Spock's full name

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Claudia, May 19, 2009.

  1. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Googling for Spock's full name, I came across the Memory Beta-Wiki which lists his name as "S'chn T'gai Spock".

    It goes on to say, "As is the case with most Vulcans, only his last name was used due to the difficulty non-Vulcans would have in pronouncing his full name, although on at least one occasion Spock revealed his full name."

    Okay, now I'm looking for that at least one occasion. Was it in a TV-episode or one of the movies? Or a novel - if so which one?

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    it's from a novel. it's also wrong. everyone knows Spock's first name is Carl.
     
  3. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    It was from a novel. Memory Beta is a wiki for non-canonical information (novels, comics, chronologies, etc.) Very useful, but use the information at your own discretion. For canonical information, the reference is Memory Alpha.

    Incorrect. It's Harold. His mom confirmed so.:vulcan:
     
  4. MichaelS

    MichaelS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ishmael, I believe.
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    If I recall, "This Side of Paradise" suggests that Leila Kalomi is aware of Spock's full name, but it's never been revealed canonically.
     
  6. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is correct; Ishmael tells us that Spock's first name is S'chn T'gai Spock and that his father's is S'chn T'gai Sarek.

    Spock doesn't "reveal" it to anyone, though; it's simply seen in a computer read-out as I recall.
     
  7. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    +1
     
  8. Nardpuncher

    Nardpuncher Rear Admiral

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  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Sorry, you don't recall. Leila said "You never told me if you have a first name," and Spock replied, "You couldn't pronounce it."
     
  10. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thank you all!

    @ Therin/Christopher, watching "This Side of Paradise" was what prompted my search and question here. *g*
     
  11. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I re-read the quotes on Memory Beta and it reminded me that Spock hadn't actually told her. That sectiion is rather messy, with all those references clumped together, essentially forcing researchers to read each book to sort out which factoid belongs to which resource.

    By the way, in issue 2 of Spockanalia, the first Star Trek fanzine, Dorothy Fontana revealed that she had arbitrarily assigned Spock the family name "Xtmprsqzntwlfd". This name also turned up in the semi-pro, fan-produced "USS Enterprise Officers' Manual". (And, coupled with a humorous convention comment by Jane Wyatt, this is actually a first name and the pronunciation is "Harold".)
     
  12. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    Ian, that's close, but not quite accurate. Near the end of the episode, Leila says, "You never told me if you had another name, Mr. Spock," to which Spock replies (somewhat wryly, I would argue), "You couldn't pronounce it."

    I know that some fans take this exchange to be an indication that Spock has "another name," and most seem to infer that it means that he has another given name. For me, this never quite rang true. Leila and Spock could be speaking about a Vulcan equivalent for his name, perhaps in an ancient tongue, or perhaps they are talking about a family name, or perhaps even some other name he might have had in his infancy or youth, as part of some Vulcan ritual of which Ms. Kalomi is aware but that the audience is not. Also, Spock's response might not indicate that he even has "another name," if he was, as I suggested, answering wryly.
     
  13. Nerroth

    Nerroth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    For all we know, maybe Vulcan-born children take on their mother's surname - and thus he could be Spock Grayson.

    Or, perhaps,
    new-timelime Spock might call himself so, in honour of his lost mother.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I have to disagree. In the context of the scene, I don't see why she'd ask if he had some esoteric alternate form of his name or some old ritualized thing. The vibe I've always gotten off the scene is that it's a personal moment, she cares for him, and it's awkward to keep addressing him so formally as "Mr. Spock," so she's asking if there's a more familiar form of address she could use.
     
  15. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There is a family name. Amanda said that she could pronounce it "After a fashion, and after years of practice."
     
  16. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    ^ Well, I'd say that wasn't really clear either. That exchange in "Journey to Babel" went as follows.

    Kirk: Mrs. Sarek, I just don't understand.
    Amanda: Amanda. I'm afraid you couldn't pronounce the Vulcan name.
    Kirk: Can you?
    Amanda: After a fashion, and after many years of practice.

    This might suggest a family name to some, but I never thought so. For one thing, Amanda tells Kirk that he "couldn't pronounce the Vulcan name" after asking him to call her by her given name. I thus assumed that the "Vulcan name" of which she spoke was an analogue of her Terran given name. For another thing, nowhere in the original series--nor, I believe, in any of its scions--do we learn of any Vulcan definitively having more than a single name. That doesn't mean that they don't, of course--it certainly took long enough for Sulu and Uhura to be granted given names--but I always found it compelling enough.

    The thing is, for episodes like "This Side of Paradise" and "Journey to Babel," it has always seemed clear to me that the writers were playing with the notion of one-named Vulcans. They played with Spock having "another name," but neither offered the name nor even established with certainty that he even had "another name." One can imagine any number of in-universe explanations for Leila Kalomi's question of Spock. Back when they knew each other on Earth, where she had fallen in love with him, perhaps their conversations had turned to Spock's life, and he had intimated that he had "another name" without ever revealing it. Or perhaps he'd told Leila that some Vulcans took other names under specific circumstances or for specific reasons. There are uncounted ways such conversations could have set up her years later saying, "You never told me if you had another name, Mr. Spock."

    The added (but minor) complexity of this might seem to fly in the face of Occam's Razor, but I feel the reverse is true: that Vulcans in general, and Spock in particular, having more than one name, despite hundreds of hours of film and television failing to produce one, seems an unconvincing complication and unlikely at best.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Certainly the evidence leaves open a wide range of possibilities.

    I like the idea of Vulcans making do with just a single name, even if this creates some practical problems for populations larger than a hundred... There's a nice bit on it in Dillard's The Lost Years, where the long-out-of-the-loop ancient Vulcan mage is amused by the fact that Surakians still haven't run out of names in the S***k format.

    OTOH, I like Duane's take on Romulan names, and I'd like to think it extends back to Vulcan names as well. That is, there are multiple names, but they are steeply hierarchial, far more so than our practice of given names and surnames. "Spock" would be the one to be used in public. "S'chn T'gai" could be reserved for clan/family ceremonies. And there could be Duanesque secret names, with strong magical connotations on how knowing the name gives one power over the person; the superficially rational Vulcans would be doubly motivated to keep those names from becoming public knowledge.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Again, that doesn't make sense to me in context. Kirk has just called her "Mrs. Sarek," i.e. assuming that "Sarek" is her married surname. It therefore logically follows that the "Vulcan name" she's referring to is her true married surname, i.e. Sarek and Spock's family name.


    That's overthinking it. In the context of that moment in the story, there is no reason why she would engage in such a total non sequitur as to bring up something from years in their past. The emotional tone of that moment in the episode is that she's frustrated at only being able to call him by his formal designation, "Mr. Spock," and is probing to see if he has a more personal, familiar form of address.

    I profoundly doubt that D.C. Fontana, a working Hollywood scriptwriter who had to churn this episode and "Journey to Babel" out in a matter of weeks while busy with all sorts of other stuff, had the time or the inclination to concoct all sorts of convoluted and arcane worldbuilding that she was secretly alluding to when she wrote these lines. She was writing these scripts for a 20th-century American television audience, and she would naturally have written them to reflect the cultural references and expectations of the culture she belonged to and wrote for. If she wrote a scene where a woman refers to a man she loves as "Mr. X" and then asks if he has another name, she most likely meant a given name, a personal name as opposed to a surname. If she wrote a scene where a man referred to a woman married to foreign dignitary Y as "Mrs. Y" and the woman offered him her first name as an alternative, explaining "You couldn't pronounce the [foreign] name," she was most likely thinking of Mr. Y's true surname.
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Assuming there's such a thing as a surname in Vulcan tradition. "Vulcan name" could just as well be what she was told to adopt instead of Amanda, or instead of Grayson, or instead of both - the classic "Indian name" thing.

    As for whether DC Fontana thought or didn't think this or that, why would that be a concern here?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    ^ Quite so, Timo, on all counts. We understand what the writer was trying to accomplish, but that doesn't necessarily provide an in-universe explanation for Vucan appellations.