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Old Dec 21 2011, 08:51 PM   #1
skywaterblue
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Default Green Dragon Eggs are Green, Sam I Am.

"An immense sigh, like a gust of wind, swept through the cavern. For there, now Ramoth's wings were furled, gleamed an egg of glowing gold among the tan, the green and the blue ones. A queen egg!"

I recently picked up the "Weyr Search" and "Dragonrider Part One" Analog issues at a rummage sale. There are a lot of minor changes in "Dragonrider" but nothing quite as severe as in "Weyr Search". Certainly by "Dragonrider", McCaffrey knows that the green dragons are female, and I think Gaxom as a name for Jaxom actually makes more canonical sense.

Still, I like this line, which indicates to me that originally Anne intended for anyone to be able to tell which egg held which color dragon.
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Old Dec 22 2011, 12:18 AM   #2
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I assume Jaxom's name starts with a 'J' because Gemma's name started with a 'J'-sound. And it includes the 'M' from Gemma too --- J-ax-m.

'Gaxom' would start with a hard 'G'.

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Old Dec 22 2011, 02:16 AM   #3
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Tell that to Gemma. It's a common girl's name with a J- sound.
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Old Dec 22 2011, 09:58 AM   #4
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I assume Jaxom's name starts with a 'J' because Gemma's name started with a 'J'-sound. And it includes the 'M' from Gemma too --- J-ax-m.

'Gaxom' would start with a hard 'G'.

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Gemma uses the soft-g in America. (If that's wrong, then poor Ms. Artereon and Ms. Ward have had their names brutally mangled by us for years now without correcting anyone! And there's a handful of little girls I need to go tell right away.) Sounding more like gamma then Jenna.

Whereas I've always said Jaxom with a hard-J. So Gaxom with a soft-g sounds more like a mix of his mother and father's names - though admittedly, far more awful than Jaxom and its rough connotations to Jack.
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Old Dec 22 2011, 11:10 AM   #5
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Still, I like this line, which indicates to me that originally Anne intended for anyone to be able to tell which egg held which color dragon.
No. It's been consistent from the get-go that other eggs can be anything, but the queen egg is Special with a capital S. It's always been the only egg that can be told apart and is even treated differently by the brooding queen, to emphasize it's rare AND especially in Dragonflight extremely important as it's also evident even from Weyr Search on that the golds are the only breeders. (What does seem implied in Weyr Search is the idea of there only being one gold at a time, with a queen producing a replacement only very rarely.)

I think the English-speaker instinct is for a hard G when it's only followed by a short vowel and no double consonants. ("Gemma" is actually from Italian, and there's a UK-English variant "Jemma" anyway.) There's basically only one way to pronounce "J" in English (like a soft G, hence variant spellings of Jennifer/Gennifer being pronounced the same) Anne may have decided to make it obvious how "Jaxom" was supposed to be pronounced.
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Old Dec 22 2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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I typed that above line straight from "Dragonrider Part One" in Analog. I can take a picture and upload it after work if you'd like, but since there's no mention anywhere in the following hatching scene about chromatic+bronze hatching from random eggs, my interpretation is valid.

[...] The tan, the green and the blue ones
is changed in the novel to the mottled ones, but in this Analog novella edition, it's quite clear to me she intended for the egg color to indicate content and later changed her mind.
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Old Dec 22 2011, 02:05 PM   #7
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I never noticed the name thing because I always read Gemma with a hard G.
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Old Dec 22 2011, 02:56 PM   #8
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There's basically only one way to pronounce "J" in English (like a soft G, hence variant spellings of Jennifer/Gennifer being pronounced the same) Anne may have decided to make it obvious how "Jaxom" was supposed to be pronounced.
Given that we never see the state of the Pernese written language, and the society as a whole is of only limited literacy, any spellings should really only be taken purely as a guide for the reader behind the fourth wall. Anne's background awareness of names and the standard pronunciations used in anglo-american english are the rules to follow, if any rules are there at all.

In other words... what she said. Gemma is most likely a soft G because it's a popular vairant spelling of the known name Jemma. Jaxom uses the J rather than an ambiguous G because that way the reader gets the pronunciation clearly. Brenda excepted.

Unless they're Spanish...

Hans, a question for you if you're reading? How much do the given names of the major characters vary in different translations? Or are they left as is, making Jaxom more of a Haxom for some people?
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Old Dec 22 2011, 05:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Green Dragon Eggs are Green, Sam I Am.

A quick look at a Dutch Dragonquest and a Czech Moreta shows the names seem to be left alone. In the Czech I noted the ending letters of names varied (several variants on one page), which looks like it must be a grammar issue rather than an alteration of the original spelling.
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Old Dec 22 2011, 11:12 PM   #10
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I assumed it would have been spelled Jemma unless it was a hard G. Well, not like I analyzed my perceptions at the time, but I believe that's what the thought process was...
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Old Dec 23 2011, 02:51 AM   #11
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I shared a room at boarding school with a Jemma and a Gemma right before reading dragonflight for the first time...
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Old Dec 23 2011, 05:42 AM   #12
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Default Re: Green Dragon Eggs are Green, Sam I Am.

Usual UK-English rule is soft G before 'e' or 'i': hard G before 'a', 'o' or 'u'.

Main exception (when doesn't English have them?) is margarine, but that's probably because the abreviation (marge) correctly has a soft G.
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Old Dec 23 2011, 08:01 AM   #13
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Usual UK-English rule is soft G before 'e' or 'i': hard G before 'a', 'o' or 'u'.
We have the same rule in US English. But exceptions abound.
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Old May 17 2012, 04:39 AM   #14
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Usual UK-English rule is soft G before 'e' or 'i': hard G before 'a', 'o' or 'u'.
Yeah, one of my given names is "Gail" with a hard "G". Would've been picked on worse than I was had it been pronounced "Jail."

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Old May 17 2012, 09:29 AM   #15
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They left the names in Serbian translation, though Gemma is than read with a G, not a J (in other words, as it's written).
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Old May 20 2012, 10:26 AM   #16
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Default Re: Green Dragon Eggs are Green, Sam I Am.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skywaterblue View Post
I typed that above line straight from "Dragonrider Part One" in Analog. I can take a picture and upload it after work if you'd like, but since there's no mention anywhere in the following hatching scene about chromatic+bronze hatching from random eggs, my interpretation is valid.

[...] The tan, the green and the blue ones
is changed in the novel to the mottled ones, but in this Analog novella edition, it's quite clear to me she intended for the egg color to indicate content and later changed her mind.
I was reading the story "The Smallest Dragonboy" in the short story collection "Get off the Unicorn" and found this on page 278:

"The egg was marked bya large yellowish splotch in the shape of a dragon back-winging to land, talons outstretched to grasp rock. Everybody knew that bronze eggs bore distinctive markings."

And on the following page, 279:

"The shell had a soft greenish-blue tinge with a faint creamy swirl design. The consensus was that this egg contained a mere green, so Keevan was rarely bothered by rivals."

These two passages do suggest that bronze eggs themselves may be identifiable, and maybe others down to the mix of colours on their shell maybe tentatively identifiable, but possibly not conclusively. Perhaps "mottled" just refers to the fact that the eggs are not one uniform colourm but patterned with two or more, either randomly or, apparently in the bronzes, with something that resembes a pattern (although how THAT is achieved by the queen, I couldn't say. I cannot find a parallell in the biolgy of any creatrure of Earth. Rarely, something may bear what appears to be a design, but nothing that produces diffrent but identifiable images consitently.)

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Old May 20 2012, 10:55 AM   #17
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apparently in the bronzes, with something that resembes a pattern (although how THAT is achieved by the queen, I couldn't say. I cannot find a parallell in the biolgy of any creatrure of Earth.
Identifiable images would be identifiable as such in the same way as shapes in the clouds I imagine.

As for how it's achieved, bear in mind that while the non-queen eggs are similar in size, the hatchlings in size are not. There isn't really an Earth animal analogue for that situation. Faster growing, larger dragons with larger yolk sacs may cause more uneven stretching and striations on the shell prior to clutching.
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Old May 20 2012, 05:58 PM   #18
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Default Re: Green Dragon Eggs are Green, Sam I Am.

There's also this line in Dragon's Fire:

"Eggs as high as Cristov's chest were sheltered together in an array of mottled brilliance - bluish, greenish, brown, soft brown, the eggs were swirls of colour that confused the eye."

Perhaps all the non-queen eggs have these colourings, and people simply assume one egg holds a certain dragon based on whatever shell colour is dominant - perhaps that's how they guessed how many Bronzes Ramoth clutched in Dragonflight, although they could have simply counted the eggs and divided that by the normal ratio of dragon colours.
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Old May 21 2012, 01:55 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Almaron View Post
There's also this line in Dragon's Fire:

"Eggs as high as Cristov's chest were sheltered together in an array of mottled brilliance - bluish, greenish, brown, soft brown, the eggs were swirls of colour that confused the eye."

Perhaps all the non-queen eggs have these colourings, and people simply assume one egg holds a certain dragon based on whatever shell colour is dominant - perhaps that's how they guessed how many Bronzes Ramoth clutched in Dragonflight, although they could have simply counted the eggs and divided that by the normal ratio of dragon colours.
And maybe in some cases it IS a guess, after all nobody seems to be certain. I can't remember which book ofhand but am sure someone says they wager there are a certain amount of bronzes in a clutch. (my emphasis.) I assume a broody queen would not take kindly to people turning her eggs over just to check how much of a certain colour is prevalent over the entitre egg...

Of course, it may also be that shell colour is a bit of a 'red herring' too, making it even more of a guessing game, but using the count-and-divide to work out the ratio, and THEN try abd work out which egg holds what dragon. After all, if a queen can be greengold (Orlith) or anrique gold (Holth) surely you can get dark bronze, light bronze greenbronze, and variations thereof. Bet the bronzes and browns are hardest to tell apart!

And Kath, love your idea as how stretching of the eggs could lead to the patterning - a bronze would strain its shell more than a ble/green, lrading to many striations that could join up to form -to an eye looking for it - a "distinctive marking." Makes sense to me!

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