An Actually Well-Written Analysis of Naming Guidelines


I said I’d write a thought-out suggestion if I was given ideas on how to do so, so here we go. I could be writing my college application right now but I choose instead to write an essay nobody will read.

One of the most hotly-debated topics on the beestation forums is the value or lack thereof of our “Naming Guidelines”, a subsection of the rules intended to aid Rule 1: You Must Roleplay. This analysis will attempt to provide non-biased pros and cons of our current system and suggest ways to improve upon it, as well as dissatisfactions people have with the current system.
To begin, let’s look at the guidelines as a whole:


(Fig 1 (above): The naming guidelines page)

(Fig 2 (above): Rule 1.7)

Pretty self-explanatory as far as I’m concerned, except for the discrepancy in calling what is enforced as a rule by the name guidelines. Guidelines are often defined as suggestions while rules are defined as mandatory. As it stands, our “guidelines” are rules.

Moving on, I have selected some pros and cons to our current system.
Pros:

  • (Most) references are weeded out in favor of original names for characters
  • Vulgarities are discouraged by the title caveat*
  • Provides a good springboard for new character names
  • Provides new players with information about racial culture
  • Straightforward and easy to understand

*Lizard names such as “Eats-The-Shit,” “Sniffs-The-Farts,” “Dies-Of-Cringe” are technically not forbidden under current guidelines, as they are describing some action.

Cons:

  • Locks all species into a one-culture origin (no diversity in characters)
  • Potentially vague rules (Moth one-word names, what constitutes a word?; Ethereal celestial body names, P/1999 XN120 VX technically applies; IPC Robotic Acronym Names, B.E.N.J.A.M.1n, what does this even stand for?)
  • Oozeling surnames locked into an english-only culture, gender non-inclusive (see this post)
  • Community is displeased with current naming rules (see myriad posts about naming suggestions)
  • Leaves no wiggle-room for characters with backstories to have “unusual” names (see Cordswitch Bos)
  • Current naming guidelines result in issues with character uniquity over another (Moth Latin names in particular fall prey to multiple moths having the same or similar names)
  • Discourages developing characters based on in-round events (see Cordswitch Bos)
  • Beestation is the only server enforcing names as a rule, causing some players to leave for other servers to be able to play characters they want to play
  • Current naming guidelines and involvement with admins has led to some names being considered accceptable while others are not; some names that were deemed okay months ago are now no longer okay, resulting in forced character rewrites that erase character identity (see Truthbringer)

How can we change the guidelines to please the masses while still enforcing some semblance of quality?
Most of the cons to our current system are a result of the vagueities and strange specificities of some of the naming conventions, such as the mandatory “-Son” suffix of Oozeling names, as opposed to patronyms (as seen in the threat I linked in the example). Ethereal names are fairly open-ended, leading to very few suggestions being made about Ethereal naming guidelines; the same goes for Felinids, who have the vital “typically” caveat of their base rule (Normal human names, though typically with Asian origins). This, I feel, provides a vital bit of wiggle room for the names, as it allows felinids to have a diverse set of names from any culture, but provides an optional standard that defines most felinid culture. Felinids can be named anything from Selene Hemlock to Kagami Mori to Cassandra Singh. I think this is a perfect example of a multicultural species, whereas most species have only one or two cultures.

Moths, for example, have one of the most hotly-debated naming conventions:

Latin (or psuedo-latin) species name OR a Single word object, concept or event of some special significance to the character. Names containing “Moth” or “Lamp” are not permitted.

This is problematic because of the specific vagueity of the latter suggestion, specifically the single word part. Names such as Truthbringer are not allowed due to not technically being objects, concepts, or events, despite being justified as having special significance to the character. Names with thought put into them, such as Tinea, which was cited as having been the latin for Moth, toe the line while the name Urinal, Toilet, Outhouse, Vasectomy, Harmbaton, Gun, Rock, and Condom all technically fit the naming convention.

I propose we make adjust the naming guidelines the following:

  • Human: Normal human names, the kind that won’t raise an eyebrow if you chose to name your child. This applies to all other races that reference human names.
  • Apid: Human First name that starts with B, Flower last name.
  • Ethereal: First name is any celestial body or name that sounds like one (look into Greek/Roman mythology for inspiration if nothing else), Last name is two capital letters. Names that consist of numbers and symbols do not count.
  • Felinid: Normal human names, though typically with Asian origins.
  • IPC: Robotic Acronyms or Model identification numbers consisting of 4-10 Numbers, letters and hyphens. A given name may accompany an IPC’s model identification number (e.g. ZHP-143 Zheng
  • AIs and Borgs: Robotic Acronyms, Model identification numbers or simple Non-Acronym names provided they are computer or robot related. Human names are not appropriate for borgs or AI.
  • Lizard: Hyphenated names describing some action, or names following Ashwalker naming conventions (e.g. Fashiima-Zaht, Yu’Rah)
  • Oozeling: First name is almost any color, last name is any human patronym.
  • Moth: Latin (or psuedo-latin) species name OR an object, concept or event of some special significance to the character, or a title involving a concept, object, or event that holds some significance to the character (e.g. Truthbringer, Rocksmasher) Names containing “Moth” or “Lamp” are not permitted.
  • Plasmaman: First name is or sounds like a periodic table element, non-drug chemical compound, or one-word concept from chemistry (e.g. Ion, Acidity, Nucleus). Last name is Roman Numerals.
21 Likes

I would just get rid of single word moth names all together because most of them toe the line one way or another.

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I would just get rid of single word moth names all together because most of them toe the line one way or another.

Okay, my proposal if this change is implemented:
Add Finnish or otherwise Scandanavian names to the convention; this will at least give moths a chance to be more memorable than Cydia Parva Coles

6 Likes

Allowing for other languages would be cool and would increase diversity of names for sure

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Ossian Kemppainen approves this message.

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This was genuinely very well wriitten and if the staff did provide a change to the naming guidelines, I personally would prefer it to follow your exact rules. Thank you very much

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When I put my little brain to something I can write well.

Yeah that’s an actual problem that arised a handful of times, it’s specifically why moths were forced to only be latin
allowing other languages or creative names with heavy clear restriction (like lizards and hyphenated named needing to describe an action) is a much better option than freeform “one word” with rather unclear exact limits

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Read and appreciated, this will probably help our admemes if they decide to look at it.

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to be fair… they were more strict when I wrote them up

It was ruko/staff that expanded it slightly on implementation, unsure on specifics

Light sources and phenomena (supernova etc) and clothing

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I have Beats-The-Monkey. I got the name admin approval for before I started using. It’s a cross between Beats The Meat and Spanks The Monkey, both masturbation euphemisms. My character has a strong dislike for monkeys and wishes them harm. He enjoys Xenobio, where he feed living monkeys to slimes. Genetics where he can torture a monkeys genes. Viro, where he can test deadly virus’s on monkeys, and Chef, where he likes to dress up in the skin of the dead monkeys he has slain and fed to the crew.

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Not throwing shade, just trying to highlight some names that could be considered too much.

Sorry I forgot to finish the point of that reply.

I meant to end with a note saying that if you think your name might bend or break the guidelines, ahelp it before using it. It saves a lot of time all round, avoiding notes, warnings and bans.

EDIT: Don’t get me wrong, I am all for discussing rules and finding ways to improve BeeStation as a whole, just ask before doing something that might cause hassle.

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Fucking knew it and am Glad I didn’t Ahelp over it now.
when I first saw it I was thinking "that is SO close to “spanking the monkey” " and I lowkey cringe when I see it.

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Very well thought out post here.
The post is a little hidden away now but earlier I made a simlair adjustment which was the following:

  • Apid: MAY have a flower related name first or last name. Names that resemble clever bee-puns or names involving buzzing.
  • Ethereal: First name is any celestial body or name that sounds like one (look into Greek/Roman mythology for inspiration if nothing else), Last name MAY two capital letters or more.
  • Felinid: follows Normal human names with optional asian orgins
  • IPC: Robotic Acronyms or Model identification numbers consisting of 4-10 Numbers, letters and hyphens. Human names are not appropriate for IPCs. (this can be kept the same)
  • Lizard: Hyphenated names describing some action, or names following Ashwalker naming conventions.
  • Oozeling: First name or surname may have a color based name, having a surname with “son” is optional
  • Moth: Latin (or psuedo-latin) species name, a word object, concept or event of some special significance to the character.
  • Plasmaman: First name is or sounds like a periodic table element

Which has it’s problems too, since finding a good acceptable standard that will hopefully keep everyone happy is differcult as balls.

I personally have no issues with people “toeing the line” on the names since having uncoversional names shouldn’t be a problem when you are an alien species.

I think felinids should have eastern sounding names in general and just cut out the generic human names from it, so you can have like asian or middle eastern names since it would semi follow other games naming structures for cat people.

Also again, the main point that needs to be removed from the naming policy is single word moth names, since those are what keep causing these shitstorms.

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A small section I forgot to add was this
" All names guildelines for speices are optional to the player
however any name relating to IRL references or memes are not acceptable."

Though I understand that some dislike the single word moth names, I think people are entitled to name their moths single objects if that’s their choice. However if they were doing it to relate to a meme, then it’s an issue. The problem with moth names imo is that their guidelines is that they are being punished for not following the name convertions exactly how it’s written down.

I would actually like that idea too. As the post above states, Felinids are able to follow more than one culture…while Moths can’t really.

This isn’t an issue with just moths by the way. Apids and oozelings also have very strict names but they are a lot less popular races so you rarely see reports on them, that being said they should be fixed too.

Actual shame as it could have been a nice template

Chlorine Trifluoride too

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TBH, I half expect a boink and a name change request every time I play them. The core reason behind the name itself is my 30 year old gaming mantra: “It’s a game, reminder to have fun”. Even my current username is a “hi there/hit here” joke from Farscape.

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I went into this with a genuinely open mind… But honestly, about half way reading this I have a hard time believing that your arguments aren’t just intellectually dishonest for the sake of it. I have such a hard time taking this thread seriously because of it.


Oh come on.

The rule very clearly states that you’d use the name, not the designation. P/1999 XN120 is the designation, Catalina is the name.

Good question, it’s something we’d usually ask for fairly out-there IPC names.

N…No? It’s locked to a very specific Icelandic culture. As a default, the surnames are predominantly patronymic. With the rarer matronymic genitive -dottir… Or the much much rarer patro/matronymic suffix -bur.

It’s a fairly small vocal minority, all things considered. I’m very much open to the idea of changing the guidelines, but don’t over-exaggerate the response.

I’ve spoken my piece on this.

There are several IRL humans with the same name, yet that somehow doesn’t limit their uniqueness.

There :clap: Is :clap: No :clap: Per-round :clap: Canon :clap:

Objectively untrue. I can point to several different servers that have naming as part of their rules. To save characters I’ll just point to Baystation as my primary example.

That’s a failing on the Admin team, not really on the guidelines. Internal policy is pretty clear about not granting exceptions to names. Further still, if an admin has to add a note explicitly stating that a name is OK, it’s almost always pretty obvious that the name isn’t actually OK. Instances like CBOS and Trutherbringer shouldn’t have happened if policy was followed. That is a failing on us, but it’s not related to the guidelines themselves.


This alone kind of cements my theory that the issue is morso with a failure, or refusal, to understand some of the guideline’s basic principals. -son is a patronym. It’s the only patronym that’s part of the Icelandic naming scheme referenced, which is what oozelings are based on. In very recent years, Iceland has been expanding their scheme to make the gender-inclusive suffix more attainable, and it’s certainly something we can look into doing as well… But it doesn’t really change how flawed this initial argument is.

It’s not allowed because it’s not a real single word. It’s a grammatically incorrect compound of two concepts. You would have to purposefully misrepresent the statement to come to this conclusion… Perhaps that’s why you included the initial, “what is a word” line-item.

I mean no offense when saying this, I wouldn’t classify Tinea as being something with a ton of thought put into it… It’s literally just the Latin approximation for Moth, as you said. It doesn’t really convey anything of meaning. The main reason I’d say it’s borderline would be because it violates one of the most clear-cut parts of the rule, that it shouldn’t contain the word “moth.” That being… While following the rule-as-written, it does admittedly violate the rule-as-intended.

That being said, I’m fine with it because it at least puts in some level of minimum effort and sticks to the latin portion of the ruling. But it’s not what I would use as a good example of a creative moth name.

A common moth name argument I see brought up is Milii. But, as I explained prior, this is a name that does actually have some thought put into it. Milii is a plant with a significant amount of meaning across several cultures, and, more importantly, it’s a plant that moth larvae in particular adore. It’s not particularly deep, but it does enough to establish an interesting name for the character whilst following our rules in their entirety.

While true that it technically meets the criteria our guidelines set out, a majority of these still don’t really pass the sniff test and would be asked to change their names. Either under our admin discretion rule, or, more likely, under our roleplay rules. Without making the rule significantly more restrictive, this is a concession that we’re willing to live with for the time being. Interestingly, your proposed guidelines do nothing to address this.


The proposed alterations themselves are fairly benign and I don’t personally see them doing much to change the current situation. They largely only include minor alterations that appease specific individuals, which has limited value at scale.