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scav comments on Why You're Stuck in a Narrative - Less Wrong

38 [deleted] 04 August 2009 12:31AM

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Comment author: scav 04 August 2009 12:39:52PM 6 points [-]

Yes, a constrast indeed. It contains nonsense vocabulary, but it's a perfectly coherent story, so not hard to remember.

Note also, in D&D and probably other related cultures, a "vorpal" weapon has come to mean a magic weapon with a chance of automatically decapitating a foe. And this is pure narrative compression too: in the poem, the hero goes galumphing back with the jabberwock's head after using the vorpal blade to defeat it. The poem doesn't say the jabberwock was killed by decapitation, but it's too easy to join the dots between the snicker -snack and the victorious galumphing, and thus extract an unconscious theory about what it is that "vorpal" blades do.

Comment author: SoullessAutomaton 05 August 2009 02:06:30AM 4 points [-]

It contains nonsense vocabulary, but it's a perfectly coherent story, so not hard to remember.

Nonsense vocabulary that was also carefully crafted to sound plausible, with echoes of meaning and associations to existing words.

I doubt it's possible to be any more comprehensible than Jabberwocky without using only real words.