As far as I am informed, Peter Leitch (the webmaster and forum admin) updated the boards to version 3 of the phpBB forum software. As he points out in the following post, the update produced some side effects and technical problems: http://www.lythia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8912. He also gives instructions on how to fix the problems (e.g. deleting all lythia.com cookies).
On a side note, the lythia.com main website has also been revamped -- looking cleaner now and more modern. I like it very much; thumbs up, Leitchy! :)
Yes, I have done a map of Hârnic Dialects, but its can't be considered "official" until Robin has fully reviewed it. He has looked at it briefly, but most of his time is currently taken up with Chélemby.
In the meantime, you can access an "unofficial" version from my Towerhills website:
It's also worth noting that once upon a time (and even today sometimes), a person's social class was usually apparent from the moment they opened their mouth. Bad grammar and bad teeth both predominate below the poverty line . .
I would expect that a nobleman from Kaldor would probably overlook the accent of a nobleman from Kanday, but sneer at the coarse speech of a serf from up the road. I would also expect the same nobleman to be sneered at in turn by his "peers" from the island of Melderyn. I can't point to anything specific in cannon, but I've always perceived the Melderyni as having a collective superiority complex.
Here's another interesting accent question: The Sindarin from the Shava Forest are pretty isolated. (Even their Jarin are relatively isolated.) It seems likely that the Sindarin speak Harnic with their own distinctive accent, although the typical Harnian might not be able to place it. That accent might even be a bit stilted or archaic sounding. Some of these same Sindarin have a custom of spending some years in their youth in the human lands trying to pass themselves off as humans. How do they handle their speech patterns? "Oh, I'm from Kaldor" might work with the average resident of Kanday, but not a well-traveled one . . .
We actually answered this one in one of those 'did you know' thingies on the previous version of this website... Hey... maybe we should get those back?
Here's the word:
An 'editorial error' once changed 'no new world crops' into 'no root crops', leaving several generations of peasants at a loss as to what to put in their turnip soup.
Off the top of my head, this includes members of the nightshade family (?) such as potato, tobacco, & tomato, as well as cocoa (although carob is available). I'm also thinking maize, but I'm not quite sure about this one, because my brain is not working right...
I simply love the 'adventure' concept of bringing a sack of spuds and dropping them in front of King Sîrnen...
Gotcha, that makes sense Robin. I was curious about visualizing geography in 3D, a la Nasa's Worldwind or Terragen, but I'm so far from giving that a try that I'll likely just inquire again personally should I get to a place where I can make an attempt at this sort of thing.
...there was a Penny Arcane article in Hârnlore 15. I still use it today as a handout to new players - it helps them a lot.
But an audio guide would be really cool. I own some foreign language dictionaries for my handheld computer that offer the feature to speak the actual word out of an additional audio file and that is sometime really helpful.
That would correspond to a small electronic Hârndex with a working "speak me" button.
I love the accents, but I understand the points here (i.e. confusing and/or pretentious seeming to some). I think the pretension accusation is unfortunate, and I suspect that may come from some experience with (other company's) products that have actually abused them (or other affectations such as the AE in Forgotten Realms, et. al.).
Personally, I don't want to lose the accents, I like them. For me, an option to display or not display the accents would be far preferable to having no accents displayed in the texts. Frankly, it's too easy to pronounce the names incorrectly without them. But a pronunciation guide, and vowel key, would be very handy I suspect.
Very sorry to hear about the onc revisitation. :-/
Hopefully this time, after yet another round of chemistry, they'll get the idea that they aren't truly welcomed.
Granted, having them over for tea, or a game session, every now and then might not be so bad (old friends, after all), but like most people, they tend to outstay their welcome.
Although I've been using up most of my good thoughts lately (my re-spawn rate for positive thoughts has somehow been set to < LOW > (not quite sure how that happened)), I'll be sure to send what I have left your way. I'm pretty sure that I left a few under the couch as well (for rainy days)... if the cats have left any, I'll pop those over to you as well.
My wishes for your good health (now and in the future)...