The USS Quad Damage

What's in a name

Supreme Commander. It’s a game which has bought a headache into my life for a reason you wouldn’t expect. I’ve been trying to play it a bit, and it’s TA-like charm has found some favour with me, but not a lot. The biggest problem is what you call the damn thing. You see, “Supreme Commander”, unlike “Toblo” (which you can say all day long), is way too long to say properly. In addition, saying the name in full implies no familiarity with the game. It’s not your friend. You’re not “with it”. It’s quite likely you’re a noob.

This makes perfect sense, of course. No idiot would ever say “Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade”. We’ve shortened it to “Dow” when speaking, “DoW” when talking, which usually refers to the original, as well as both expansions of Dawn of War (Winter Assault and Dark Crusade), and whenever we need clarification, we’ll usually say “DC” or “WA”. When you’re talking about these things a lot, this is a time saver. and when you’re talking to people you’ve never met, then referring to these things as “Dow” shows that you’ve spent long enough talking about the game that you must know at least some of what’s going on.

As I was saying, “Supreme Commander” needs a contraction. A friendly name which is quick and easy to say, something that shows your familiarity with the game. Friends of a friend have taken up calling it “Supremo”. This is completely abhorrent to me, since “Supreme” is the unimportant part of the game title, and it sounds like a Pizza. Calling the game “Supremo” is... inappropriate.

Unfortunately, when you contrast this with the “official” contraction, it still stands on top. When I say “Official” I don’t mean something created or sanctioned by GPG, the company which makes Supreme Commander, rather something which has been taken up by the beta testers of the game, the hard-core players, the lore-masters. These are the guys you go to when you want to know that you want your “BO” to be “2 mex, 4 gen, and fac, and some PDs” and which race is “imba” in the latest patch. These guys have taken to calling it “SupCom”.

“SupCom”. They may as well have called it “SPCM”. It’s easy enough to write, but saying it is hard. Way too fucking hard.

I’m a big proponent of reading something as you write it. I’d pronounce “lasguns” as “lazzguns” as opposed to “laysguns”. I know that it’s a contraction of “laser guns” but the whole point is that you’re inventing a new word that’s easier to say. “lazzguns” is easier to say than “laysguns”, so “lazz” is what I say. According to the rule, then, I’d say “sahpcom” instead of “soupcom”. I think “soupcom” sounds stupid, but “sahpcom” sounds dumb as well.

I’ve been trying to refer to it with “SC”, but that term is heavily overloaded - “StarCraft” being the most notable game in the same genre that people just won’t give up on (Let it go you fucking retards!). “Star Control” and “System Shock” are just two other excellent games it conflicts with.

I thought of the Japanese and how they shorten words “persacon” for “personal computer”. They’d probably say “SuCom” which everyone would agree is pronounced “soocom”, but the problem is that this conflicts with “SOCOM”. In any case saying the “su” part is the difficult bit. I could go with “mander” but this is as bad as “supremo”. I’m completely lost with this.

Does anyone have any ideas?