A Common Nomenclature for Lego Families

Catch us on a rainy weekend afternoon, and you’ll probably find my son and me busy spreading Lego over the living room floor. It’s easier to see it that way.

Typically, we will build spaceships. I’ll commence work on a solid chassis on which to hang all the fancy bits—the wings, superfluous for space flight but essential for seven-year-olds—and the greebles that make everything look, you know, more spaceship-y. My son will cast around for people-bits, with which to fabricate a spaceship pilot and perhaps a co-pilot. They will all need light sabers, of course. And control panels that move.

So each of us has a clear idea of which pieces we’re after, and two enormous plastic crates full of Lego from which to extract them.

It’s a scene that is replayed by kids and parents everywhere. And it’s the starting point for a unique quirk of language: Lego nomenclature.

Read the rest here.

Tags: communication, language, legos, nomenclature

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Replies to This Discussion

And once you master the nomenclature, the next step is writing stories...
Heh. I'll pass that one, thank you very much. :P
It's satire (yet faithful to the letter). You should give Lego pr0n at least a try.
I didn't look at it long enough to see it was satire. I just assumed you were trying to make me laugh at something ridiculously serious. I'll look again.
The first hint occurs fairly early in Genesis, though. It should also be apparent when you look at the -CONTENT NOTICE- on the main page, and realize that all Bible stories are tagged for sex, nudity, violence and/or profanity.

From this Wikipedia article:

The retelling of the action is essentially straight, although Smith takes care to bring out any elements of sex and violence or destruction in the story. The illustrations however often make a sharply ironic commentary on the text, particularly on instructional passages. For example, the images used to illustrate the Ten Commandments unusually choose to foreground the original capital nature of the offences; the injunction to suffer no false prophets is juxtaposed with scenes of the Jews applying the verse to Jesus; and modern-day extremes are presented to test the limits of the command to "love one's enemy".
The potential nomenclature for K'nex is way cooler, since K'nex is cooler.

Claw / one-half-piece / zero-piece
four-and-a-half-piece/ four-mouth / four-piece with mouth/ half-mouth/ half-head
five-and-a-half-piece / five-piece lion / five-piece handle / ad hoc five-piece handle/ roller coaster five-piece
seven-piece/ seven-and-a-half-piece / seven-mouth/ seven-head / full head
quarter-sphere/ half-sphere/ nine-piece
length piece/ One

one-rod/green rod/ green-length rod
two-rod/white rod/ white-length rod
three-rod/blue rod/ blue-lenght rod
four-rod/yellow rod/ yellow-type rod
five-rod/ seven-rod (it's length just feels like seven to me)/ red rod
orange rod/ ad hoc red-length rod with installed spacers
six-rod/ grey rod/ grey-length rod

blue ring/ one-ring
grey ring/ three-ring/ three-and-a-half ring/ not quite three-and-a-half ring

And then there are the bonds:
slot-bond / mouth-bond
And there were many more subtle details to cover, like how a particular bond is oriented with respect to gravity and which of the two pieces in the bond (if either) bears a load and should (or should not) slip out of the bond. Also, indicating the orientation of a part with respect to the overall structure can be a bitch.

It's mostly in the different kinds of bonds that the coolness resides, I suppose, but in that more can be done without having to resort to highly ad-hoc-ful pieces, K'nex is fundamentally superior.


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