Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ceqli and Cartoons

Here's a trivial but interesting puzzle.  In real life, I'm a cartoonist.  The word is a little ambiguous in English, because to a lot of people it means 'animator.'  There are two basic kinds of 'cartoons' — animated and print.  And print cartoons are divided into comic strips and gag cartoons.  Now, there's also a thin like between cartoonists and fine artists.  Guys like me are definitely cartoonists, whereas some, like Doug Sneyd, are clearly just about fine artists, though their work is in the form of a gag cartoon.  Now, all three groups — animators, comic strip cartoonists, and gag cartoonists — sort of do the same thing. Draw simplified pictures.  A lot of languages use some form of 'caricature' to designate all three, but 'caricature' has a special, narrower meaning in English.  And there simply aren't any words out there that are borrowable into Ceqli.

And this leads me to think that I need a word for cartoon, and compound words to indicate all three, and maybe eventually even more fine-tuned classifications.   Let's say we have:

tun - is-a-simplified drawing, usually humorous in some way, but not necessarily. Simply a shortening of the English word which is used in a few other languages.
zinatun - a magazine cartoon.  That covers me and all the artists in New Yorker and other magazines.
jurnaltun - newspaper cartoon.  That covers comic strips in newspapers, as well as single-panel cartoons, like "Ziggy," that appear in newspapers.
tunfilm - an animated cartoon, or cartoon film, or an "anime," a word we get from Japanese.
paneltun - a single-panel cartoon, wherever it's printed.
stritun - a comic strip cartoon, stri meaning a long thin thing.

Having decided all that, and deciding that the base root should mean is-a-cartoon and not makes-cartoons, I see that I need a word for "worker" to append to tun to mean "cartoonist."  I say 'worker,' because many languages use -ist, but that's too broad, what with artist, Buddhist, anarchist.  Too many meanings.  I want a word that doesn't just mean cartoon-maker, but cartoon-worker.  Someone whose job or profession is making, or somehow dealing with, cartoons.  It would work in such compounds as build-worker, office-worker, government-worker, health-worker, shoe-worker.  So let's take kam from Hindi, to mean 'do work,' or 'be a worker.'  So...

Go tunkam.  I'm a cartoonist.
Go zinatunkam.  I'm a magazine cartoonist.


Go tunfar.  I make cartoons.  But a lot of people do that, but it's not their job. Note that kam doesn't mean "make professionally," but has a broader meaning of doing work that has something to do with the root word.  In the case of cartoons, a cartoon worker is also a cartoon maker, but an office worker doesn't make offices.  If you say

Go tunkam.  And you're asked, "Oh, do you print cartoon books?'  You'd say
Bu.  Go hwey tun.  "No, I draw cartoons."

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