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Speculation on the terms Darnassian and ThalassianEdit

The term "Darnassian" predates the founding of the city of Darnassus by centuries. The language of the Kaldorei happens to be called Darnassian; but it cannot have been named after the city since it did not exist until a few years ago. Many people have expressed confusion over this, but I would like to offer a logical explanation.

Interestingly enough, the language of the high elves and blood elves is called "Thalassian." This may indicate that the two terms are actually terms of castes or social status. There are real-world examples of this in the English language, namely the terms "pagan" and "urbane." Pagan actually refers to the folk in the countryside, working directly with dirt. They were considered to be superstitious and stupid as they followed old and established rituals to follow the calendar in order to time the planting of crops and culling of herds and such. The people of the cities were not connected by cultural ritual to the cycles of life and death in the land as they did not farm. They had the leisure to pursue intellectual topics and explore other spiritual ideas. Therefore, the term "urbane" meant worldly and wise, and "pagan" essentially meant redneck.

We have already seen that the developers of Azeroth's cultural environment are not ignorant of linguistic cues and that Azeroth does have a very rich linguistic environment. It is my opinion that this also extends to the terms "darnassian" and "thalassian." In many ways, these terms do reflect the English concepts of "pagan" and "urbane."

If we go with the concept that "darnassian" means something akin to country bumpkin, then Darnassus would translate to "city in the country" or possibly "wild city" ("wild" being uncultivated land, not crazyfunpartytime}. Since Quel'Thalas is the name of the original High Elf lands, which were specifically cultivated to continue in eternal springtime and not left to the natural, wild cycles of the seasons; and we already know that "quel" means "high" as in "above or superior"; we can logically assume that "thalas" means "cultivated," with the insinuation that cultivation assumes a higher culture. So Thalassian would translate to "the cultivated" with inference to the culture behind the language being refined and elegant.

In the game, we in fact do find this to be true. Night elves tend to gravitate to places that are left to nature's ways (Teldrassil notwithstanding), and high/blood elves tend to take control of their environment and shape it to their whim.

I welcome any discussion on this subject.

--Thaag

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