Sunday, February 25, 2018

What's in a name?

I just got a horrible review for one of my books. It bothers me (of course) but the reviewer didn't say anything contructive, so I can't use it, and I can only guess at why she hated the book. In her (or his - it could be a man) comment, she mentions that Plexis - the word, was the reason the book tanked for her. I hguess she didn't get further than the name that struck such a bad note she had to stop reading.

So why did I choose the name Plexis for one of my character's nickname?  I had Usse - which was a wink at the Greek's fondness for names ending in  "us" - and I used some of the French spellings for some of the names (this is fiction - a time travel book - so I took a few liberties...) Anyhow. Plexis. Why? Well, I liked the sound of the name. Hephaestion is stuffy, and the Greeks had nicknames, just like anyone else, so why not Plexis?

The word Plexis comes from the Proto-Indo-European "pleḱ"- (“to fold, weave”).  It's associated with the Latin plicō, Ancient Greek πλέκω (plékō). I thought the folds and weave of a cloth would suit Plexis's character - he comforts Ashley, he's Alexander's best friend, he is quixotic, but at the same time he has a practical side to him. He's a complex character, with many layers to his personality.

And there you have it. A name, just a name, and a reviewer crucifies the story. Maybe the name wasn't at all what the reader hated - but the whole review, just one sentence - only mentioned the word Plexis as if it were the worst thing the reader had ever come across, so I felt I had to explain in case someone else reads the book and wonders where I found the name - now you know, Plexis is a name I made up from an ancient word that means the fold or weave of cloth. It's nothing too deep, just a sound I happened to like with a meaning that spoke to me.

A bronze head once in the Farnese Collection, then in the Collection of king Philip V of Spain, in San Ildefonso, Palacio Real, now at Madrid, Prado, which has been recognized as the portrait of Hephaestion

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