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David Hines [userpic]

Pet peeve, in Nightwing #110 (non-spoiler)

August 11th, 2005 (04:36 pm)

Dick calls Tim "Timmy."

Not just once, but a whole lot; not just in his thoughts, but to Tim's face.

As far as I can tell, Dick's never done that anywhere else -- with one exception, and that was also written by Grayson, during the whole Tarantula/Blockbuster thing, and occurred immediately after a building had partially collapsed on Tim, whom Dick feared might be dead. ("Timmy, please...") It rang false for me there, too. It's worse in #110.

Here's why: guys don't do that.

You do not fuck with a guy's name. Unless you are being an asshole, whether serious or genial. For general use, you use his name or common nickname and go with it. You don't use variations on it, unless you are kidding around or trying to provoke a fight.

This is particularly true of diminutives. Such as, for example, "Timmy." That's something you'd call a child. It is not a name you would use to a teenage male during a heartfelt conversation, even if his name happens to be Timothy and especially if he commonly goes by Tim. Unless you want to be really, really condescending and insulting.

The only circumstance in which it is permissible to call a sixteen-year-old boy who goes by Tim "Timmy" is if you're hanging out and you're insulting each other lovingly, as guys do. Not during a serious talk. Or even a casual one.

A little thing. But it really bugs me.


Posted by: HJ (hjcallipygian)
Posted at: August 11th, 2005 10:37 pm (UTC)

So... if I was to call you Davey, I'd get punched? Is that the gist of this? =)

I agree, though. As a James who goes by Jim, I do NOT want to ever be called Jimmy. EVER.

Posted by: Betty (brown_betty)
Posted at: August 11th, 2005 10:42 pm (UTC)

Frankly, as a girl, I don't like it much when people fuck with my name either. It's just really hard to explain that to people without them asking why you're getting all worked up over such a minor thing.

Dick should call Tim, "Tim."

Posted by: Maire (mkcs)
Posted at: August 12th, 2005 09:03 am (UTC)

Mmm. I'm a girl too, and I'm good with people fucking with my name *only if* I feel that way about them and find the alteration respectful.

The idea of calling Tim, Timmy, without reasonable cause or permission just doesn't really quite work for me. His (lack of) reaction in Te and Mary's Angels You Need when Kon tried it worked beautifully for me.

Posted by: Matt (batman1013)
Posted at: August 13th, 2005 03:00 pm (UTC)
Starry bat

Boy, am I ever clad I'm not the only one who noticed this. And can I tell you, as a Matthew who goes by either Matthew or Matt, if someone calls me Matty, they're gonna die.

Posted by: like a vore turducken (apathocles)
Posted at: August 13th, 2005 04:14 pm (UTC)

[here through dc_clocktower; apologies for the rambling]

As a female, I'll defer to your knowledge in this area. ;) However, as an Australian, I also find it a rather interesting cultural difference, because we're all about shortening names. For example, a lot of people (once they'd got to know you a bit) would probably call you Dave, or Davo, or possibly even Dazza, if they were feeling particularly ocker (although that's more of a Darren/Darryl thing). Take the first syllable, shove a random sound on the end of it, and you're right.

It's not even limited to guys; Sharon goes to Shazza, and so on. I've had the -zza suffix added to my name by a number of random people, some of whom I barely knew. It's not considered at all offensive, although most people would stop if asked.

Having said that, Dick isn't Australian, so he has no excuse. *g* And, I must admit that 'Timmy' has never struck me as quite... believable, particularly in serious situations. Mucking around, maybe, but not when there's an important discussion going on. (Not that I read much in terms of the Batfamily, but 'Tim' definitely feels like the appropriate form of address, 99% of the time. Pretty much the only time it works for me is in YJ, and even then only sometimes. Boy's so damned serious. *g*)

Posted by: Dammit, Clark's penis is going in *something*. (thete1)
Posted at: August 13th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
Dick and Tim are *busy*

I gotta admit, I get a little *dawwww* when Devin has Dick do it, because I have a damned kink I'm SORRY it does make sense to me that he would, but probably *only* do it to Tim's *face* if he's messing with the kid. Mostly, I think Tim would put up with it -- but probably *only* from Dick. Less because of the OMG DICK CAN DO NO WRONG thing Tim has been gradually growing out of then because it's *Dick*.

The pet-names and nicknames fly fast and furious with the guy -- relative to every other character in the Batverse, anyway. I'm pretty sure Bruce is the only character we've *never* seen him use some sort of nickname for, you know?

That said, little brother is enough. Really.


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