he became.

This morning, while I was groping for a synonym for “hungry,” thesaurus.com offered me “esurient.”

“Wha—?” sez I.

My vocabulary is fairly respectable, at least so sayeth all the standardized tests I’ve taken in my life, but this was a new word for me. Hopped out to etymonline.com and discovered that it’s from the Latin esurientem, the present participle of esurire, “to be hungry.”

Huh.

My Latin is nonexistent (to my enduring regret, I listened to my mother and took Russian in high school instead of Latin). So was this a cosmic coincidence or some odd linguistic quirk of my subconscious? I’m going with quirk. It’s cooler.

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7 Responses to The Day After, Conventions, and Linguistic Subconscious

  1. neo_prodigy says:

    see you outlantacon

  2. ceciliatan says:

    See you at outlantacon!

  3. j_cheney says:

    I’ve had that sort of thing happen. It’s definietly the subconscious ;o)

    • scyllacat says:

      Agreed completely

      I remember in roleplaying really loving it when the character actualized–when her actions became predictably integrated, and personality quirks popped up like dandelions after the rain. Very organic. I see the naming as being a similar thing.

      Also, I think choosing your foreign language in high school is one of the most difficult and likely-to-turn-out wrong decisions. I studied Latin and German for medicine and wish I’d studied Russian and Spanish because I actually know people who speak those languages.

      And even though I work with medical terminology now and took Latin then, I’ve never heard “esurient” until now. I think I’ll love it and pet it and squeeze it and introduce it randomly in conversation.

  4. yukinooruoni says:

    I got my official rejection letter! :D

    Hrm … I have a good book of Latin insults somewhere. I’ll have to find it for you. It makes for really interesting reading!

  5. pellucidae says:

    Monty Python pays off

    I know the word “esurient” from the Cheese Shop sketch!

  6. jmward14 says:

    Hope to see you at DragonCon. We always seem to miss each other. Sometimes I think I socialized more as a reporter than as a guest.

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