Friday, July 17, 2015

Names or Soup?

I noticed a Mazda CX-5 in traffic today. I noticed it because of the name. What is a CX-5? Is that a name that you remember? I have a Honda CR-Z and a Yamaha FZ-8. Whole my husband has a Toyota Sequoia and a Suzuki V-Strom. I've always wondered in that idle way where you don't care enough to look deeply into the question what made some cars get named alphabet and/or numeric soup and others a word for their name. It turns out, after a bit of time on google that it is a mixture of marketing and word choices.

Eve has empire space and everything else. Save for Thera and Poitot, Eve tends to leave Empire space to have word names. Null sec has alphabet and letter soup and wormholes J numbers. I struggle with null sec names. I listen to people go on about a timer at DASDA492 and a battle at 24GD52 with a supple ease. I on the other hand am always stuck in null trying to remember if they said CDS or 3AD or TZ3? Ugh.

I'm a visual type of person. I can read a map but I'll use landmarks as well. I tend to store enough in my short term memory to allow me to recognize something latter. I just can't remember what mix of letters and numbers means what.

Empire space is far from perfect. Outside of amazing systems like Cat most of Eve's map is a conglomeration of horror for me. I cannot pronounce a damn thing. As I stumble and trip and insert extra letters I find myself wistful for a bit more lingual ability. However, I can recognize system names well enough. I can't spell them but the words, despite my failure at saying them, anchor me better. Of course there is the other issue of crazy wormhole people naming their wormholes and expecting everyone to know what they are talking about...

It is one of those things that is so clear and sensible to me and when I have complained about it I get funny looks. It probably falls into the same murky fog of war that fleet doctrine names do for me. I have this stupid, stupid idea that a fleet would be named 'shield artillery jaguars' or 'armor artillery machairels' or nano hurricanes (hahhahahah not really anymore ahh the pain the pain... gimmie a minute to weep).  That seems to be a silly thought on my part. For some reason Mac&Cheese fits and SongCat Fleets make more sense.

I have to admit, I'm firmly on the side of names and informative descriptions.

9 comments:

  1. For Mazda it comes out of what they were before a car company. Each letter and number stands for something. The C tells you that it's a Crossover. The X is Experimental, in Mazda speak that means they're using it as a production car to forward test technology for other cars in their lineup. And I can't remember what the numbers are. But all of them mean something.

    Anyway. If you know the alphabet soup for them, you'll know exactly what a car is without even seeing it.

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    1. VINs also make sense when you know the formula. But without that knowledge, its so many pieces of soup. Then, expand it. My Honda is a CR-Z but its a hybrid not a cross over. People often hear me say CR-V because they are familiar with that one. It is a tiny SUV.

      Knowledge is the savior of ignorance but the system isn't intuitive and might as well be a random number generator.

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    2. The number in a Mazda's name is the number of seats.

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  2. Moving from high sec to null was a bit jarring because of the system designators. But you get used to it, and it is helped by the fact that the convention on voice coms is just to say the first three characters aloud. I know a lot of systems in null by the first three characters, the only general confusion being how to pronounce the divider (dash, tack, minus, hyphen) and whether something is an "O" or a "0" at times.

    I just had to move to a knew area and realized that I could fly to quite a few destinations without bothering to set the route because I knew the area.

    Meanwhile, I still cannot pronounce Uosusuokko after nearly 9 years of playing. It is jarring to go into low and high sec with all these unpronounceable names!

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    1. You oh sue so ko :) It's Japanese sounding, like a lot of Caldari space :D

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  3. There are too many systems to name, as such, the names quickly degrade to nonsense. The problem is we want to give systems or planets "good" names, as in really globally descriptive ones, like "Earth", or "Caldari Prime."

    So we name our own planet "Earth", which is our generic word for dirt. I expect it will turn out that ALL planets are called "Earth" (translated from their language.) because everyone names their planet after their generic word for dirt. "You're from Earth? What? No way! So am I!" So when Earth (Our Earth) joins the galactic federation... what do we change the name to? Can't keep calling it Earth.

    Systems SHOULD start with a generic designator that describes their region and order of discovery. Like "CTCH-053" for the 53rd system surveyed in the Catch region. Similarly, you could use a sector system, like "B23-020" For "Beta sector, arc 23, 20th surveyed system." You would expect B23-020 to have gates leading to B23-019 and B23-021, or if the next system is in the next arc rimward, B24-010 or some such.

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  4. Many of the nullsec names are actually jokes, words, and the like rendered in some form of l33t speak. I also think that in the distant past they named a lot of things to sound and look like other systems for an added layer of "fuck you" complexity.

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    1. 2R-CRW CCP-US are good examples of this :)

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  5. I name all my ships after infectious diseases like H1N1 etc.. Gives me a nice theme to go by.

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