Author Topic: PC393: Harlequin Moon  (Read 4225 times)

Ocicat

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on: December 09, 2015, 11:38:24 PM
PodCastle 393: Harlequin Moon

by Jennifer Hykes

Read by Laurice White


A PodCastle original!

The man called Dirt was a master of riddles. It was his only gift.

He was not a riddler himself. From the time he could speak, he always called things exactly what they were and nothing else. He had tried, once or twice in his childhood, to craft a joke or to weave a pair of clever words together. But every time he tried to twist something sideways, he found that his tongue would not cooperate. So he stopped trying to be clever and went on his way, moving through his life in a straight line from day before to day after. He worked the fields on his family’s farm, he carted vegetables to market, he paid his respects to the temple gods at all the appropriate times. He grew tall and broad of shoulder, but even in the prime of his youth he moved with the deliberate calm of old age. He was not a riddler.

But he was a master at solving riddles.


Rated PG.

Jennifer Hykes lives with her husband and two cats just outside of Pittsburgh. She is fond of books, moonlight, and good yarns, both in the narrative and fiber sense. Her stories have appeared in Abyss & Apex and Betwixt.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 05:05:54 PM by Talia »



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #1 on: December 12, 2015, 05:57:16 PM
I owe this story a re-listen. I was driving through downtown Baltimore, trying to shake free of the Batman implications of the title and the riddles, and my mind kept wandering.

(Not Jennifer's fault, of course.)

Though I missed a lot of the beginning, I was drawn in by the end, and really loved the interplay of the two opposing forces, and the way they were working together to defy a situation that seemed to require their destruction.

This Wiki Won't Wrangle Itself!

I finally published my book - Tad's Happy Funtime is on Amazon!


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Reply #2 on: December 16, 2015, 04:02:21 PM
I enjoyed this story, and especially the interplay between the riddler character and the riddle-answering character, and the sphinx in an atypical setting. 

I'm not sure I understood how the conflict was resolved with the sphinx.  Maybe I spaced it out?  Maybe I just didn't understand it?



Ocicat

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Reply #3 on: January 07, 2016, 08:22:19 PM
Yet another pronunciation problem.  The reader pronounced the work "hearth" as "herth".  I know it sounds picky, but if you're going to call yourself "professional", simple words should not be mis-pronounced.

Moderator hat on:

Zonebob, while it's fine to note a pronunciation error or other problem in story narration, your last sentence crosses into insulting territory, and thus violates our One Rule.  Please be respectful to our narrators, authors, and other posters.

Thanks!



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Reply #4 on: January 07, 2016, 09:49:35 PM
I apologize to the narrator.  I didn't mean to call the narrator unprofessional.  I understand they are all amateurs.  I should have been more clear, I was referring to PodCastle calling itself a professional podcast.  I'd like to see Escape Artists in general do a better job of getting pronunciation right, perhaps a proof-listener could keep an ear out for these kind of errors, which happen with some regularity, and involve words that are not that esoteric.



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Reply #5 on: January 07, 2016, 10:04:03 PM
That pronunciation didn't jump out at me. Maybe I chalk up a lot of things to accent. I love Laurice's accent and her narrations. My favorites include Sinners and Saints here on PodCastle, and The Eater over on PseudoPod.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


kibitzer

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Reply #6 on: January 08, 2016, 12:57:01 AM
I'm just going to jump in here, as an experienced (if maybe not professional) narrator.

One thing I've learned is that there's often no "correct" pronunciation. Or at the very least, what one person thinks of as the "correct" pronunciation is simply the way they've heard it all their life.

I'm acutely aware of this as an Aussie, narrating for a predominantly North American audience. So let me throw you a few words:
* yoghurt
* ancillary

What is the "correct" pronunciation for these? It depends a lot on what part of the world you come from. I know of at least two ways to pronounce both. Neither is correct.

My point is, what one person thinks of as correct may not be so. The same goes for what one person thinks of as a "common" word.


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Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 03:07:41 PM
My name is Jan Jansen (pronounced Yon Yonsin) and I'm from Wisconsin, and you'd be amazed at how many people in this world mispronounce the word milk.  I mean, we produce that stuff, don't we get to decide how it's pronounced?  

The same goes for bratwurst.  We eat a lot of brats in Wisconsin, we produce tons of them, but those damn Germans keep trying to tell us it's pronounce bratvoorst.  I mean, who has ever heard of a bratvoorst anyway????  Silly other people with their garbly unprofessionalism.  

Oh, and don't get me started on those Brits and their garages...
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 03:10:55 PM by Not-a-Robot »



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Reply #8 on: January 08, 2016, 03:22:17 PM
I was having a conversation the other night about the pronunciation of pasties. If it's the baked pastry stuffed with meat and vegetables, "past" it's pronounced like "past tense" whereas if it's a nipple shield its pronounced "paste" like the stuff you eat in kindergarten. I wonder what random remnant of Saxon or Nordic grammar is responsible for that.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


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Reply #9 on: January 08, 2016, 04:04:47 PM
And what about British people and the letter Z?

(I seriously did not know that "Zed" was how some people pronounced the letter until maybe 5 years ago.  I had heard people say it, but I had always assumed it was kind of a word-ized version of the letter, like saying Alpha Foxtrot and Charlie instead of AFC.)



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Reply #10 on: January 08, 2016, 04:09:16 PM
I will never forget my Phonetics professor who while trying to teach us how to hear the sounds of words apart from our regional biases, said, "Vowels are very personal. People always get emotional when I teach vowels." Since vowels largely carry what we perceive as "accents", there's ENORMOUS variety in what is the "correct" way to use them (and some consonants as well). And yet, we all have very strong opinions about our own way being so obviously, self-evidently correct.

But Graeme is just wrong about "ancillary". I draw the line there, Dunlop! ;)

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Reply #11 on: January 08, 2016, 05:17:27 PM
Oh!  US location names are another one.

I grew up in South Dakota.  The capital of South Dakota is Pierre.  How is that pronounced?  It looks like a French dude's name, right?  Like "PEE-yair".  No.  You are wrong.  And you will immediately mark yourself as "not from around here" if you pronounce it that way in SD.  It is pronounced like "peer" or "pier".

Norfolk was almost universally pronounced Nor-FORK where I lived in SD.  I don't know if that's how Norfolkers pronounce it too.  I always pronounced it the way it looked to me, without the extra R.  (Maybe this is related somehow to accents that tend to sound to me like trailing R when a vowel ends a word, i.e. Champagne Supernover in the Sky.

I had a friend who'd moved to SD from Seattle.  He had a huge peeve about people who pronounced Oregon differently than he did.  I grew up pronouncing it "Or-uh-GON" but he insisted it had to be pronounced "OR-uh-gin" Different syllable emphasized, slightly different final vowel sound.

I worked with someone who pronounced the word "executable" with the emphasis on the exECutable, while I have always pronounced it exeCUTable. 


Anyway, now I'm just having fun with the tangent.  Maybe should split all this into a separate meta thread. 



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Reply #12 on: January 08, 2016, 07:36:56 PM
There's a Ponce de Leon Road in Atlanta that is absolutely not pronounced with anything resembling Spanish inflection, and Houston is pronounced HOWstun. HEWston is in Texas. 

It might not be a bad idea to have a "you pronounced this wrong" thread and pin it right under the "One Rule" thread. It comes up frequently enough to be FAQish. I recall a discussion on a PseudoPod story not too long ago about the two perfectly legitimate ways to pronounce "satay".

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


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Reply #13 on: January 16, 2016, 04:29:13 PM
This story was so interesting! I liked the subversion of Dirt choosing his name because it is solid and dependable, when my first instinct is that calling someone dirt would be an insult. The budding relationship between the ground and the sky was subtle and enchanting. :)



Norfolk was almost universally pronounced Nor-FORK where I lived in SD.  I don't know if that's how Norfolkers pronounce it too.  I always pronounced it the way it looked to me, without the extra R.  (Maybe this is related somehow to accents that tend to sound to me like trailing R when a vowel ends a word, i.e. Champagne Supernover in the Sky.

Hey, I can answer that one! They say "Nah-fohk". Assuming you are referring to Norfolk, VA. Also, the mountain range around here is App-a-latch-un, not App-a-lay-shun (the way I grew up pronouncing it). Moving to North Carolina has been an education, haha!

I'm frequently mildly annoyed by silly mispronunciations, but have decided it's a lot easier to move on. There's no way to 100% safeguard against that.



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Reply #14 on: January 29, 2016, 10:04:12 PM
Jumping in to this elderly discussion to say that I enjoyed the story immensely. I liked that the riddler and the riddle-master were NOT the same person and yet worked together as a symbiotic pair. It was friendly-like.

On the pronunciation front- yep, you betcha I hear it when it sounds "wrong" to my ear. And in the infrequent times when I am called upon to narrate, I am in constant fear that I do not hear/say things the way that everyone else hears/says things. But, watch gonna do? For the record, the last time that something like that drove me up the wall was listening to "The Water Knife" and granite (gran-it) was pronounced (gran-ite). I was willing to believe that perhaps it was Granyte(Tm) in the book or that perhaps my understanding of the pronunciation is incorrect. Or perhaps the editor never caught it. In which case, for shame BECAUSE IT REALLY BUGGED ME!  ::)

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