char siu, raper

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Wed Jun 4 16:20:28 UTC 2008

>>> On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 12:50 PM, Benjamin Barrett (off list)
>>>> Another word I ought to have mentioned is "ser" for "sir," which seems
>>>> likely to have been borrowed from other works. BB

I recognize it immediately from Jack Vance's "The Moon Moth" (1961).
Google Books search shows it used repeatedly by L. E. Modesitt, also by
G. Bear, E. Moon, C. L. Wilson, and others. It also has many occurrences
in more conventional books, apparently (at my glance) often/usually as
eye-dialect (I Googled <<yes-ser>> since <<ser>> gave too many
abbreviations etc.). It's natural, surely.
> If you're talking about "raper", possibly, since it's formed from a
> normal English word with a productive prefix; ....

"Raper" is not unknown. I guess I would probably prefer it myself in a
context such as "At the Rape of Nanking, who were the rapers/rapists?"
where I think maybe "rapist" would point too strongly to the
specifically sexual sense of "rape".

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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