Friday, January 08, 2010

Anathem Word Combinations

Last month I mentioned listening to James Bond novels as audiobooks.

My current audiobook is Anathem by Neal Stephenson.

Like Tolkein's Silmarillion, it is very nice as an audiobook because the author has created new vocabulary words which someone else has to bother pronouncing properly.

In the case of Anathem, the new words are sometimes blends of standard English words. When this happens, their meaning is related to the real words they resemble.

Now, people with a paper copy of the book get a glossary at the back. Since I only have the audiobook, I do not get to look these up and must rely on context. So for me they become a guessing game: upon which real words are based the invented ones?

I also have no idea how Stephenson spells these new words. I don't think about that when listening to the story. When writing this blog post I'm forced to make a choice, which may be different than Stephenson's "real" spelling of these invented words.

Here are the invented words I have figured out. I'll update this list as I continue with the story.
anathem: anthem, anathema
apert: aperture, extrovert, overt
arb: arbor, orb
ark: art, fork, arc, ark
aut: audible, act, authority
avout: avowed, devout
cartabla: cartographic, tablet
comvox: communication, convocation
concent: concentration, convent
orth: ?
tenner: ten-year, tenor
voca: evoke, vocation, vacate

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