[Retros] linguistic hole

Otto Janko otto at janko.at
Wed Jan 20 08:47:31 EST 2010

Some comments to Horcrux and HP:

Andrew: "Spoiler Warning" -- not necessary. Every Harry Potter reader knows
from the beginning what a Horcrux is. What he does not know is which things
or persons Horcrux are.

Alain: "and we can't expect it [Horcrux] to be as widely known as greek
mythology [Phoenix]" -- I am pretty sure that there are more people in the
world who know what a Horcrux is than people who know what a Phoenix is.
That's the spirit ouf our time. [The German word for "spirit of our time" is
"Zeitgeist", and I just recognized that this word made it into Englisch as
"zeitgeisty" :-)]

Kevin: "recent children's book" -- IMHO Harry Potter has the same status as
"The Lord of the Rings". There are many parallels: LOTR starts as book for
children, as sequel for "The Little Hobbit", but, as Tokien says, "while
writing it the story began to grow" and at the end it was not a book for
children anymore (the first 100 pages of LOTR are for children!). The same
applies for HP: The first 2 books are for children, but the story grows and
the HP becomes a fantasy epos for any age.


> -----Original Message-----

> From: retros-bounces at janko.at

> [mailto:retros-bounces at janko.at] On Behalf Of Alain BROBECKER

> Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 12:13 PM

> To: The Retrograde Analysis Mailing List

> Subject: Re: [Retros] linguistic hole


> Andrew wrote:

> > I think that for the general term for surviving promoted

> > pawns, Guus' suggestion of "parvenu" is better

> > than either of the other suggestions I made. Parvenu is a

> > word in English, but obviously derives from French.

> > Sometimes these borrowed words have different meanings. What

> > is the sense in French?


> Exactly what Guus said:

> >> The word “parvenu” typically describes a person

> >>who recently ascended the social ladder, especially

> >>a nouveau riche or “new money” individual.



> > As far as the specific term for non-Phoenix survivor there

> > are a number of good suggestions, I am awestruck by the

> > appositeness of Otto's "Horcrux". I am far too

> > old to know Harry Potter well, but I enjoyed the movies. Key

> > things that Wikipedia pointed out to me is that the Horcrux

> > creation precedes the death of the

> > original, that it can be a person (SPOILER WARNING heh),

> > and that it involves a sacrifice (just as a promotion

> > implies a capture). It's a 7 letter word ending in

> > "x" referring to a fictional object and I

> > don't think we could ask for more. Also would be

> > recognizable to younger newcomers who we ought to be

> > interested in introducing to our little hobby.

> >

> > It also occurs to me that in some proof games it may be

> > difficult to determine which pieces are Phoenix, and which

> > are "Horcrux".

> > Suppose:

> > - a rook is captured

> > - two pawns promote to rook

> > - another original rook is captured

> >

> > Which pawn is the Phoenix? Unless there is some kind of

> > Pronkin action going on to associate "parvenus"

> > with originals, there is no clear way to do it.


> Horcrux would sound ok to me, except that i don't know

> Harry Potter at all, and we can't expect it to be as

> widely known as greek mythology (at least in occident).


> But my favorite is finally Andrew's "XINEOHP", being a

> phoenix doing it the wrong way!


> Alain






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