Filleting and the circle that doesn't hide anything

àjènplèn · аъйеънплеън /ˈaˈjenˈplen/ [ˈaːˌjɛːnˌplɛːn]

★ This word is pronounced with all three syllables stressed. This is normally achieved by making them longer than they would usually be.

* verb. Covering something, esp. a logo or an emblem, up poorly.

* noun. an object that is doing the above.

– 100 Examples of Specialty Vocabulary in g'Mòdyfajq, No. 40

Oftentimes, if you watch a lot of anime or manga, you may see references or outright cameos of objects (including living things) from another story or a media franchise.

Consider, for example, this series of tweets about the strangest school in the world in terms of the proclivities for the teachers (and the head teacher!) seemingly bursting into cosplay at a moment's notice.

A full translation is not necessary to bring across the emotion I'm trying to express, but here's the general gist here is that the subject as depicted is some school authority figure (teacher, nurse, &c.) being both in class and also for some reason in full cosplay. Sometimes this is implied to be because the students are noisy or distracted, and so inattentive that somehow the teacher has changed into cosplay without them noticing.

Anyway, the important part is that the students (here indicated using the black speech and thought bubbles) comment on the quick change, but every time the name of the character being cosplay is mentioned, it is not actually written out in full, but one of the letters are replaced with a circle (see link below). This is only in writing – as far as I can tell, where this shows up in contexts where text and speech appear at once, the missing character is still pronounced normally.

○, Wiktionary (see sense 1, sub-sense 2)

This raises the question as to what the English equivalent is, and it exists, though it seems to be hardly used anymore:

Fillet, Wikipedia

It was often performed not to avoid legal action but merely to show deference to the privacy of some great personage, or not to offend his or her imputed sense of modesty by naming him or her as the author of some great or worthy deed or act.

Because of the way reading works in English, specifically that we largely depend on the first letter, last letter and general shape of a word, filleting is fairly easily reversed by a human brain and possibly with a computer brain too if you have a word list handy.

In modern times this is typically replaced with replacing individual letters with asterisks or other symbols that indicate a blank.

What g'Mòdyfajq has to do with this

I kind of figure why the names have been very gently masked out but it looks so goofy. I do like that though. It feels like they are gods whose names must not be mentioned.

The reality, frankly, isn't that far behind. It is to my understanding that there is a very strong legal force in Japan against defamation, and without a counterbalancing spirit of free speech (not to be confused with any laws or principles of free speech, which are separate things that may appear without each other) this makes the average person very vulnerable of being sicced upon by lawyers if they say a Name and then the person or entity holding the Name is displeased.

But speaking of lawyers, I want to tie this to my own creations. One of the fundamental premises of Ùzje, expressed in multiple ways but especially in its language and setting, because I am mostly married to the concept of language-oriented worldbuilding, a specific style of worldbuilding where language, words and specific linguistics subjects are used to emphasise what's part of the world and what is ancillary. This is something that I've invented mostly to describe how I write a story, and with some effort you can use it to tell your own stories as well. However, a full explanation of this is beyond the scope of this article, and frankly that's just as well because I haven't really figured out its details – introspection is hard!

Anyway, for Ùzje the conceit is that everything is not named "properly". Things have names, and things have words that they are referred to with, and these are not the same. There is some justification as to why this happened to be, and some of it is fairly important in-universe, so let's explain a little here.

First, let's set up some basic principles. There is a real world outside of any living thing's perception, and those living things live in that world. These things are complicated objects that are impossible to describe, but amongst other features they also generate certain stimuli, including sensory stimuli like sounds and visuals, as well as abstract stimuli such as associations and affiliations, that can be perceived by the brain and stored within it. This results in an "image" inside the brain, a different, usually simpler, model that the brain can conceive and can even be transmitted in part via language.

Now, although this might sound obvious when stated here, it's not the as obvious in practice, so let's state this explicitly: these two things are note the same. While the external stimulus is the same one that everyone can see (this is by definition – it is possible to argue otherwise, but we'll assume it so for the setting) the internal models are and can be very different. It is impossible to capture the entirety of any single stimulus in a mind, and even if it was, it won't fit comfortably (or at all) within a single mind. Even if that were to happen, no single individual can capture all stimuli needed to create a full picture of that external object, so with all that we can say that the internal model is entirely incomplete.

But not all hope is lost, because there is a complete model of a living thing that a mind can use as a reference – itself. So in practice, what happens is that a neural network natural intelligence is used to infer what the full external object is just from looking at partial models and other related training data. This is frequently referred to as "emotional quotient" ("EQ") or sometimes "empathy" or "sympathy".

That's all well and good, but the important part is something that we have touched on:

the internal model is different from the one that exists in the real world.

Ideally, then, since they're different things, they should be named differently. And so, this gives us the reason for g'Mòdyfajq: the internal model, the one you have access to, is labelled in g'Mòdyfajq, the false language, while the real item outside is labelled with the true language outside. (For narrative reasons, I leave it ambiguous what that "true language" actually is, but it's for sure that it's not magical or anything, it's just the one that is protected by the imaginary lawyers.)

But one important detail that should not be overlooked here is that the reconstructed internal model is usually very different from the actual thing in the world, and this is also specifically a part of the world that is modelled using the language.

Let's have a look at a worked example. Suppose you have some character whose name is pronounced /ho{ʃ ~ s}ɨma{tʃ ~ t}i suisɛː/. (As with the previous parenthetical, we will leave behind how that is meant to be spelt in the orthography, though you can hazard a guess to what that is. In any case, the name is "burnt" (the technical term) to a new phrase, spelt "Qòzjənardsə Swysej" and pronounced /ˈχoz.jə.naʁ.dʒə ʃwɪ.ˈʃej/. If you say /ho{ʃ ~ s}ɨma{tʃ ~ t}i suisɛː/, you refer to the item in real life, whereas if you say /ˈχoz.jə.naʁ.dʒə ʃwɪ.ˈʃej/, you are referring to your particular conception of /ˈχoz.jə.naʁ.dʒə ʃwɪ.ˈʃej/ in your head.

Other people may burn the name differently, and they correspond to different pronunciations. Nevertheless, the burning comes with some basic rules that must be followed so they can be reasonably reversed to form the original. As it turns out, there is a "learned reconstruction" for this particular name, and it is spelt using a special orthography as well. The learned pronunciation, which is generally not the same as the pronunciation of the original name, is /hoʃimɑti swɪsɛː/ and spelt 〈Ghosciemarty Scswisseigh〉. (This name is typically spelt in "unmodified orthography", spelt "a'mòdyfäjt szpelaŋ".) This name is representative of the general understanding of the character throughout the community, which is implicit with the name. Additionally, it comes with a casual pronunciation if one were to wish to emphasise the community aspect and play down the "true name" style: /ɡəʊzɪmɑːti ʃwɪsːɛɡ/

As the example shows, the reconstruction can diverge significantly from the original article, and that is in some sense a feature rather than a bug: it shows that the collective understanding of the character can still be different from the one in observable reality.

We close with a comment about how, given that the original object that resulted in the final object we call "Ghosciemarty Scswisseigh" is played by some other person, what that implies in terms of generated g'Mòdyfäjq names. Hint: consider this actor as a separate community to the one that generated the name "Ghosciemarty Scswisseigh" to begin with.

🗼 gemini://