English language questions

The astral influences are Mercurial, Jovian, Lunar, Martian and Venerean.

Great words, all of them – except I’m not sure how much the word “Venerean” makes native speakers of English think of “venereal”, as in “venereal disease”? That would be unfortunate, so please chime in. :slight_smile:

(Apparently, I have “Cytherean” as a backup option. “Venusian” is too ugly.)

I’m not a native speaker, but my English Sprachgefühl is immaculate.

You might as well argue that “Jovian” befuddles the semi-literate who in their ignorance confuse it with “jovial.” Unless you write for idiots (but why would you?), there is nothing wrong with “Venerean.”

Also, there is nothing ugly about “Venusian.”

Go for “Cytherean” – “Venerean” definitely makes me think of “venereal” (and of course they’re basically the same word), and if I wanted to say “of or pertaining to Venus” then I would definitely use “Venusian.”

I suppose “Lunar” makes you think of lunacy.

Not being a native speaker, can I still chime in? “Venerean” alone might make me think of “venereal”, but in the context you present it, Venus is all that comes to mind. “Cytherean” sounds slightly more mystical. Dunno if that’s a good thing.

“Venerean” makes that part of my brain jump straight to venereal. It would probably be something I could lose after reading it enough, but if you want to avoid that response completely, I think Cytherean is a better choice. (Although, I have a good sense of what the others relate to - I had to look up the Cytherea reference.)

Echoing what the others said about “venerean.” I will say that “martian” also got a chuckle, to my embarrassment.


Hm, it looks like “Cytherean” may have its own problems.

I think I can live with that.

Yes, it was just a surprise what happened when I left the “n” off my search for “Cytherean.” Never know what’ll happen on the internet.

I also immediately thought “venereal,” and then “why isn’t he just using ‘Venusian’?” I am pretty sure “Venusian” is as standard in [at least American] English as “Martian” is. It doesn’t sound particularly ugly to me, though it sort of reminds me of “venetian.” (For data-collection purposes: I speak American English as my first language.)

Ok, I’ll also consider Venusian, since I’m the only person who thinks it’s ugly. :slight_smile: Thanks for all your comments!

(By the way, I have give the topic a generic title, so anyone else should feel free to make use of it.)

I’ve never been a fan of Venusian, to be honest. I think it’s related to the “eus” sound - I also don’t like chartreuse or masseuse.

Edit: But Venusian is used in standard American English.

Venusian does make me think a little bit of off-brand science fiction; they couldn’t even afford Martians? It’s the way to go if you want to communicate to an American English speaker that you are talking about the planet Venus, but if that’s not important then Cytherean does sound more euphonious to me. I don’t think many people will recognize it as related to Venus, though; apparently it was introduced because “Venerean” reminded people of “venereal,” and “Venusian” sounded ugly (and was a pseudo-Latin hybrid).

(I also am a native speaker of American English.)

Ditto the off-brand SF comment, though it is the clearest of all. But I was not reminded of VD by venerean. Cytherean sounds neat but I wouldn’t have known what it was, even placed with the other planets. “Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and… Cyprus?” Since it looks like I’d have to learn a new word anyway, you could always take back venerean from the tyranny of Health & Human Body high school classes.

(OT: I’m pretty sure the personality descriptors mercurial, jovial, and lunacy/looney all really are rooted in the planet names by some pathway or other.)

Absolutely, and “martial” too. (Not to mention “saturnine.”) Maybe some of these come from the god rather than the celestial body.

Just to be clear, my recommendation is to use “Venusian” if it’s important that the player be able to make the connection to the planet Venus, and “Cytherean” if not.

I’d say that lunar, saturnine, jovial and mercurial certainly come from the heavenly body (through astrology). Martial might come from either the heavenly body or the god. Venereal certainly comes from the goddess.

Okay, I’m sticking with Venusian for now. (It is good if the connection to the heavenly bodies is clear.) Now I’ve got a little interface problem because two of the planets start with an “M” and I’d love to be able to represent them with only one letter – but hey, maybe I can find a font that actually incorporates the astrological signs? :nerd: Actually, it seems that this works out-of-the-box.

Venus, goddess of love. You’re bound to get some diseases from too much such activity…

that said, I’d rather use Venusian.

At least you aren’t using the outer planets. Uranian makes me think of Oscar Wilde. Plutonian brings to mind “1.21 jigawatts! The Libyans!”