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Old 01-31-2021, 09:02 AM   #5
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Cultural additions to the setting

Another detail: documentation. Lots of maintenance in space is done by LAIs and NAIs. Those are pretty good with language, but they may trip over excessively creative use of words. So there are restricted-vocabulary dialects of major human languages that are designed to be readily comprehensible to LAIs and NAIs, and accessible (if dull reading) to the fully sapient.

When the characters in QRA recently captured a robot that was part of a sabotage scheme on Mercury, I realised it would have its maintenance documentation in its computer. That gave some useful clues: it's written in a recent English maintenance dialect, and the layout and fonts are from a Nanodynamics corporate presentation package.

An SAI in the party is interested in languages, and on a good linguistics roll realised that the documentation was written by someone who had German as their first language: there are some characteristic misphrasings that show up in that combination. At this point, the players were asking if Nanodynamics had acquired any German operations recently, which, of course, they have: they acquired Exogenesis from System Technologies AG, a German-based company.

You know you're getting somewhere with a setting when its line editor, who is one of the players, starts making little squeaking noises.
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