Challenge #00526 - A151: Names Shape Reality

Early explorers and colonists gave the best new worlds names considered “unappealing” to those back on earth, so as to discourage overcolonization and protect what they viewed as offworld paradises. This led to beautiful worlds with names such as Gehenna, Sheol, Yomi-no-kuni, and New Jersey.  Over time, as these worlds became popular, their names lost their old meanings, and thus, the phrase “as beautiful as a New Jersey summer” was no longer seen as satirical.  This made interpreting history/old texts somewhat confusing, and in some cases, nigh-unintelligible.

[AN: This doesn’t quite work with one-way-wormhole colonisation, but I’ll give it a go]

During the first wave of Terran Colonisation, The humans left behind couldn’t help but notice a certain pattern. Places named after paradises inevitably came to ruin. Even places where the paradise was subjective.

Citizens of Earth did not like watching the residents of New Q'onos perish of starvation or malnutrition as they insisted they hunted all their food. Neither did they admire ominously loosing contact with Heaven, Hope or Gaia Regis.

And the less said about Greater Deregulation, the better.

Therefore, the humans came up with a typically human solution: stop naming new worlds after paradises. No optimistic names at all.

Thus, there are an abundance of colonised planets with names like Hell, Gethsemane, Yomi-no-kuni, Purgatory, Sheol, New Jersey, Skegness, Minnesota, Woodridge, Bognor and Cauldera.

Which is why Shayde has permanent employment from the Archivaas Collective.

They had a very long list of originally unpleasant places, both real and mythological, for her to define.

Because sometimes, the true key to unriddling ancient narratives is understanding the joke.

[Muse food remaining: 24. Submit a promptAsk a questionBuy my stories!]