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W___ In The W___D Does This M___

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by lfm, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. lfm

    lfm New Member

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    Hi, Ive always been somewhat confused as to why certain names in certain books (particularly foreign, from my experience) are 'edited' out like that.
    Can anyone shed some light on why they do this?
    Thanks
     
  2. Stewart

    Stewart Active Member

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    It's the polite German convention of referring to people merely by the initial letter of their surname. Also, it gives a sesnse of place without being specific.
     
  3. sparkchaser

    sparkchaser Administrator and Stuntman Staff Member

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    I have wondered this as well. I was reading (but never finished) Futureland by Walter Mosley and I ran across a similar thing. He would use something like "Good afternoon M__ Harris" and I had no idea how that would make any sense in conversation.
     
  4. nomadic myth

    nomadic myth New Member

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    It's rampant in classics.
     
  5. lfm

    lfm New Member

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    I know!
    It always drives me crazy. Especially since one place will have its full name, then the next not. I always assumed that the author must've written the full name in the original work.. so why edit it out later?
     
  6. Bluraven

    Bluraven Member

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    Poe is full of this sort of thing. Really annoying.
     
  7. angerball

    angerball Active Member

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    Hmm, that's something I've always wondered about too. :confused:
     
  8. lfm

    lfm New Member

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    He's who I was reading when I finally decided to ask. And I agree!
     
  9. Lady Reader

    Lady Reader New Member

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    James Reese did this in his horrible book Book of Shadows. The name of the convent the main character stayed at was always abbreviated C__. That, among many other things in this book, drove me batty. I couldn't finish it.
     
  10. Occlith

    Occlith Well-Known Member

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    I think some authors do that to portray that the narrator is talking about an actual person and that they are protecting privacy or being tactful.
     
  11. chiangmaifalcon

    chiangmaifalcon New Member

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    Yes from what I understand this is done to prevent getting sued for libel or to protect privacy of person.
     
  12. morgani

    morgani New Member

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    Still doesn't make sense to me.
     

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