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xking

GW and the bad names

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2 hours ago, Aezeal said:

Pretty bad example actually. It's just a different language because minas tirith actually is just a composed name too (Tower of Guard/vigilance/ watch). For non English people it all doesn't sound that mundane... And the average sindarin elf probably rolled their eye because apes (humans) used their language to give a city such a basic name.

Bad answer. The fact that Tolkien didn't develip his toponymy fully doesn't explain why the worldbuilding in the Mortal Realms is lackluster sometimes.

Minas Tirith means "Watchtower" just like Springfield means, well, you know. But to English speaking people, Hallowheart doesn't sound like London, Berwick or Tottenham. Language evolves and while Springfield is very plain, the fact it's easy to understand speaks of Springfield's recent foundation relative to Winchester, which not only is impossible to understand if you don't know Old English, but none of its componens are English in origin (Venta Castrum stemming from Venta, an important place in Brythonic, and Castrum, a Roman fortress).

Hallowheart doesn't evoke anything except what the name says. 

Again, do they speak English in the Mortal Realms? What is English supposed to represent? Tolkien went to extraordinary lenghts to make sure his world was somewhat believable when it came to names and language, stating that English represented a sort of common tongue of men, cousin to the tongue of Numenor, and the older or backwards the culture, the older the Germanic language he used to represent that, so the Rohirrim spoke Old Enlish to bring home how they were old-fashioned, and for the ancestors of the Rohirrim he used Gothic, while men of Dale spoke Old Norse (and the Dwarves used their language with foreigners since they were secretive about their own).

That's miles more thought than anyone has ever put into Hallowheart or the Tempest Lords or the Living City.

Again, AoS has a long way to go, and probably the worlds will get tighter and more fleshed out. But as of now, imagination is what GW seems to be lacking.

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I'm sorry but for me not every fantasy world must be an exercise in linguistic.

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2 hours ago, michu said:

I'm sorry but for me not every fantasy world must be an exercise in linguistic.

I understand, but to me every fantasy world must be an exercise in coherence. Immersion stems from believability. 

Now, I think we all agree on two things:

1- The Mortal Realms are exciting.

2- The Mortal Realms will get better. Probably not in the naming department, but we'll always have head canon.

Edited by Cèsar de Quart

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Also you have to remember that whilst ol' Prof Tolkien was not too shabby when it came to names he was utter ****** at creating balanced Battletomes and I can't believe anyone play-tested some of these magic artefacts.

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@JPjr Yeah,  his rules for Eowyn were OP. Her "I'm no man" ability? It made Witch-King of Angmar useless. And how a gardener miniature could get "ignore the One Ring influence"  rule? ;) 

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I don't have a problem with names based on English words, if you want it to make sense we can just say these are translations of the place names. 

My standards are pretty low.  I would settle for clear,  memorable names that don't sound like a joke. Hallowheart is fine to me (though Hallowhart might be better) and even something like 'The Living City",  though incredibly unimaginative is at least clear.

Unfortunately you can't say the same for the endless clunky variations on sigmar/bone/blood. 

 

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1 hour ago, michu said:

@JPjr Yeah,  his rules for Eowyn were OP. Her "I'm no man" ability? It made Witch-King of Angmar useless. 

That was commentary on the uselessness of prophecy. People give Tolkien too much credit for "recreating the language and themes" of Germanic myth (which he did), but not enough credit on how he subverted many mythological tropes, which then became standard fantasy tropes. 

As for the clunkiness of "Gorefather" or "Gorechosen", and the like, it's a common ailing of GW today. The worst offender is still the Space Wolves, in which everything is "Wolf-Something". Even the company captains used to be called Jarls (very serviceable and fluffy) but then got transnamed into Wolf Lords. Meh.

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9 minutes ago, Cèsar de Quart said:

That was commentary on the uselessness of prophecy.

Yes, I understand. Doesn't make the "OP rules" joke  worse, I think...

Oh, and Wolf Lords are still Jarls. That's just low gothic translation (and a bad one, even SW think so).

Edited by michu
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Just now, michu said:

Yes, I understand. Doesn't make the "OP rules" joke  worse, I think...

You're right, sorry. I guess I'm just having a bad day.

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21 hours ago, Cèsar de Quart said:

The worst offender is still the Space Wolves, in which everything is "Wolf-Something". Even the company captains used to be called Jarls (very serviceable and fluffy) but then got transnamed into Wolf Lords. Meh.

I worked for a company once where we had to ensure that all public-facing materials did not contain language above a 6th grade reading level. It really made it hard to write compelling or original text. What it did do, though, was make sure the stupidity of our customers did not prevent them from choosing us as their service provider.

I'm guessing there's some of that going on here.

Edited by Sleboda
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20 hours ago, Sleboda said:

I worked for a company once where we had to ensure that all public-facing materials did not contain language above a 6th grade reading level. It really made it hard to write compelling or original text. What it did do, though, was make sure there stupidity of our customers did not prevent them from choosing us as their service provider.

I'm guessing there's some of that going on here.

I hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense, considering the former CEO's creed of "GW is in the business of selling toys".

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So I'm reading 'Wrath of the Everchosen'  and every time I read  the name  'Ossiarch Bonereapers' being used in story.   I just cringe, this name is just so bad to me.

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21 minutes ago, xking said:

So I'm reading 'Wrath of the Everchosen'  and every time I read  the name  'Ossiarch Bonereapers' being used in story.   I just cringe, this name is just so bad to me.

Yup. As a German I always think of „Ossis“ (eastern Germans).

But then, I always thought of Ostern with the Ostermark 😂

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Not all names are bad but I do like fantastical names more than composite words... e.g. Minas Tirith sounds cool, Hallowheart, while not a big offender to me, doesn't as cool. Gore/Blood/Wolves etc. definitely fall into the "sounds really lame" category.

I'd rather see units have names like Sardaukar, Dai Re'****** or Uruk-Hai than let's say Bloodwarriors. Others like Wrathmongers work better in my opinion. A good unit name is Kairic Acolytes. It kinda explains what it is and yet sounds exotic enough without having to go for some weird composite letter-diarrhea. If the Khorne guy named them they'd probably be Changegivers. Some of the new heralds got quite dubious names too. :)

I can imagine that it's down to them having easy names so that parents get the right stuff for their kids. If I imagine I was a kid and asked for a Bloodthirster (although I like that one actually) it would stick with them due to the cheesy easy name. If the unit was called a Rar-Gargash and the all the other units had similar non-descript names like that, it might be harder. Just a theory. Knowing me, probably a dumb one. 😎

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Personally, I have not been troubled by GW's naming in AOS at all.  Having read a multitude of Fantasy novels, I came a long time ago to the conclusion that my one red line was that  a name had to be pronouncable.  I remember refusing to buy a book because the main city had "ththth" in the middle of it (and no vowels).  Considering the sheer amount of names GW have had to invent for AOS (and will have to continue to do so), I think they have done well to avoid so many fantasy pitfalls whilst actually coming up with names that are generally descriptively relevant (and pronouncable).  

It is interesting that throughout this thread, there has been no issue about people's understanding of to what or whom the names are referring, which to me implies they are working quite well.

Edited by Aelfric
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48 minutes ago, Aelfric said:

Personally, I have not been troubled by GW's naming in AOS at all.  Having read a multitude of Fantasy novels, I came a long time ago to the conclusion that my one red line was that  a name had to be pronouncable.  I remember refusing to buy a book because the main city had "ththth" in the middle of it (and no vowels).  Considering the sheer amount of names GW have had to invent for AOS (and will have to continue to do so), I think they have done well to avoid so many fantasy pitfalls whilst actually coming up with names that are generally descriptively relevant (and pronouncable).  

It is interesting that throughout this thread, there has been no issue about people's understanding of to what or whom the names are referring, which to me implies they are working quite well.

Agree. 1000% agree.

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1 hour ago, MitGas said:

Not all names are bad but I do like fantastical names more than composite words... e.g. Minas Tirith sounds cool, Hallowheart, while not a big offender to me, doesn't as cool. Gore/Blood/Wolves etc. definitely fall into the "sounds really lame" category.

I'd rather see units have names like Sardaukar, Dai Re'****** or Uruk-Hai than let's say Bloodwarriors. Others like Wrathmongers work better in my opinion. A good unit name is Kairic Acolytes. It kinda explains what it is and yet sounds exotic enough without having to go for some weird composite letter-diarrhea. If the Khorne guy named them they'd probably be Changegivers. Some of the new heralds got quite dubious names too. :)

I can imagine that it's down to them having easy names so that parents get the right stuff for their kids. If I imagine I was a kid and asked for a Bloodthirster (although I like that one actually) it would stick with them due to the cheesy easy name. If the unit was called a Rar-Gargash and the all the other units had similar non-descript names like that, it might be harder. Just a theory. Knowing me, probably a dumb one. 😎

If a parent went into the shop and asked for a "Blood, ehhh,  something", that would mean 50% of Khorne's lineup. With the description "angry half naked muscly guy" it would not decrease the options. Though knowing it has horns takes some off.

Descriptive names are good, but Khorne is not a good example. How do you crush blood? If everything starts with Blood or Skull, do we really need the words blod or skull in the name?

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8 minutes ago, zilberfrid said:

If a parent went into the shop and asked for a "Blood, ehhh,  something", that would mean 50% of Khorne's lineup. With the description "angry half naked muscly guy" it would not decrease the options. Though knowing it has horns takes some off.

Descriptive names are good, but Khorne is not a good example. How do you crush blood? If everything starts with Blood or Skull, do we really need the words blod or skull in the name?

Yeah, the guy who named the Khorne stuff really should get put in a corner and think about those names for a long, long time. But I guess there has to be a reason for it (cause it doesn't sound cool or unique) so I guess it has to do with those names being rather easy to remember, even if they sound terribly alike. It's a mystery indeed. Perhaps they think Khorne and his boys are that uncreative.

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22 minutes ago, zilberfrid said:

If a parent went into the shop and asked for a "Blood, ehhh,  something", that would mean 50% of Khorne's lineup. With the description "angry half naked muscly guy" it would not decrease the options. Though knowing it has horns takes some off.

Descriptive names are good, but Khorne is not a good example. How do you crush blood? If everything starts with Blood or Skull, do we really need the words blod or skull in the name?

Blood and skulls being a religious thing for them, and religious reverence being often based off of ritual repetition I think they just can’t say it often enough. 😄

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14 minutes ago, Beastmaster said:

Blood and skulls being a religious thing for them, and religious reverence being often based off of ritual repetition I think they just can’t say it often enough. 😄

And do you really want to argue with bloodthirsty maniac about his name?

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45 minutes ago, zilberfrid said:

If a parent went into the shop and asked for a "Blood, ehhh,  something", that would mean 50% of Khorne's lineup. With the description "angry half naked muscly guy" it would not decrease the options. Though knowing it has horns takes some off.

Descriptive names are good, but Khorne is not a good example. How do you crush blood? If everything starts with Blood or Skull, do we really need the words blod or skull in the name?

Eh same for most product lines to be honest. At least asking for a Khorne Blood something is the right army. If everything had really wild names they might not even get the model for the right game, let alone the right army. 

Also perhaps its not "crushing blood" but that it will crush your body until all of your lifeblood is squeezed and beat out of you. 

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3 hours ago, Aelfric said:

It is interesting that throughout this thread, there has been no issue about people's understanding of to what or whom the names are referring, which to me implies they are working quite well.

Idgi

Everyone in this thread knows what the names are referring to because they're familiar with the game

Nobody who was not familiar with the game would ever guess what an "Akhelian Leviadon" was

If they called it a "Sea Elf War Terrapin" then it'd be pretty clear what it was but that would perhaps be a bad name in a different way

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When my girlfriend got me my Thundertusk as a present, she just went to the shop and asked for „that mammoth ridden by the two fat guys“. That worked also.😄

Edited by Beastmaster
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"Lumineth Realm-lords" - you don't think this is a mouthful?

It seems like the naming convention is suffering a snowball effect where the words are becoming less relatable (e.g.  Shadespire vs Vanari Auralan Wardens) and more difficult to remember/pronounce (e.g. Thundertusk vs Akhelian Leviadon).  I wish it was more concise and thought through to be honest. Then I wouldn't have people laughing when I say "My army of STD's". 

It's the same with battletomes too. It's still difficult for certain people to grasp the lore of AoS. Having to read something like this really doesn't help:

"They include such abominations as the Undulant Scourge – a tentacled parasite that bursts through the victim’s flesh from a space beyond reality – the Crimsonweal Curse, which rapidly exsanguinates its victims and possesses a malign sentience that wishes only to spread to all living things, and the cannibalistic fury of the Redmaw Plague that sees its victims rend, tear and devour one another until they are dissolved by the virulent acids churning in their guts."

I mean, I'm happy for all the apologetics whose memory is equal to Yanjaa but I know for a fact that people don't use "rapidly exsanguinates its victims and possesses a malign sentience" in their every day language, making it more difficult to read in literature, and plain unpleasant when the literature is flooded with such. I'm struggling with understanding it. I need special care and wish it was simpler. The naming, the language, the approach. 

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I mean if "people can tell what it is" is your main performance indicator for a name then GW should absolutely have gone with "Pointy Aelves"

except that Aelves is of course correctly pronounced "Eelves" so everyone would think it was Deepkin gah this is hard!!!

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