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Cool word of the month, October 2005

zokutou (Japanese, noun) - an ascending spiral

Previous months' cool words:

September, 2005: seb (Egyptian, noun) - star (courtesy of sahtyinepu)
August, 2005: 外国人 [gaikokujin / waiguoren] (Japanese and Chinese, noun) - lit. "outside country person", a foreigner
July, 2005: tawadu (Arabic, noun) - humility
June, 2005: balpre (Lojban, noun) - hero
May, 2005: brill (English, adjective; slang, British) - brilliant, cool
April, 2005: ܟܐܦܐ [kepa, transliterated kephas] (Aramaic, noun) - great rock
March, 2005: mashin (Farsi, noun) - automobile
February, 2005: perkele (Finnish, noun) - devil (also an expletive)
January, 2005: kinu (Japanese, noun) - silk
December, 2004: krung (Thai, noun) - city, cf. krung thep (city of angels, old name of Bangkok)
November, 2004: tane (Archnin, noun) - blood (see tanelos)
October, 2004: izulu (Zulu, noun) - interplanetary space
September, 2004: phensem (Tibetan, noun) - an beneficent attitude towards others
August, 2004: si2 pu3 (Chinese, noun) - recipe (literally, "meal score")
July, 2004: entspannung (German, noun) - relaxation
June, 2004: anapauesthai (Koine Greek, verb) - to stand still
May, 2004: tvære (Norwegian, verb) - to stretch, especially a conversation or a farewell (definition provided by tamf)
April, 2004: ber-engro (Romany, noun) - lit. "ship's master", a mariner
March, 2004: calad (Sindarin, noun, "light")
February, 2004: su (Chinese, adjective/noun) - 1. flaky; 2. a baked good with a crisp or flaky consistency, such as a cookie
January, 2004: pizdarija (Croatian, noun; vulgar) - something messed-up, feeble, or ridiculous (definition provided by jereeza)
December, 2003: basherte (Hebrew, noun) - "apportioned one" (implication of predestined/ordained mate; courtesy of yahvah)
November, 2003: panmictic (English, adjective, "exhibiting random mating within a breeding population")
October, 2003: kreteno (Esperanto, slang noun, "idiot")
September, 2003: kawai (Japanese, adjective, "cute")
August, 2003: ser (Spanish, intransitive verb, "to be")
July, 2003: cordillera (Spanish, noun, "principal mountain system of a continent")
June, 2003: kallüsáráyam (Tamil, noun, "illicit liquor")
May, 2003: hoh (Singlish, particle, "connective expression of expected agreement")
April, 2003: tmesis (English, noun, "separation of the parts of a compound word for humorous effect")
March, 2003: nerazreshimost (Russian, noun, "undecidability")


Speaking of Zokutou, you may recall that members of a writers' group in the UK by this name created the very popular "color bar" word count meter used by many Nanowrimo participants. Recently, there's been a bit of controversy started by a clause that someone in the group proposed:
Cross-posted from nanowrimo and 2005nanowrimo:

Thanks to everyone who posted opinions on my earlier list of questions.
This concerned borderline judgement calls on what someone can legitimately do and still be able to conscientiously verify a successful Nanowrimo completion and count themselves a winner.

One of my questions remains pertinent to my Nanowrimo: is one allowed to write a continuation of a previous Nanowrimo entry and submit it for verification, if it is effectively a "sequel"?

The Zokutou Clause

Some folks then pointed me to the Zokutou Clause. The rules are neither enforceable nor enforced, and the Zokutou group claims no authority to permit or legitimize their convention under Nanowrimo's terms.

I read it carefully, and decided not to invoke it. This is my personal choice; YMMV, and I respect people's individual choices. I am going to stick with the letter of the Nanowrimo rules. This requires me to actually make a proper ending to what I previously titled Book 1 of Shadows of the Sorcerers (and still intend to use as the working title; I don't think the designation matters, only the self-sufficiency of the new book) and start "Chapter 9" from scratch. For now, I will keep the old numbering (Chapters 9-16), but for technicality's sake, I will renumber them 1-8 if the popularly accepted interpretation of "from scratch" requires it.

It's just too loose the way they've defined it, IMO. It doesn't use a plausible loophole, but rather just abrogates the given rules entirely. For example, it would let you write 10000 new words on each of 5 previously completed Nanowrimos and count the total as a win. In fact, if I read item 2 of the clause correctly, it would let you write words 50001 through 51000 of a previous complete and verified Nanowrimo (only 1000 words!) and count that as a win!

A proposed alternative: Nanowrimo-compatible?

A more reasonable clause that is, IMO, compatible with Chris Baty's rules, would read:

[If you got to 50K but aren't finished with your novel, and wish to continue it] you can now consider yourself a winner if your new writing (from 01 - 30 Nov local time, according the rules of Nanowrimo) satisfies all of the following.

  • 1. It contains at least 50,000 words in continuation of a previous work.

  • 2. It is not interleaved with or part of the previous work, but substantially independent. It must stand on its own - for example, by being functionally equivalent to a `sequel'.

  • 3. It completes your novel's first draft. (Note: this is not required by the rules of Nanowrimo1; it simply strengthens them.)


My idea is rather that if a sequel should count as a new novel, then starting chapter 9-16 with 1-8 previously written is technically indistinguishable. Since I can satisfy the rules simply by wrapping up Chapters 8 and 16 properly (well, 8 for sure, but 16 because I want to end Shadows at 16), and making the designation of Book 2 as a sequel official, I intend to do that instead.

I realize that in the end, it is a matter of personal conscience and nobody can authorize or prohibit a certain interpretation. I'm not feeling guilty in the slightest either way, and am just curious what you all think, as I value Nanowrimo for its solidarity and other social aspects rather than for the formal structure imposed by an admittedly arbitrary set of rules.

1 The 50,000 word limit is a threshold, not necessarily a stopping place. Reaching 50k and realizing you still have a lot of wrapping up to do is a good thing---it gives you something to come back and work on later... We define a novel as "a lengthy work of fiction." Beyond that, we let you decide whether what you're writing falls under the heading of "novel." In short: If you believe you're writing a novel, we believe you're writing a novel too. [FAQ] If you write 50,000 words of fiction by midnight, local time, November 30th, you will be added to our hallowed Winner’s Page, and receive a handsome winner’s certificate and web icon. The adding of your name to the Honor Roll of Winners requires that you send in a version of your novel in text format (scrambled for security) to our site to be counted. [How NaNoWriMo Works (in Ten Easy Steps)]

A hypothetical analogy

By analogy, here's a hypothetical situation: If J.R.R. Tolkien had completed "Books 1-6" of The Lord of the Rings (which was one book that was only divided up by his editors at Allen and Unwin) in one November each, and deigned to enter them in a challenge such as Nanowrimo, would only Book 1 (the first half of The Fellowship of the Ring up to the Ford of Bruinen) count?


Oh, and a hundred thousand welcomes to the eleventh-hour Nanowrimo participants, jereeza and butterflykiki. Best of luck!
We teachers do like to do things at the last minute, don't we? ;-)

Best regards and good luck to all,
Banazir

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
banazir
Oct. 31st, 2005 03:16 pm (UTC)
Waghfg is right!
I know what you mean. Like everyone else in my department, I got pulled into undergraduate advising that I could not say no to this past week. Under "normal" circumstances, I wouldn't have wanted to; but this was Mentorship with a capital M, and pro forma pro forma, if you know what I mean. ("Please read this cookie-cutter essay about why I want to be a computer scientist. The advisors made me write it; I don't really want to work on it any more, but they won't let me register without it, so won't you please signSIGNSIGN!1!!!") Oh, well.

--
Banazir
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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