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Author Topic: Claws  (Read 1154 times)

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The Skarzs

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Claws
« on: December 22, 2015, 06:04:13 PM »

Has anyone else thought about how Brian used the word "claws" in the series? He left other things up to readers' own translation, but something about the use of claws was a bit skewed.
Most of the time, the creatures that had claws were vermin. "He pointed a claw. . .", "she dug her claws into. . ." It's like they were used as fingers in that case. However, in Mossflower Gonff picked up one of Tsarmina's claws off the ground. Cat's claws are retractable, so in that case it seems it would be the nail-like claw that are on real cats, not the finger-like extremities that were used other times.
Goodbeasts almost never used "claws". The word "paws" was used in place, and it seems like we readers kind of gloss over the fact that they pointed with a paw and used a paw to turn the page.

Personally I like using the word claw in replacement of fingers, since they are animals, and it doesn't matter what species is being talked about. But what do you guys think?
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Jukka the Sling

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Re: Claws
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2015, 10:47:38 PM »

I don't like the term "claws"; it's weird and makes me think of spindly, sharp nails.  Though I guess it's sort of correct.  But I usually use "paws," 'cause it sounds far better.
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Re: Claws
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2015, 06:35:06 AM »

It does seem that the vermin had claw-like hands while most of the goodbeasts had paw-like hands. I don't know, maybe it is just the books influence, but perhaps not.
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Banya

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Re: Claws
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2015, 07:22:02 AM »

I've also noticed in the books when the terms "paw" and "claw" were used.  I figure all animals - goodbeasts and villains - have both.  I wish I had an exact passage, but I'm sure that "claw" has been used with goodbeasts too, but usually in a harmless way (scratching a line on something, mole's digging claws, etc.)  When "claw" is used with a creature considered a vermin, it's usually in the case where the beast is worked up to the point that the animal's claws would be extended out of its paws, as when one points its claws threateningly at another.  The casual use of "paws" vs. "claws" appears to be yet another way of distinguishing the habits and tendencies of one species from another.
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The Skarzs

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Re: Claws
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2016, 06:00:05 PM »

I don't like the term "claws"; it's weird and makes me think of spindly, sharp nails.  Though I guess it's sort of correct.  But I usually use "paws," 'cause it sounds far better.
But paws can't be used for fine motor skills like fingers can, which is why I like the use of "claws" in place of fingers. Can't use the whole hand to hold a needle; it takes the fingertips. If claws were their fingers, then problems like that would be avoided. (Just my opinion.)
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Ashleg

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Re: Claws
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2017, 10:16:08 PM »

Old, but whatever.
Paws are likely being used as a synonym for hand as to avoid saying hand because they're animals.
I would imagine they have fingers, on the paw, and claws would be on top of the "finger".
Animals do have 'fingers', paws aren't just stumps, you know. If an animal splays their paw, the 'fingers' separate. Cats and dogs typically do it when they stretch. And rats and other rodents have real fingers, but they're on the paw.
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alexandre

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Re: Claws
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2017, 12:56:01 AM »

I think a lot of it is connotation, paws in general sound a lot nicer and less dangerous than claws which sounds kind of dangerous, hence, the vermin usually being referred to as having claws and the good creatures having paws, with the notable exception of moles, which are referred to often as having "digging claws" which makes sense.
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The Skarzs

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Re: Claws
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2017, 09:22:58 PM »

So then, what do you guys think for "goodbeasts"? If they point a "finger", what would you call it, if claws is mostly a vermin term?
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James Gryphon

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Re: Claws
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2017, 09:59:29 PM »

It might be mostly, but I wouldn't say exclusively. If the distinction had to be made, you could say "forepaw" or "foreclaw".
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Re: Claws
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2017, 10:00:22 PM »

It seems that in many a book or elsewhere, a single finger of an animal is referred to as a paw, as well as that being the term for the overall hand. With that trend in mind I am thinking perhaps Brian didn't give it too much thought as he wrote it.

I'm not sure what else you could comfortably call a single digit! Some goodbeasts could still get away with 'claw'. Doesn't suit a mouse, though... I don't knooow. :o
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Ashleg

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Re: Claws
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2017, 03:39:44 PM »

FINGERS.
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MeadowRabbit

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Re: Claws
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2017, 04:26:26 PM »

I actually think 'fingers' doesn't sound too out of place? Maybe?
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The Skarzs

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Re: Claws
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2017, 05:41:22 PM »

Like I said before, I happen to like just claws for the digits. It sounds more animalistic.
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Re: Claws
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2017, 06:21:17 PM »

Fingers works as long as they keep the hand in general as a paw.
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Re: Claws
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2017, 08:00:26 PM »

Personal preference, I guess. Kind of like how some artists have imagined the creatures on all fours.
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