Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lorraine, Queen of All Evil

I was drinking a bottle of water last night and it got me thinking. Mostly about how weird it was that a bottle of water would get me thinking so intently, but also about veritaserum. For those that don't know, veritaserum is a potion in the world of Harry Potter (Harry Potter and all things related therein are copyrighted to J.K. Rowling) that forces the drinker to tell the truth. it is colorless, like water, odorless, like water, and flavorless, not like water. Now, before I get to the real point of this, I need to point out how weird it would be to drink something odorless, colorless, and flavorless. Colorless I can see as not a problem, but with no scent or flavor it would just be the physical sensation of swallowing liquid. It just seemed odd to me.

Now for something completely different.

That water got me thinking about names. Veritaserum just sounds unpleasant, doesn't it? If Rowling had called it, for instance, trulixer (my brain can't come up with anything better, forgive me), it sounds much less malevolent. It got me thinking about why, and then I remembered a single thing I came across one day, months ago. I can't remember the place I found it, but this was the general idea:

Sibilant sounds are evil.

For those that don't know what a sibilant sound is (I had to look it up when I read that, too), I hvae two options.

1: You can read this incredibly confusing and technical Wikipedia Article on Sibilant Sounds (

2: You can just understand that the following are sibilant: S, Sh, V, F, Z, Zh.

Anything hissing or naturally elongated in speech is considered sibilant. Now, that's not the only way to name something evil - I rarely use it - but when push comes to shove it's not a bad way to get a quick and evil name. It's like a little three mintue packet of instant evil oatmeal - with marshmallows.

An example? I'll give you a handful: Sarumon, Sauron, Voldemort, Zasalamel, Satan (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Soul Calibur, and Christian Mythos). All of these names exude a certain evil juice, don't they? They also all have at least one sibilant sound in them. On a side note, "L" also carries a certain level of nastiness, but it's not sibilant...I don't know what's so evil about an "L", but there's something evil about it.

Lord of the Rings and all things related therein are the intellectual property of J.R.R. Tolkien
Soul Calibur and all things realted therein are copyrighted to Namco
Satan isn't copyrighted, but I need to justify my use of all of them, so I say it's justified.

Peace...or evil, whichever you prefer,
Voss (I just noticed that's a sibilant name - sweet!)

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