OT - need your verbal ingenuity

Elizabeth Evans er.evans at auckland.ac.nz
Wed Mar 9 15:09:34 EST 2005

Margaret asked:

> So....I'm trying to think of alternate names for Paris and France that
> will convey the message "I'm talking about France, but this is an
> alternate-world setting so it's not really France" and I'm blanking
> out. Any suggestions would be welcome.

And Philip replied:

What a splendid question!

France is hard.  Gaul is presumably out, since this seems to come from a
Latin form of Celt, and I'm taking it the Scots think of _themselves_ as the
Celts.  I think I'll just have to let someone else answer that one.

Paris is easier.  Isn't it Lutetia?  The French form used by Uderzo is
"Lutèce".  I'd talk about "Lutece" and "Lutetian fashions", I think.

This is fun!
I originally thought that perhaps you could elevate one of the regions to
national standard, eg. Languedoc, but I guess that could encounter problems
of its own.

Perhaps you could go for a term like 'Le Pays' or 'La Patrie' on the basis
that everybody everywhere considers their own place the original or the
default. For example, we give other planets names, but ours is just 'Earth.'

Look forward to hearing what you decide to settle on. Thanks for the


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