True names are important: if somebody knows your true name, they have power over you.
I’m not talking about Vernor Vinge’s important novella, True Names, although there is definitely a strong connection with it. Many contributors to social media, as we know, use screen names to hide their true names. If somebody knows your true name, they have power over you. There — I’ve said that twice! Once more and it will be true. (See Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Hunting of the Snark.”)
What we’re talking about here is the current XKCD, which has been zipping around various linguistics posts and linguistics blogs and even includes Gretchen McCulloch! This is actually the 12th time that McCulloch’s name has appeared in this blog, and now it even has an XKCD connection. If you want some explanations and related thoughts about the cartoon, check out Explain XKCD.
Categories: Books, Linguistics