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Ben X

Didactic Thumbs (Pedantry Corner)

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5 hours ago, Ben X said:

 

'Ret-con' is getting misused in the Blade Runner thread! Revealing something undisclosed in previous films is not a ret-con. The reveal at the end of Empire Strikes Back is not a ret-con. If that were the case, every piece of relayed information within a single film would be a ret-con! A ret-con is when the audience is asked to ignore a previously established fact, with no in-universe justification. So in Red Dwarf, where previously it was stated that Lister and Kochanski only spoke 15 words to each other in their lives, but in season 7 the writers bring her on as a regular character and decide that actually they had a full romantic relationship, that's a ret-con.

ret-cons are almost always re-interpretations of past events, usually that insert new info that changes the context or interpretation in an intentional way.  For example, Swamp Thing's origin was changed by Moore by revealing the information that the laboratory accident that created him didn't turn the human into a swamp monster, but rather imprinted a shade of his human consciousness on the swamp.  This fundamentally changed the character, but didn't properly contradict anything in the past.  It just added continuity... retroactively.

 

I haven't seen the new Blade Runner so I can't speak to that, but I am certain your interpretation of a ret-con doesn't confirm to normal usage at all.  This definition from the Google definition is pretty solid:

Quote
a piece of new information that imposes a different interpretation on previously described events, typically used to facilitate a dramatic plot shift or account for an inconsistency.

 

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Sadly, normal usage is incorrect, as it is with 'reboot' and a ton of other neologisms. That definition just doesn't make sense, as I outlined above. The example the google definition (which comes from Oxford Dictionaries, apparently) gives - "we're given a retcon for Wilf's absence from Donna's wedding in ‘The Runaway Bride’: he had Spanish Flu" - illustrates why! As I said, if you use this definition, every piece of relayed information of a narrative is a ret-con.

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10 hours ago, Ben X said:

normal usage is incorrect

 

the crux of all grammar nitpicking right here

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I was told the other day that when you say something is your forte, that's pronounced like 'fort'. But if you're saying music should be played forte, that should be pronounced 'fort-ay', because while both words come from the same latin root, the former comes to us via French while the latter comes via Italian.

 

Would people agree with this? Hoping it's wrong so I can keep pronouncing them both fort-ay!

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3 hours ago, Ben X said:

I was told the other day that when you say something is your forte, that's pronounced like 'fort'. But if you're saying music should be played forte, that should be pronounced 'fort-ay', because while both words come from the same latin root, the former comes to us via French while the latter comes via Italian.

 

Would people agree with this? Hoping it's wrong so I can keep pronouncing them both fort-ay!

 

Your reasoning is correct, but the noun version has been pronounced like the adjective version by analogy since the eighteenth century, so it's going against over two centuries of common use to insist on differentiating the two.

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I once had to go to an address in St Johns Newfoundland on Petite Forte Rd, you know "petty fort road".

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1 hour ago, Gormongous said:

 

Your reasoning is correct, but the noun version has been pronounced like the adjective version by analogy since the eighteenth century, so it's going against over two centuries of common use to insist on differentiating the two.

 

Just to reiterate, not my reasoning! So that's good to hear, I will continue to follow this modern trend :)

 

38 minutes ago, Spenny said:

I once had to go to an address in St Johns Newfoundland on Petite Forte Rd, you know "petty fort road".

 

Not sure if I'm understanding your point, but in French, 'petite' would be pronounced 'pet-eat' because of the 'e' on the end (as opposed to 'petit').

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Just an anecdote about a time I visited a french teacher in Newfoundland my man.

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Spenny, you're Canadian too, man. We both know the way Newfoundladers speak is beyond broken...

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Nothing a Newfoundlander has ever said upsets me as much as people from Calgary who insist Calgary rhymes with hairy.

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I've never heard a native Calgarian say anything other than "Cal-gree", or maybe "Cal-guh-ree" at a stretch. Everyone who rhymes it with hairy moved here later in life.

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That's funny because my experience is explicitly the opposite!

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