Post by Robert Carnegie Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
I was about to sign off when alarms started going off on
the sonic fence pylons and the iso-pad in my tool belt. I
had just enough time to spit out an old Earth epitaph,
and I'm thinking, "no". But then, "yes".
I'm thinking "epithet", but at least Wikipedia reports
that using that to mean "a dirty word, and especially
a word of prejudice" is or was considered un-classy.
Strictly it seems to refer to an auxiliary name or
personal adjective, like "Doc" in "E. E. 'Doc' Smith",
or I guess "Good" in "Good King Wenceslas".
Or an ekename, from which we get "nickname." For instance, in
Tolkien's work, Elbereth, "Star-kindler," is an epithet of Varda.
In _The Lord of the Rings Online,_ the system carefully prevents
players from giving a character either a name already in use on
that server, or any name that appears, not only in _The Hobbit_
or _The Lord of the Rings_, for which the game has a license, but
also in _The Silmarillion,_ fopr which it doesn't. I found this
out when I tried to give my newest character's Lynx-companion the
name of a constellation in Quenya.
However ... Astaldo is an epithet of Tulkas, meaning "Valiant,"
and the system did not reject the feminine form, Astalde. Heh.
Dorothy J. Heydt
djheydt at gmail dot com