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Does anyone know the rules for how the language "Common" differs from American English? If I remember correctly, there are a few rules given in Ender in Exile like at least one of our letters is missing in their language and a word (I think maybe "of") is replaced by a "v". I also found another rule on an Ender's Game Wiki that says that there is no word "whom" in that language. Does anyone know of a site that has a compilation of the rules given in Ender's Game cannon? If not, please post the rules you know and hopefully the book that the rules are from. Lastly, please avoid spoilers in your answers - just list the rules if you can :).

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As far as I can tell, Ender in Exile is the only place that gives any specific rules to I.F.Common/Starcommon/Stark:

And yet each colony world would get its own look, its own accent of I.F. Common, which was merely English with a few spelling changes.


"Not English," said Ender. "Common. It's spelled better—no ughs and ighs—and there's some special vocabulary and there's no subjunctive, no 'whom,' and the word 'of' is spelled as the single letter 'v.' To name just a few of the differences.

There is also evidence that Battle School slang eventually got integrated into I.F. Common.

Now her fluency in Battle School Common and its slang stood her in good stead. After the war, Battle School slang had caught on with children all over the world, and she was fluent in it.


Shadow of the Hegemon does bring down some specific rules, but those rules aren't any different then English:

The easy way that any amateur can decode language is by checking word lengths and the frequency of appearance of certain letter patterns. In Common, you look for letter groupings that could be 'a' and 'the' and 'and,' that sort of thing.


"That doesn't look right for Common. There should be a lot more i's than that."
"I'm assuming that the message deliberately leaves out letters as much as possible, especially vowels, so it won't look like Common."

Other books only say how Common relates to other languages. For example:

“She laughed. ”It's not my language. Or his. Common is just a universalized dialect of English, and I'm German.“ - (Polish Boy)


Valentine wasn't really hearing Stark at all, she was hearing the English that it was based on, the American English that she had grown up with. (Xenocide)

More quotes can be found to how (un)popular Common was, and as to when it was adopted by different nations, but nothing really on its rules. Even The Official Ender Companion only says:

International Fleet Common (See also Starcommon) (EG, ES, SH, SP, SG)
“International Fleet Common” was the name given to the variation on English that was spoken throughout the world during the period of Battle School.

Stark/Starcommon (SD, XN, CM)
Stark, short for Starcommon, was a variation of English, and the primary language spoken on the different planets of the Hundred Worlds and in the Starways Congress.

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