Well, I always thought that the name Innocence in D.Gray-Man never made much sense. It's not explained anywhere why it's called that, so I always thought it was really a bad example of how to not name things.

Is there a convention on how to name things in a novel, especially if they play a major role in the story? I believe there's some kind of unwritten rules on how to name things generally and I was wondering how most authors go about doing that.

  • 1
    Would you prefer it to be reghwugnium? Is it less random and thus doesn't need explanation? – Zeus Feb 28 '19 at 2:12
  • 2
    You seem to be polling for opinions or trying to start a discussion. The Stack Exchange framework doesn't work well for that; we want questions that can be answered with some degree of objectivity, even if they're subjective-seeming. See Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. – Monica Cellio Feb 28 '19 at 3:06
  • 1
    I am not polling for opinions, I am asking if it's something that should be done or not. Of course, it's objective, I am asking if it something a writer would do. – repomonster Feb 28 '19 at 3:10
  • 2
    You're asking "I think Innocence is a bad name - would you agree?". That's pretty much the definition of discussion/opinion-polling. (It also comes across as a question about existing literary works, which is off topic.) What writing problem are you trying to solve? If you start from what you're trying to do, you'll get answers that you and others can benefit from. – Monica Cellio Feb 28 '19 at 3:16
  • 2
    Writing is a subjective thing, why are you even posting a link to stack overflow? This is a writing stackexchange, not a coding or math stackexchange. There is a rational basis to naming things and they are grounded on facts and historical precedences, so it's not just a matter of opinion. – repomonster Feb 28 '19 at 3:23

The name Innocence is actually authentic. There was a great orator named Cotton Mather. He named his son Increase. These names have more in common with most other names in that they have a meaning. People gave names to their children that seem unlikely now - though celebrities have occasionally named their children after nouns.

If you study more of the early American Lit, you will find authors with unusual names.

Consider, the name Waheed means kind or nice. What do most of the names commonly used in English mean? They have meaning, but they are less clear.

What startles you about Innocence as a name is the meaning is clear. It is not a Christopher (soldier of Christ) but something you know immediately.

In religious orders, such names were common. There was a Pope Innocence (a few of them).

Of course, I do not know why Cotton Mather’s parents chose that name, though it has a dual meaning. He and his son are just two examples of brilliant authors with odd first names.

There was a meteorologist whose name was Storm Field.

Names are not restricted to Susan, Dave, Bob, Carol or Jane. They never have been, but custom changes and some of the old traditional names are rarely found. I would be surprised if a descendant of Cotton Mather would have more than a possible unusual middle name - such as Edward Increase Mather.

You restrict yourself considerably when you overlook the earlier authors. Such eloquence ought not to be truly lost to our memories.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.