Saturday, May 26, 2012



     Over the past couple of months, when I have spare time, I have been developing this abstracted language of prims for my city of ACCentaury. Look at the banner that tops my blog page, and you see its precursor. That graphic prim language used shapes in a concrete fashion. In the current system I’m inventing, you won’t actually see any prims, but you will know they are there! It will become clear as you read this entry. 
     My urban center employs prims not only for building structures, but three among their shapes also serve as an armature for the language. They are the SPHERE, the PYRAMID, and the TORUS. I chose each shape for its unique features. A sphere has no specific beginning or end, as it is perfect roundness. It rolls, spins, turns. The pyramid is composed of planes and points, giving angularity and sharp edges. It sits with stability. The torus weaves in and out of itself like a circulatory system, a pathway ripe to be journeyed within.
     I apply these three building blocks into the English language. But how is that done? The first order of business is to determine which qualities of the shapes listed above apply to the sentence you wish to translate. When the shapes are chosen and set in position to support your sentence, it is called an armature. Here’s an example, first shown in conventional English:

1.       The sim crashed when the count exceeded 45 avatar visitors.

     In this sentence, I might represent the armature as a sphere atop a pyramid. The sphere cannot balance on such a small point at the top of the pyramid, and would roll off. (This assumes of course, that the prims are always physical, in deference to gravity in the Real World). This instability of how one prim interacts with another shows an abstract correlation to the sim which cannot balance a count of 45 or more avatars. At this point, I will insert the first principle of Prim Armature: Prims always come in pairs. They show an interaction. (The only time you don’t use more than one prim is when the pair consists of the same prim, such as two spheres, two tori, or two pyramids. In this case, it’s considered that the single prim is doubled. This language economy saves space and time). Principle two, is that prim armatures are only used when they have cause to be ‘on stage’. A paragraph is usually delineated by the development of a theme, and so the frequency of using the prim armature approximates this ratio, and in so doing, usually only needs to center on the one basic theme for all the sentences in each paragraph. In other words, an armature is typically only used once per paragraph.

ATTRIBUTES of the three prims.

     Inserting a prim armature into a given sentence requires that the writer or speaker assesses the nature of the sentence. Is the feeling one of balance, growth, instability, nurturing, etc? Below are the prims with a brief sampling of their possible attributes. Remember, when you combine them into pairs, they will further hone the abstract quality you wish to convey.

SPHERE:  round, planet, roll, wheels, turn, etc.
PYRAMID: point, blade, slice, stand, cut, plain, field, etc.
TORUS: tube, circulate, journey, flow, system, etc.

SETTING UP the pairs.

     As mentioned above, regarding my interpretation, I chose to place a sphere onto a pyramid where gravity will cause it to roll off. This is the first stage in bringing the armature into the sentence. Find words that fulfill the attributes of the prims you will use (I gave a couple examples in the paragraph above). You will be marrying your appropriate attributes to the original words of the sentence you are translating. Let’s look at it again:

1.       The sim crashed when the count exceeded 45 avatar visitors.

     I’m going to choose the SIM and the VISITORS as my key words of the sentence. I could just as easily have chosen CRASH and COUNT, so it is highly subjective with how you feel on any given day. Today, I gravitate to the sim and visitors, so I’ll demonstrate that version. Now that I have my vocabulary pair selected, I must match them with the attribute vocabulary I wish to assign from their armature prims. SIM is paired with the first prim which is the pyramid. VISITORS is paired with the second prim, which is the sphere that will roll off. My choice for SIM’s partner might be “field” because a sim is a span of land, and for VISITOR, I might choose “turn” because the sphere is readying itself to fall.

So far, this will give us something to work with: The sim + field crashed when the count exceeded 45 avatar visitors + turn.

That’s making progress. Now let’s position them.


     There are only two positions. Horizontal (in a line), and vertical (stacked). I intend to use verticality to show that the sphere is instable on the pyramid’s tip. Grammatically speaking, this is demonstrated in a practical manner. To make something vertical, you add vocabulary that will indicate an upward or downward concept. To make something horizontal, you think in terms of lining up. Here are a few examples:

HORIZONTAL: along, line up, lean against, propel, forward, etc.
VERTICAL: atop, over, balance, up, climb, stack, topple, etc.

     Being that our sample is vertical, I’ll insert “topple”. Position needs to match both the dynamics of the armature prims, as well as the original sentence vocabulary.

NOTE: The default position is horizontal. If you do not insert any qualifier into a sentence, it will be understood as being horizontal.


     The last step is fitting the armature prims with the original English sentence in a way that preserves the original sentence, but with an armature inserted. The grammar should also be as close to conventional English as possible. You may wish the sentence to signal itself with just enough quirk so that the listener or reader is aware they are presently facing an armature.
     There is more than one way you can assemble the parts, but here’s what I composed:

1.       The sim crashed when the count exceeded 45 avatar visitors.

     Now I’ll support the original English sentence with the new armature: (+ field, topple, turn). This gives:

“The sim field crashed when the toppled count exceeded the turn of 45 avatar visitors”.

Here's another example sentence:

 2. The birds are flying high in the sky.

I'm choosing two tori and aligning them horizontally to represent a flock of birds in the sky. The torus gives a sense of movement in the context of a path, such as the birds' flight could be described. Since I am doubling up the tori, I only need to refer to it once as described in the economic rule I mentioned earlier. Because a horizontal format is chosen for this sentence, I also can choose to dismiss position, since it is automatically understood by the rule of default: If no position is added to the armature, then it is horizontal by default. So this sentence is really easy to compose. Which word, then, stands out most prominently? This is a sentence about birds, so we already know that. And the word sky is almost unnecessary, because we can assume that's where birds fly naturally. So the most prominent word here, in my opinion, is 'high'. This is in contrast to birds that fly low, a more common sight in my neighborhood. My very simple armature then is condensed into one torus that is affixed to the adjective 'high'. I assigned the circulatory attribute of 'orbit' from the torus. Adding the armature into the original English sentence now yields:

"The birds are flying orbit high in the sky".

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a slice of a fun journey stacked with this! 

- Haveit

May 26, 2012

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