Friday, August 19, 2011

The Magic of Names

This is a rip-off of the "-ainus" scene in Gentlemen Broncos. Just so you know.

I have a couple of useful observations on ways to make names more interesting, or at least how to convey certain intangible elements of character through naming conventions. Okay, maybe not intangible. Definitely tangible.

The first part is the use of the suffix "worth". As in Guilesworth, or poundsworth, or professor Mortimus Schwagsworth. You get the idea. This suffix provides the maximum amount of tweedy English gentelmanliness, with a minimal amount of effort.

A second strategy, building on the first, is to append "worth" to a set of nonsense syllables. For example - Gillabba combined with worth is Gillabaworth. Or maybe Bomboonaworth, Flneebiworth, Chuzzleworth, and so on. These types of names a great for conveying a sense of tweedy English alien-ness. Or clown-ness, works either way.

Final notes - If you didn't know, Gentlemen Broncos is a comedy about a bestselling SF&F writer who steals an MS from a student and publishes it as his own. The antagonist is (loosely) based on David Farland, who I am fairly sure is not this weird. Gentlemen Broncos mostly felt like an inferior retread of Napoleon Dynamite. But, the writerly farce was wonderful. Highly recommended for genre writers, skip it for the rest of the world.

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