Week 12 | Why a character speaks the way they do / unique slang

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 12

I spoke a few months ago about “Seelie Slang“, which touches on the odd phrases that are particular to the Faerie realm. However, one person who stands out in The Elder Throne as speaking strangely, even for a faery, is Madam Sage Begonia.

picturetopeople.org-26928ff0fbb90f81f2ec2bd91ba8cb4f90d19ae998c1bd36d6
Mdm. Sage Begonia

Sage Begonia is the Head of the Knowledge Circle in the Seelie Court. The Knowledge Circle is a large department that holds everything from history to geography, to botany to languages of the world. Although Sage is well versed in all of her subjects, her particular strengths are history and languages. She is fluent in over 80 languages, including English, French, German, Mandarin, Norwegian, Russian, Goblinese, Hodpodgeon, Flitterwickish, Gaelic, Pictish, Spanish and Mer. 

Due to the amount of languages she holds in her head, Sage has a specific quirk of speech: she never uses contractions, only complete words. Her reasoning is that she finds it easier to distinguish between her 80 languages if she speaks ‘properly’ and not casually / conversationally.

Bracken
Lt. Fearghal Bracken

Sage also refrains from using slang terms, although she does understand them. The one notable exception for this is when she angrily calls Lieutenant Bracken an ‘utter flumkrat’. Note: Loosely defined as “the worst person imaginable”, ‘flumkrat’ is not said in polite society. It’s rarely said in impolite society either, so you can probably guess at a few human equivalents. Believe me, she has good reason to call him this.


A description of Sage Begonia:

Sage Begonia was a tall, regal woman with high-arched eyebrows that gave her a constant look of dignified amusement. Her large eyes were golden-brown, startling in contrast to her dark skin and hair. She was around Anna’s mum’s age, and looked nothing like the Bockton Primary librarian. There were no pince-nez glasses or woolly cardigans. Instead, Sage wore a sleeveless, sleek blue dress, and elegant open-toe heels that showed off dainty webbed feet. A delicate belt encased her waist, with two small, pretty but sharp daggers tucked into it, Sage explained, ‘just in case.’

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