Speech Communities (also gaming!)

Okay… Let’s play a game really quick. I call it: Guess the Speech Community. For those of you who don’t know, a Speech Community is a certain place or culture that has a specific lexis (certain words and phrases) that carries a specific meaning. Only people who are a part of this Speech Community will understand this lexis. Now I’m going to give a couple words and phrases from a Speech Community that I am familiar with. Okay here we go:

  • Pop
  • Bounce
  • Piercing
  • Negate
  • Draw

If you can guess which community I’m referring to from just those then you are either as big a fan of this community as I am or insanely lucky.

I’ll give a couple more… These ones are a bit more obvious:

  • Poly
  • Fusion
  • Direct Attack
  • Effect
  • Battle Phase
  • Excavate

A bit more obvious… I bet that a few other people managed to guess what I’m referring to from that didn’t they? Well for those who still don’t know… I’ll give you some dead giveaways:

  • Synchro
  • Tuner
  • Overlay
  • XYZ (Pronounced ‘Ehx-ee-zz’)
  • MST
  • Deck Out
  • Graveyard
  • Banish

Now that I have used the ones that give away what this is… I can now tell you that this terminology belongs to one of my all-time favourite games…

Yu-Gi-Oh!

Now I’d like you all to remember what I said at the start about Speech Communities. Only people who are part of the Speech Community will understand this lexis. To put this into context for some of you; to anyone who didn’t understand the words and phrases that I was using at the beginning, the only reason you didn’t know is because you are not a part of this Speech Community. If you knew what these words or phrases meant then you would most likely know where they came from.

But fear not! Your friend The Terminology Titan shall educate you all on the beauty that is: Yu-Gi-Oh terminology.

I’ll go through each word I used one by one explaining what each word means and give an example of where you would be likely to hear it.

Pop: When a card is destroyed by a card effect. Example: “And thanks to the use of my MST, I will now pop that face-down card.”

Bounce: When a card is sent back to its owner’s hand by a card effect. Example: And with the effect of my Neo-Spacian Grand Mole, I bounce that back to your hand.”

Piercing: When the difference between an attacking monster’s attack points and a defending monster’s defence points are dealt to the defending monster’s owner as damage (This can only be done with a card effect). Example: “And my Elemental Hero Bladedge deals piercing damage.”

Negate: When the effect of a card is negated by another card effect. “Example: I use Magic Jammer to negate the activation of your spell card.”

Draw: When you add the top card of your deck to your hand. Example: Alright. I Draw for turn.”

Poly: Short for Polymerization. A requirement for most fusion summons. Example: “And now I use Poly to fuse these 2 monsters together.”

Fusion: A type of Special Summon involving the fusion of 2 or more monsters. Example: “And now I fuse these 5 machine-type monsters to summon Chimeratech Overdragon.”

Direct Attack: An attack that is launched on your opponent instead of their monsters. Can only be done when your opponent has no monsters or with a card effect. Example: “And now I’ll hit you with a Direct Attack.”

Effect: The primary function of a card. There are many different types of effects. Example: “The effect of Pot of Greed allows me to draw 2 cards.”

Battle Phase: The part of your turn where you attack with your monsters. Example: “Alright, Battle Phase. I attack with my Blue-Eyes White Dragon.”

Excavate: Checking a certain number of cards from the top of your deck without adding them to your hand. Example: “With Pot of Duality, I excavate 3 cards and add one of them to my hand.”

Synchro: A type of Special Summon involving the tuning of one (or in sometimes more) tuner monsters and 1 or more non-tuner monsters (any monster that is not a Tuner). Example: I use my Tuner Monster Junk Synchron and tune him with my Speed Warrior to Synchro Summon Junk Warrior.”

Tuner: A special type of monster that is required for a Synchro Summon: “Since Red Resonator is on the field, I can use Quillbolt Hedgehog’s effect in the Graveyard and Special Summon him (as there is a Tuner monster on the field)”.

Overlay: A type of Special Summon that is required to summon an XYZ monster. Example: “I Overlay level 4 Gagaga Magician and Level 4 Gogogo Golem to XYZ summon Number 39: Utopia.”

XYZ: A special Type of monster that requires 2 or more monsters of the same level to summon. (See above Example)

MST: An example Initialisation (when a word or series of words is shortened down to letters that are spoken individually). Short for Mystical Space Typhoon. Example: “Now I use MST to destroy that face-down card.”

Deck-Out: When a player can no longer draw cards from their deck. Example: “Since you’ve Decked-Out, I win the Duel automatically.”

Graveyard: Where a card goes once it has been used or destroyed. Typically shortened to ‘Grave’. Example: “Since I have destroyed your monster, it is sent to the Graveyard.”

Banish: When a card is removed from play instead of being sent to the Graveyard. Example: “Due to the effect of Macro Cosmos, your card is banished instead of being sent to the Graveyard.”

And now that I have imparted to you (whoever decided to read this) my knowledge… I bid you adieu.

Thanks for reading!

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