Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Insidious Letters at the End of the Alphabet

I don't know why it is that I find the last few letters of the alphabet seem so much more devious to me. They just seem so dark and mysterious. Alluring, even. Seductive?

How can you think of the letters at the end of the alphabet like that, you ask? Think about it. What's in a name? I think names have power. You know, girls named monica and leslie are never far from the top of the social scale, small boys named damien are likely to have demons inside of them, men with middle names of van are often German...

But what of the letters that make up the names? Maybe that's just it! It's the letters that make a name sinister, and it's the name that makes the man. Or the fictional character.

As something of a writer, I know that the names of our fictional characters are a bit more influential concerning the character's personality. With regular people, they have their whole life to define their own name however they please. When I sit down and try to think up a name for one of my characters, I'm trying to sum up as much of my character's personality and past (or even future) as I can.

For instance, I named a main character of mine, a conflicted villain, Damien. It does not actually mean devil child or anything in the like. It means "to tame". I only gave my character that name after days of deliberation. It was perfect, once I finally found it. It's good because it has all the connotation of someone possessed by a devil, but none of the meaning. The meaning, to tame, may refer either to his leading armies against all the people of the land with great victory, or to his inner struggle to tame his feelings and the chaos inside.

Now Damien hasn't got the dark letters of the alphabet (I'd say they start at "R"ish). Another common "dark" letter seems to be "D". But there are a lot of sinister words and names that do have those last letters. DracUla, WereWolf, eVil, tWiSted, lUcifer, UnderWorld, Yeti, chUpacabra, monSTer, SuSpicioUS, etcetera etcetera etcetera. How many words can you find?

Some names start with these letters, others have them mixed up in the middle, and some words just have them tacked on the end. But then again I am talking about over a third of the alphabet, here. It must just all be coincidence. Yes, a sinister coincidence indeed.

No comments: