[LMB] Language drift on Barrayar

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Tue Aug 6 20:11:18 BST 2019


Even if the original Barrayaran settlers had culturally abandoned attitudes
towards various topics which are reflected in language, their slide into
barbarity would involve the generic concerns generally familiar to
barbarians (us) in barbarian societies (21st-century Earth).  Every society
has further specifics - I'm thinking of Canadian Quebec, where Catholicism
was taken sufficiently seriously that mentioning sacred topics outside
their proper contexts was violently taboo and thus 'cursing'.  So words
like 'tabernacle' and 'chalice' became coarse oath, profanities, what have
you.

The only topic I know of that Barrayarans would have a special reaction to
is genetic mutation and physical deformity.  We already know 'mutant' is
sufficiently stigmatized that Ivan had to warn Tej about applying the word
'mutation' to language and custom changes.

Matt "biology classes must be interesting there" G.


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