Writers: DON’T DO THIS

okay, reading a deeply awesome Ancient Rome-set gladiator school book. Great characterisation, interesting plot, good side characters, made the story flow properly without making it seem like you’ve dumped all the research on the readers heads…


whenever the writer mentioned the gladiator training school, they used ‘ludus’ instead of ‘training school’, and when it came to clothing, ‘subligar’ instead of ‘loincloth’.


It literally brought me up with a jolt every time.

SERIOUSLY.  Don’t use words there’s a translation for when everyone’s speaking the same language.  A specific type of boat?  I see your trireme in the bay, it looks very menacing.  A specific weapon? Just don’t wave that trident near me. Type of wine? Pass the Falernian.  Just… not everyday items.  It just makes you look like you want to show that you did research when we can see you did your research already. A subligar’s not a bloody toga.  Everyone knows what a toga is, we literally don’t have any other word for ‘giant piece of cloth that you drape and wind around your entire body’.  But we do have a word for a loincloth.

I looked up ludus after finishing the book to confirm it meant what I thought it did.  I’d figured it out by context, but why didn’t you just use ‘training school’?  And worse sin by editor: ‘subligar’ and ‘ludus’ were italicised.  To draw even more attention to it.  You weren’t using ’panem’ every time you mentioned them eating bread.


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