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Re: Swearing in other cultures (was and...)

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Friday, March 4, 2005, 17:41

On Fri, 4 Mar 2005 01:01:37 -0500,
Jeffrey Henning <jeffrey@...> wrote:

> Wow, I haven't seen Langmaker and swearing together since those problems > with Langmaker/Win and Windows 2000. > > Speaking of swearing, I was shocked recently to discover that the Fithians > are herbivores and any references to meat-eating are the most foul and > obscene things you can ever say to them.
The Elbi (speakers of Old Albic) were vegetarians and considered eating meat not really obscene, but nevertheless disgusting (perhaps comparable to what most westerners think about eating rats or worms, or kitchen scrappings salvaged from the gutter), and the word _macalmatara_, literally `meat-eater', acquired the meaning `barbarian': meat-eating was a habit associated with the less civilized inhabitants of the Great Lands (the European mainland). One of the most dire swearwords in Old Albic is _chastal_ `husk', because it also refers to a class of vampire-like mythological beings which have human bodies but no souls. Of course, _chastelim_ were imagined to eat meat, with a special taste for - fresh human flesh!
> They are herd creatures (picture > an antlered centaur)
Antlered centaur? Oh, then I had an entirely wrong imagination about what a Fithian looks like. I always imagined them to be small, furry humanoids (similar to Herman Miller's Zireen) with marsupial pouches.
> and much of their language and society developed in > response to threats from carnivores, which fortunately are no more > intelligent on Fithia than they are on earth. > > I love meat myself and would not be a good candidate for a first-contact > mission to meet the Fithians.
Regarding me, I am a vegetarian just like the Elbi (though I am not all that ideological about that). Greetings, Jörg.