I use this blog as a soap box to preach (ahem... to talk :-) about subjects that interest me.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Authors' Mistakes #25 - Christopher L. Bennett

Christopher L. Bennett wrote many Star Trek books and articles, and I'm sorry to have to criticise a fellow Trekker, but in the novellette Make Hub, Not War, published in the November 2013 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, he got something wrong.

Many will probably find that what I'm going to say is way over the top, but authors who use Italian names or elements of Italian cultures too often get it wrong.

In Make Hub, Not War, Bennett gave the name Andrea to an Italian woman.  The problem is that in Italy Andrea is a name for males.  With so many Italian names and so many web sites that list them, why had Bennett to use Andrea?  He clearly didn't do any research at all.  And Analog's editors didn't notice the mistake either.

By using an Italian mother, Bennett could name one of his characters David LaMacchia and have people sit around a table and eat pasta.  I wonder why so many English-writing authors have this fascination with everything Italian and French.  Anyhow, to be picky (and I certainly am) LaMacchia is not a valid Italian family name.  In Italian, it would have to be written "La Macchia" (which means "the spot") or possibly, although unlikely, "Lamacchia".  Actually, now that I think about it, no capital letters ever appear in the middle of a name in any language I know.

Am I excessive?  Certainly.  But these things annoy me a lot...

For your reference, here are the links to all past “Authors’ Mistakes” articles:
Lee Child: Die Trying
Colin Forbes: Double Jeopardy
Akiva Goldsman: Lost in Space
Vince Flynn: Extreme Measures
Máire Messenger Davies & Nick Mosdell: Practical Research Methods for Media and Cultural Studies
Michael Crichton & Richard Preston: Micro
Lee Child: The Visitor
Graham Tattersall: Geekspeak
Graham Tattersall: Geekspeak (addendum)
Donna Leon: A Noble Radiance
007 Tomorrow Never Dies
Vince Flynn: American Assassin
Brian Green: The Fabric of the Cosmos
John Stack: Master of Rome
Dean Crawford: Apocalypse
Daniel Silva: The Fallen Angel
Tom Clancy: Locked On
Peter David: After Earth
Douglas Preston: Impact
Brian Christian: The Most Human Human
Donna Leon: Fatal Remedies
Sidney Sheldon: Tell Me Your Dreams
David Baldacci: Zero Day
Sidney Sheldon: The Doomsday Conspiracy
CSI Miami

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