Ambiguous Name: Sdrawkcab Name

Deadlock Clock: 21st Mar 2013 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [83]
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1 Spark920th Aug 2012 08:58:17 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
There is misuse on the page itself. According to the trope description, this trope is when a character needs a pseudonym for himself, and uses his own name backwards for that.

However, the page itself has become a long compilation of any and all names in fiction that are some word spelled backwards. A clear example of trope decay.

An easy solution would be to broaden the description. Another solution may be to split off the misuse to a new page, and fix this one. This may or may not require a rename of the page, too. What do people think?
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2 SeptimusHeap20th Aug 2012 09:05:28 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I am not sure if "name spelled backwards" is a trope. A better name could be Mynoduesp Name, since it has both the backwards bit and the pseudonym bit in.
In uffish thought
Or even just Mynoduesp, since "pseudonym name" is a little redundant, but that might not be as clear. Sdrawkcab Alias may also work. It's probably too early to be brainstorming for names before a rename is thought to be needed.

Name spelled backwards might be a trope if there's a forwards name to contrast with it, e.g. Stanley Yelnats, but as I'm not sure what that would signify (unimaginitive parent?) I don't know.

I think a rename may be needed because otherwise the misuse is likely to grow back without someone watching the page; the current name is ambiguous, and a clear one wouldn't be clunky. Is a wick check in order?
4 SeptimusHeap20th Aug 2012 09:17:26 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Page misuse also counts. But a wick check can't harm.
Why wouldn't a backwards name be a trope? The word that has been reversed is usually quite significant. Ybbats O'Redrum is probably not a kindly old priest, nor would he run an orphanage. At least not one anyone would care to visit.

A normal name being spelled backward is of lesser significance, but that's not how this trope is being misused.

edited 20th Aug '12 9:44:53 AM by Arha

6 SeptimusHeap20th Aug 2012 09:50:45 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Then I'd just vote to expand the definition.
94. Grandmaster of Shark
The trope is specifically about using the backwards name as a pseudonym. Expanding it to simply a list of stuff that is some other word spelled backwards would be something completely different.

Split it. One trope for the in-universe use, one for the reference.

edited 20th Aug '12 11:17:50 AM by eX

I'd say a split. One for backwards name as a pseudonym and a supertrope for merely backwards names.
9 AnotherDuck20th Aug 2012 11:34:21 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Splitting is a good idea. Two distinct tropes that by definition shouldn't overlap (though it's in theory possible, as they don't necessarily contradict each other).

edited 20th Aug '12 11:34:56 AM by AnotherDuck

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10 Spark920th Aug 2012 12:59:55 PM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Thinking about it, I think that "backwards name" should be a supertrope, and we can make several subtropes like "backwards pseudonym", "foreshadowing backwards name", "backwards in-joke" and so forth.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
Svohkehc Name sounds like a pretty decent subtrope, when the name turns out to be foreshadowing.

An example would be the Roivas family in Eternal Darkness. In a game where 80% of the protagonists fail to stop the villain, the name is the only hope you have for a Happy Ending.

edited 20th Aug '12 1:23:28 PM by KingZeal

I think renaming Sdrawcab Name and broadening the definition is a good idea. "A character uses his name backwards as an alias" could be a subtrope... We could make it so it also includes anagrams, too.
In a quest to erase natter from the face of earth.
Dragon Writer
Interesting. My impression of this trope's usage has always been "Eman Luf Gninaem" - common enough to be a valid subtrope of Meaningful Name.
14 Xtifr20th Aug 2012 11:26:51 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
I think there is a difference between a fake name that's actually the real name backwards and a real name that's some unrelated word backwards. I endorse splitting along those lines.

[down]Yes, if it just randomly happens to be a word backwards, that's not a trope. I think we're in agreement.

edited 21st Aug '12 7:15:23 PM by Xtifr

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Dragon Writer
^ "Unrelated" may or may not also be "symbolic". The latter is clearly a trope. The former is not necessarily. Take "Evian" under the Advertising section: that example needs to go.

edited 21st Aug '12 9:29:24 AM by Stratadrake

16 AnotherDuck21st Aug 2012 09:50:31 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I deleted that example. It's not part of either trope, just a coincidence. And it might encourage snarking.
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A name that is an intentional reversal of some related word is definitely a trope. That's what the trope's name implies the trope is about, and that's what the trope should be about. There is no reason whatsoever for it to be pseudonym-specific, and I don't see any reason for it to have a pseudonym-specific subtrope either.
18 Spark922nd Aug 2012 06:44:56 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
I do think a pseudonym-specific subtrope is a good idea, because it happens often as a plot device that a character "cleverly" disguises himself by using his own name backwards. It's in-universe and the parent trope is not. Note the existing subtrope Alucard.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
94. Grandmaster of Shark
The problem is, some the backwards names are just real life ShoutOuts and I wouldn't lump those together with examples were the name is actually backwards in-universe.

E.g. Arbok isn't a backwards name within the context of its own universe, Mr Snurb however is.

edited 22nd Aug '12 8:02:26 AM by eX

Like I said, for stories where the backward name turns out to have plot significance, I nominate the name Svohkehc Name.
I support the split but I think the current name is A-Okay for the supertrope.
I would like to propose that we don't use a backwards word in the name of the trope. I find those difficult to read.

Also I don't think it needs to be a 'chekhov' snowclone. It's really not about chekhoving, which means an apparently unimportant element early in the story that becomes very much important later. (A backward name could be a chekhov, but it isn't always.)

So I'm thinking... Name Spelled Backwards: The character (or place) has a name that is a descriptive phrase or foreshadowing. Subtrope of Meaningful Name. (It doesn't have to be exactly backwards; often diphthongs and other letter clusters stay in the correct order to make it readable — For example, TH almost always has to stay TH; seeing an HT, HS, or HW in a name is a near-guarantee that it's sdrawkcab.)

Anagram Alias: A character "cleverly" invents an alias by reversing or scrambling their real name. Subtrope of Meaningful Name, sister trope to Name Spelled Backwards (which is about a descriptive word used as a name, which this may not be). This could also include Mirror Universe duplicates who, similarly, are named the same as the real character but backwards. I prefer this to Strawkcab Name or Strawkcab Alias, because it implicitly allows for more complex variants like Tom Marvolo Riddle (one of the most prominent recent examples) and so on.

Alucard: A particular example of the Anagram Alias that's so common that it deserves its own trope page.

Any more tropes need to go in there?

edited 12th Oct '12 10:57:42 AM by Escher

I think Sdrawkcab is witty and should stay. I prefer Sdrawkcab Name and Sdrawkcab Alias (or Sdrawkcab Mynoduesp or Mynoduesp Sdrawkcab). The latter could be a subtrope of Anagram Alias in addition, if Anagram Alias is tropable on its own.

It should be noted that a name spelled backwards, when not an alias, can still be an in-universe reference to another character or place.

edited 13th Oct '12 12:52:24 PM by ArcadesSabboth

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24 Noaqiyeum13th Oct 2012 09:27:55 PM from the October Country , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
'Sdrawkcab' only succeeds at witty to the extent that it fails at 'clear'.

I don't think there's a substantial difference between the emordnilap pseudonym and the anagram pseudonym, trope-wise - in either case it's about the linguistic equivalent of a Paper-Thin Disguise, and the reversed name is a subset of the scrambled name (and slightly less paper-thin). They could easily be discussed together.
Anyone who looks dangerous is dangerous.

Anyone who doesn't look dangerous is dangerous and sneaky.
25 shimaspawn13th Oct 2012 09:54:19 PM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
Empirical evidence shows that boring overly literal names perform worse than names that have some element of fun in them like Sdrawkcab Name. Nobody uses the tropes with boring names. Eliminating them hurts the wiki. There needs to be a mix of fun and clarity.
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Total posts: 83
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