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04 June 2011 @ 03:26 pm
"Nick" not "Nicholas"  
Pet peeve warning.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but seeing modern Nick called "Nicholas" in discussion and essays (and some present-day stories) gets my hackles up.

Born "Nicholas de Brabant," he has chosen to be "Nick Knight."  Only Lacroix unfailingly calls him "Nicholas" in the present.  (Even Janette occasionally calls him "Nick," although she does much prefer "Nicholas" in her French "Nicolas" pronunciation.)  Yes, characters are likely to be most comfortable with the name in which they met him.  Yes, "Nicholas B. Knight" is canonically his legal name in the present.  But for us to habitually call modern Nick "Nicholas," as Lacroix does, is to reject Nick's self-definition, to join Lacroix's party, to subtly deride Nick's values and worth.  It belittles him and, with him, the series of which he is the hero.

This creaky old peeve pokes up its head now because I posted to the AO3 for the first time.  (I wanted the FKFicFest collection to include my contribution.)  Overall easy and good, but it seems as if the archive's tags, especially as they appear in the filter function, are cumulative, so whoever gets there first gets to decide which words are used, how they're spelled and how they're capitalized.  (For example, "LaCroix" instead of "Lacroix.")  Well, all the pairings use "Nicholas" instead of Nick.  This irritates me.  You do what you want on your stories, naturally, but adjacent to mine?  "Nicholas Knight/Natalie Lambert."  "Nicholas Knight/Janette Ducharme."  ~wince

I know that the archive cannot — and should not be asked or imagined to! — accommodate all the intricacies of factions and interpretations and so on (not to mention the complications of Rick Springfield's Nick Knight versus GWD's).  But I do wish that whoever had gotten there first had chosen to use "Nick" instead of "Nicholas."

Ah, well.  On the subject of AO3 use, I discovered that if you accidentally select multiple author names when loading a story, you cannot later delete the extra(s).  This is a known bug and I'll be patient until a fix is found; I just wanted to share the caution so no one else makes that mistake.

Comments on Dreamwidth: comment count unavailable
Valerie - Postmodern Pollyanna: natpackerwiliqueen on June 5th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
I share this pet peeve, and you've articulated why more thoroughly than I could.

That said, I've discovered that AO3's database is often clever enough to catch alternate spellings/forms of names, and list them as equivalent in tag search results. (It's possible this is the result of work by human volunteers, in which case it's another reason to applaud them.) I don't clearly remember the circumstances under which I made said discovery, but I'm tempted to say it was through this very name issue.

And y'know, I'm fairly certain it was. Clicking on my "Nick Knight/Natalie Lambert" tag on "Color of the Night" yields this quite varied search result:


Edited at 2011-06-05 12:45 am (UTC)
Amy R.: Nickbrightknightie on June 5th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
Actually, it was the filter function (in the sidebar of the "Works" pages) that poked my peeve, not the very impressive search alignment of assorted tags as they appear on stories! I use the filter function frequently as a reader, but I hadn't previously realized it wasn't much under the author's influence. I've never tried to look up stories by tag across multiple authors on the AO3; it never even occurred to me that anyone would want to. (I'm so strange. ~g~)

For example, while I successfully made a tag that shows "Nick/Janette" on the story itself, what shows in the filter is "Nicholas Knight/Janette Ducharme." My "FKFicFest" tag on the story shows in the filter as "Community: fkficfest," my "drabbles" (plural) shows in the filter as "drabble" (singular), etc. And for some reason I cannot get "historical" instead of "Historical," or "Lacroix" instead of "LaCroix," on the story as well as in the filter. My guess is that the filter function shows the designated, official, master version of each tag set? And that the 'ship tags can flip in precedence (e.g. Nick/Nat, Nat/Nick), but otherwise are unchanging for anyone?

It's not a major deal, obviously. It just ruffled my feathers all the wrong direction for a while there. :-)
Amy R.: Other Fandom Highlanderbrightknightie on June 5th, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)
Good gracious golly, I just realized what all that effort in tagging-across-multiple-authors is for. I can use it to find Duncan/Tessa stories. Or Michelle Webster. Or Charlie DeSalvo. Or... Oh, my. Oh, wow!
Valerie - Postmodern Pollyanna: researchwiliqueen on June 5th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
Re: ~lightbulb~
I'm not laughing. Really. :-)

But yes, it's definitely a boon for seeking out the rarer trees amid the forest.
Foxy11814foxy11814 on June 5th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
I agree, but I do tend to use "Nicholas" sometimes when I'm writing a third-person narrator but telling Lacroix's perspective if that makes sense. But other than that, I stick with "Nick." =)

Edited at 2011-06-05 12:44 am (UTC)
Amy R.: Trio Fang Gangbrightknightie on June 5th, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
>"when I'm writing a third-person narrator but telling Lacroix's perspective if that makes sense"

Oh, yes! I also use "Nicholas" when writing fiction from Lacroix's perspective, and "Nicolas" from Janette's, and so on, even in the present day. That seems most appropriate to me.

It's the meta (non-fiction) and the fiction from other perspectives that get under my skin with "Nicholas."
Foxy11814: forever knight by me!foxy11814 on June 5th, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, it doesn't even feel nor sound right, does it? LOL
PJ1228pj1228 on June 5th, 2011 09:28 am (UTC)
I hadn't encountered the Nick/Nicholas issue on AO3 yet, as the two stories I posted so far didn't contain Nick. However, what irritated me when posting these two stories was that I needed a Lacroix/Janette tag and there was only a Janette DuCharme/Lucien Lacroix tag. While it may appear proper to name the lady first, I found it oddly out of character for Lacroix to be named second (LOL), especially when he is the leading character in this relationship. I succumbed to the suggested tag because I realized the importance of uniform tags if I wanted this relationship to be found by the search engine. However, from the comments to your post I gather, that the AO3 search engine seems to be more intelligent and yields the same results for any order.

I totally agree with preferring the spelling of "Lacroix" over "LaCroix". While his name is never seen in written form, as far as I recall (they only use capital letters in the credits and on his uniform in Can't run, can't hide, which doesn't help with the spelling issue), it's seen in the end credits when a stunt double was required. In these cases, the name is written as "Lacroix", which makes it the canonical form.
Foxy11814: lacroix by ??????foxy11814 on June 5th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but unfortunately on the third season DVD's, they wrote his name "LaCroix," but on the first and second, they wrote it "Lacroix." LOL. I prefer "Lacroix," too.
PJ1228pj1228 on June 5th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
But only in the booklet. In the episodes, it's still "Lacroix" (Just watched Ashes to Ashes to check ;))
Foxy11814foxy11814 on June 5th, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, very true. I was referring to the booklet, LOL.
Amy R.: Nick Solemnbrightknightie on June 6th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
Some of the DVD booklets/packaging also use "Nicholas" instead of "Nick." Good thing they aren't canon. :-)
Amy R.: Lacroixbrightknightie on June 6th, 2011 02:23 pm (UTC)
"Lacroix" vs "LaCroix"
>"While it may appear proper to name the lady first, I found it oddly out of character for Lacroix to be named second..."

Many interesting customs and debates surround the question of precedence in listing pairings! For example, traditionally, Kirk always comes first in Kirk/Spock, because Kirk holds the higher rank. Many people always put the male first in m/f pairs for traditional social reasons (as you listed the husband before the wife in formal addresses). Lots of people put the more important (starring) character first, and others the character they perceive as dominant in the relationship. I believe (though I could be mistaken) that the AO3 has taken the unusual step of always putting the woman first in m/f pairings for feminist reasons.

You can edit to override the order of the characters in the tags you place on your own stories. I noticed that Wiliqueen has Janette before Nick, where I have Nick before Janette. The "tag wrangler" volunteers will ensure they all come together in the end.

You can't edit to override the filter function, though. I use that frequently as a reader, so I noticed it quickly, and it's what poked my peeve, so to speak.

>"I totally agree with preferring the spelling of "Lacroix" over "LaCroix"."

In addition to the pivotal on-screen canonical evidence you cite in the credits, I have been privileged to get to read enough scripts owned by other people over the years, including "Dark Knight" itself, to confirm that the standard capitalization in the script text is "Lacroix." (The dialogue directions use all capital letters, "LACROIX," but the actual dialogue, when other characters call him by name as they speak, uses "Lacroix.") I know that what is in the scripts is not canon -- good golly, so many things change between script and screen! -- but in this case, I believe it is a strong reinforcement of the on-screen evidence.

Still, the "LaCroix" usage is venerable in the fandom; in first season and the hiatus, they had no evidence one way or the other. It doesn't bother me as long as an author is consistent.
chelseagirl on June 5th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
My peeve used to be when Janette's pronunciation was spelled "Nick-o-lah" by fanfic writers, rather than Nicolas.
Amy R.: Janettebrightknightie on June 6th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)
"Nicolas" vs "Nicola" vs "Nee-ko-lah"
Yes, that is aggravating! The only proper place for the silly spellings is in Schanke's mouth, should he happen to try to imitate Janette. ;-)

I remember that Susan once explained that she used "Nicola" (an Italian diminutive) instead of "Nicolas" (the French) for Janette's pronunciation as a deliberate interpretive choice. However, I suspect that the utility for English-speaking eyes of dropping the "s" -- making the difference immediately register -- also played a significant role in that choice. I don't mind when people choose to drop the "s" on Janette's pronunciation, as long as they're consistent... but I do notice.
chelseagirl on June 6th, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: "Nicolas" vs "Nicola" vs "Nee-ko-lah"
Fair enough, if I hadn't had seven years of hs/college French I might not have automatically seen that s as silent. I have to confess I sometimes see Nicola as an English girl's name rather than an Italian form of his name, but that's my own problem. ;-) At least it's a real name and not an annoying phonetic spelling.

waltdwaltd on June 8th, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
Nick's Name
When Jeanette is talking, I always try to use Nicola'. That is n-i-c-o-l-a-' with an apostrophe at the end to indicate the missing "s".

"LaCroix" vs. "Lacroix" I've never worried about because in the General's mind, I believe he always thinks of himself in capital letters LACROIX). And, far be it from me to try to tell him otherwise. :-) Unfortunately, all caps doesn't look quite right in print, so I assume he doesn't pay much attention to our little dribs, drabs, and playlets. (Fortunately, 'cause otherwise he might come looking for us :-) ).