Glyph of the word 'ti’a'.


  • (n.) time
  • (v.) to take time, to last

Male ale ti’a li’ia ko!
“Your time will come!”

Notes: What a triumphant return this was! This is the refrain from a true classic:

Number 6
“The Wicker Man”

Iron Maiden's single for 'The Wicker Man'

Brave New World (2000)

Wow. Now the release of this song was an event.

To give you some background, the first Iron Maiden album I bought was The X Factor, which came out in 1995. This was the first album with their third studio lead singer Blaze Bayley. Being a fan of metal, I had heard of Iron Maiden, and heard they were great, so I picked up this album and tried it out.

It was terrible.

The first song, “The Sign of the Cross”, had promise, but thereafter, the off-key caterwauling of Bayley and the uninspired song writing left me cold. I immediately wrote Iron Maiden off as a band that had aged and was no longer any good (and, perhaps, was never any good). It wasn’t until, by chance, I heard “Run to the Hills” on a metal show on a local radio station that I decided to give them another chance. I proceeded to get their earlier albums, and the rest was history.

The discovery that Iron Maiden was one of the best metal bands in history, however, made me sad, more than anything else, because I thought, “Wow. This band was so good, and I missed them!” Bruce Dickinson was gone, and the band was…well, writing songs like “Fortunes of War” (or “Como Estais Amigos”, for that matter).

Then came the year 2000. On the radio, I heard an advertisement for Iron Maiden playing a concert, which struck me as odd (why would a non-metal radio station be advertising a concert of a band that had lost its way so irrevocably?), until they played a brief snippet of the chorus of “The Wicker Man”: “Your time will come!”

That was Bruce Dickinson; it was unmistakable. But is this some song I hadn’t heard before—some B-side? I thought. Unlikely. But does that mean that—! And, sure enough, it was true: Bruce Dickinson was back. And…wow.

It wasn’t like a return to form. It was much more than that. “The Wicker Man” opens with a single guitar playing some riffs that sound faded, distant; a little unimpressive. And then at the end of the measure a second guitar comes in loud and forceful, and there’s no looking back from there. This song grabs you by the throat and reminds you why you listen to metal, and why it’s good to be alive. And the best thing is that the rest of the album is fantastic. Iron Maiden didn’t reunite to get more money, or to produce some songs that sounded like the old ones, but to take the band to new heights undreamt of prior. This wasn’t a new Iron Maiden album, but a new classic. After a terrible hiatus, they came back and produced some of the best songs they’ve ever recorded, and this is the best of the bunch.

And, just to further illustrate how everything’s coming on back, I got the chance to see Iron Maiden (with Bruce Dickinson) a few years back in San Diego. Now I just need to see David Bowie and I’ll be set!

The iku for ti’a is very close to the original iku for ha; there’s just an added line. You can kind of see the ti in there, but its presence is barely noticeable. The result, though, is pretty cool, I think.

I’ve always been uncomfortable coining words for “time” in conlangs. They demand a lot of attention; a lot of thought. I think that’s why this word’s definition hasn’t been elaborated very much. The word should bespeak a system, or at least bring a long with it a host of other words. These words will help to shape the culture in important ways. Words for time, and related concepts, can’t be coined lightly. I think it’s for that reason that I always leave them until last, and spend so much time avoiding them. (For example, I haven’t even touched time in Dothraki.) Some day I’ll work it all out.

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4 Responses to “Ti’a”

  1. Ka kavaka dwnielsen ti:

    This “ti’a” glyph agrees somewhat with the similar-looking Sanskrit “ka”, which relates to iku “ha” (river) and time, since ka can refer to water, sound, and king (time rules our lives), and is a “sharp” (Bouba/Kiki) sound, representing a time demarcation? I suppose thats a stretch, though. :)

  2. Ka kavaka David J. Peterson ti:

    Ha! It kind of looks like a sharp version of Devanagari “ka”, you’re right! That’s pretty cool. I wonder how Kamakawi would handle music theory…

  3. Ka kavaka dwnielsen ti:

    Is that in reference to time, or are you considering raaga and such? :) It’s an island, right? For some reason I’m thinking of something like this: http://netnewmusic.net/reblog/archives/2009/12/winding_out_to_8.html

  4. Ka kavaka David J. Peterson ti:

    Holy smoke!

    And it’s things like that that make me glad I haven’t tried to figure out music for any of my conlangs yet. I simply don’t know enough about music theory. That’s wild…

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