So what is Pragmatics? Basically, it deals with those areas of meaning which aren’t really meaning. What does that mean? It deals with implications (in the lingo, “implicature”), and with presuppositions, and with using language to do things rather than just send messages.
Archive for the ‘Information Center’ Category
One of the most common pieces of advice for new writers is “Keep your seat in the chair.” The downside is that it becomes all too easy to sit at the desk for hours without moving. This can lead to stiffness and circulation issues even with an ergonomically correct desk and chair. Ergocise.com is a program which pops up a reminder to stretch at pre-set intervals.
As part of her continuing series on How Linguistics Can Help You, Juliette Wad discusses that ubiquitous genre activity making up words.
At World Fantasy there was a one-hour panel on the Google Book Settlement with Russell Davis, Karen Wester Newton, Charles Petit, Jay Lake, Christopher Kastensmidt, and Dan Gamber moderating. This is a podcast of the full panel discussion.
Neural networks are really amazing things. In my last post I talked about how a word brings up all of its meanings simultaneously; today I’m going to talk about how that’s not all it brings up.
I’m talking about connotations and allusion.
As an author, it’s important for you to know how to sell and market your book. Because there is no shortage of books and articles on the subject, I’d like to tackle the subject of marketing your book from a more metaphorical approach. (If you’ve ever heard me speak, you should know I’m pretty big on metaphors to help you better understand topics in a different way.) In your case, I feel that it’s not only important to understand how to sell, but also understand a little bit more about a typical sales cycle.
Copyright, literally, is “the right to copy.” It guarantees the authors of creative works–including books, artworks, films, recordings, photographs–the exclusive right for a set period of time to allow other people to copy and distribute the work, by whatever means and in whatever media currently exist. It also prohibits copying and distributing without the author’s permission. You own copyright by law, automatically, as soon your work is fixed in tangible form–i.e., the minute you write down the words.
FirstWorldWar.com has a deep archive of WWI pictures, which are clearly labeled and sorted. Whether you are doing a historical fantasy, steampunk, or staging a war in your science-fictional world, this will prove fascinating reading.
As I close in on the end of my current writing project, the issue of self-promotion is much on my mind. I don’t mind admitting that it’s a prospect I contemplate with dread. I’m one of those I-just-want-to-sit-in-my-room-with-my-laptop writers who really is not constitutionally suited for a world in which the definition of “author” also includes “huckster” (or, if you want to be a bit more diplomatic about it, “entrepreneur”).
Choosing the right word is critical to getting our meaning across as writers. Here are a few initial things to think about:
1. Does this word have the meaning I’m looking for?
2. Does it supply that meaning unambiguously?
3. Does it have the proper positive, negative, mysterious, or other desired connotations?
4. Does it reflect on the attitude or identity of the point of view character?