. . . is a word possessed of several meanings:
Sluggard; a slothful individual
a lump, disc, slab, or cylinder, etc., of material; metal, plastic, wood, glass, clay, air, liquid, solid, etc.: a bullet, a metal coin, a machine washer, a cast piece of material as in a line or piece of printing lead or refined metal ingot or pig (pig iron)
the gastropod species of the order Stylommatophora
a verb and noun for to drink, usually spirits though any liquid
a token used for representative monetary value, usually slotted into a machine
also the verb and noun for to punch, as in hit: and others not relevant to the matter at hand
I intend the word's use for a narrative, in all the above contexts and textures, though through the rhetorical category of change, transposition, for each given circumstance. Each case use is a specific motif of the moment.
I assume the default meaning a reader majority will take from "slug" without strong and clear mythology, context, and texture development will be the shell-less gastropod and the other meanings in descending frequency, probably, coin, washer, or token; material blob, bullet, metal casting; then sloth.
My questions then are what meaning would you assume first and to which would you most easily experience an emotional reaction and how: disgust, curiosity, sympathy, violence? I assume, disgust for the gastropod for the answers. Am I off?
My first thought: the shell-less gastropod. The emotional reaction: neutral. This could be altered depending on the context; slugs infesting the rotting remains, would be disgust and curiosity; slugs consuming algal contaminants in a water supply would have a positive emotional response.
Next: hit, punch, etc. The emotional reaction: again, depends on circumstances.
Third: bullet, as opposed to billet. The emotional reaction: The same qualifier -- context.
The remaining choices are too obscure (for me) for immediate recognition purposes.
"I put a slug into the machine and it spit out the drink for me." A metal disk about the size of a coin.
Slug as in a lump of material and the rest of that sentence, would most likely used when the characters are in a factory. "This machine takes slugs and turns them into containers.
Now, of course, if you are really doing science fiction, one can have a lot of fun.
"He found a slug in him." gastropod was in him. The slugs could be a weapon, or a problem attacking people.
I put a slug in the machine and spit out the drink for me. Again, he put the gastropod in it. Or he shot it.
In Science fiction, context is everything. One can twist all sorts of common terms and phrases into things that was never intended.
A Sluggard individual could actually be someone who travels on his stomach, leaving a trail of slime behind him. A Sluggard individual could also be someone who always getting slugged by others, possibly a professional punching bag.
Townie slugs dragged apathy slime downtown or uptown. Their toxic stink lines were visible vapor wakes and punched Sib Dana Hector and anyone aside.
When I was a child, vending machines were vulnerable to cheap metal washers shaped and sized like coins. Signs posted next to washing machines, snack food and beverage dispensers, arcade games, etc., said "NO SLUGS ALLOWED."
My childhood imagination read the signs, at first, as meaning the gastropod. Huh? Who would bring or use slugs here? I didn't ask what the signs meant; I went to the dictionary. The metal coin-like meaning of slug satisfied my curiosity; other definitions sent my imagination pleasantly wild. Oh, too, do not the signs suggest the fraudulent use of slugs to folk who hadn't thought of it themselves? Slug for sluggard was fun. Slug as punch or bullet or drink were, to me, intriguing and unexpected, congruent yet somehow opposites of slug as noxious sloth, still noxious. Fun.
Magnetic separator devices were developed that automatically rejected slugs. The signs went away.
Use of "slug" in its manifold connotations drives to the center of the moral complication and aesthetics for the narrative I'm working on: sloth. The tangible action aligns, too.
//After a slug of slug liquor, I slugged the slug; he who had slugged a slug in the jukebox, selected the Requiem of Slug, and sluggishly picked up his slug of lead, with which he killed the slug of the slug liquor.//
Just some fun adding the gastropod slug connotation.
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