Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Anachronisms, Anatopisms, and "Anamegethisms" (or possibly "Anadiastasisms")
We all know about anachronisms (things that misplaced in time), and I looked up that an analogous word for space (anatopism) indeed exists. However, the word I really want for things like Dungeons and Dragons --- and maybe even for a convenient or possibly snarky use in mathematics --- is to be misplaced in dimension. In the context of Dungeons and Dragons, this would be something that is the wrong plane of existence. Apparently, there isn't a literal Greek translation of the word "dimension" in the way that we would say that time and space are examples of dimensions. Of the two choices, διάσταση (pronounced "diástasi̱") and μέγεθος (pronounced "mégethos"), the latter has an analogous form as the Greek words for time (χρόνος; khronos) and space (τόπος; place), so I have chosen to use the latter. This leaves me with the word "anamegethism". (However, from my Googling, it seems like "mégethos" would translate more to "greatness", so using a term like "anadiastasism" would probably be a more appropriate way of saying that something is displaced in dimensions, even though the form of the original Greek word is different from those for time and space.) Context (using an example that really annoyed me from a novel that I read about 25 years ago): "The kender in the Dragonlance novel whispered that their captor obviously had some orc blood, but that is a anamegethism, because orcs do not occur naturally on the world of Krynn. So even if an orc somehow got there at some point --- perhaps via spelljamming --- it still wouldn't have been something that would be construed as obvious (especially from a low-level character). If anybody who actually knows Greek --- Hell, I'm in Oxford, so I certainly have access to experts --- will let me know if I did this right, that would be great. In fact, I am going to e-mail one now. Update: I also very much like the notion of "displaced in greatness", even though I wasn't thinking of that when I started down this rabbit hole.