Lost In Translation

Posted: December 5, 2011 by xenocidebrm in General, Guides, Metagame

Hello, No ELO readers! I originally wanted to talk about some terms and phrases used in League of Legends, as many new players are unfamiliar with the terms. Upon deeper inspection, I realized that many of the terms and phrases have implications beyond the prima facie. As a result this article turned from descriptive to prescriptive and you should take the advice given with a grain of salt. Still, if you’re unfamiliar with LoL lingo, this article will serve you well!

When concerned with the effects of the spoken and written word upon others, we often times think of instructional manuals and teachers. It is more difficult to consider the more omnipresent teachers of environment, parental figures, peers, and advertising. In this sense the word is certainly mightier than the sword: we see men fight and die for their country with no more than a cursory order and sense of duty or a sum of bills with abstract numbers and words upon them. There should be no surprise, then, that those who use these words the most also know the most efficient means of control.

Governments, religious and political figures, and academics all have some sort of vested interest in control. Of these, the most successful mix their words with their fists. As Irwin Corey said, “You can do more with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word.” Violence is the lynchpin of linguistic control, be it physical, psychological, economic, or social. Despite this efficiency, it is clear that violence is not the best long-term solution for control. The Japanese struck Pearl Harbor to warn the United States not to stop its imperialist policy, yet the Americans struck back with unprecedented force. Capital punishment, touted for its ability to prevent crime, statistically increases the likelihood of crime. Inserting DRM into a program makes it more likely to be pirated.

So when I took a look at the phrases used in League of Legends, the very things that are supposed to impose control over other players, I noticed the context was nearly always violent. Indeed, the very nature of the phrases in themselves can be violent. In the short-term these phrases might be effective at encouraging or deterring certain kinds of behavior. However, they do nothing to teach players how to become better at the game. I would even say that many of these phrases encourage worse behavior simply because of their violent context.

As you read the phrases below, try to note the simplicity and directness that these phrases use. They are efficient and direct, a great sign of good communication. At the same time, read them out loud. Now, play a game and read phrases you hear out loud. Is there a difference in tone? Are there implications about your skill or the skill of other players? Are these phrases combined with epithets (derogatory language)? The violent differences may surprise you.

(Top, Mid, Bot) Lane – The large highways that lead from your base to the enemy base. As would be expected, the uppermost Lane is Top, the lowest Lane is Bot, and the Lane between those two is Mid.

(Top and Bot) Jungle – The area between Top and Mid Lane and the area between Mid and Bot Lane.

River – The wide line from upper left to lower right that divides your side of the map from the enemy side of the map.

Tower, Turret – The large structures in a Lane which protect both your Lane and your enemy’s Lane. Destroying a tower gives the team that destroyed it a large amount (150) of gold.

Inhibitor, Inhib – The large structures in a base which prevent the enemy team from spawning Super Minions.

Minion, Creep – The small units which are constantly spawned at each base and travel down a Lane.

Creep, Monster – The medium units which spawn in the Jungle.

Creep Score, CS – The number of Minions and Monsters a player has struck the killing blow upon.

Dragon, Drag – The large Monster who spawns in the Bot Jungle River. Killing the Dragon gives the team that scored the last hit on it a large amount (190) of gold.

Baron, Nashor – The large Monster who spawns Top Jungle River. Killing the Baron gives the team that scored the last hit on it a large amount (200) of gold.

AD – Attack Damage, usually in reference to a character who builds Attack Damage items. These characters tend to be weak early game and strong late game. Building Armor prevents some damage from these characters.

AP – Ability Power, usually in reference to a character who builds Ability Power items. These characters tend to be strong early game and weak late game. Building Magic Resistance prevents some damage from these characters.

Support – A character whose sole purpose is to assist another character. These characters are encouraged not to Farm or take kills in addition to buying many Wards. Implication that this character does nothing on their own.

Tank – A character who is able to take damage but still remain a threat to the enemy team. Usually possesses abilities with CC. Implication that this character only exists to take damage.

Jungler – A character whose purpose is to Farm Monsters. They are always MIA unless you can see them on your minimap.

OP – Overpowered compared to the average of other champions.

UP – Underpowered compared to the average of other champions.

Push – To intentionally kill minions as fast as possible with abilities or autoattacks in a lane in order to reach an enemy Tower. An aggressive action. Implication of winning.

Last Hit – To allow Minions to damage one another until you can score the final blow on enemy Minions. A conservative action. Implication of being too careful.

Farm – To kill Minions or Monsters for gold. All characters except Support characters want to do this to some extent. Implication of being lazy.

Farmed – To have killed a great number of Minions or Monsters and therefore have a lot of gold. These characters ought to be Focused.

Fed – To have killed a great number of enemies and therefore have a lot of gold. These characters ought to be Focused. Implication of lack of skill due to gold advantage.

Feed, Feeding – To be killed often by the enemy team and therefore be giving them a lot of gold. Also a call to the character Feeding to play more conservatively. Implication of lack of skill due to number of deaths.

Focus, Kill – To attack almost without regard to other targets. These characters are often Fed or Farmed.

CC, Crowd Control – To stop or prevent someone from being effective by applying status effects such as Stun, Silence, Knock-Up, or Blind. Can be mitigated with Tenacity. Generally Focused on Fed or Farmed characters.

Chase – To move after a fleeing enemy in an attempt to CC or kill them. An aggressive action. Implication of positive hunting behavior.

Bait – To intentionally perform an undesirable action in order to get enemies to Chase. An aggressive action. Implication of underhanded and cheap tactics.

Juke – To move into a bush and move in an unexpected direction out of it in order to deter or Bait someone who is Chasing. An aggressive action.

(Top, Mid, Bot) MIA, Mis, SS, Gone – To inform the rest of the team that an enemy champion is missing in their Lane. Also an implication that neighboring lanes and jungles should play more conservatively.

Tower Hug – To stay next to your tower instead of heading further into a lane or jungle. A conservative action. Implication that the character tower hugging is weak or unskilled.

Gank – To attack enemy characters with assistance from a Jungler or a character from another lane when the enemy characters are Pushing their Lane. Implication that the Gankers are using underhanded and cheap tactics.

Ward – To place a Sight or Vision ward in order to prevent Ganks and gain Map Awareness.

Map Awareness – To know where enemy and friendly characters are on the minimap. Implication that other players are not paying attention.

Split Push – To Push a Lane while separated from the rest of the team.  Implication of lack of teamplay.

Backdoor – To attack a Tower or Inhibitor without assistance from Minions. Implication of underhanded and cheap tactics.

Leash (Thanks drhooble!) – To attack a Monster and then run far away from it, allowing a Jungler to get free hits on the Monster before it actually attacks the Jungler.

Facecheck (Thanks Shade!) – To check an unwarded bush or a sharp corner with one’s character. Implication of naive and hotheaded play.

Comments
  1. Shade says:

    Useful guide for newbies, though (hopefully) most should figure it out on their own. One comment though: “Baron, Nashor – The large Monster who spawns Bot Jungle River. Killing the Baron gives the team that scored the last hit on it a large amount (200) of gold.” — Baron spawns near TOP jungle river, no? Dragon is near bottom. Besides that good stuff as always DDC

  2. drhooble says:

    Also leash! When someone says they need a creep leashed it means you need to hit it for them so it chases/aggros on you. This let’s them kill it without taking too much damage.

  3. Shade says:

    Also: we don’t even really think about this much since you learn very early on never to do this but Facechecking / ‘Hiding’ (e.g. it’s important to learn how to / when to check a bush, which ones to stay away from, how to ‘hide’ in a bush and not attack revealing yourself and your team. Actually Someone should write a guide about using / avoiding bushes effectively) <— Also, it's Demery.

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