(urth) Names on the Whorl

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Tue Sep 7 15:32:05 PDT 2010

  Excellent argument. Even if Orchid's other name was somehow latent 
rather than a straightforward surname, the glass can't have an in-group 
relation with anyone.

On 9/7/2010 1:54 PM, Roy C. Lackey wrote:
> David Stockhoff wrote:
>> Let me restate my hypothesis so it can be tested: every (human)
>> character has two names; one name is (let's say) an in-group name and
>> the other a (parental) out-group name. But only one is ever presented,
>> because the narrator has a unique, potentially changeable relation to
>> the character.
>> Admittedly, this is hard to test. If every (human) character has two
>> names and only one is ever presented,  then what matters is not the
>> character's presented name but the character's relationship to the
>> narrator. The family is the basic in-group. If Horn says, "I once knew a
>> person named Swallowtail---" then all we know is that the person was
>> male and was not in his family. We knew that anyway.
>> This isn't to argue for the idea, simply to explain that presenting
>> lists of character names and the family relationship of characters to
>> one another does not test the idea. For example, to Horn, his father was
>> Smoothbone, but if he had held a public position he might have been
>> called (say) General Moose.
> I don't think there are any characters with two names in LS, regardless of
> their relationship to the narrator. Had there been, for example, when
> Chenille used the glass in Siyuf's suite to try to find Auk, she could have
> used your out-group name to narrow the monitor's search for a particular
> Auk, rather than having to resort to giving his general location in the city
> and his physical description (RTTW, 226). She went about it the same way
> when she asked the monitor to find Orchid (227), because the monitor said
> Orchid was "also a widely employed appellation."
> -Roy
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