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99

People would be referred to in a relative manner only. So the person being questioned could refer to “my father”, “my second teacher”, “my kind neighbor” etc. But a stranger could not go back to this town and use the same labels. It would be “X's father”, but then who is X? Without producing him, they cannot get a base for relative designations. Without ...


71

I would recommend google translate for this little effort. Pick a language that fits the style of your world/or a particular nation depending on your scale. This mainly means find a language where the sound fits the world's setting/style Pick words with meanings that fit and then use the one word, or perhaps splice two or three together. Once you do this ...


61

A Dyson Sphere is meant to capture radiation and convert it to usable energy. Since an earth-like planet only reflects light back, that point would be moot. In any case, here's some suggestions: Orbital Eggshell Crumbling Civilization Obfuscator Mk I Magrathean homework assignment


51

So you want to do away with personal names? Seems like a daunting task. Names relate directly to a fundamental element of intelligence: identity. Humans aren't even unique in the animal kingdom in that they have names; dolphins have them too. If you remove the capacity of a culture to be able to identify the perpetrator of an event, then you must strip away ...


40

Some time ago (about 2 years) I went looking for a huge list of names. I wanted to use that list to uniquely name objects in my game-engine without having to resort to using generic uids that are hardly distinguishable. I found help on the excellent open data stackexchange. Long story short, I present you: ftp://ftp.heise.de/pub/ct/listings/0717-182.zip A ...


39

It's all about culture! Use the Balinese as your Model. Some cultures already do this. Here's a link to Balinese naming conventions. Every first-born kid is named Wayan. And each kid after that gets a name specific to the order in which they were born. It's a bit like naming your kids First, Second and Third. These are more like titles, which tell people ...


36

Use Binomial Nomenclature Part of what makes scientific names sound consistent is that they're part of a formal system called binomial nomenclature. If you apply the same system to the names of your fantasy creatures, they'll have a similar feel. In binomial nomenclature, a creature's name is comprised of two words, a genus and a specie. There are other ...


35

Some general thoughts & critiques: I get no sense of scale from the map, so can't really speak as to believability. In other words, it could be a map of a continent, or it could be a map of an island the size of Cyprus. A scale (i.e., how many miles per inch) would be very helpful. Taking up two corners with cartouches showing the two hemispheres of the ...


31

You can't, but that doesn't matter Consider the nickname "Red". It's a real nickname, which has been given to thousands of people, real and fictional, generally for having red hair. However, it doesn't really matter that multiple people have it, since generally these will be people that don't really know each other and don't operate in the same circles. ...


29

The answer is you. If the tribe have no names, the only way they could refer to each other is direct communication: "You have food?", "You make fire", etc. In this instance, everyone is you and no-one is individually identifiable. Note that in this instance, it would be impossible for a member of the tribe to talk about someone else in the third person. ...


28

The reason fantasy names often sound weird is that they violate the way we normally handle names. The Romans didn't call Ireland Éirinn; they called it Hibernia. We don't refer to the Irish name Aengus as Oíngus but as Angus. Human cultures adapt names from other languages into names that sound more comfortable to their ears. Unless your entire work is ...


28

New places are often named for: People influential in founding them (e.g. Louisiana, Virginia). People who paid for them (e.g. Carnegie Library, Sports Authority Field, the Guggenheim Museum, Ford Motor Company). Historical figures we are proud of (e.g. Washington, Lincoln, Seneca). Distinctive physical features of the place, not necessarily true (e.g. ...


28

You seem to want a society where people still can interact and have meaningful relations, but an outsider without knowing the people beforehand can't know who is who, as they have no normal names. The relations define who you are. We start with no use for names; everything that has a name and can be named is an object. Our people are not objects nor ...


28

This same problem was faced by Sagan et al. when they made the golden records to travel on the Voyager probes. They decided to define time using the wavelength of light produced by a ubiquitous spin transition in Hydrogen molecules that I'm unfamiliar with. Still, if it's good enough for Sagan! It would be just as natural to define length in this way. As I ...


26

Well a Dyson Sphere is named after the person who popularised the idea and also the shape of the object itself. Without paying homage to a person or entity, it makes sense to call it after its function. Around a planet, there's a few functions it could have which allow you to derive a name for it. Defence: A megastructure created with the intent of ...


23

Yes. A culture where the wish for a specific type of social approval surpasses people's desire for material possessions. The core reason why our current day societies favor "bullies" and not kind people is that what most people desire above (almost; we'll get to that soon) all else is money. Money is power. Power lets you make even more money. And so the ...


23

A partial answer, combining my comments on the question, plus subsequent finds: For historical names, the Society for Creative Anachronism has an administrative section, the College of Heralds, who maintain lists of registered “SCA Names”. There are rules for authenticity, and they maintain some references for acceptable names. Check their page ...


23

Take a look at this question and the answers there. Even though the answers are about not using ANY names at all (simply titles) I believe that it will be a great start for you. It is difficult to find a commonality for every single culture that doesn't use family surnames, because the naming conventions outside of that all have different flavors and ...


22

Refer to them by role and rank. First smith, second smith, first Carpenter, fifth shepard. Rank and role changes with time. You are what you do, not who you are. Or similar refer to them by family title. My brother, my sister, my father. This requires a reference person to point to someone. If those aren't known they can't be named.


22

Simple, a very small society. You don't need family names when there are 20 people in your village and everyone knows who you mean when you say "John". As societies grow you begin to need to distinguish between individuals, there may be four Johns now so you need to be able to tell them apart. You can do this in a variety of ways; Some kind of identifying ...


21

There is no name for the sphere version. The ring version is an Orbital Ring. You could most likely use the term "Planetary Dyson Sphere" or if it is defensive in nature "Planetary Shield". I've also heard the term "shell" used to describe structures similar to what you are asking about. Be aware though that it is a structure with no real value and yet ...


18

Individualism is disincentivised I once read a book where it was forbidden to say "I" in order that people might be less self-centered. Banning names could serve a similar idea - each individual only has meaning as part of a political unit of some sort. "Head of the Smith family" if you want to preserve last names, "Cobbler from Main St," "Sergeant of the ...


18

English names refer to a time when we referred to a person by the deeds that person does, probably for a living. Wainwright. Weaver. Baker. Smith. Some native American groups have last names that tell more about the person - "Has No Horse" for example is not an uncommon name. Names can be deeds or qualities. I propose you use that: name the person by ...


15

Basic short-cut: Recite your name out loud. How does it sound? How does it sound if you repeat it ten times? How does it feel when it rolls off your tongue? Seek multiple input: You can ask other people the same so you can 'hear it back' and assess what they make of it. You can give the name on paper or tell them the name. From paper any ambiguity from ...


15

Combine nicknames to get millions of possible nicknames The OP is correct that singular nicknames is problematic because there just aren't enough names to go around. A possible solution to this is to generate names like "LHJKNJOO" or "KJHJHUIUXZMC" to identify someone with the obvious trade-off that those names are basically unusable for identifying anyone. ...


15

Is it realistic, maybe. I'm not a Geologist so I can only speak from observations of maps and some online research, Elemtilas' breakdown is very good but I'd just wanted to add to it. If other examples of mountain ranges similar to the Wyvern Mountains are to be believed, such as the the Andes in Chile, where the mountain range runs the length of the ...


14

Linguistic markers like that are common. Usually they are found at the end of a word (some times at the begining), but it could occur anywhere. Such markers would occur when something is important enough to warrant spending a phonem on it to make sure there's no misunderstanding. My favorite example is from an aboriginal language that has 4 genders for ...


14

I Said Do You Speaka My Language One thing about names is that they are pronounced like regular words. That's because often names actually are regular words. Consider, for example, that silly trope where boy meets exotic girl and she says her name is Mortihomoalbus or whatever and the boy asks, "What does that mean?" Invariable the girl has some ...


14

Because it is rude There is a concept of 'true names' and that to know someones name is to hold power over them. This would mean they still have names, but avoid using them out of social pressure / religious fear. This would mean that asking them their name would be considered extremely rude to them, and telling them your name might be mistaken as a ...


13

A language which only has three numbers (one, two, many) and three persons (you, me, they) would work, and be consistent. Caliph: "Who did this?" Ug: "They did." (meaning: it was not you or I, but another). Caliph: "Oh, damnitt, you're from that stupid tribe, are you? Well, bring me the head of whoever did this!" And there's the problem. Even if you ...


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