102

They don't actually need names. Names aren't used that often in everyday communication. Body language is very effective for indicating which person in a group you're talking to. And to get somebody's attention, simply call out "brother!" in their direction, and look at the person you're referring to. The only other situations where you use names are when ...


92

If your group renounces their personal identity in favor of their work, the obvious thing to call them by is profession. If a particular brother is responsible for the monastery gardens, he's Brother Gardner. If he's responsible for their walls, he's Brother Mason. If he's responsible for their horseshoes and swords, he's Brother Smith. You'll note that ...


21

Precise Pseudo-Pronouns In addition to developing a system along the lines of Cadence's answer, they seem to be a good candidate for developing a pseudo-pronoun system based on deeds or locations known to the residents of the monastery. E.g. Resident of the Second Kitchen-Adjacent Cell, One Who Fell Into the Well Once, Late Night Copier etc. These are '...


15

This makes the Order very personal Renouncing one's name for the sake of monkhood means giving up all the things that are personal: including privacy. If embraced, it would create an incredibly strong and trusting bond between the brothers. If you need to speak with someone, you must walk toward them such that they can see you speaking directly to them, ...


8

The issue I've run into is how would they communicate if they don't and can't take names? How could they in conversations distinguish between one another? serial number: extremely depersonificating, it is what the nazi did with the prisoners in the concentration camps. nick name: changing name to renounce to your former self is already what every real ...


6

Job title-based names as suggested in other answers are a good functional work around but would ultimately go against the anti-notoriety philosophy of the monks. Once you start to regularly distinguish between the 'late night copier' and 'the late afternoon copier' it won't take long for people to work out that one is more efficient than the other (or uses ...


5

Doesn't referring to a specific individual (somewhat) defeat the purpose of the order? Addressing people by profession means they are being recognised for something. The question we need to ask is, at what times is it hardest to achieve something without names? So here are my answers and potential solutions. Note that in some cases, things are going to ...


4

You mentioned them wearing armor. This means they will fight in some capacity. Since you require them to communicate with each other, that means they are not solitary wanderers. This means, sooner or later, they will fight in group battles. You may want to start solving the naming problem from this angle. For effective combat, they need clear and constant ...


3

They just point and say "you!" when referring to each other. If a monk is not present, they refer to the individual by the deed, like "the forger of this blade", since their faith holds deeds and works as important. Conversation about someone which is not deed-related would be avoided. They'd not speculate on what a monk likes, or thinks, only does, so ...


2

I've seen this get touched in other answers, but to specify: Titles belong to an office, not a person. Abbot is a title, and if a name isn't attached, any notoriety goes to the office, not the office holder (although many will attribute things to the current holder.) Abbot Bob gives credit to Bob, the Abbot of the Order gives credit to the office and the ...


1

They could have relative identifiers from meal place seatings. "My left hand man", "my third-right-hand man" etc.


1

As a reader I can never keep names straight, and I fall back on the character's intention and motivation and history. Maybe instead of where they work, Gardener, their new name would be about what they are trying to accomplish in their work and as a monk. Why are they the gardner, because it was easy? Not good enough to be a monk. Because it got them ...


1

You need Human Experience, as much as a brain Having dabbled in AI programming, I can tell you it's the most hardest part. Responding is easy, being based simply on algorithms on large data-sets, but proactive human reasoning is really hard. This is because real people are so random, so emotional, so quirky that the simplest of desires come so easily, yet ...


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