After the new neighbors moved into the house next door, I was curious enough to introduce myself.
Knowing what I know now, I should have minded my own business.
One night they weren’t there. The next morning they were, having arrived in a beat-up white van in the dead of night.
The house had been vacant as long as I lived next door, a foreclosure sign perched in the front yard. I wrote freelance from my own home and could see it from my office window. In all my staring out that window while battling writers’ block, I hadn’t noticed anyone paying it a visit. The new owners must have closed the sale quickly at auction and moved right in.
The night after the van showed up in the driveway, I stayed up late working. That was when I got my first glimpses of the neighbors through a window at the side of the house.
Peering through someone’s window makes me sound like a voyeur, but I couldn’t see much at all. Oddly, they hadn’t turned any lights on. All I could see were silhouettes passing through the darkened interior of the home. The only thing I could make out from their shadowy profiles was that they were a man and woman.
At one point, I looked up from my computer and saw that the female silhouette had paused, its back to the window. It remained unmoving for a long minute before I realized I was wrong about which way it was facing.
It was looking back at me.
Something about the anonymous silhouette’s gaze sent a chill down my spine. I closed my blinds and called it a day.
When I woke up the next morning, a thick black curtain hung in the window in the house next door.
I didn’t see either of the neighbors again until that night.
I was returning home from a run when I noticed a man bent over behind the open doors of the white van. One of the new neighbors.
I paused. I felt a little self-conscious that I’d been caught peeking through his window, presumably by his wife. More importantly, I still wanted to know about the people who’d bought the long-empty house next door.
I decided to introduce myself.
“Hey, neighbor,” I began cheerfully, walking towards him, “I saw you moved in next door. I’m Colin—”
He stood up from the position he’d assumed halfway inside the van, and what I saw left me for a moment without words.
He had no facial expressions.
What that looks like is hard to describe. It was something I’d never seen before, something I can almost guarantee you’ve never seen either.
There was nothing wrong with his face, at least in the conve... keep reading on reddit ➡
TL;DR Critiques of my noun and morphology and syntax?
I'm a first-time conlanger and I'm building a naming language for some fiction I'm working on. I was hoping to get some criticism of my work so far and advice on what to work on next. The language is named Z̧one (ʐɔ'nɛ), and is spoken by the Baltosh (bal'tɔʃ), a race of aliens that just happens to have nearly identical phonation to humans. See this post for the phonetics, phonotactics, and writing system
Nouns receive inflected declensions based on number, case, and "gender". Nouns are classified into four "genders": male, female, countable neuter, and uncountable neuter. The male and female genders apply only to personal names (Mlado, Sansho) and nouns that describe a specific person of known gender (ni gosong "the grandfather"). Unknown individuals and groups of mixed gender use countable neuter declensions (ḑaf afu "the mayor (whoever that is)", ḑalf gosongang "the grandparents"). Countable and uncountable nouns are relatively systematically divided, with some exceptions; countable nouns are numerable physical objects or events that are highly discrete in time, while uncountable nouns are mass nouns like water or sand and non-physical concepts like ideas or values.
Nouns almost always appear with a definite article that concords with the person, number, and case of the noun they modify. There are no indefinite articles; gendered nouns may be rendered indefinite by presenting them in the countable neuter (ḑaf gosong "a grandparent"), while neuter nouns can be modified with the determinant adjectives oş "one" or daxe "some" to indicate indefinicy. Neuter nouns will occasionally have different meanings in the countable and uncountable genders (ɖaf balte “the fruit”, ɖoş balte “the fruit tree”).
Articles may be replaced with determiners, which receive inflections based on the class of the noun they modify (ŗif elo "that man (nom)", ŗifef elon "that man (acc)"). Note that numbers other than oş "one" do not act as articles; ḑalf namof ţels "three rifles", lit. "the rifles three" is an acceptable subject for a sentence, whereas * ţels namof is not.
Adjectives occur after the noun they modify and do not receive inflections based on the nouns they modify (Z̧one is strongly head-initial and generally head-m... keep reading on reddit ➡
As an atheist/agnostic myself:
What exactly is our understanding of what "God" is? This isn't the "Lol nobody understands god and why he does what he does", but I'd like to hear what God, as a concept, is. Obviously, for Christians, he is personlike (or rather we are god-like being created in his image), but for agnostics and atheists, is this view also consistent when we say things like "God doesn't exist"?
The following thought was sparked when a typical airhead said to me: "god is not understandable, but we know he is" and I was about to brush it off when my own train of thought was like "NO, STOP, THINK A LITTLE" Purely as a concept, I take God to mean infinite order. This definition of God would absolutely fail in most religions that depict God as human-like (or rather that humans are created in God's image, and so God makes decisions and whatnot)That is, I place this belief as a foil(why did I use this word, fuck high school literature) to my belief in true randomness. After all, randomness, if you believe it exists (many people probably do), is the belief in something you will never understand. By definition, it cannot be understood. How can we recognize it, and know that it is not simply our lack of understanding that something occurs at random vs predictably? We can never say something was "random", only that it seemed random or it didn't follow any law or math that we currently understand. One of the things that really got me interested in concepts like this was the prime numbers, and how their behavior is rather peculiar and seemingly random. It is my own belief that mathematics and philosophy(not religion) are a lot closer than they may at first seem (our upbringing in the education system makes them seem almost opposite). Obviously the randomness analogy to God falls short in quite a few ways, but has anybody else had this thought before? Also, obviously the way I see the definition of God as a concept may not coincide with many others.
I understand 99% of /r/atheism is concerned with the historical importance of religion, wars, people using religion for their ends, and etc, so this thought may not go through to most of the people who read it.
Lastly, this is meant to be a discussion for me (discussion is where each party contributes for their own personal understanding. Debate is where parties contribute to convince or educate a third party. Arguments are where parties try to convince each other).