Monday, April 11, 2016

Schlumbergera seedling no. 057 (again)

Well. We all knew this day would come. Eventually, the Anthuriums were going to get distracted for a moment, and then the Schlumbergeras would be back. So brace yourselves, 'cause it's mostly Schlumbergera seedlings from now until mid-May.

Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to come up with a suitable name for this particular seedling:

TinEye has become too repetitive to be useful, but I like the randomness of it. Random-word generators do exist on-line, but I've found them mostly disappointing for name-generation, because so many of the words they come up with are so uncommon or technical that they sort of defeat the purpose of having a memorable, clear moniker for a seedling. I mean, what can you really do with something like Perish Verbarrectus? Nothing, that's what. What I need is a list of random words that's been filtered for me a little bit, to remove jargony words ("enstatolite," "theriolatry," "cholecystonephrostomy"), words with clear meanings but clunky ways of expressing them ("uncomprehendingness," "coadministratrix"), words that are perfectly fine but not great things to name seedlings ("penis," "Nazi," "rotten"), etc.

So I made one. Or, well, I'm in the process of making one. Copied a list of about 240,000 words from the internet, and started sifting through it about three weeks ago, giving thumbs-up or -down on each word individually, which will eventually give me a filtered list useful for naming things. I hope. As of 10 April, I'm only barely more than halfway through it (114,800ish words left to decide on), because that's a hell of a lot of words. I can only do about 2500 or so at a time before my brain blows a tire and I have to do something else for a few hours.

The ultimate goal is to re-sort the list at random and let the novel combinations of words suggest name ideas. Not all of the combinations are useful that way ("thinker harp"), but if I'm in the right mood, the combinations can give interesting mental images, at least, which aren't that far off from the sorts of things I'd get from TinEye. We'll see how it goes once it's all fully operational.

And yes, I am aware of how crazy this sounds. Make comments about how much time I clearly must have on my hands if you must.

Besides the words list, I have previously-rejected names, names I thought of with my own brain like a normal person would name things, and the emergency names list to work with. So. Let's do what we did last time, and limit the options to one name from five different categories.

Shape-related: Voladora (Spanish for flying.1)

Color-related: Exothermic, the word for chemical reactions that release heat, previously considered for 056 Demons Begone and 089 Halloween Moon.

Previously-considered: Oxomoco, the Aztec deity in charge of night, astrology, the calendar, and agriculture; previously considered for 112 "Lavaball."

Whatever: Aqua Regia, the fuming mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids strong enough to dissolve gold and platinum, which is usually some shade of orange or another.

Pop cultural: That's My Purse. I'd link a video if I could find a decent one, but alas. It comes from King of the Hill, episode 1 of season 6 -- Bobby gets beaten up by some bullies, is encouraged by his father Hank to attend a boxing course at the local YMCA, but the boxing class is full so he attends a women's self-defense course instead, where students are instructed to kick attackers in the groin while yelling "That's My Purse! I don't know you!" Which turns out to be pretty effective against bullies. Pamela Adlon, who voiced Bobby Hill, wound up winning a Primetime Emmy (Outstanding Voice-Over Performance) for this episode.

So. As amusing as That's My Purse is, it's maybe too dependent on knowing the episode it comes from. Not sure it's forever unusable, but I'm thinking I should at least not use it for this particular seedling. And Exothermic always seems good when I'm making the short lists of names, but then it's always one of the least interesting options, so maybe I should stop trying to make Exothermic happen.

The color is maybe a little too red for Aqua Regia -- I don't think I've ever encountered it in person, but most of the on-line photos available show it as more of a yellow-orange than red-orange.

So it's down to Voladora or Oxomoco, and I wish I had more photos to look at. This seedling has only bloomed once, though, so the two pictures in this post are all I have to go on. Based on those, it feels less like "flying" and more like "Aztec agricultural deity," so I think I'm going to go with Oxomoco.

This whole post feels a little rushed, for which I apologize, but as I write this, it's 12:27 PM on Sunday and I still intend to pot up another 126 Anthurium seedlings today (fill pots, transplant seedlings, make tags, update spreadsheets, etc.). That will take at least six hours to do, probably more like nine, so I've probably already dedicated more time to this naming decision than I had to spare.


1 Also hanging in the air, blowing up with gunpowder, a rocket, or a flying fish, according to the link. They all kind of work.


Anna Mouton said...

Don't know if you want suggestions, but how about Icarus? If it isn't taken. The flower looks like a winged creature taking flight. Saw this image when searching Google images for Icarus. Disclaimer: no idea what the parent site is about, I only went after the image.

Pat the Plant said...

Daedalus was more successful at flying than his son Icarus, though if your cacti fall apart easily...

Sam Lowry, the hero of Brazil (the film not the country) is the image that comes to mind when I think of flying. Or Brian Blessed from Flash.