Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The Importance of Names
When fictional names are done well, they can give a startlingly believable feel to an imagined world (eg: Tolkien). When they are done badly, I find it hard to follow the story. Case in point: R.A. Salvatore's beloved "Dark Elf" series. After many many years of hearing about these books, I'm finally delving into them. And honestly, while I can understand how die-hard combat fans may love his extremely detailed fight scenes, I'm finding a lot that makes me stumble in the reading and stop to scratch my head and go, "WTF!?" First of all, the elf (actually, drow) is named Drizzt Do'Urden. I can't help it - this name just sounds too much like a horrific bout of something that would keep you up on the toilet all night. And even worse, his twin blades of menace are named Twinkle (hee) and Icingdeath (HAWAHAHAHA!!). Perhaps Salvatore is trying to have some fun here, but I really find the names distracting. Right in the middle of every fraught battle scene I drop my computer (I'm reading ePubs) and start shrieking with laughter and wondering if Salvatore was really jonesing for a cupcake when he came up with those weapon names.