Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gary Gygax - A true aptonym

In all the writing about this week's sad passing of the great Gary Gygax, inventor of Dungeons and Dragons, no one seems to have mentioned the eeriness of his name. If I was ever to come up with a name for a dragon--or even, for that matter, a dungeon master--I couldn't have invented a better one than "Gygax." In other words, Gary Gygax was a perfect example of the syndrome known as "nominative determinism." Another term for this effect, which makes men named Postman become postal carriers and people named Teeth become dentists--coined by the New Scientist--is aptonym, a very apt descriptor, I'd say. I have posted on this before. In honor of Mr. Gygax, savior of many a geek over the past two-and-a-half-or-so decades, I offer a special salute. You couldn't have been better named, and your name will live on. Keep on rolling those 8-sided dice, wherever you are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More aptonymns!