Formal Whimzy

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Formal Whimzy, commonly known simply as Whimzy, is the official language of government, religion, and business in the City of Goats. The language is tonal and rich in labial and guttural consonants, originating in the plains region surrounding the city.

Background

Whimzy was, in ancient times, the only language spoken in the area that comprises the City of Goats and the surrounding region. As the city developed and drew more migrants from surrounding cities and towns, Caprinian developed as a local pidgin of Whimzy. Over time the two languages diverged so much as to appear almost unrelated. Caprinian is now the accepted lingua franca in the City of Goats. However, well educated Caprinians are schooled in Whimzy from a very young age, as fluency is desirous and even necessary at any level of societal life beyond the home.

Characteristics

As previously stated, Whimzy is a tonal language. It is also decibelary. The relative tone as well as the relative loudness of a spoken word effects its meaning. This makes spoken Whimzy difficult to master, and nearly impossible for non-Caprinians.

Young Caprinians must begin learning to pronounce Whimzy in the home, long before mandatory formal schooling begins. If education is delayed, some of the more complicated gutteral and labial sounds may be impossible to master.

Written Whimzy

Written Whimzy is more complicated than the spoken language, and most Caprinians do not begin learning the art until after the primary stage of education. The alphabet of Whimzy is relatively simple, but the diacritical, tonal, and decibelary marks that characterize written Whimzy are extensive and absolute in their use. In that sense, written Whimzy is extremely formulaic, and once mastered, direct and unambiguous. However, mastery of the language system takes years, even for native Caprinians, and many a foreign businessman has been run out of the city for an unfortunately placed decibelary mark, rendering his intended window advertisment for "Buy one, get one free!" into something quite otherwise.

Whimzy in Politics & Religion

It has been noted that very few non-native Caprinians hold office or wear The Collar in the City of Goats. This is most likely due to the difficulty the have learning the language, both spoken and written, having not been schooled from their childhood in its forms. An improperly zerbeted labial or a flatly decibelized syllable can incite a courtroom to violence, or scandalize a devotee seeking penance and absolution. Entering a priesthood or government position without proper and extensive study of Whimzy can have dire consequences, and is actually discouraged by the rigorous Whimzy Bar Association.

Whimzy's Effects on Society

As a result of the complications of Whimzy, and its importance to political, religious, and business life, the City of Goats has very few residents who are not native Caprinians. Foreigners that do manage to master the language are held in high esteem.

"Ah, s/he hails from The City," is the highest praise a non-native Caprinian can receive.

--Mbowen (talk) 08:33, 18 March 2016 (EDT)

Citations: The Collar, Whimzy Bar Association