Saturday, December 8, 2007

Future Quiz

I suppose if I was a better person I'd get some sort of book on scientific trends and the future and do future research, but I hate research, which is one of the many reasons I don't write historicals. I enjoy making stuff up.  And hey, with a novel in set 40-something years in the future, you'd think I could make it all up. But actually, you can still have anachronisms, and that's something I struggle with.  I have the geopolitical, transportation and clothing issues figured out, but sometimes it's the little things that give me most trouble. 

Here are some questions at the top of my mind lately as I revise. Feel free to weigh in!

1. 40-something years in the future, will they still use the terms:
  • Freak out as in, "don't freak out about my messy car."
  • Shit, as in, "oh, shit."
  • Angsting, as in, "he's angsting about his job again."
  • Will they still say wow, and if not, any suggestions?
2. I'm getting that there won't be phones, but rather a single small device that does everything and hooks to stations, or is carried around in a pocket. (In my book it's called a cometz.)  But when somebody calls a person on their cometz, will people still say it's ringing? I sometimes think about it toning, but I hate tone as a verb.  Currently, I just work around it.   

3. Will people still wear watches?

4. Will there still be paper or hemp-print magazines, or will it all be digital? I have a magazine scene, and I need them to be paper, but I worry about that.  

5. Will all supermarket and store checkouts be digitized, or will humans still be involved?


bettie said...

> I enjoy making stuff up.

Me too! That's my whole philosophy of writing: make shit up.

Making up futuristic slang is tricky. With the exception of Orwell's Newspeak, and BSG's invaluable contribution of "frack," I'm again' it.

>I sometimes think about it toning,
> but I hate tone as a verb
What about buzzing? Alerting? Pinging?

lisabea said...

I think Oh shit is universal, timeless, and necessary. The rest is up in the air. Watches? I don't ever wear one now, so I doubt I'd wear one 40 years from now. Unless I get some AWESOME pimped out platinum watch with diamonds and shit. Then I'll wear it until I get mugged.

Carolyn Jean said...

Bettie, I really like pinging. Gosh, I feel so uncreative for thinking toning was the only way to go.
Lisabea, well, I'm glad you think oh shit is universal. I wonder when it started.

lisabea said...


writtenwyrdd said...

In terms of terms, you might consider this: Many of the common terms we use now are terms developed as part of the drug culture. They have had longevity. We say jonesing, far out, cool, bummer, tripping, freak out, messed up, etc. All these are derived from drug culture/60s slang.

And, make shit up. It's your perogative and most of the fun in writing spec fic!

Sarai said...

Love writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy romance in fact three of my books "in progress are" but enough about that.
Can you say ringing once and let it go or I picked really funky music like Hot Chocolate's You Sexy Thing as a ring tone. Old school yet still cool? Would that work?
IDK sounds like it's going to be good though!