1. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Would you be put of by these names?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by architectus, Jan 16, 2009.



    I was wondering what people who read sci-fi would think of my idea for names. If you wish you can just scroll down to the question in bold. Although, I think understanding the explanation would help some.

    I am starting my sci-fi novel, which will be my third novel I completed. I was thinking about names for my earth characters. The story doesn’t take place on earth, but two of my MCs are from earth. Earth has changed some. ET made contact with us, and we can travel to other planets.

    Here is my naming idea I had a while ago. On earth a fad started. People started naming their sons after names of popular 20th century pop, such as: Dr Pepper, Mr. Pibb, 7-up, Coke, Cola.

    Some of the names they shortened, so the names of boys are: Pibb, Pepper, Seven, Coke, Cola and so forth.

    At the same time another fad started. Parents named their females after 20th century desserts, such as: Cookie, Apple (Short for apple pie), Peach, Coco and such.

    The children liken it to a fad in the 60’s when parents named their children things like Tree, Tuesday, Summer, and such.

    My question: Would you be put off if the two MCs were named Cola and Apple? He calls his sister App for short.

     
  2. Trojan
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    Trojan Member

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    Personally, this sounds quite silly. Pibb, Pepper and even Coke are more likely to be pet names or surnames in my opinion. I think that I could see Cola being a name but the rest... not so much.

    These names are more likely to happen... actually names like this already exist.

    Tree? I've never heard that one before :confused: but the rest seem like personally reasonable names and like they were chosen out of the blue.

    Cola and Apple don't seem like they are names that would put me off... I think that if you were to have more characters in the story with names of other franchises then that would throw me off hugely. A conversation between Coke and Cola for example would be far to annoying, I would be too similar to hamster names.

    I can see how you are comparing it to the 60's but it just doesn't seem like the same thing to me.
     
  3. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Thanks. The only two people with names like that are Cola and Apple. Other people on earth have names like Seven, but they will not be in the novel.

    I actually knew a guy named tree. His parents were hippies. I also knew a homeless teen named Tree. Her parents were just potheads. I even kissed her once. Hmm, that was random.

    If I decide not to use Cola and Apple, their names shall be Clay (boy) Sam (girl). They are brother and sister.

    The name of one of the alien ladies is Zoba, and some call her Zobana. I was going to go with Zobee.
     
  4. Trojan
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    Trojan Member

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    Cola and Apple seem like perfectly fine names for brother and sister, I've noticed that parents usually try to pick names that are similar or sound right when put together. Cola and Apple seem to follow this.

    Alien names... well its an alien. Call it whatever you like, just don't make it too difficult to say.
     
  5. ArckAngel
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    ArckAngel Member

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    Why don't you go get Pony Boy to go ask Soda Pop?
    Seemed to work in the Outsiders, should work for you.
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    You took the works right out of my mouth, Arck Angel. I was going to talk about the Outsiders too. It would definitely throw some readers off. On the other hand, that's an incrdibly successful book set in the realworld 1950's. Weird names are much more likely to be accepted in a sci-fi novel.
     
  7. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    Are you going to tell the reader about the fad, or just let them piece it together? This might effect your choices.
     
  8. Sunset Sailor
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    Sunset Sailor Member

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    If you use these names it would be good to explain the fads. I don't have a problem with the names at all. As the author you can get the reader to believe anything if you present it convincingly.

    Another thing about fads to consider is that they always return in a slightly altered version. For example, we had bell bottoms and hip huggers in the 70's and then they came back in a slightly altered state a few years ago.

    So, you could take a child naming fad from the past and play with it a bit if you wanted. An example of this would be considering the hippie names of the 60's which focused on natural objects and instead people are naming their children after animals. Still naturally themed, but slightly altered. The Apple name you reference is a good spinoff.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that you can convince the reader of anything.
     
  9. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    I would be put off by Coke and Mr. Pibb. Apple, Peach, and Cookies are cute though for girls.
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    My friend's twins are Toprak (a boy) = Earth, and Yaprak (a girl) = Leaf. It just about works in Turkish...
     
  11. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Thanks everybody. If I use Cola and Apple I do plan to explain the fad in the first chapter, close to when their names are introduced.

    From what I can tell it seems most wouldn't mind those two names.

    I've never read the Outsiders, so I can't comment on it.

    The reason I am considering common names like Clay and Sam is because everyone there has alien names like Zoba, Sotasha, Lebhan and such that maybe my two MCs from earth should have familiar names. But perhaps Cola and Apple are familiar enough as words to give the same effect.
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I've seen a similar thing happen in a different work by Jim Aikin called The Wall at the Edge of the World.

    He doesn't play with names of people, but instead with the possible mutation of current place names in the US into their postulated future forms.

    For example:

    San Fransisco ~ Saffersisco

    Sierra Nevada ~ Sernada

    Santa Cruz ~ Sancruz

    Sacramento ~ Seremeno

    It was a cute idea, and I found it interesting at first, but distracting in the end when the pattern had been set and place names were given which I could not parse out. Ranaoima is mentioned as a city somewhere in what had been the delta of Louisiana, I have no idea what real city it represents and it got to bugging me and committing the cardinal sin of taking me out of the story.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the question can't really be answered with any validity without seeing the work itself... it could very well make good sense, if written well enough to make it make sense... or the reverse...

    certainly, much worse has been done in naming kids in our own time and earlier eras...
     
  14. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    I will say this I think it is silly, but even being silly Cola and Pepper sound like girls names.

    Seven is cool i knew a kid named Seven and Pibb makes more sense. Name the guy Crush(orange soda) and that would sound better. Root also sounds kind of tough and is a type of soft drink. Did you ever consider Barq?

    There are some names that work well with what you are trying to do, but Sprite would be better then cola or coke.
     
  15. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    Definitely go with the shortened versions; I'm not put off by Pibb, Pepper, Seven, or Cola --though Coke sounds more like a nickname than a 'real' name, but that's the beauty of science fiction; anything flies, and I think most sci-fi readers understand that. I say go for it!

    Personally, I like your female names more than your male names. Perhaps you could play around for more male names if you still feel uncertain about them...

    And if you've never read The Outsiders as you say, go pick up a copy from your library soon! It's a quick and basic read; I read it when I was in middle school, but it stayed with me. The author is S.E. Hinton. Not science fiction in the slightest, but it's a classic! She had a fun time making up names too. Pony Boy, Soda Pop, Two-Bit... And then the "Socs.." :)

    Go for it and have fun!
     
  16. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh yeah, and lets lot forget that some actor really did name her daughter Apple.
     
  17. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Thanks everyone. I guess I am mainly wondering if I should even take the chance or just stick with Clay and Sam. I can't go wrong there.


    I do like the name Root. Hmm, Root and Apple.
     
  18. Scarecrow28
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    The names fit together well, but sound somewhat silly to me. I like the idea of using Clay and Sam instead.
     
  19. Hetroclite
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    Names do not put me off. They might bother a few but if the story is written well they'll forget about it. Concentrate on the story itself. You might change the names before you're finished anyway.
     
  20. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    If it makes sense within the context of the story, then keep it. Especially if there is a reason for the fad, or if arthe chacters having that name amplifies some aspect of the plot or the theme of the work.
     
  21. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I have decided to go with Clay and Sam
     
  22. Eli
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    I think it would have been a good idea, humorous and gives a little picture of the world, but then again they might have been a little annoying after a while. Clay and Sam are better.

    I also seem to remember a book where it was standard to name your children after comercial products -things like Happymeal and Gucci. Thinking on it, it may have been a Ben Elton book though the title escapes me.
     
  23. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    I think using the letter 'z' in alien names is a silly trend, and should be abolished.
    Zardfak, aderzim, filtzerfark.

    Who says extraterrestrials should have the letter z in all of their names? Or the letter k?
     
  24. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I don't know if there is a trend to use Z in alien names. My alien species Agija are influenced by Hinduism and thus Sanskit. Zobana, Zoba is a sanskrit word meaning beautiful. I didn't intend for it to be a Z name, it just happened to be so. Utha is another one of the Agija names.

    Names of some other characters that are other species, which are not Sanskirt: Gesh, Sanat, Klax, Jod, Keef, Peet, Peach (Fembot,) Apple (Fembot,) Klisandra, and so forth.

    Species: Agija, Gorn, Trindril, Klictans, Surasa, Naga.
     
  25. Mercurial
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    I dont see it as a trend, but the letter Z has been used often in some amateur and old (back when it was creative) films, novels, etc... It just says to me that the author has little creativity and / or spent very little effort on those names. I guess it's because people often see the letter Z as exotic (I guess..)?

    I've always loved the name Zara, though, and I believe that has Hindi roots to it, actually. --Either that or Arabic. Regardless, it means "radiance." I love it. :)

    Architectus, I like your method of choosing names, and I think one or two characters with Z names is fine --they are original and do follow a pattern, Sanskrit. I love the Eastern languages. :)
     

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