What it means when Aligare folk say “anypace”


Aligare folk get around at their own pace.

In our English language conversations, sometimes we want to suggest that the details aren’t really important. We might indicate this with an interjection — like “anyway”, or “at any rate”. In Aligare society, people express the same sentiment, but they don’t typically say “anyway” or “at any rate”. Instead, they say “at any pace” — or “anypace” for short.

Judellie blew a jet of smoke through her grinning teeth. “He doesn’t sound so good to me.”

Rue couldn’t help a smile. “You shouldn’t say things like that. Not where folk can hear you, anypace.”

     -Chapter 5 of Render (A story of Aligare)


As Felixi turned away, he nodded. It was a movement brief as a heartbeat, but Rue felt it an accomplishment anypace.

    -Chapter 9 of Render (A story of Aligare)


Why this detail? Well, I thought it was important that these non-human folk have a few minor — but striking — differences from our Earth conversations. They’re supposed to be understandable, but not fully familiar. How better to do that than with some simple turns of phrase we don’t usually use? I know I’ve never heard another human say, “That’s what I think, at any pace.”

In a deeper sense, though, “anypace” reflects the understanding between Aligare’s three peoplekinds. Everyone has their own skill sets and abilities, and their own ways of arriving at a destination. Everyone is different; Aligare society always tries to respect that. So when someone says, “at any pace”, they basically mean to say, “However we get there and however long it takes, we’re arriving at the same conclusion.” It’s acknowledging that there’s no One Right Way to get goals accomplished.

But still, it’s a casual phrase. Aligare folk don’t think about the significance as much as I do.


Related articles:

◦  The power of one descriptive word (heidicvlach.com)

Korvitongue (heidicvlach.com)

Teas and tisanes: what’s in a name? (heidicvlach.com)

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