1. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    The Constraints of Naming Systems

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JTheGreat, Jul 25, 2010.

    In my fantasy world, it's as about monotheistic as Christianity is, as the citizens worship the Creator, Wysdom, and Power. You know, like the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit o_O. Very omnipresent.

    Anyway, the naming system is contructed so that females pay homage to Wysdom (who is depicted as a maiden) by spelling their names with lots of "Y's". Cynthia, Elysia, and such.

    But, there are names I want to include for the girls, that can't be modified that well. Names like Madrona don't have any "I" or "Y" sounds at all!

    Fortunately, the aforementioned Madrona and her sister Veranda (yes, I know that's another word for "patio") hail from a country on the coast. I could just change the names, but I really like them. They're a part of the two characters. Anyway, I don't know how I could tweak the religion so that the naming system wouldn't apply. I've considered using the old cop-out that the country isn't very religious at all, but it didn't seem very realistic to me, seeing as though the country they're from is a counterpart culture to a mixture of Spain, Italy, and Mexico.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You could easily have the two young maidens from the fair country on the coast speak another language as their native tongue. In their native tongue, Wysdom could be a different word, one with a sacred A which does appear in both their names. These are ladies of breeding, of course, so naturally they are educated and speak the language of the country in which the story takes place perfectly, if perhaps with a charming accent that the boys find fetching. ;)

    Acumen and Sagacity come to mind as possible replacements for Wysdom in this far off land.
     
  3. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Interesting. That could work, considering other natives from that country are named Madeline (it was going to be changed to Madelyn), Estella, and Sofia. I'm not Little Miss Tolkien when it comes to languages, but I looked up "Wisdom" in Spanish. It's Sabiduria. Note the "A" that you mentioned.

    Thank you very much for the idea. Ideas are currency on WritingForums, so I'll try to return the favor. Someday. If I remember. I have the short-term memory of a goldfish when I'm not paying enough attention. My friends claim that its contagious.
     
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  4. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I like this idea. I really think this would be the best route. I know what you mean about names becoming "a part of the character". They really do.

    Oh and about the goldfish thing I hear you on that one. :p
     
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  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    My teeth grind when I see "transformed" words like Wysdom, especially used as names.

    I doubt I am alone in this.
     
  6. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    She was originally Wisdom, but I realized how many female names with "Y" I had in my cast, so I decided to make it a naming rule. You have to admit Wysdom is better than Th'fr'dlr.
     
  7. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Probably not but I doubt everyone is going to like any one thing. So I suppose write what you like best then.

    Edit: Thought of this literally seconds after I posted. :rolleyes:

    You could always use the normal spelling if you prefer to do it that way because even though there are so many "Y" names wisdom sounds like wysdom. So I suppose it could work either way.
     
  8. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Many names is short form on longer names. Doenst fit you examples but Emmie could be a short form of Emmerlyn and so on.
     
  9. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wordplays like these assume that the inhabitants of the land speak English. For example, if "wisdom" in their own language is "hrafn", how can they replace the "i" with a "y"?

    To me, replacing "i" with "y" sounds like a nod to the feminist tradition of spelling "woman" "womyn". But how do the inhabitants of your fictional world know about 20th century European culture? For me, it breaks suspension of disbelief.
     
  10. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    I'd never heard of that tradition, but it sounds interesting. The reason the women spell the names with "Y" is because in their "Bible", the Sacred Texts, it's written in the teeth-grinding "Y" instead of "I" method. Since the cumination of such texts, their language evolved, but the women are still names Sacred Texts style in tradition. It's like naming your children Joseph, or Mary (or Maria if you're spanish), or Paul. Heh heh, Paul.
     

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