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Old 11-12-2007, 07:53 AM   #1
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Authors who don't know the meaning of words...

Just been re-reading David Eddings' "Belgariad" series. An excellent fantasy series, but I just spotted this "howler" in book 4 of the series:

"The Mrin Codex was an ancient-looking scroll..."

Mr Eddings really should go and look up the word "Codex" in a dictionary and find out what it means .

Despite such errors, a series I can thoroughly recommend to anyone who enjoys "swords and sorcery" type fantasy novels.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:12 AM   #2
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I read Belgariad a couple of years ago, it was quite good as far as I remember. I should perhaps mention that in general I love monumental fantasy series.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:18 AM   #3
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I love the series - I've read it over and over again; I was just rather amused by this error. A "codex", in case anyone doesn't know, is a book. ie it is specifically not a scroll. The invention of the codex revolutionised reading because you can "flip through" a codex, whereas the only way to read a scroll is from "end to end" (plus the fact that, when you've finished it, you have to "rewind" it for the next reader).
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:37 AM   #4
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maybe it was a rolled up book, so i kind of looked like a scroll
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:27 AM   #5
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Didn't they used to convert scrolls to codexes (codexi?) by pleating them? Maybe this was a converted scroll. (I don't really think this is what Eddings meant, I'm just trying to think of ways to make the sentence make sense.)
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:50 AM   #6
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Didn't they used to convert scrolls to codexes (codexi?) by pleating them? Maybe this was a converted scroll. (I don't really think this is what Eddings meant, I'm just trying to think of ways to make the sentence make sense.)
No, because the following sentences go on to describe how Garion had to get used to reading it by unrolling it with one hand, and rolling it up with the other. Sorry, but it's quite definitely a scroll .
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:01 PM   #7
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"1. an official list of chemicals or medicines etc."
maybe he meant that? shug
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:02 PM   #8
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But he appears to be using "Codex" as a name, names get different rules (like, almost none ), and often have little to do with definitions.

On the other hand, Jason K. Chapman seems to think that "enervate" means the opposite of what it actually does.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:09 PM   #9
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But he appears to be using "Codex" as a name, names get different rules (like, almost none ), and often have little to do with definitions.
There are lots of historic documents called the "something-or-other codex"; eg, there's very well-known copy of New Testament called the "Codex Sinaiticus". However, the reason that they are called the something-or-other codex is, surprisingly enough, because without exception they are all in the form of a codex . It's just stupid to call a scroll the something-or-other codex; a scroll isn't a codex.

Sorry, but I think the explanation is 99% certainly that Mr Eddings had vaguely heard the name "codex" being used in connection with ancient documents, thought that it sounded good, and decided to use it in his books without actually knowing what the word meant.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:12 PM   #10
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Sorry, but I think the explanation is 99% certainly that Mr Eddings had vaguely heard the name "codex" being used in connection with ancient documents, thought that it sounded good, and decided to use it in his books without actually knowing what the word meant.
Oh, you're most likely dead on, but he gets some with me because he's using it as a name.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:26 PM   #11
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It would be as ridiculous as calling a city something like "The Big Apple" when it's not an apple, but a city.

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Old 11-12-2007, 01:09 PM   #12
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Or having a section of a city that was a totally separate entity from the rest, to the point of the titular head of state being barred from entering it.
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:53 AM   #13
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Just been re-reading David Eddings' "Belgariad" series. An excellent fantasy series, but I just spotted this "howler" in book 4 of the series:

"The Mrin Codex was an ancient-looking scroll..."

Mr Eddings really should go and look up the word "Codex" in a dictionary and find out what it means .

Despite such errors, a series I can thoroughly recommend to anyone who enjoys "swords and sorcery" type fantasy novels.
He cannot look up "Codex" or any other word in a dictionary anymore. He passed away half year ago I think.


I was not impressed by Belgariad.
I found it way too simple, naive, very young adult type fantasy.
He is a great fantasy author for kids and teenagers to get them into fantasy (10-15 years old). However, if you read him for the first time when you are older, after you have read a lot of other fantasy works then it is meh...

If I am not mistaken, The Belgariad was rebranded kid's fiction. Which suits it quite well
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:36 AM   #14
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I'm sorry to hear that he's died - I didn't know that.

"Juvenile" or not, I thoroughly enjoyed every book of David Eddings - I think my very favourite is the standalone book "The Redemption of Althalus". He remains one of my favourite authors.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:16 AM   #15
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I think my very favourite is the standalone book "The Redemption of Althalus". He remains one of my favourite authors.
Oh my. How opinions vary...
While The Belgariad was digestble, The Redemption of Althalus is in the top 3 list of the worst fantasy books I have ever read in my life . It was the last attempt to read Eddings. After this book I gave up
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