Tuesday, October 13, 2009

shizzle shizzAlice

Word play and word creations are what I love best about Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I can only think of two other authors who have created memorable new speak to me.

Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange uses words like droog (friend), horrorshow (good) and many more to create his dystopian world. Makes for tough reading but good stuff.

Scott Westerfeld has bubble talk in his Uglies series.

Can you suggest any authors you've come across who have unusual word creations in their books?

And if you're one of the few who has not yet read Alice in Wonderland and want to give it a go, please let me know in comments below so I can fix that problem. If I get more than one of you, I'll have to do a random drawing.

*title creation based on Snoop Dogg's shizzle speak, hey, Snoop's latest album comes out December 8, 2009 and it's called Malice in Wonderland. Rap listeners out there will have to tell me if there are any other Alice connection in regards to the songs other than the album title.

*source Alice image. I picked this picture because of the bling.

*my post for part of Neverending Shelf's Alice in Wonderland Week, October 7 - 14, 2009

Other authors with unusual words creations to check out:

M.T. Anderson (Feed) per Marie

Diablo Cody per Marie, Brian

Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) per Brian

James Joyce (Finnegan's Wake) per J.T.

Tamora Pierce (Beka Cooper series) per Zombie Girrrl

J.R.R. Tolkien per Polish Outlander, HMSgofita

Irvine Welsh per Brian

Zombie Girrrl of Crackin' Spines and Takin' Names
has won my easter egg giveaway
and will receive a copy of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

*** update 10.16.09 ***


  1. I'm hesitant to raise my hand. It's totally shaming. I *haven't* read Alice in Wonderland. One wonders how it even happened, as I lived for two years with a girl who was doing a children's lit Ph.D. on Alice-related topics. BUT! No need to send me a copy...there's one on the bookshelf. Just. Need. To. Readitnow! :)

  2. I think FEED by M.T. Anderson has some slang stuff that he invented... and I always thought Diablo Cody did weird stuff with slang.. like demented valley girl talk...

    BTW... Alice in Wonderland Week Rocks!

  3. I've read The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor, but never the original. X_O I'd really like to give it a go, though. :)
    As for books with new lingo, Tamora Pierce is always good for it. Her books all have glossaries in the back! The best series for it is The Beka Cooper series. A good example of the overall feel of the books is that there are no less than six new words for prostitue.
    P.S. Love the footnotes! The Snoop Dogg one made me laugh. :)

  4. I can't think of any books that use some shizzle in their fizzle, just too much slang and dialects. Too much, for me makes it very hard to read the stories.

  5. Great question...I can't think of any others off the top of my head. The key for invented language for me is that it doesn't feel clunky. SOmeone mentioned Diablo Cody...she's definition of clunky. It doesn't flow at all, and therefore SOUNDS made up.

    Irvine Welsh writes in a very thick Scottish dialect, but that's not really the same thing.

    Brave New World has some words that have made it into mainstream (ie. soma).

    AND I was shocked that someone read The Looking Glass wars without reading Alice. There should be some literary punishment for that. :) I believe you have to read the original books AND know a bit about Lewis Carroll's life in order to really appreciate the genius of the Looking Glass Wars books.

  6. I just have to show this link: http://xkcd.com/483/
    Hover over the comic to see the text and the mention of Alice. Tolkien is the only author that comes to mind right away for me, but of course lots of fantasy and sci-fi will do that anyway these days.

  7. I can't think of anything else either other than you know, people who actually made up their own languages like Tolkien and such. But you know I haven't read Alice yet either...I think the Disney movie ruined it for me...that one scared me!

  8. 1984 and Finnegan's Wake come to mind.

  9. Oh, and PolishOutlander, that xkcd is awesome! :)

  10. It's yours, Zombie Girrrl. The book is going to go your way with a box of chocorooms courtesy of the caterpillar ;-D


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