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Now that a few more Numenera questions are coming in, there's been some misunderstanding about whether or not there is an accent over the last 'e', which stems from the logo "NUMENÉRA".

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry - didn't realize I'd created a brand new meta tag. \$\endgroup\$ – dlras2 Sep 11 '13 at 18:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Easy enough mistake to make! I reverted my changes to that question and to the [numenera] tag wiki based on this. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 11 '13 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie No problem! I made the meta here, rather just in comments elsewhere, cause I wasn't 100% certain myself after I saw the logo. If anyone sees it anywhere in text, then can bring it up here. \$\endgroup\$ – dlras2 Sep 11 '13 at 20:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ I did wonder for a moment whether it was simply styling or a name refinement before I did the editing, but I didn't actually... y'know... research it very well. Or at all. So this is useful. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 11 '13 at 20:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Changed the title after realizing the slug looked weird... is-it-numenera-or-numenera \$\endgroup\$ – dlras2 Sep 12 '13 at 16:40
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There is no accent over the final 'e' in Numenera. The mark on the logo is styling, not an accent.

This is confirmed by the rest of the website and Monte Cook's blog, where Numenera is written without the accent everywhere in the text, and in the title of the website.

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    \$\begingroup\$ As a Spanish speaker, I wanted this to be wrong, believing that it could be an issue of US keyboards making it simpler to not carry the accent. But then I went to the core book, and the term is always written without accent. \$\endgroup\$ – Adriano Varoli Piazza Sep 12 '13 at 14:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a non-Spanish speaker, I'm curious why? Is it a Spanish-rooted word? \$\endgroup\$ – dlras2 Sep 12 '13 at 14:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's a Latin-rooted word. From en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numen : Numen, pl. numina, ("an influence perceptible by mind but not by senses,is a Latin term for a potential, guiding the course of events in a particular place or in the whole world, used in Roman philosophical and religious thought. It's just that, in Spanish, we do use accents, and for me, "Numenéra" looked better, even though it'd actually be incorrect Spanish: accents are not written on the penultimate syllable of a word when the word ends in a vowel. But it still looked nicer :) \$\endgroup\$ – Adriano Varoli Piazza Sep 12 '13 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought it was more of a pun on “new men era”. \$\endgroup\$ – okeefe Sep 15 '13 at 17:59
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What do Official Sources Say?

For:

Against:

My conclusion is that it doesn't actually have a diacritic.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the nice find, tho I would argue that the rep for the video game is mistaken on their reasoning. \$\endgroup\$ – dlras2 Sep 16 '13 at 20:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dlras2 I'm inclined to agree. Still, it's a data point. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex P Sep 16 '13 at 21:28
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Oddly enough, the stylistic accent on the e seems to be inaccurate in terms of the word’s origin.

As @AdrianoVaroliPiazza points out in a comment,

It's a Latin-rooted word. From en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numen : Numen, pl. numina, ("an influence perceptible by mind but not by senses,is a Latin term for a potential, guiding the course of events in a particular place or in the whole world, used in Roman philosophical and religious thought. It's just that, in Spanish, we do use accents, and for me, "Numenéra" looked better, even though it'd actually be incorrect Spanish: accents are not written on the penultimate syllable of a word when the word ends in a vowel. But it still looked nicer :)

He’s mostly correct, but numenera is not a Latin word. The word numen is, but it’s also a Spanish word (with the same forms, s. numen pr. "numEn", and pl. numina pr. "numIna"), and Latin does not have the -era suffix while Spanish does: it implies the place or object where the suffixed noun is usually found. This suffix is explicitly -era not -éra, so numenéra would be incorrect as Adriano points out. The word would still be pronounced "numenEra" in Spanish, though.

That said, I think the correct form would be numinera rather than numenera, but either way numenéra is right out.

For those curious, by my estimation, the meaning of the word would probably be something close to a shrine: it’s a place where one finds a guiding spirit or perhaps an object containing a guiding spirit, or possibly the state of being a such a spirit (“spirit-ness”).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @AdrianoVaroliPiazza I’d love for you to confirm or correct my Spanish; this started as just me talking about Latin but I delved a bit into the Spanish even though I do not know the language. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 12 '13 at 16:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Given how language changes, it's to be expected that it would mutate over the course of eight civilisations. What's surprising is that it's recognisable as a Latin-rooted word at all. Or maybe that's just artistic license for the convenience of an English-language RPG. ;) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 12 '13 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ As to the origin, Monte's written about it in his design diaries. The reason I didn't quote it in my answer is it's a year old, and possibly outdated if he decided to stylistically add an accent on. \$\endgroup\$ – dlras2 Sep 12 '13 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Some extra quips: I said "it's a Latin-rooted" word", not "it's a Latin word" :). As for the time passed while still sounding Latin, it could be a cognate (it sounds Latin, but only by chance). \$\endgroup\$ – Adriano Varoli Piazza Sep 12 '13 at 17:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Something I didn't correct: though numenera follows grammatical and orthographical rules of the Spanish language, it is not a Spanish word: it's neither accepted by the Real Academia Española de la Lengua (the official body that reviews and "controls" the language), nor in common use in any Spanish-speaking country. Could be a neologism, in a few years :) \$\endgroup\$ – Adriano Varoli Piazza Sep 12 '13 at 17:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AdrianoVaroliPiazza Thanks! And yes, I realized it was not a proper, recognized Spanish word; I actually specifically avoided saying that it was. I said it wasn't a Latin word, and pointed out the -era construction in Spanish, which Latin works. My intent was something along the lines of "numenera could not be a Latin work, but could be a Spanish word (though it isn’t)." \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 14 '13 at 16:33

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