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A* Episode 17, Page 1
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  What's in a nameDec 19, 2014 1:29 AM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:An astute reader on the A* forum pointed out that "Dox," the name applied yesterday to the male member of the comic's current conversation, is also the surname of the Brainiac family from DC Comics; "Vril Dox" (aka Brainiac 2) was the name I should have recollected but did not as I was attempting to name my character late last night; I take some solace in finding that "Vril" was a literary name going back to 1871—although the writers who applied it to a comic character in 1964 could perhaps be forgiven for not knowing that, not having the internet and all; then again, maybe they did know it, since it was a pretty far-out sci-fi concept that had been back in literary discussion as recently as 1960, and was almost certainly in the public domain by then. Hm! Anyway, my "Dox" is a first name, or an only name like a rock star...so I'm probably close enough to being in the clear. I wouldn't have had this little fuss in the first place if Warner Brothers had been doing their SEO job properly and had gotten any of the Brainiac Doxes to show up in the first five pages of a Google "Dox" search, or even in Wikipedia. Sheesh. : P
 
I'd had some name starting with "C" that I kind of liked for my "Dox" ("Cade"? Hm not sure, at any rate I don't like that today ; P), but then I thought that was probably one "C" too many to throw out right after "Caldwell." That space station name, incidentally, does not come from the Caldwell Station neighborhood in North Carolina (but bonus points to you if you live there!), or from any of the many other Caldwells you may find, except for the Caldwell Catalogue, "an astronomical catalog of 109 star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies for observation by amateur astronomers." I'm not sure how I got to that—my browser history isn't causing any bells to ring; either it was through some astronomical feature that linked to it on Wikipedia, or, which seems more likely now, it was just a name-sound that popped into my head somehow that seemed to fit.
 
But back to poor "Dox": deciding I couldn't do a name starting with "C," or numerous other consonants I've already used for names, like "M" or "S," I wracked my brain for some other letters to start off with appropriate-sounding sounds for this guy; I wanted it short and hard-consonanty. Well I also had "Quin" in the running at some point but that didn't work out. I got stuck on Pax, then Fax (hah), Dax...which became Dox. And then I found that's modern slang of some sort for electronic "documents," which I thought was amusingly appropriate for this would-be administrator! And I'm keeping it, so there. : P
 
Considering all these difficulties, panic nearly ensued when it was time to come up with a woman's name for today's page, but somehow "typhus" relatively quickly sprang into my head—certainly a good unpleasant association, fitting for a pirate, but now I wonder if maybe it also came along from the Marvel comics character "Typhoid Mary," whom I've looked up in recent months. (EDIT: Uh and whose name they swiped from the infamous historical figure. Jeepers, is nothing sacred?) (I've been reading tons of old Marvel Comics through their Marvel Unlimited subscription service—if DC had an equivalent, we probably could have avoided that "Dox" debacle! And actually I just recently received, from a wonderful A* reader going through my Amazon wish list, a gorgeous compendium of early Legion of Super Heroes comics, which very likely contains a Brainiac "Dox" reference—if only I wasn't behind on reading and blogging about the great comic books readers have got me! Gotta get on that.) Feminizing it in my head turned "Typhus" into "Typhae," which turns out to be Latin, which I for some reason feel tends to be kind of a good, relatively safe place to find names—at any rate, there are tons of sci-fi-ish-sounding Latin scientific names, many of which are still obscure enough to be relatively unclaimed by commerce; Nonagria typhae, I found, is a moth—coincidentally, a nice parallel of meaning to Selenis' name, which I got from the Greek for "Moon." (And this reminds me that Selenis' cover name in episode 17, Mellifera, also came from an insect—a bee; although, that episode featured a robot bee... I don't think we'll have any moths in this episode. : P Statistically speaking though I suppose the gigantic Insecta class has a bit more than the usual Animalia share of Latin names to plunder!)
 
Fortunately, I don't think I'll have to try to come up with any other names for a while now. : P
 
 
 
 
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