Question: "High" concepts in Fantasy

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Mon Mar 3 19:47:24 EST 2003

--- Robyn Starkey <rohina at> wrote:
> >--- "Dorian E. Gray" <israfel at> wrote:
> > > Blink?  "Cthulhu" isn't unpronounceable!  *I*
> can
> > > pronounce it, and so can
> > > most of my friends (though very few of them can
> > > spell it correctly).  So
> > > there! :-)
> > >
> >But are you pronouncing it correctly? I'm sure no
> >human mouth can say this word as it should be said,
> >but then of course, this is a word that Shouldn't
> Be
> >Said ;) I once heard Bob Bloch trying to pronounce
> it
> >as Lovecraft said it should be pronounced. he said
> it
> >was impossible to pronounce correctly.
> Why? Doesn't it just derive from (ie was inspired
> by) chthonic? This is a 
> pronuncible word with an etymology, so why would
> there be a problem?

In our real world Lovecraft may have got his word
"Cthulhu" (and also, it has been suggested,
Miskatonic) from the Greek word "Chthonic", but in
Lovecraft's secondary world the relationship, if any,
is the other way around. The Old One Cthulhu ("not
dead, but dreaming") is a being millions of years
older than humanity and Lovecraft always intended his
name to be alien and not perfectly pronouncable by
human lips.


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