Aliens with one name vs. aliens with two names

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by t_smitts, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't know about the novels, but Chakotay is human and he only uses one name.

    I remember a couple of years ago, there was some big international news story involving the political leader of some Southeast Asian or Pacific country, and after giving his name, the news articles kept having to append an explanatory note that he only went by one name.
     
  2. TorontoTrekker

    TorontoTrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Were we at the same con, perhaps? This was a Creation con (and as far as I know, Ms. Wyatt only ever did the one appearance). Leonard Nimoy and Mark Lenard were there as well.

    Who does he think he is -- Madonna? ;)

    I remember that, though I thought it was more recent than that. Tibetan, wasn't he?
     
  3. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think Spock's last name is probably one of those alien names we hear Will Smith use in MIB. With pops and whistles and such.
     
  4. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Indonesians of Javanese descent usually have only one (given) name, so you might be thinking of former president of Indonesia Suharto.
     
  5. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    True. But isn't Chuckles supposed to be from one of those Amer-Ind Colonies near the DMZ? It would not surprise me if they decided to throw out alot of the conventions that their ancestors had adopted from Westerners and returned to something more true to their own traditions.

    I think that on Earth, come what may, their is probably a homogenization of naming conventions taking place and that eventually most of the world (as with many things) will adopt a western standard of a given name and surname with the occasional middle name thrown in. This will be done for the sake of efficiency. Imagine filling out a standardized test form if you have too many names. I work for an international organization and cannot tell you what a pain it is to find someone in our database if they have too many names.

    On another note, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Borg and the Bynars. Borg obviously have names and they make logical sense. The Bynars, however, would seem to be problematic for outsiders.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Diane Carey's novels have this anti-Mary-Sue character (you know, the one who screws up everything, gets rescued by all the three main heroes in turn, and gets to bed none of them) named Piper, and nothing but Piper; the rationale she (that is, both Piper and Ms Carey) gives is that the small colony she comes from doesn't warrant more.

    Surnames exist for the sake of clarity, to tell people apart (that is, to tell them together). If you have a whole planetful of Vulcans, you do need a means to tell apart T'Pau from the high Gols and T'Pau from the Tearflesh Wind Valley. Or then you need a good imagination and an extensive alphabet before you run out of single syllables to place after the T', or of five-letter permutations of S***k. But if you only have a small colony, you can make do with Piper, or "Busty", or Hey You.

    Or, disgusted with the way things are run back home, invent an all-new tradition that will be theirs and theirs only?

    ...And what sense might that be? Say, why is Third of Five Third of Five, when Seven of Nine isn't Seventh of Nine?

    Or, for all we know, the Chinese standard. Although that culture does suffer from the same thing old Romans did, that is, too much standardization on names. With a billion people doing things, it's very, very difficult to tell apart the Ho Xing who achieved fame in hydrodynamics from the Ho Xing who achieved fame in parallel bars or the Ho Xing who achieved fame in alliterative poetry...

    I for one am sure there will be holdouts. It adds some character to the, well, character. And you can cast a superior smirk at your partner who complains that nineteen European bankers get addressed by their surnames in the Financial Times article, yet the writer seems to be a close buddy of Thor from Iceland. :devil:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I didn't hear it at a con; I read an article about it being said at a con. It was many years ago.


    That's the one.


    But the point is that humans already have many different naming traditions, so you don't have to go to an alien planet to find people who only use one name. Or who use five or six names. Or who don't use surnames the way Westerners do.


    Borg drones don't have names, because they don't have identities. They have catalog numbers like the machine parts they're reduced to.
     
  8. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I think the TMP novelization said something about last names going out of fashion on Earth and only very few chose to have one.
     
  9. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

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    Given that the TMP was the first of the numbered novels, I think it's safe to say a great deal about it has been contradicted since then.
     
  10. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The TMP novel is a memory I'm trying to repress, thank you very much... :scream:

    Although I think it was only the (gack :barf: ) 'New Human' movement which engaged in that practice, isn't that right?
     
  11. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Thing is, it was actually written by Roddenberry... ;)
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And Roddenberry was never afraid to contradict his own earlier works. Few creators are. Fans get defensive about seeing a story's details changed because they usually only experience the final, completed work and become fond of it in that form. But for a creator, that work is the result of a lengthy process of trial and error, with lots of elements being changed, discarded, and replaced along the way. So creators generally aren't averse to making further changes and improvements later on if they get the chance.
     
  13. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

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    Indeed. If a creator's work remained 100% unchanged, Chris Pine would've been playing Robert April in the last movie.
     
  14. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Or Bruce Greenwood would have.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Same difference. Kirk was originally just a renamed Pike, as Pike was a renamed April. (Kirk evolved differently to reflect the actor playing him, but if you look at how Kirk is written in the early first season, he starts out essentially indistinguishable from Pike.) The point is that what we see is the end result of a process of change and adjustment, not something that sprung into being fully formed.
     
  16. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    About Spock's full name, the last page of Barbera Hambly's novel Ishmael gives it as S'chn T'gai Spock. Sarek is S'chn T'gai Sarek of the Hgrtcha Clan.

    The old Treknical fanzine USS Enterprise Officer's Manual by Geoffrey Mandel gave his full name as Xtmprszntwlfd Spock. I imagine he just mashed the keyboard.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Of course, it could be something as simple as "Carl", and all humans just pronounce it in a way that really hurts Spock's ears.

    I mean, you probably couldn't really pronounce "Timo", either.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    ^^It's not "Tee-mo"?
     
  19. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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  20. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I never liked that explanation, all of their first names are easily pronouncable by humans but the last names (all of them apparently) are not?