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Old 07-03-2011, 11:33 AM   #51
William
 
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Default Re: Seraphim and Profanity

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Originally Posted by robkelk View Post
Names: You can call me Rob. I call me Rob. However, my name is Robert. Would a Seraph make the distinction?
I would think that any angel who grasped the concept of corporeal language would understand "sound encodes object" and "multiple words describe same object," as well as how these notions map to True Names. Indeed, your True Name might be some construction in Angelic, which you will have the chance to utter for the first time should you reach Heaven.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:35 AM   #52
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Default Re: Seraphim and Profanity

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
An angel would not have to deal with the awkwardness of being both a spirit and an animal. So it would have no reason to swear.
The original question involves an angel maintaining a Role in which it would be unusual for a human not to swear. Since "breaking cover" could be detrimental to Heaven's goals for this Role, the angel would have a reason to swear. The question is whether it could.
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:51 PM   #53
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Default Re: Seraphim and Profanity

The Angel of Disgust is an ancient Power of the Sword née Purity née Fear. Once known primarily for its outre stunts and Word-appropriate battleforms - which it still puts to good use on occasion - its good relations with both the Angel of Public Health and the Angel of Chastity (and their respective departments) have made it an important liason between Heaven's left and right wings, making it, paradoxically, primarily a diplomat. This political centrality was semi-officialized last decade when, after the Fall of the Angel of Panic, it was elevated to the Power's seat on the Council of Seven Libations, who must unanimously approve the initiation of any civilization-wide cataclysms. It itself is immaculate, alabaster feet and eyes barely peeking out of a white burkha, but flies and scorpions buzz around it.

A certain Renegade Punisher, identical in appearance, claims to be Tsayad and the same Angel of Disgust who served Fear and Purity, and that the pretender, unknown even to itself, was created by the newly elevated Commander of the Host precisely for its future political potential.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:22 PM   #54
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Default Re: Seraphim and Profanity

As far as the original question goes, the don who can casually order the bloody assassination of a rival, but slaps a capo across the face for saying "g** d*** it!" (with a Marlon-Brando-as-don-Corleone-esque "That's for blasphemy") is certainly an extant archetype in fiction. So is the teamster or the marine who pulls his load and gets just as dirty as the rest of the guys, but who won't swear or tell lewd jokes because 'his momma brought him up right'. I'd think that Seraphim would tend to gravitate to such roles.

On language use in general, I see the issue being one not of semantics, but semiotics. To celestials in general, and Seraphim in particular, every signifier has a sign that is "more rightly" attached to it. While most celestials and even the more worldly Seraphim accept that many signifiers have more than one sign attached, not using the most significant or "right" one bugs them just a little. And using signs that attach to too many signifiers bugs them as well... the correspondence between signifier and sign is part of what keeps the Seraph anchored to the symphony, and casual use of vague signs feels like balancing on a unicycle - with a little practice they can get used to it, but it still feels unstable.

Balseraphim, on the other wing, play with shifting signs and signifiers around willy-nilly. They're still acting in accordance with their inner Seraph natures, but without the anchors to the Symphony. They lie freely by using vague signs, and by assigning new signs to signifiers when it suits them. For a Seraph to do the same thing feels vaguely discordant - even if they don't recieve dissonance for it, it's still acting too much like a Balseraph.

Accordingly, in my conception, Seraphim tend to be inclined to call everyone by their full first and last name because that's the sign that attaches most rightly to that person. They nitpick about language and choose their words carefully because they don't want to obscure the links between signs and signifiers. Poetry and art is difficult for them because it does confuse those links - when Seraphim do go into art, they like Realism over Impressionism or Romanticism, and they don't see the point of Dada. Show a Seraph a scuplture of a pipe labeled "this is not a pipe" and they either don't get it, or loathe the confusion of sign and signifier it implies. They tend to avoid too colorful metaphors (and profanity with it) because that's confusing signs and signifiers again.

With their own names, as in the canonical example, it's even more important. For celestials themselves, their names (their most correct signs) are part of themselves (the sign is actually a part of the signifier in a metaphysical sense); their names are like a small Word unto themselves. Smart Seraphim taking on a Role can distinguish the Role's name and the Seraph's name, but "I am..." in whatever language feels to them as though it speaks to the Seraph's existence, not the Role's name ("Name me..." or "Call me...).

Really, Seraphim just hate bisociation. Some of them can understand it, even fewer can do it, but very few of them are ever happy about it.
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Last edited by Lord Carnifex; 07-03-2011 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:41 PM   #55
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Default Re: Seraphim and Profanity

*beth recalls a fic where she gave a newbie Seraph a headache in the Halls of Lightning; he read a paper on someone's corkboard that said "The next statement is false. The previous statement is true."*

First-off, totally ignore my meta-discussion here if it will detract from the fun of the discussion. O:> That said... ...Oh, fun, I can use the Spoiler tag!

Spoiler:  


Now, figuring out what you want on the fat end of the bell-curve? Carry on! O:>
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:55 PM   #56
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Default Re: Seraphim and Profanity

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*beth recalls a fic where she gave a newbie Seraph a headache in the Halls of Lightning; he read a paper on someone's corkboard that said "The next statement is false. The previous statement is true."
Now you make me want to run a one-shot centered around Kurt Goedel and the Incompleteness theorem. The servitors of Creation and Faith are goading him on, but if he successfully proves that "this statement cannot be proven true or false" is in fact a valid mathematical proposition, the entire choir of Seraphim might be at risk...
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:27 PM   #57
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I don't know if the Choir would be "at risk" -- well, at least not at risk of more than headaches. They already have to accept that some things, far more important than mere mathematics, are Canon Doubt and Uncertainty. (Young Seraphim probably get grabbed, by souls and other young angels, to try to get the nature of Christ all the time, and all they wind up doing is whining, "You don't know the Truth and the answer is all Symphonic Static and I'd like to go now.")
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:35 PM   #58
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Default Re: Seraphim and Profanity

now I'm trying to picture a pouting six-eyed snake.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:35 PM   #59
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http://www.prismnet.com/~arcangel/Art/Seraph1.html has a couple of Seraphim in a bad mood, if that counts... O:>
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:33 PM   #60
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Default Re: Seraphim and Profanity

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
a process designed to allow Godly couples to enjoy pleasure together and bring up children to be raised in love
...couples, or triads, or whatever-permutation-have-you... Since a newborn angel can be created with every Force coming from a different donor-parent, angels would have less reason to default to monogamy than mortals do.

Back on topic, one possible Seraphic approach to Roles is to fit the Truth to the words, rather than the words to the Truth. Once you know what your future Role is to be, make it as True as possible. Make sure that your Role name is your True name, even if it means petitioning your AA for a rename. (Exactly how a True Name is set is up to the GM, of course.) If your Role is from New York, move to New York for a while so that you're really "from New York". If your Role is a sports fan, start following that team until you honestly care if they make the playoffs this year.

More advanced (high-risk, and definitely questionable) techniques involve deliberately cultivating vices (probably under the guidance of a suitable Elohite) to enhance verisimilitude. If your Role is an addict, then cultivate the addiction.
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