Let's deepen a little linguistic curiosity: do you say “the quickstart” or “the quickstart”? Here is a small analysis on an English RPG loan!

Let's cut the bull's head right away: for this type of English loan there is no rule that imposes a grammatical gender. There is no normative discourse of the "masculine must be used for this or that reason".

Then, this article will not tell you "how to say" the word quickstart in italiano. On the contrary, after having made a small linguistic premise on the attribution of grammatical gender to English loans, I will go to deepen a bit how de facto is used quickstart in the Italian community.

So what is this article for? To answer one of mine curiosity. In fact, I say “the quickstart” but, seeing also written around “the quickstart”, I wanted to deepen the question. So, if anyone has any doubts about the nature of this loan, here are some answers and some uses are given as examples. If you don't like male or female use, it's a matter of your legitimate tastes.

The attribution of gender to English loans

I will briefly resume a speech I gave last year inarticle on the type of loan master.

In general, theEnglish does not attribute a grammatical gender to their own words, although there are notable exceptions, such as boy/girl, cow/bull e duke/duchess. To all the other nouns, English does not attribute a grammatical gender and, above all, it does not attribute a morphological gender, as it does in Italian. For example, chair it is not feminine like ours locationsa, Most it can refer to both a man and a woman, unlike uniono e uniona.

Genus of English names referring to people / animals

The absence of grammatical gender in most English nouns makes their use in Italian rather problematic, since our language must necessarily attribute a grammatical gender to a word. And if the borrowings of English names, as a rule, tend to be left unchanged, each article, pronoun, verb in the past participle or adjective placed next to them it must necessarily have a grammatical gender.

So if we don't change an English word as leader by adding the typical gender and number suffixes -o/-a, creating leadero e leaderahowever, we must choose the genre of all that we approach to these words. In the case of leader the choice is easy, since the gender of the word is adapted to the gender of the person to whom it refers: "la brava leader is gonea away "or" that talentuos leadero is goneo". Obviously, if the figure of the leader was a non-binary person, the matter becomes complicated, but there are standard linguistic solutions in this case too, as we have said Thu.

Genus of English names referring to abstract objects or concepts

The situation is different for names that refer to abstract things or concepts. In this case, Italian does not have a fixed rule for the attribution of grammatical gender to English nouns, but accepts various solutions.

Generally, the solutions adopted by the Italian are two and have a semantic basis, that is linked to the meaning of the loan in question. Here I will explain them briefly, but if you want you can deepen the theme on this article from the Accademia della Crusca.

  • Assignment of the gender of a Italian term that translates or includes the English loan. So, a station wagon will be feminine because the term is close to the concept of automobile.
  • Assignment of the masculine "by default". In many cases, in fact, the English loans are declined in the masculine because this is the gender perceived as the most neutral in our language. An example is “the spoiler”, which is masculine in spite of it anticipation both female.

If several solutions were used at the same time, the Italian language simply waits to see if, with time and use, a specific solution will impose itself on the others. This was the case email, which was once used a lot for men too.

The quickstart of Brancalonia
The quickstart of Brancalonia

The quickstart: what is it and how is it used?

Now, in the Italian role-playing community we are now used to hearing about quickstart. With quickstart means a reduced and often still potentially editable version of a role-playing game. A quickstart, therefore, is a document of a few dozen pages that it must give the idea of ​​the rules and the theme of a role-playing game, so that the curious can play a test game and get an idea of ​​the title.

Despite its diffusion, however, the term quickstart it is still subjected to some gender swings, in the Italian community. Nothing surprising, to be honest, since it is still a relatively new term and therefore subjected more to the taste of the individual speaker than to a real linguistic convention.

Also for this reason, right now it makes no sense to say which is the "right" grammatical gender of quickstart, but it is more interesting to analyze its oscillations.

However, it must be stressed that quickstart is a term that role play has adopted frominformatics. In this field, the loan protagonist of our article has been used for years and is always male.

Origin and form of the term quickstart

Quickstart it's a compound adjective + noun with head to the right and basically means "fast start".

Currently, quickstart it does not appear in any high-level dictionary, which identifies it as a still rather niche term. The only online dictionaries that consider it are Lexico, which defines it a adjective, Your Dictionary, which defines it a name.

This loan probably originated as a specifier of guide, in the form quick start guide (quick start guide), and then settle as a specific single term, which implies the concept of guide.

Having said that, it is important to remember that quickstart, in the context of the Italian role-playing game, it has entered the use not in the extended form quick start guide, but in its abbreviated form. Therefore, it is not obvious that quickstart in Italian should be associated with guide, even if only for grammatical assignment.

“The quickstart”: the masculine is the most common use

As can be expected, quickstart for men is by far the most common form.

In fact, doing a quick Google search, you notice that "the quickstart" gives 9.360 results. Even in a quick (and totally random) survey on the Facebook group I play role “The quickstart” is the most voted form ever. With 119 votes, the male largely detaches the female, which for now has only received two votes.

But why is masculine used so often? By questioning a sample of results on Google and the survey comments, we see some of the most plausible reasons.

The poll comments show that many prefer to say “the quickstart” because they associate it with a book etymological context, and therefore in all masculine terms, like document, dossier, form o book. It is also interesting to note that some commentators have brought English terms such as masculine examples pdf o set, that de facto they have no gender, but in standard Italian they are typically rendered male. Similar parallels to the kind of other British loans have also been made by other people, who have associated quickstart at the end start, which in Italian is rendered masculine by parallelism with avvio.

The results on Google, which include articles from specialized sites and advertisements from publishing houses, remain fairly stable in the use of quickstart as a name. On rarer occasions, the term is also found as adjective. We saw him in the phrase “to the Quickstart regulation” and as a companion of set, in the phrase “the Quickstart Set”.

Finally, it is interesting to note that this loan also keeps the male in its abbreviated form qs (generally written in capital letters, QS), formed by the initials of the two words that compose it.

"The" City of Mists quickstart
“The” quickstart of City of Mists

“The quickstart”: the feminine used (almost) only in the case of adjectives

The use of female quickstart is much lower and on Google we find, in fact, about 4.000 results.

It is interesting to note that quickstart is generally "declined" (in theory, but in its form it obviously remains invariable!) to the feminine when used as adjective of the word version. In this case, therefore, we have phrases like “the Quickstart version”. Rarer is the use of quickstart as an adjective of guidei.e. in its original meaning.

We then find a large group of “the quickstart” or “the Quickstart”, therefore with the term placed in the feminine. However, it should be noted that the vast majority of “the quickstart” seems to be used to describe products published by Illyon Island Editions, as City of Mists o Kisart. This female use was later picked up by the news sites they talked about City of Mists, probably tracing the terminology used by the publishing house.

The female version of quickstart does not seem to be used in the case of the abbreviation QS.

Do you say "the Quickstart" or "the quickstart"? Variation of upper and lower case

In this little research on the genre of quickstart, it jumped to me that there is some variation between different news sites in spelling this term with the initial letter capital o tiny.

Being a common name and not a title, unless you are at the beginning of the sentence quickstart everything should always be tiny, like manual o book. However, it reads on many sites or Facebook posts consulted Quickstart.

This happens because the quickstart itself distributed by a publisher has the name of the role-playing game as its title, and as a subtitle "Quickstart". In this case, actually quickstart should be treated as a title and written with a capital letter, as in the case of Basic Manual di Pathfinder, for example. I am an example of Quickstart used as a subtitle of a volume (and therefore written with a capital letter also in the articles) the quickstart of Not the end, About us e Brancalonia. However, in these cases it is correct to use too quickstart without a capital letter, to refer to the product itself and not to its title.

Finally, the rather rare version deserves a very brief mention. QuickStart, that is, with both members of the compound with a capital letter. Although this compound is now stable and does not require its components to be separated graphically, this use of double capitalization is also attested in some computer manuals, such as that of OpenOffice of 2004.

The compound nature of this term makes sense to be emphasized in case you want to contract it in the form of logo, Namely QS, which is therefore written in capital letters as per the rules.

The First Kings quickstarter
The quickstarter of First Kings

Quickstarter: a variation on the theme?

To conclude, I briefly mention the variant quickstarter, which is used in some Italian sites instead of quickstart.

It is not clear where it comes from and why it originated. In English it is much less however than quickstart, with around 40.000 results on Google versus one million quickstart. It therefore seems to be used less, to refer to the introductory guides to role-playing games.

By doing a quick search, the main result is Quickstarter, that is a parallel project to Kickstarter, of which therefore also takes the morphological form. Quickstarter is designed to raise funds for small and fast projects and is not tied to the concept of quickstart, that is, a short introductory guide.

However, the form is present on some Italian sites quickstarter, especially when referring to role-playing quickstart who were facing a fundraiser on Kickstarter, like Lex Arcana o Vulcania. Quickstarter it's a word well formed, morphologically, and can be used as a noun, so there is no reason not to use it.

Probably, quickstarter will have caught on, especially in Italy, thanks to his assonance with Kickstarter. Its remains a minority use and, in the last year, it seems to have fallen into disuse enough, at least in the Italian context.

In short, is it "the quickstart" or "the quickstart"?

As I said at the beginning, there is currently no real rule that tells us what genre we must decline quickstart. So theoretically, for now both male and female are correct.

The fact that a person stretches out more for one version or the other indicates which Italian term you associate most with quickstart. Generally, those who use this female name will approach it more at the end version, while those who use it for men will tend to think of it more as a manual or book, or to approach it at the end start, which in Italian is used for men.

However, the situation will likely change over time the male, already considerably more common, could become the default kind of this loan. I commonly use "the quickstart" myself, and I think I'll stick to this form.

Instead, I leave an unknown question on the use of the alternative quickstarter. I do not totally exclude the possibility, in fact, that the influence of the Kickstarter platform will bring this variant back to the fore, especially if the quickstart (er) will be used to promote crowdfunding products on Kickstarter.