Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Importance Of Names In Fantasy Literature (Part 2)

    Güüür’s gaze lofted over snorts of icy breath, pinning the Tower’s summit to the looming clouds like a dead, exotic wasp.

    At last, the elves were imprisoned in their wretched library!

    At last, the forces of darkness would ravage the world again!

    A mighty roar rose up from the Orcish hordes, rattling chains on the Tower gate and unbalancing the Fey in their eyries.

    On this chosen day, the prophecy of Wüürrükk-Thääärr would come true, and all grunted its name till their throats bled.

    Güüür turned to Chieftain Wäöüüürr.  “Before we hew limb from limb, and feast on the bodies of the slain, almost certainly shrieking and howling abominably, barbarically, I have one small question to ask of you, O vile leader.”

    “Speak,” grunted Chieftain Wäöüüürr.  “But tarry not about it.  Like you, like us all, O mad throng of death and destruction, I crave heart of nymph and spleen of sylph upon my dinner plate, washed down with the brain fluid of saints — and a silk napkin.”

    Güüür steadied his armoured form against the mob’s urgent thrust.  “Why do the names of all our kind bear unnecessary umlauts?  In this age of austerity and misery, if we are to tattoo ourselves to within an inch of our lives with our names — and the names of our ancestors — and etch upon our faces, armour and shields, those same monickers, would it not be better for the sake of Orcish resources to drop all the umlauts?  That way we would have surfeit of ink, paint and blood, the better to daub our womenfolk and infants with the nomenclature of pure hatred.”

    “How naive you are to speak of such false economies.”  Wäöüüürr’s spear dug deep into the scorched elven sod.  “The umlaut is our piéce de resistance, our icing on the cake, our hobbit’s corpse retrieved from the unfathomably ferocious dragon’s stomach.  Forget for a moment the concept of our names being rendered meaningless without the pronunciation moderating effects of the umlaut, and consider simply that those two horror dots represent more than merely a linguistic convenience or pointer to those attempting to interpret our script.  Our ancestors spoke of a time when the evil eye of Mordor glared out from its invincible mountain.  The future was ours for all eternity, more certain than the syphilitic sores that ravage the groins of all our kind past the age of nine, and yet the forces of good overcame that mountain of evil, assailed it, literally bobbed on it, and in the millennia since those dark and dismal days, in our times of shame and hopelessness, one thing and one thing alone has been our guiding light, our hope!  One thing has risen from our darkness, our emptiness, to rouse our spirits and fire our courage so that we could gather and march to fight this day — march and fight, for VICTORRRYYYYY!”

    Güüür threw a wrist-stump to his chin and furrowed his brow with the plough of confusion. “One thing?  What ‘one thing’?”

    “The umlaut, Durr Brain!  Do those paired dots not resemble the eyes of vicious wolves?  Rogue wizards?  Surly womenfolk?  Evil overlords with a penchant for fine tuning their whims with unfettered violence and opportunities for mass buggery of all things holy?  When we square up to our enemies and make bold our power and aggression, think how much less daunting and intimidating would be our appearance, our demeanour, our spirit, if each and every umlaut were removed from our markings, our names, our very souls!  Those wretched elves would go ha ha ha, lookit the big, smelly orcish hordes with their risibly unintimidating names.  We mock you with the galloping dipthongs of our lyrical vowel structures, tease you with the swirls and cedillas of our poncy scripts for your inability to muster even a couple of dots over your so-called proud names in your quest to secure maximum threat generation potential and all-round evident beastliness.  Having removed these symbols of evil from your language and piled them yonder in some distant underground hellhole of torture and misery, you have wanked yourself an anaconda-like pearl necklace of doubt, an infinite string of apologetic ellipses to render your instinctive lust for hellbent butchery as hesitant as the follicle stimulating hormones of an angel’s porcelain-smooth pubis!  So do your worst with your growls, your chants, your waving of mighty mattocks!  We are elves: united in our love for gay apparel and pretentious song, pointy of ear and footwear, slight of build and mighty of lyrical tongue, and we cry ha ha ha ha, you clowns, you oafs, you dildos, for all your basic instincts are belong to us.”

    Gurr’s eyes flared with fire.  “They would call us clowns?

    “Clowns.  Yes.  And stupid, twat-headed motherfuckers.  Pricks.”

    “And that anaconda of doubt...?”

    “It would strangle us, Güüür, grip us till our umber and warty flesh turned bluer than a Unicorn’s dream horizon prior to dusk.”

    Güüür’s lumpen head swivelled about his shoulders as rage threw his chest into a priapic erection of rib and tumescent intercostal.  He cast his helmet high and turned to face the hordes pumping their fists to his rear.

    “You heard what our mighty chieftain said!  Everyone —  throw off your breastplates, and get paintin’ your titties!  Let’s give those woofty bastards in the Tower some Loud Proud Orc Pap Umlaut HEEEEELLLLLLL!!!”

For more information about the importance of names in fantasy literature, go here.

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