Forum:Is there a better word for "uncursed"?

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I asked ChatGPT about this, and here's the dialogue:

Me: Is there one English word meaning "neither blessed nor cursed"?

ChatGPT: There is no commonly used English word that specifically means "neither blessed nor cursed". However, there are some words that could potentially convey a similar idea depending on the context in which they are used. One such word is "neutral," which can mean not favoring one side or the other, and could be used to describe something or someone that is not seen as particularly blessed or cursed. Another word that might work in certain contexts is "unremarkable," which suggests that something is not particularly noteworthy or exceptional in any way, and therefore would not necessarily be seen as either blessed or cursed. Ultimately, the best word to use will depend on the specific context in which it is being used, as well as the connotations and nuances that the speaker or writer is trying to convey.

Me: I'm curious about this because of NetHack, the roguelike game. It uses "uncursed" for this purpose, but it doesn't seem to be a good word choice.

ChatGPT: In the context of NetHack and other roguelike games, "uncursed" is used as a game mechanic to describe items that are not enchanted in any way, whether positively or negatively. So while "uncursed" does not necessarily mean "neither blessed nor cursed" in the traditional sense of those words, it is a useful term within the game to describe items that do not have any negative effects. That being said, I can understand why "uncursed" might not be the most intuitive or appropriate term for this concept in other contexts. It can be confusing or misleading to use a negative word to describe something that is not necessarily negative, and it might be better to use a different term if you want to convey the idea of something being neither blessed nor cursed. In any case, the meaning of a word ultimately depends on the context in which it is used, and different communities or subcultures may have their own specialized vocabulary or jargon that serves a specific purpose within their particular context.

Me: Would you suggest a synonym of "neutral" that would fit?

ChatGPT: Sure, here are some synonyms of "neutral" that could potentially convey the idea of "neither blessed nor cursed":

1. Unbiased: This word suggests impartiality and lack of prejudice or favoritism towards any particular side or outcome. It could be used to describe something or someone that is not viewed as being particularly blessed or cursed.

2. Unaffected: This word suggests that something or someone is not influenced or impacted by any particular outside force or circumstance. It could be used to describe something that is not viewed as being either blessed or cursed, because it is not subject to any external influence or intervention.

3. Undistinguished: This word suggests that something or someone is not noteworthy or exceptional in any way, and therefore would not necessarily be seen as either blessed or cursed. It could be used to describe something that is viewed as being very average or ordinary, and therefore not particularly remarkable in any way.

Ultimately, the best word to use will depend on the specific context in which it is being used, as well as the connotations and nuances that the speaker or writer is trying to convey.

To me, "unbiased" seems better. What's the best option you think? --NDos (talk) 07:35, 30 March 2023 (UTC)

  • Considering that "uncursed" has been used by roguelikes since the beginning of time, it would probably be best to keep using it to avoid confusion. --Kahran042 (talk) 16:11, 30 March 2023 (UTC)

I was thinking of a Korean translation of NetHack, and "uncursed" is such a hard word to translate. The most appropriate translation I can think of is "중립적", which is "neutral" and not "uncursed". In spite of this translation, I'd consider renaming the alignment "Neutral"(중립적) to "Balanced"(균형적). --NDos (talk) 03:36, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

Historically, it's a mess. Hack only knew about cursed items. I think that explains the "uncursed" name as it originally only meant "not cursed". NetHack pre 3.0 misused the dknown flaog for weapons to consider them blessed which AFAIK only affected hitting undead or demon monsters. NetHack 3.0 introduced the three-state logic of "blessed", "uncursed", "cursed" that is still used today.

"uncursed" meaning "neither blessed nor cursed" is a term specific to NetHack. A native speaker would be surprised as well that it would only describe the neutral state. For a translation I would just go with a term that is as ambiguous as the English term if you can't do better easily. ——Bhaak (talk) 08:31, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

The two best words I can think of to describe an item that's neither cursed nor blessed would be "neutral" or "unenchanted." Unfortunately, they both have other meanings in NetHack. "Unbiased" is a poor choice because it sounds like it'd have more to do with random number generation than divine favor (or disfavor.) I agree that the current situation isn't great, but I don't really see a better option given the other terminology in use in NetHack. Kufat (talk) 00:19, 4 April 2023 (UTC)

What about "mundane"? It has the connotation of "not involved with the spiritual", and blesses and curses are both spiritual. And it's similar in meaning to "unremarkable", which also suits uncursed items. But personally I'm in favor of using established terms even if they're awkward, as trying to change them tends to cause even more confusion. Tomsod (talk) 14:25, 12 April 2023 (UTC)

Personally favor of keeping the traditional style, even I find searching the lists of items all beginning with "uncursed" annoying at a times. Changing it to "mundane" doesn't help and seems rather pointless.

If this was to change, I'd prefer descriptor like "unknown", or "unfamiliar" etc... for items with unknown blessed/cursed status. Then normal items could simply be described as they are.

Jacew (talk) 05:31, 14 September 2023 (UTC)

I'd take "a little weird-sounding" over something actively useless or worse. For all that NetHack occasionally falls victim to arbitrary adherence to Tradition™, as noted by Kufat there aren't a lot of better options. --Umbire the Phantom (talk) 14:01, 17 September 2023 (UTC)

Personally, I think uncursed items simply lacking any descriptor makes the most sense, with something like "plain" or "common" if explicit status is required (common I feel works well as it contrasts with sacred, which in many cultures encompasses both the holy and profane). Really, there is no succinct, specific expression for "occupying the neutral space between cursed and blessed" because I don't think any human culture thinks of objects like NetHack does. In my mind, material, inanimate objects are inherently neither "cursed" or "blessed", and so either status is something accidental, outside of and added to, the weapon, rather than all materials existing in a balanced ternary state of BUCness. MtsDoGOKO (talk) 23:54, 17 September 2023 (UTC)

The game already omits "uncursed" if you're playing a Priest, actually. I could stand an option extending that to all classes, with some descriptor like "undivined" for unknown-BUC items like Jacew suggested. It would be hard to find a non-awkward term for this, but really it only has to be less awkward than "uncursed", and that's a low bar. Tomsod (talk) 04:09, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
...isn't implicit_uncursed already an option for quite a few variants? --Umbire the Phantom (talk) 08:30, 23 September 2023 (UTC)
It's also in vanilla, but only affects a few specific situations (identified weapons, wands, and tools, and Priest curse-vision). If some variants expand on it, that's great! Tomsod (talk) 12:26, 24 September 2023 (UTC)

plenty: standard/regular, pristine, usual, stock, base. Lysdexia (talk) 07:41, 18 July 2024 (UTC)

I think a lot of suggestions on this page are not considering the context of a NetHack inventory screen:

  • the neutral Master Key of Thievery
  • an unremarkable magic lamp
  • the unbiased Master Key of Thievery
  • an unaffected burnt elven cloak
  • the undistinguished Platinum Yendorian Express Card
  • a mundane potion of full healing
  • an unfamiliar potion of water
  • an unknown potion of water
  • a plain ornamental cope
  • a common magic lamp
  • the standard Platinum Yendorian Express Card
  • the regular Platinum Yendorian Express Card
  • a pristine greased poisoned thoroughly rusty corroded dart
  • the Wizard of Yendor's usual corpse
  • a stock homemade tin of Wizard of Yendor meat
  • a base potion of acid

As for what I suggest... how about "unblessed"? ;) --Aximili (talk) 21:12, 19 July 2024 (UTC)

Nothing’s wrong with standard/regular. Pristine doesn’t refer to wholeness but to first properties (where nothing fantastic like maghic is considered) as opposed to mutate[d]. Stock is opposed to custom[ized]/bespoke[n]. Base is self-explanatory besides alkaline and amar. Lysdexia (talk) 10:45, 21 July 2024 (UTC)