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Thread: The Orville

  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewCrossett View Post
    Most average people today would not understand most of what was said to them if they traveled back that far in time. Most people can barely make heads or tails of a Shakespeare play until they've gotten used to that language. Even if you could get the gist of what was being said it would be very distracting. It would be like listening to a word-for-word adaptation of the Clockwork Orange novel without having the glossary to refer to.
    Shakespeare's plays aren't how actual people in there day to day lives talked. You can pull up a newpaper from the 1600s, it's pretty easy to understand what's being said. It's not quite 400 years ago, what with it being 1722, but go look at (or listen to) Benjamin Franklin's first Silence Dogood letter; it's not a hard thing to understand either.

    It would only be like a Clockwork Orange if you ran into people that heavily used slang. But then slang can be like that no matter what time it is.

    I was a kid in the 70's and 80's. Yes, there were a few 50's shows like I Love Lucy and Leave It to Beaver on TV in syndication. But most of what we saw of the 50's was stuff like Happy Days... not a very accurate portrayal, at least according to my parents. And even the real 50's shows didn't dwell very much on current events or pop culture of the time... mostly because they were written by middle-aged men who grew up in the 20's and 30's and had no idea what these damn beatnik kids today were doing. The idealized "Ozzie and Harriet" depiction of the Middle Class Suburban White Family of the 1950's was a fiction created by networks, not a reflection of reality.

    I see the same thing today. That 70's Show was clearly written by people who didn't remember much about the 70's. Stranger Things is a good show, but its depiction of the 80's (I was 17 years old at that time) is not very similar to what I remember.
    There were more than a few, I was a kid in the '80s and '90s and there were lots of shows from the 50s that were on. Most of the big one still aired in the '90s outside of the Sid Caesar shows. And the 50s was basically the beginning of tv.

    I'm also not sure what your point is really even meant to be with the other thing. Happy Days (which is just the crappy tv version of American Graffiti anyways) not being an accurate portrayal of a time doesn't have anything to do with anything. The topic is about media from the time, not taking away a realistic view of an era by way of a tv show.

    In the 70's and 80's and on into the 90's we had open syndication, when any local TV station could buy a syndicated package of some old sitcom and show it during the day. But that ended, and now we're stuck with god-awful infomercials and judge shows and crap like that... it's not even worth faking illness to stay home from school anymore. But in its place, today we have YouTube where you can see just about anything from past decades. Any 15-year-old today can instantly go and watch the same videos I watched on MTV in 1983. That's a resource we didn't have when I was a kid.
    You don't build taste by having near limitless option of what to watch. You build taste by having less option. You turn on the tv as a kid, you flip it over to HBO, and there's Zardoz. Have you heard of it before this? Let's say no, but you watch it anyways because there's nothing else on. You like, you don't like it, doesn't really matter. What does matter is you've watched something you probably wouldn't have otherwise if you had the option of reaching into a hat and pulling out something you know. The thing you're talking about is only nice because we grew up in a time where we were exposed to things we normally wouldn't be, and our taste were allowed to grow. But imagine you're some kid who's really into Minecraft, and when you're not playing it you're watching Let's Plays of it. Now YouTube is a near limitless resource for Minecraft videos, so why would this kid ever journey outside their comfort zone? Not only are they not being forced outside that zone, they've got something that allows them to stay in it for however long they want.

    You had a resource in 1983 that let you watch things from 1952, they were called television and VHS. They were only more curated.

  2. #107
    Astonishing Member AndrewCrossett's Avatar
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    If you traveled back in time 400 years, I guarantee you would be mostly lost trying to have a conversation with anyone.

    It might not be as bad if you traveled 400 years into the future, because mass media might have a flattening effect on the pace of change. It already has. If a kid from 1983 in his regular clothes traveled back to 1953, he would get stared at. (Think Back To the Future.) But a kid from 1983 dropped into today's world would be odd only in his lack of a cell phone.

    But many of today's casual words and phrases were not in use 30 years ago. In 400 years the manner of speaking will have changed very considerably. We are not sitting today at the endpoint of the English language.

  3. #108
    Astonishing Member Starter Set's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewCrossett View Post
    If you traveled back in time 400 years, I guarantee you would be mostly lost trying to have a conversation with anyone
    Of course. It's plain fantasy to think that you could just chit-chat with someone from 400 years ago without huge difficulties. (if at all)

  4. #109
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    It's unlikely that humans will even exist in recognizable form in 400 years. Between genetic engineering and cybernetics, the singularity is going to hit hard long before 400 years. 400 years from now will be a world of gods.

  5. #110
    Extraordinary Member Jokerz79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelC View Post
    It's unlikely that humans will even exist in recognizable form in 400 years. Between genetic engineering and cybernetics, the singularity is going to hit hard long before 400 years. 400 years from now will be a world of gods.
    With the rise of technology and it's replacement of manual labor and the potential of genetically engineered babies particularly for the wealthy the future could be frightening here the wealth divide is wider. This could cause a world where the wealthy not only have financial advantages but genetic too where they're physically enhanced, mentally enhanced, and where the "beautiful" people could literally be more physically beautiful due genetic enhancements. It's a scary road if you think where the world could go.

  6. #111
    Astonishing Member AndrewCrossett's Avatar
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    Climate disaster is going to kill us all by the end of this century. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't still tell stories about the future.

  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter Set View Post
    Of course. It's plain fantasy to think that you could just chit-chat with someone from 400 years ago without huge difficulties. (if at all)
    if you shared a common language as a foundation you could still communicate, though. it would also depend greatly upon your shared level of experience and education. obviously a French catholic priest in the present would probably have a much easier time speaking with a French catholic priest from 400 years ago than a modern American speaking with an American from 1850.

    while I acknowledge that languages are evolving and transforming in various ways - a lot of the most basic things have remained essentially unchanged (in English). I mean people are STILL reading "Emma" and "Frankenstein". those books are both around 200 years old. I've met high-school drop-outs who have read and loved both books.

    so I would support AndrewCrossett's assertion that it would be easier for people to understand when traveling backwards in time. literature tends to preserve the language and usage of the past. we would have no such luck being transplanted into the future.

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewCrossett View Post
    If you traveled back in time 400 years, I guarantee you would be mostly lost trying to have a conversation with anyone.
    You wouldn't be. Real life wasn't a Shakespeare play, people didn't just go around talking in iambic pentameter. Go read some paper or a letter from 400 years ago, it's not at all difficult to track what's being said, and I'd argue that reading that stuff is harder than hearing it because of archaic spelling.

    I would say that anyone that ever grew up having to read and understand the Kings James Bible would likely have little to no problem at all actually understanding real people having a conversation in 1617. Shit, that Bible is older than 1617 too.

    It might not be as bad if you traveled 400 years into the future, because mass media might have a flattening effect on the pace of change. It already has. If a kid from 1983 in his regular clothes traveled back to 1953, he would get stared at. (Think Back To the Future.) But a kid from 1983 dropped into today's world would be odd only in his lack of a cell phone.
    It should probably be worse going into the future. New things can be created in that time that end up becoming part of the cultural lexicon and are referenced as such. You go back and this becomes less of a problem, it can still be a problem because they're just things from then that didn't make it to today, but it's not going to be as much of a problem.

    But many of today's casual words and phrases were not in use 30 years ago. In 400 years the manner of speaking will have changed very considerably. We are not sitting today at the endpoint of the English language.
    And? So what. Given an example I guess. I'm having a hard time thinking of something that could be said using modern phrases and casual words that someone just 30 years ago would become lost in a conversation.

  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewCrossett View Post
    Climate disaster is going to kill us all by the end of this century. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't still tell stories about the future.
    LOL. no, it's not going to kill everybody. I'm sure that MichaelC's trans-human future people will survive! (gotta love that 1% crowd!) they can use the corpses of the rest of humanity to perfect their techniques. maybe in the future everybody will be like the Ultra-Humanite... in one country. everybody else will be used as fodder and spare parts.

    on a more serious note... we have human remains from thousands (to say nothing of millions) of years ago that are still clearly human. why would this suddenly change 400 years or so into the future? seems way, WAY too optimistic.

  10. #115
    Extraordinary Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    Even though we can understand things written 300 and 400 hundred years ago, it would not be as easy to understand spoken language. In Elizabethan times they were still going through the Great Vowel Shift and did not pronounce words as we do. Their accents at the time were not modern, Oxfordian English but closer to what is found on costal barrirs islands in Georgia.
    In 300 years English won't sound like American sit-coms.
    I also doubt late 20th Century pop culture will have much of a foot hold. But for this show I just go with it since it's a fantasy-comedy and the modern references are meant for a laugh.
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  11. #116
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    The invention of the printing press and the expansion of literacy helped to slow down the rate of change in written English. Americans weren't helpful in this regard, given they insisted on changing many spellings. But all in all, written English remains intelligble for most people--hopefully social media slang won't throw a Spaniard in the works.

    Now that we have so much recorded audio of English, that could also slow down the rate at which spoken English changes. Even with different pronunciation in different communities--someone like me can gain an ear for these other pronunciations within a few seconds. I watch a lot of British shows and I quickly pick up on what's being said, even though the pronunciation and vocabulary can be weird to my ear.

    There are places in Europe where the dialects vary much more widely and yet somehow they manage to understand each other. But I just assume everyone in these various space travel shows has a universal translator--so it's not something I worry about.

  12. #117
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    this show does not know what it wants to be

    that being said

    it can get cancelled quick so we can get Adrianne Palicki back to Agents Of SHIELD - this show seems a bit beneath her


    I still enjoy American Dad tho

  13. #118
    Astonishing Member AndrewCrossett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Za Waldo View Post
    I would say that anyone that ever grew up having to read and understand the Kings James Bible would likely have little to no problem at all actually understanding real people having a conversation in 1617. Shit, that Bible is older than 1617 too.
    People who read the King James Bible, people who read Shakespeare, understand it because they've learned to understand it. There are plenty of words and phrases in both of those that the average reader would have to look up... and it would be even harder if it was spoken rather than written.

    Quote Originally Posted by Za Waldo View Post
    It should probably be worse going into the future. New things can be created in that time that end up becoming part of the cultural lexicon and are referenced as such. You go back and this becomes less of a problem, it can still be a problem because they're just things from then that didn't make it to today, but it's not going to be as much of a problem.
    There were lots of topical references in writings from 400 years ago that we wouldn't understand without annotation.

    It might be easier understanding 400 years in the future than 400 years in the past mainly because spelling has been standardized now and will probably say somewhat standard in the future. That standardization was only just beginning around Shakespeare's time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Za Waldo View Post
    And? So what. Given an example I guess. I'm having a hard time thinking of something that could be said using modern phrases and casual words that someone just 30 years ago would become lost in a conversation.
    Think of anything that's changed in the past 30 years. Anything that has to do with the Internet or the online world, which is all-pervasive today but barely existed in 1987. Hell, even if you said the word "online" to someone from 30 years ago who wasn't a computer geek, they'd probably respond "on what line?"

    You could easily converse with someone from 30 years ago on 95% of things, of course. But the farther back or the farther forward you go, the worse it gets. People in their 40's today don't understand all of the slang terms and phrases their teenaged kids use... the textspeak and so forth. Now multiply that by 10 generations, with all the change that will happen in that time.

    And this is all just arguing for the fun of arguing, of course. Everyone in every futuristic science fiction film or TV series ever has spoken like the audience they were playing to. It's just presumed translation, taken for granted. Frodo Baggins didn't speak 20th century English either.

  14. #119
    Extraordinary Member Jokerz79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewCrossett View Post
    People who read the King James Bible, people who read Shakespeare, understand it because they've learned to understand it. There are plenty of words and phrases in both of those that the average reader would have to look up... and it would be even harder if it was spoken rather than written.



    There were lots of topical references in writings from 400 years ago that we wouldn't understand without annotation.

    It might be easier understanding 400 years in the future than 400 years in the past mainly because spelling has been standardized now and will probably say somewhat standard in the future. That standardization was only just beginning around Shakespeare's time.



    Think of anything that's changed in the past 30 years. Anything that has to do with the Internet or the online world, which is all-pervasive today but barely existed in 1987. Hell, even if you said the word "online" to someone from 30 years ago who wasn't a computer geek, they'd probably respond "on what line?"

    You could easily converse with someone from 30 years ago on 95% of things, of course. But the farther back or the farther forward you go, the worse it gets. People in their 40's today don't understand all of the slang terms and phrases their teenaged kids use... the textspeak and so forth. Now multiply that by 10 generations, with all the change that will happen in that time.

    And this is all just arguing for the fun of arguing, of course. Everyone in every futuristic science fiction film or TV series ever has spoken like the audience they were playing to. It's just presumed translation, taken for granted. Frodo Baggins didn't speak 20th century English either.
    Honestly you just got to except something's for fiction of course language is going to change in 400 years I mean as you pointed out language has changed just over the last few decades due to slang but even now it's easy for American English speaking people and UK English speaking people to not know what the other means due to slang and terminology differences. Even food will be drastically different in 400 most vegetaqbles and fruits of today looked nothing like they did a few hundred years ago due too our interference Heck Eggs are larger and Pigs are different thanks to us.

  15. #120
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    When people read Shakespeare today, it sounds rather formal, because we miss a lot of the puns and topical humor. Shakespeare actually used an enormous amount of crude, rated R humor that modern readers miss so completely that we have no problems allowing kids to read it in high-school.

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