Deceptively Disinterested

I like words.  I like them so much I make up ones rather regularly as one hopes is noticed when I write such things as “paralysistic” in my posts.  While I’m all in favor of making up words, I’m not terribly fond of changing the meaning of words.  Sure, it happens all of the time.  It’s the nature of language that words come to mean very different things, often enough the opposite of what they once meant.  Slang becomes mainstream, mainstream falls out of favor.  Whatever.

I want to point out two words, though, whose use continues to be notably annoying.  I’m not on some crusade to restore proper use of these words, I just feel like venting a bit and thought it might be interesting for those who don’t notice how they are used.  At some point, it will hardly matter – language evolves.

I’ll even try to tie this into gaming, somehow, since the point of the blog is not to muse upon random things in life.

Enormity

I heard this misused on a radio show this morning.  Yes, I listen to radio.  I know.  Bazaar [just seeing if you are paying attention].  I knew that our current President, Barack Obama, misused the word in his State of the Union Address; it is the only thing I recall of his speech.  I hadn’t realized Bill Clinton had also done so.  And, of course, these aren’t the only two presidents to misuse the word.  One would think their speech writers would work a bit harder or pay more attention to history.

Someday, it will likely have a primary meaning of vastness or enormousness.  Meanwhile, it should be used to mean gross wickedness, ghastliness, etc.  The enormity of a crime isn’t scale in and of itself but the notable wickedness of the crime.

So, that the enormity of the lack of rarity indicators on V:TES cards is ignored by the playerbase to such a degree is surprising to me and others I play with who are familiar with multiple CCGs.  If everyone else [it’s possible that someone else hasn’t in the last 10 years] can indicate rarity on the cards, V:TES can do it, too.  “But, rarities change.  Cards become fixed.”  Um, yeah, that happens in other CCGs, too – somehow, they manage to indicate rarity on the cards, anyway.

I could bring up other problems with V:TES – lack of keywords, lack of clear timing rules, inconsistent wording – that would fall under an area of management of the game that was not card design, but really, these aren’t nearly as surprising, so I kind of find them lacking in the enormity department.  I don’t really have much else to use as examples, mostly because there aren’t other games I care enough about to disparage to such a degree.

Moot

Increasingly, moot has come to mean settled.  This is because proper use of the word had the equivalent result to a matter being settled and people hearing its use didn’t realize the distinction.

What does it mean?  Debatable.  More specifically, it’s a matter in doubt because it’s debatable on an academic level.  You don’t argue about moot things in the course of your normal day because there is no known way to come to a conclusion as to what the answer is, not because the answer is known already or because there is no answer since the question is faulty.

I’ve gotten really tired of people answering rules questions with “Moot.” when what they meant was irrelevant or that the answer was obvious from information available.

What is the best vampire in V:TES?  Moot.  I claim Tupdog.  At virtually no point in the game’s history would I have said Arika as Anson was clearly superior up until at least the change in wording to Anarch Revolt.  Or, was he?  Who is up for some academic debate?

What is the best deck in V:TES?  For any given tournament?  Moot.  What’s the metagame going to be like for a given event?  I don’t know.  I can try to theorize.  So can everyone else.  The metagame isn’t the end all and be all of making a deck decision, anyway.  A common comment with Magic players, a game where metagames are much more important, is that you still have to be comfortable with the deck you play.  If you are comfortable with aggro and suck at playing control, doesn’t matter that control will be advantaged in the metagame.

Is Dominate overpowered?  … I don’t see this being moot, more being obvious.  I stated that I’d like to see movement in what the best clans/disciplines/whatever are in V:TES.  The sort of reply that I recall from my statement was along the lines of “You can’t make Quietus the best in the game as it would cause too much of a power increase or would require bannings/card rotations.”  Well, if Dominate weren’t so overpowered, it would be that much easier to elevate other disciplines.

What is the best RPG?  Moot.  What sort of experience are you looking for?  I hate d20 mechanics because I find them fiddly and flavorless, but I like Conan d20 because the world is a great world for swords and sorcery style role-playing and the mechanics aren’t as overbearing to the experience as in D&D 3.0 or 3.5.  I also hated FATE as being too vague, too confusing, counterintuitive, and forcing players to do things they should have the choice to do on their own.  Are we talking one shot or campaign?  Campaign play should see a good experience system where characters evolve mechanically if not always becoming clearly more powerful.  One shots don’t need an experience system at all.

Unfortunately, many more interesting RPG systems (to me) are tied into a specific world, a world that I may not care that much about.  My favorite system today is Legend of the Five Rings Third Edition Revised; it has been my favorite system for years.  But, I only like part of the world of Rokugan.  I would much rather see the system applied to other genres, assuming, of course, one can find enough players.

If you can’t find enough players to play a RPG, the value of that RPG is none.  It’s not moot, not debatable.  But, you can always find players if you try hard enough, so we move back into the world of moot-osity.  Course, can come from the other direction.  If a play group enjoys a RPG, it has sufficient value.  It’s not debatable what its value is – its value is “This is fun.”

Pedantic?  Sure.  That’s the way I roll.  Can someone find some grammar error, spelling error, misuse of a word (probably a use of “ironic”, which I don’t want to get into, though it could have been mentioned) on my part?  Sure.  It’s not like language is static or easily mastered.  I just prefer people to use enormiosity when they mean vast and unregardable when they mean irrelephant.

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2 Responses to Deceptively Disinterested

  1. Andrew Haas says:

    I always took moot to mean rendered irrelevant by other things.
    “Who has the fastest boat?” A moot point because there is no water. I’ll have to research this more, the challenge to you becomes either using these words properly in the mod you’re writing, or, using them incorrectly and seeing if anyone notices.

  2. […] hack and slash mentality, where the adventure is framed within a context of plot-unregardable [see Deceptively Disinterested for definition] combat.  Sure, even in hack and slash, there’s the possibility of gaining or […]

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