This series will examine the most potente forbiddene artes that they don’t want you to know about.
Names have power. That’s an easy, familiar line, but it’s true. Naming is deceptively simple. Simply apply a label to something and gain some measure of control. Unfortunately, most things in the world have names, or at least one name. Names gain power through recognition, repetition, and respect. Anyone can use any combination of sounds or script to refer to something, but that alone does not make name.
Names should be distinct. Do some research before you try to apply a name. They can be inspired by other words, even other names, especially if that makes them more convenient to use- portmanteus are your friend. Just don’t rely on the similarity if you expect your name to stand alone. The level of interdependence you choose is the one you’ll have to stick with, if you do your job right.
Recognition is the first ingredient. Spreading the name to as many possible speakers and writers as possible is priority one. With the signifier retaining its association with the signified in many minds, the power of the sign is bolstered. Working with the name becomes easier through the power of mass expectation.
Repetition is the second ingredient. No matter how many people “know” the name, it does nothing unless used. This is the problem with relying on Latin. Dead languages may be beautifully esoteric, but conversely, they’re hardly used. Don’t just pick something that looks cool. Write it wherever you can, apply it to even marginal examples, and make sure to keep it in the minds of the speakers and writers you’ve spread it to, so they can speak and write it for you.
Respect is the third ingredient. If the name is used mockingly or ironically, its meaning is watered down. In some ways, this kind of insincere use of the name is worse than an utter lack of use. The name will warp from the caster’s original intent, and continue drawing energy regardless of its failure. Naming is such a difficult branch of Dark Arts because names don’t end until forgotten, perpetually draining magic from the namer.
Keeping these three things in mind, go forth and name the world.