Nice e-priming on the buffyspeak, Willem.
I just wanted to chime in to comment on the alternative choices you included as well as your discussion on roles.
SNYDER: Did your mother give birth to you there? [Did your birth happen there?]
I like the first one better in terms of how it fits the tone of the scene. The second one probably makes a better literal transition from "were you born there" but bringing Xander's mother into the picture capitalizes better on Snyder's snideness.
SNYDER: Where do you head now? [Where do you plan to go now?]
The second one reads more easily. For e-prime, I like it best when it doesn't draw attention to itself.
SNYDER: Do you call yourself a soldier? [Do you want serve as a soldier?]
The first one reads more easily and again draws the derision into the picture, which fits the scene and Snyder's character really well.
XANDER: (shakes head) A comfortador. ['Comfortador' fits me better.]
Both work fine, but the second fits Xander's character better. He doesn't say it just to indicate his lack of soldiery, he brings his own sense of character to the table, and the second option does that better.
This dialogue brings up some interesting issues. How do we relate to roles? When e-priming, do we simply adapt to the rules and dance around the role, or do we e-primitive, and annihilate roles?
A soldier does not exist in an e-primitive world. You will never find one. In fact 'soldier' probably epitomizes the purpose of the professional label, one of the first pigeonholes created by 'to be' language and civilization. One can 'soldier on', 'soldier forward', do 'soldiering', but that would hardly fit Snyder's question. Snyder wants to trap Xander by asking whether he 'measures-up in manliness' to the role of soldier, an absurd notion, but a lethal and subtle trap, for how else does civilization get us out of our own center into its machinations, than by badgering us as to whether or not we fit a role that we assume means something good, worthy, successful.
Xander answers by saying 'comfortador', another serving class of person, a nanny, another way of abandoning his humanity. He has fallen into Snyder's trap: by acknowledging the implication that he doesn't have the 'manliness' to fit the role of soldier, he makes up the eunuch title of 'comfortador', as if entrusted to guard the king's harem, or nanny his children. By consenting to talking about which constricting and inhumane label fits him, Xander has consented to allowing Snyder to define and judge his value as a human being.
I think, as far as adapting someone else's words (especially the words of another author's character) you have to dance around the roles. You did that really well. When we speak for ourselves in e-primitive though, we can hopefully find the freedom to divorce our thoughts from role-based terminologies.
I like, though, how Joss turned the tables a little on Xander's self-titling. He doesn't just call himself a comforter, but a comfortador -- someone who conquers through comfort. Which actually describes Xander's character pretty well. He uses comfort as his superpower, the same way that Buffy uses her strength and reflexes and Willow uses magic.
Which brings us to the way in which we normally unravel titles when e-primitivizing: by describing what a person does instead of declaring them "to be" something. Buffy can say "I slay" and Willow can say "I practice magic." (although she would probably spell it with a "k".) But what can Xander say? He can say "I comfort" or even "I conquer through comfort" but you lose the joke of the term "comfortador" if you say either of those things.
It makes me think of how when you wrote about actually speaking in e-prime on a daily basis that you have to do without a lot of our common phrases like "how're you doing?" and "what's up?". Just like you can't translate from one language to another without losing something, you can't translate from b-english to e-primitive without casting aside the things that made b-english into such a civilized tool.
By the way, jhereg, nice choice of a passage to play with.
[*]It had all those title-related issue to tackle.
[*]The scene portrays a very blatant homage to Apocalypse Now.
[*]The episode that the scene comes from "Restless" takes place as the aftermath of Buffy and her gang trying to channel the power of the first slayer (aka The Primitive) in order to defeat the big bad of the season).