Let’s look at some wild animals of Zhop! or, talk about our feelings

Yeah here’s a profile on the wild animals of Zhop. That’s about it!

Been feeling kind of mentally crummy this week which is why there’s been no Odemon. I’ll probably return to it next week, but it’s hard for me to now see fan works as not “free advertising for a capitalist institution”.

If only I’d done, like, Odertale instead or something. “Odewebcomics which is one of the few forms of media I don’t see terribly tainted by capitalism”.

Of course, the somewhat official loss of net neutrality on Monday didn’t help. It all kind of makes it hard to feel like there’s ANYTHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO ANYMORE. Everything is bad and will get worse. You know the only thing I feel I can look forward to now?

Writing novels and stories.

Which is less sustainable without net neutrality…

It and They and Thon und Es; Pronouns, Pronouns! What a Mess.

So gender-neutral pronouns. English kind of failed at this; I blame Christianity. But I’m not here to blame things, I’m here to talk about solutions!

Anyone who’s read some of my stuff might notice I use “it” as a gender-neutral pronoun, used for when things don’t have a gender, have a single-gender structure, or people just don’t know the gender (though for the last one I’ve started going off what the main character assumes it is.) This works particularly well for robots because they’re machines. “It” also seems to work well for non-human characters because, well, hey, they’re not humans, clearly they are animals then so “it” is totally fine.

But this means if I did have humans appear, the possibility of using “it” would come into play. I try to stay consistent with it, but of course it is impersonal. At this point, allow me to break out Dinosaur Comics. I got to thinking this actually after watching this interview on The Colbert Report with Janet Mock (no idea who she is, by the way).

Yeah, okay, look back at the talking dinosaurs. “They” does not have to be plural, but let’s talk about grammar. My professor for a Philosophy class in college pointed this out, actually. You can say “They ate the pizza,” and it’s all fine, maybe it’s a group of friends, maybe it’s a real hungry individual. Fine. Everyone’s fine. But if “they eat the pizza,” then that has to be a group of friends. If it’s one real hungry individual it’s, “They eats the pizza.” This, of course, is because it would otherwise be “He eats the pizza,” or “She eats the pizza.”

So the problem with “they” is to be grammatically correct, you have to totes sound like you’re being grammatically incorrect. If we then go with Thon like in Dinosaur Comics, well, it’s just rather jarring in normal reading.

So why don’t we do what English does best and steal words from other languages? Let’s steal German’s “Es”. Hex, we can even just dump the dative and genitive cases like our other pronouns and just have “es” and… “es”. Wow. That’s another problem with “it”: there’s just it, it, it, and it, whereas with he and him/she and her we at least have some semblance of what we’re talking about.

What’s the solution? I haven’t gotten a figgin clue. These four (it, they, make it up, and steal foreign words) seem the best solutions, or at least the four I can think of right now. I might stick with “it” because it’s (or they’s) (or thon’s) (or es ist) the least disconcerting–I demand myself to stick with grammar unless I don’t want to, and since I want to in this case, I would use singular grammar for they, making it look weird. Then thon is, again, just jarring, and foreign words might scare people. I dunno. ES IST BEÄNGSTIGEND!

But maybe someday crazy writers can change language to better suit the world. Shakespeare did, or at least to suit himself. For now, I’ll stick with “it”, probably, but does anyone out there who doesn’t read this use a certain pronoun? (If you do read this, you can comment, too.)

Species Profile: Wild Animals of Mintop

Today’s entry is a little different. Okay, it might be a lottle different. Whereas before we focused on each sentient species in turn, today we’ll be looking at the wild animals of Mintop that appear in Slubes.

Carpple

Quoted from the species appendix in Slubes:

Carpple are large freshwater fish with heads, fins, and scales akin to Earth carp, while their bodies are more akin to Earth cattle. They were domesticated some thousands of years ago as a source of meat. Their average lifespan is about 25 years.

Carpple come in a range of skin patterns and have horns on their heads similar to that of Earth cattle. Along with being a source of meat, carpple excrete a natural oil that can be used both as a fuel and as an additive to foods. They are found domesticated primarily on the islands Hackney and Interp.

Chicken

Wild chickens can be found on the island Hackney. They’re generally similar to wild chickens on Earth or Red Junglefowl.

Herf

Quoted from the species appendix in Slubes:

Herfs are large saltwater fish with heads, fins, and scales akin to Earth carp and strong, sturdy backs and manes akin to Earth horses. They were domesticated some thousands of years ago and ridden by people across the sea and used to ferry some boats. Their average lifespan is about 25 years.

Loogel

Quoted from the species appendix in Slubes:

Loogels appear as a variant of Earth snow geese; their bodies are covered with white plumage, and they have thick, orange beaks. They are plump, and their short, orange legs are often blocked from view. Females have short, gray necks, whereas the males have incredibly long necks three times as long as their bodies and covered with rings of rainbow colors. Loogels’ average lifespan is about 20 years, up to 30 years in captivity.

Loogels are seen primarily around Interp; they aren’t the best fliers, despite a wingspan twice their body’s width, so they don’t usually fly too far from the island, but they can rest on the water if they need to.  Newborns tend to learn to fly around a few months and leave their parents a few weeks after. Males’ necks begin to grow extensively by their third year, and at age five they have a full neck of colorful loops and are ready to mate.

When mating season comes around, loogels usually gather around the north of Interp. Males will stretch out their necks to show off their neck loops to try and attract a mate, and can often be seen nuzzling females and holding their long necks around them. Loogels usually lay two or three eggs at a time.

Snake

Some types of snakes found on Mintop are similar to Earth snakes. One snake unique to Mintop is the cylacra, a type of snake similar to cobras on Earth but with the “hood” made up of the head and flattened horizontally, giving them a wide, flat head in the shape of a disc. They can spit out poison to wound their prey, but against bigger creatures it doesn’t do much beyond a burning sensation, and they tend to avoid things bigger than them.