Sunday, September 19, 2010

I had a pen named "Charles" once

Looks like I have in fact remembered that I have a blog. And that said blog is a half-decent excuse to avoid doing other work. So here we go.

The trope of the week is:

In short: some people like their weapons so much that they name them. And such names are usually female.

First off, this convention can be used for characterization. If you want to characterize someone as fight-happy, give them a grenade launcher named Phyllis.

You know what line from Scarface goes here.

The idea being that only someone who is really, really into blowing stuff up would name their grenade launcher. Naming something is a sign of affection, of giving value to something. By naming their gun, the character is revealing what they hold to be valuable.

Though not necessarily in the
monetary sense.

The fact that a character names a weapon also implies that the name differentiates this weapon from other weapons, whether it's because all the weapons have different names or because this one is the only one who has a name. What it means is that there is more than one weapon, which reveals more about the character. This isn't always true, obviously, but it's the connotation that counts.

For example, if you see this in
someone's basement, you know that they're
probably insane, and/or Rambo.

The other reason to give a gun a girly name is for comedic purposes. The juxtaposition of seeing a hard-boiled badass fawning over a gun like a 6-year-old girl with a teddy bear is funny, as well as encapsulating all of the above-mentioned characterization.

Long story short, you can get a lot of characterization out of the way by having a character name his bazooka "Jo".

I think I tainted my soul by
making that joke.

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