May the Words Be Ever in Your Favor

Another reason to pay attention in school–you could get ideas for your own bestselling dystopian YA series. The Oxford Dictionaries looks at the language of The Hunger GamesThey point out how Panem is a take “panem et circenses,” a reference by Roman poet Juvenal to Ancient Roman society. Another part I liked in particular:

“Like many fantasy writers, Collins has invented some new vocabulary of her own. Anavox is akin to a slave – someone who has been punished for a ‘crime’ and thereby made a mute servant. Her reason for choosing this word is simple: the Greek prefix ‘a’ means ‘without’ and the Latin ‘vox’ means ‘voice’ so avox literally means ‘without voice’.”

When I was in sixth grade, I was so mad at my parents for signing me up for Latin class. But apparently they–and Suzanne Collins–were onto something. From real history to bits of inspired Latin, a little knowledge can really inspire your book.

(image: NYPL Digital Gallery)

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