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Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 13:46:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: Re: (urth) eponyms as saints

--- Michael Andre-Driussi  wrote:
> Jerry Friedman wrote:
> >You mean there's a Saint Baldanders and a Saint Foila?
> Now you're just wise-cracking, or you are the new guard to come on duty
> in
> interrogating.  I've been through that thread simply too many times.
> Baldanders is a bad guy, as signified by his fiction-derived name.

I must've been absent that day.  But now that you've mentioned it and
I've spent a little time at a saint site, I'll look in the archives
if I want more information.

> >But for Pete's sake and heavens to Betsy, if all the people of the
> >Commonwealth are named after Catholic saints, isn't it obvious who
> >the eponyms are?
> No, forgive me, it is not.

I'll forgive you if you'll forgive me.  Or should I forgive you first,
since I actually said something obnoxious?  Which is to say--sorry
about that "isn't it obvious"?

> I have never heard of saints categorized as
> eponyms for giving their names to countless individuals--as opposed to
> giving their name "to a tribe, nation, process, product, etc."  (Name
> for a
> city, which you gave before, seemed close to tribe/nation, athough
> greatly
> diluted.)  If it is clear to you then that is enough.

"Etc." can cover a lot of ground, though you're right that "eponym"
normally doesn't extend to the person someone is named after.  On the
other hand, if there's a canonical list of names (which seems suggested
though not proven by Wolfe's use of saints' names, including the
apparently well-known pairs Agilus-Agia and Severian-Severa), all of
which are names of admired people of the past (not suggested anywhere
that I know of), and if you didn't want to call those admired people
saints, what would you call them?

> >But we don't put up statues of Lynch, Boycott, or E. Clerihew Bentley.
> Hugos, Edgars, Nebulas, and Oscars are halfway there.  Maybe "Sons of
> Liberty" and "Knights of Columbus" and stuff like that.  Elks Lodge.
> Freemasonry.  Still, I would agree that we don't put up statues of the
> eponyms!  It seems like a practice from the ancient world.

(Just Hugos, Edgars, Oscars, and the K. of C.)

Jerry Friedman

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