Help talk:Naming conventions

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Power Name Origination

Name Level of source Explanations and references
Ability absorption Near-canon The name was explicitly given on a primatech file in From the Files of Primatech, Part 4.
Ability augmentation Near-canon Sean Fallon calls Paulette "an augmenter" (The Kill Squad, Part 3).
Ability replication Descriptive None
Accelerated probability Near-canon None
Acid secretion Near-canon "Acid secretion" is explicitly listed on Leonard's Assignment Tracker profile at primatechpaper.com.
Acidic blood Secondary "Acidic blood" was confirmed to be Mary's ability by graphic novel writer Bill Hooper.
Activation and deactivation Descriptive None
Adoptive muscle memory Canon Mohinder explicitly states this name (The Line).
Age shifting Near-canon Ivan Spektor calls the Russian an "age shifter".
Age transferal Secondary In an interview, writer Tom Inkel says, "Leona's power is to transfer aging".
Alchemy Near-canon This ability has been explicitly named "alchemy" in From the Files of Primatech, Part 1.
Alejandro's ability Possessor None
Animal control Secondary In Faction Zero, Markus....
Appearance alteration Near-canon "Appearance alteration" is the ability name listed in Connie's assignment tracker profile.
Aquatic breathing Canon EPIC explicitly names the ability "aquatic breathing" (Under the Mask).
Aura absorption Near-canon Linda Tavara refers to the bands of energy she sees as auras.
Belief induction Secondary Alethea Thorn's ability name is listed in her Heroes: Survival profile.
Bliss and horror Near-canon Text from It Takes a Village, Part 1 explicitly names this ability.
Bone spike protrusion Near-canon The intro to Under the Bridge, Part 2 states: "Perrin's ability activates on instinct, sending bone spikes in every direction".
Carbon isolation and formation Secondary Cole's Heroes: Survival profile explicitly names the power as "carbon isolation and formation".
Chlorine gas exudation Near-canon Sylar says, "Tina Ramierez. Exudes chlorine gas instead of carbon dioxide" (Viewpoints).
Clairsentience Canon A file in the Genesis Files is called "clairsentience". Also, Bridget Bailey explicitly references Dr. Suresh's Activating Evolution chapter on "clairsentience" when referring to her ability in an email (Heroes Evolutions).
Clairvoyance Canon "Clairvoyance" is explicitly named in the Genesis Files. Molly's tip in the Assignment tracker map confirms that she has this ability.
Cloaking Common name Cloaking is known from Star Trek as an ability to hide something..
Cloning Near-canon The name is explicitly listed in Julien Dumont's assignment tracker profile.
The introduction to Revolutionary War, Part 2 says that Evan creates clones.
Constriction Near-canon Agent Howard calls his partner a "Constrictor" (Going Postal, Part 1).
Crumpling Near-canon Marcus uses the word "crumple" in Normal Lives.
Cyberpathy Canon EPIC explicitly names this ability "cyberpathy" (Under the Mask).
Danger sensing Near-canon None
David's ability Possessor None
Dehydration Descriptive Based on descriptions in Golden Handshake.
Dimension hopping Secondary Kelli Wheaton's ability name is listed in her Heroes: Survival profile.
Dimensional storage Secondary Store's ability name is listed in his Heroes: Survival profile.
Disintegration Descriptive None
Disintegration touch Near-canon Felicia says she has a "disintegration touch" (Career Choices).
Dream manipulation Near-canon "Dream manipulation" is explicitly named in Sanjog's tip in the Assignment Tracker Map.
Elasticity Common name None
Electric manipulation Near-canon This ability has been explicitly and expertly named by Elle's Assignment Tracker profile.
Electrical absorption Near-canon Mohinder says that the teenage patient can absorb electrical currents (Blackout, Part 2).
Elemental control Common name None
Empathic manipulation Near-canon Empathic manipulation is explicitly named in Syn's Assignment Tracker profile.
Empathic mimicry Near-canon "Empathic Mimcry"[sic] is explicitly named in Peter's tip in the Assignment Tracker Map.
Empathy Near-canon None
Energy absorption, transference, and redirection Near-canon The name was explicitly given in Mindy's Assignment Tracker profile and in From the Files of Primatech, Part 4.
Enhanced hearing Canon Explicitly named in Gabriel Gray's primatechpaper.com profile (Building 26).
Enhanced memory Near-canon Explicitly named in Matt Neuenberg's primatechpaper.com profile.
Enhanced strength Canon Knox's assignment tracker profile lists the ability as "enhanced strength" (The Butterfly Effect).
Enhanced strength and senses Near-canon The Heroes Reborn app explicitly names this ability as "enhanced strength and senses".
Enhanced synesthesia Near-canon The ability is explicitly called "enhanced synesthesia" in From the Files of Primatech, Part 1.
Enhanced teleporting Secondary Teleporter's ability name is listed in his Heroes: Survival profile.
Extraskeletal manipulation Secondary None
Fire breathing Canon Edgar's list names the ability "fire breathing". Also, the Bowmans are called "fire breathers" a number of times in Faction Zero.
Fire casting Near-canon The blazing homeless man is referred to as a "fire-casting evo" (Dirty Deeds).
Fireworks creation Near-canon Claire says that Detlev "created fireworks" (Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World, Chapter 22).
Flight Canon Mohinder explicitly names it "Flight" in The Second Coming.
Forcefields Near-canon "Forcefields" is the name given in Rebellion, Part 3.
Freezing Canon Tracy's ability is explicitly listed on the file Nathan gives The President (Dual).
Future terrorist's ability Possessor The future terrorist was confirmed to be emitting a melting beam by artists Micah Gunnell and Beth Sotelo.
Gold mimicry Descriptive "Gold mimicry" describes what this ability does.
Granulation Descriptive Granulation describes what Gordon can do.
Gravitational manipulation Near-canon "Gravitational manipulation" is the ability name listed in Stephen Canfield's assignment tracker profile.
Green energy blast Secondary None
Healing Canon Hiro Nakamura calls his mother a healer (Our Father). Linda's notebook also explicitly lists Linderman's ability as "healing".
Healing touch Canon "Healing touch" is listed explicitly on Jeremy Greer's Assignment Tracker 2.0 profile (Tabula Rasa).
Health optimizing Secondary Marc is described as a "health optimizer" in his Heroes: Survival profile.
Heat generation Canon None
Illusion Canon Explicitly named by Candice in Kindred.
Image projection Descriptive "Image projection" describes all known aspects of Deitra's ability.
Impenetrable skin Canon The Haitian says that Samedi's "skin is impenetrable" (The Eclipse, Part 1).
Imprinting Common name "Imprinting" is a common name for what Joe Macon can do.
Induced radioactivity Canon "Induced Radioactivity" is explicitly named in the Genesis Files.
Inflammation Descriptive None
Intuitive aptitude Canon Explicitly named in Gabriel Gray's primatechpaper.com profile (Building 26).
Invisibility Canon Godsend refers to Claude as being invisible. Claude's Primatech file explicitly names the ability "invisibility" (From the Files of Primatech, Part 5).
Laser emission Descriptive Eric Doyle asks Michael about his lasers (Doyle).
Levitation Near-canon The introduction to History of a Secret says, "Abu Aswan has the power to levitate and move extremely heavy objects".
Lie detection Canon Sylar referred to Sue as a "lie detector" (Our Father).
Light absorption Common name Light absorption is a common name for Abe's ability.
Luke's ability Possessor None
Luminescence Common name Scientific description for glowing object.
Lung adaptation Near-canon In Berlin, Part 1, Devin describes Bianca's ability as being able to "adapt her lungs to any environment".
Magnetism Canon The Company's assignment tracker explicitly identifies the ability as "magnetism" (The Butterfly Effect).
Mass manipulation Near-canon Name of ability is specifically given in the Primatech files (From the Files of Primatech, Part 5).
Mediumship Secondary R.D. Hall called Ida May's power "mediumship" in an interview.
Melting Canon Described as "ability to melt" in Gabriel Gray's primatechpaper.com profile (Building 26).
Memory manipulation Descriptive None
Memory storage Near-canon None
Mental manipulation Near-canon René's ability is explicitly specified as mental manipulation on a Primatech ID badge in Graphic Novel:From the Files of Primatech, Part 8.
Metal mimicry Descriptive None
Microwave emission Canon Luke says his power is like a microwave (Trust and Blood).
Miko's ability Possessor None
Mist mimicry Near-canon A Matter of Trust says "He turned into mist" several times.
Nerve gas emission Near-canon Penny explicitly describes the ability as emitting "a nerve gas" in Faces, Part 1.
Nerve manipulation Descriptive None
Neurocognitive deficit Canon The term "neurocognitive deficit" is referred to in the Mozaic file (The Fix) and appears to match Anna's ability.
Non-biological duplication Secondary None
Oil secretion Descriptive None
Omnilingualism Common name None
Persuasion Canon Sylar refers to Eden's ability as "the power of persuasion" in Fallout; the power is also explicitly named in From the Files of Primatech, Part 1.
Phasing Canon Future Hiro says "D.L. can phase inside the buildings" in Five Years Gone.
Phoenix mimicry Secondary None
Plant growth Near-canon "Plant growth" is explicitly named in the chapter 1 of Purpose.
Plant manipulation Near-canon The Company's assignment tracker entry for Brendan Lewis explicitly calls his ability "plant manipulation".
Poison emission Canon Maya "emits a plague ... that makes people sick"--Tim Kring, episode commentary for The Kindness of Strangers; Maya uses the word "poison" to describe her ability in Powerless.
Possession Near-canon Claire says to Harold Esposito, "You can possess people." (Chapter 15 of Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World).
Precognition Canon Eden refers to Isaac as "the precog" in Better Halves.
Precognitive dreaming Near-canon In From the Files of Primatech, Part 1, Angela's ability is explictly listed as precognitive dreaming.
Primal rage Near-canon Explicitly named by agent Tim Pope in the second iStory chapter for Primatech.
Probability computation Near-canon None
Puppet master Canon This ability is explicitly named in Edgar's list and in Eric Doyle's Assignment Tracker 2.0.
Pyrokinesis Canon Named explicitly in Flint's Assignment Tracker 2.0 profile (The Butterfly Effect).
Rapid cell regeneration Canon "Rapid cell regeneration" is explicitly named in the Genesis Files.
Rock formation Near-canon Dearing says that Gallegos "made rocks form out of thin air" (Dirty Deeds).
Sedation Descriptive None
Seismic burst Secondary None
Shape shifting Canon Both Sylar and Danko refer to James Martin as a "shape shifter" in Into Asylum.
Shattering Secondary iStory writer Ryan Gibson Stewart stated that Pearl and Trevor have the same ability, and it is meant to be called "shattering".
Shifting Near-canon None
Size alteration Secondary Size alteration is explicitly named in Eric Lee Harrison's Heroes: Survival profile.
Sound absorption Near-canon The agent says, "My special ability. My body absorbs all sound." (Going Postal).
Sound manipulation Canon The Company's assignment tracker on Jesse states his ability is "sound manipulation" (The Butterfly Effect..
Space-time manipulation Canon Hiro's ability is explicitly listed on the file Nathan gives The President (Dual).
Spider mimicry Canon Edgar's list explicitly names Caleb's ability.
Spontaneous combustion Canon This ability is explicitly named in Edgar's list. Also, in Boom, Noah explicitly states the ability name.
Super speed Canon Hiro tells Ando that "with super speed, [Daphne] is the world's greatest thief" (The Butterfly Effect). Edgar's list also explicitly names the ability.
Supercharging Canon Ando has said that he can "supercharge" another person's ability (Brave New World).
Technopathy Near-canon "Technopathy" is explicitly named in Micah's tip on the Assignment Tracker Map.
Telekinesis Canon Claude explicitly names this ability when asks Peter "which one of your sorry friends has telekinesis?" in Unexpected.
Telepathy Canon Explicitly listed in the Mozaic file (The Fix) and on the file Nathan gives The President (Dual).
Teleportation Canon "Teleportation" is the name of a file in The Genesis Files. Additionally, the interactive map and the assignment tracker map explicitly list "teleportation" as the name of the ability. Joanne says that Tommy is a teleporter (Odessa).
Telescopic vision Near-canon "Telescopic vision" is explicitly listed on Donna's Assignment Tracker profile at primatechpaper.com.
Temporal rewind Secondary "Temporal rewind" is explicitly named on the Heroes: Survival profile of John Mulligan, a character confirmed to belong to iStory writer Zach Wilson.
Terrakinesis Near-canon None
Umbrakinesis Canon None
Wall crawling Common name This is a common name for such an ability.
Water generation Common name None
Water mimicry Near-canon Noah says the liquid man can "mimic the density of water" and "can turn his body wholly into liquid" in Team Building Exercise.
Weather control Canon Alice says she thinks she can "control the weather". (1961).


Conflicting rules/guidelines

There seems to be conflicting rules/guidelines with the naming conventions for ability names. One says along the line that the canon name should always be use, no matter what. However, another seems to says the opposite. I'm not able to get into too much detail at the moment, but I wanted the discussion to move here where it would count as oppose to it being across multiple ability talk pages. --OutbackZack 15:25, 24 December 2009 (EST)

  • The discussion started on Jeremy's ability's talk page, where it was suggested that the debate for name changes for multiple abilities (Tracy's, Ando's, Jeremy's, Edward's, etc.) should come to some sort of final conclusion here, as opposed to continuing multiple discussions over, more or less, the same issue.

I personally can see both sides of the problem, with the first saying (and this is more or less a quote by RGS, I believe) that we document the world of Heroes here, not make our own interpretations. However, the other side of the argument also has important points to make, which can be summed up in an analogy I made a while back; if Flint suddenly had developed the ability to control water as well as fire, would we keep his ability as pyrokinesis just because he had an assignment tracker (made before the development) saying so? Should ability names be kept the same even if the ability evolves to the degree where the user is able to do the exact opposite of what the name implies? Now, I'm not necessarily saying that we should change the name in that case, I'm somewhat ambivalent either way, but it is something to take into consideration. The naming conventions should be made clearer, even if not changed.--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 15:37, 24 December 2009 (EST)

  • Also, on a somewhat unrelated note, merry christmas :) (serious discussion resumes) .--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 15:40, 24 December 2009 (EST)
  • Ok, here are some problems that I can think of in a nutshell:

Accuracy: The famous "must cover all aspects rule". Essentially, it's becoming a void rule: theoretically, it should have been applied to Tracy (freezing doesn't cover water mimicry) and Jeremy's ability, but wasn't. The main problem is that it seems to conflict with the "must use canon names" rule. According to this rule, canon names should come first, period. But the "all aspects" rule says that accurate names can trump the canon hierarchy. Either we reinforce this rule or we delete it altogether, as it is conflicting with other guidelines.

Explicitness: Not mentioned by the naming conventions, but has been used to trump canon names in favour of near-canon names (see "gravitational manipulation" versus "vortex generation"). If we are going to use this criterion, it should be properly explained in the conventions. Also, we have to determine its place in the hierarchy: is explicitness more important than, say, accuracy? For instance, "healing touch" is explicitly named but is inaccurate as it does not cover all aspects of the ability: should it nonetheless be used, or is accuracy more important?

Reliability of source: Again, not mentioned in the naming conventions, but also used in naming an ability ("clairsentience" comes from Chandra, a researcher, versus "psychometry", from Peter, a layman). I don't have much to say about this right now, but we will have to discuss this too eventually.

Even if the naming conventions aren't changed, they should explain these issues better.

--Referos 15:50, 24 December 2009 (EST)

  • I am of the opinion that the "accuracy" rule should be paramount. The analogy with Flint highlights the issue perfectly for me- if we go for canon as the primary factor, we could end up in a situation where we have a name that's clearly unfit for purpose, but still use it "because it's what the writers used." And that's a ridiculous reason to decide on the basis for a name, quite frankly. What happens if the writers get a name wrong? Do we blindly stick to their name, even though it's wrong? Surely not. If we go for accuracy in naming, on the other hand, the worst that can happen is we use a name that's not been mentioned on the show. And we already do that in cases of descriptive names and "X's ability", and there's no problem with it. Why, then, is there a problem here? It is better to be accurate and non-canonical, then to blindly stick to canon and be inaccurate. In my opinion, anyway. Swm 06:01, 25 December 2009 (EST)
    • Alas, this is not an encyclopedia, and our job, as already stated, is not to make our own interpretations of what is accurate, but to chronicle the information that the show has given us. --Radicell 06:12, 25 December 2009 (EST)
      • I definitely understand that, but there are special cases. Tracy is the perfect example, we were given a canon name for her ability, but before it mutated to include new aspects. In that case, must we stick with the old outdated name event though the ability has clearly become much more? I mean, could the writer's possibly want Tracy's ability to remain "freezing"? Giving it a new name wouldn't necessarily contradict the name given.--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 07:25, 25 December 2009 (EST)
        • Well, we have an imperfect canon name "freezing" and a perfect near-canon one "water and ice manipulation". How about using only the names which fully describe the ability and are given in sources? I mean, if a better name isn't given in lower canon sources, we use what we have. However, if there's a "Flint controls water" situation... Well, we'll have to think of a better name ourselves, then. But that should only be done when we really get a contradicting situation, or there will be a risk of abusing the rule. Or -- we can simply accept it's a case of ability development and leave everything as it is. Altes 07:53, 25 December 2009 (EST)
          • I prefer your first option. I'm certainly not suggesting we make up our own names or anything like that. But what does seem best is that we use the most accurate name possible out of all the canon names given, regardless of exactly where in the canon it actually comes from. It's obviously not going to crop up too often, only in cases like Tracy's. We can only make up our own names when none of the canon names are suitable, so we would keep our own interpretation to a minimum. Swm 08:03, 25 December 2009 (EST)
            • Yep, exactly what I'm saying :) Altes 08:06, 25 December 2009 (EST)
              • I would also add that part of "chronicalling the information the show has given us" is giving information about abilities. And when giving information, it's important to be as accurate as possible. That applies to ability names as well, does it not? And besides, if we're not supposed to offer any of our own input, why do we have any descriptive names at all? Such names have nothing to do with any information given by the show. So if you want to only chronical and nothing more, those names will have to go. Swm 08:09, 25 December 2009 (EST)
                • Yes. The way I understand it, to properly document the Heroes universe, it's not only important to consider textual or oral information, but everything that it's shown (for instance, it has been visually shown that Tracy can now manipulate water, but nobody discussed this orally in the show). If we simply stick with names from documents and profiles even when they are unfit, we're only being faithful to pieces of prop, not to the show as a whole. But I think that a good compromise would be: given a set of possible names from canon, near-canon and secondary sources (but not created by fans), the one that should prevail is the one that is more accurate (or the one that is more explicit, or the one from the most reliable source...the specific hierarchy can be discussed later). The canon level criterion should come last, as having an accurate name is more faithful to the show as a whole. Then, we could discuss a specific policy to deal with extreme cases like the Flint situation.--Referos 09:37, 25 December 2009 (EST)
                    • Very well put, and I agree with this method also. However, what do we do when we have an outdated name for an ability (the ability has evolved since being named), and we're never given a new name from any canon source? --OutbackZack 11:45, 25 December 2009 (EST)
  • We'd have to use the only canon name we had, I think. But given GN's are released every weak, I doubt that such a situation would last very long, unless the character was killed. If so, we'd just have to use what we had. Swm 11:47, 25 December 2009 (EST)
    • Now let's take Jeremy's case. Given a name for an ability. The ability became something different making the name outdated. Noah describes the ability different than the name given; however, no new name is given. So do we keep it as the same name or do we make a new name base on the new description? --OutbackZack 11:53, 25 December 2009 (EST)
      • People aren't sure whether he did give another name for Jeremy's power- Life and Death. There's a debate about it on his page. In cases like you suggest, we'd probably improvise a name based on the description given. Swm 11:59, 25 December 2009 (EST)
        • The name given by Noah is very descriptive, like lightning or healing. "Life flow control" isn't good either because Noah attributed it to that Chinese woman, not Jeremy. If we don't accept "healing touch", then Jeremy's ability is the only valid name we have. -- Altes 12:22, 25 December 2009 (EST)
          • The counter point I can make with that is that we consider both the Chinese woman and Jeremy to have the same ability. So what was describe for the Chinese woman would apply to Jeremy. Also, Jeremy's ability is ONLY used when we don't or can't create a non speculative descriptive name. Which I'm sure we can do. --OutbackZack 12:56, 25 December 2009 (EST)
  • I've made a draft for a possible change in the naming conventions so that we have a concrete example in order to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses.--Referos 18:28, 25 December 2009 (EST)
  • As several people (particularly Radicell) have pointed out, we are not an encyclopedia. Our job is not to make assumptions beyond what the show tells us. If we are given a name for an ability on the show, it is canon and we need to stick to that. Even if all aspects of an ability are not present in the name, if the show gives us a name, we need to uphold that name. --Ricard Desi (t,c) 23:02, 25 December 2009 (EST)
    • The naming conventions say otherwise, hence the "aspects of an ability" rule. If that's truly what our role is should be, it needs changing, but until that time, there's a debate to be had. Again, if our job is not to make any assumptions, then all of our descriptive names must go and be reverted to "X's ability" if no canon one exists, if you want to be consistant. And I'm willing to bet nobody wants that. Are you seriously suggesting that once we're given a name for a power, that we should keep that name forever, regardless of what happens to the power itself? That seems illogical to me, as names can easily become out of date. If a name is (or becomes) wrong or otherwise unfit for purpose, as it is with Tracy and Jeremy, the name should be changed, regardless of whether it's canon or not. Otherwise you risk ridiculous cases like the "Flint who can control water" situation. Besides, it's not just verbal information that needs to be taken into account here. For example, the show has already told us that Tracy's power is no longer Freezing, it's just not been actually said by anyone. When it's so glaring obvious that the power has changed (compare any other known freezer to Tracy), having to wait for someone to admit it on-screen before we can change it seems unneccessary to me. If you want to chronicle information about the show, you want to do so accurately, otherwise this wiki is pointless. Part of recording information about the show is recording information about the character's abilities, including their names. Therefore, you want to be as accurate as possible regarding the character's names, even where it contradicts what is strictly canon. Swm 06:06, 26 December 2009 (EST)
      • Exactly. The fact that the "all aspects" rule exists means that we're actually supposed to care for a name's accuracy, at least when the naming conventions were initially conceived.--Referos 12:50, 26 December 2009 (EST)
  • Bump, as these issues have to be resolved even if the naming conventions remain unaltered--Referos 18:14, 28 December 2009 (EST)
        • My opinions were already stated here by someone else, I support the changing of the policy to give greater importance to accuracy instead of canon level source. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 19:00, 28 December 2009 (EST)
          • I have the same story as IE. --Skullman1392 19:33, 28 December 2009 (EST)
            • Disagree. It's not our job to speculate, that's what Theory pages are for. This wiki is here to chronicle information given to us by the show. Canon sources are paramount. --Ricard Desi (t,c) 01:56, 29 December 2009 (EST)
              • "Information given to us by the show" means far more then just strict names. It's everything we watch on TV, read in the GN's, etc. If we come up with a name literally based on what we see (example: Water Manipulation for Tracy), that's not speculation, that's us chronicalling what we've been shown. In fact, keeping the name Freezing for her ability is actually the opposite of what you claim to want, because you're blatantly ignoring the evolution of her power that's been clearly documented in canon, but not verbally acknowledged. The same applies to Jeremy- the show has shown us that he can heal, and that he can kill. If we have a name to that effect, we are not speculating. By being as accurate as possible in naming, we are actually respecting the canon (that is to say, everything we've been shown, past and present), far more then if we keep the literal but outdated names from previous Volumes. Swm 06:51, 29 December 2009 (EST)
                • Actually, until a canon source tells us so, it's speculative to suggest these power names are not still accurate. The writers have said outright that people manifest abilities in different ways. To counterpoint Tracy's ability name as "water and ice manipulation", I would like to note that Tracy does not, in fact, manipulate water. She turns herself into a water-like liquid, and mimics water (but not actually water, also confirmed by the writers). So now we have a near-canon name that is outright incorrect from the get-go. Until a canon source tells us the name is something different, it is not our job to show otherwise. Differences or abnormalities in abilities can be listed on the page itself, perhaps even with a note saying "while Tracy's ability is determined to be freezing, she seems to have levels of control over her own body that other users have not displayed." --Ricard Desi (t,c) 12:04, 29 December 2009 (EST)
                    • What about Noah's car? She's shown standing outside it while it fills up in the Ice Queen graphic novels, meaning it wasn't her own water (or self) that did that. Hence, she could manipulate water as well as mimic it. Also, there's the great big geyser she makes erupt from under the desert in Prodigals, Part 3. If she could only mimic a water-like substance, there's no way she could do that. Swm 12:08, 29 December 2009 (EST)
                  • For "freezing" to be still accurate, it would need to cover the water manipulation aspect. There might be a viable reason for how Tracy can manipulate water by using her core of ability to freeze things, but this is unconfirmed and so equally speculative (compare with induced radioactivty: Ted could release EM radiation, but this was confirmed to be related to his core ability to manipulate nuclear reactions, so the name's still accurate).--Referos 12:52, 29 December 2009 (EST)
                    • Wouldn't it be the other way around? The reason she can freeze things is because of her core ability to manipulate water, as part of that is dropping its temperature. It seems more logical then to say she can manipulate water in other ways because she can drop its temperature. One's an aspect of the other, but it doesn't work in reverse. Swm 13:01, 29 December 2009 (EST)
  • For the people who are opposing changes in the naming conventions, could you please take a look at this proposal? I hope it establishes a compromise between having the highest canon level and the best accuracy.--Referos 09:29, 29 December 2009 (EST)

This is not a matter of accuracy vs. canonicity. For a wiki such as this one, accurate is synonymous with canon. This is a matter of canon accuracy (or rather canon completeness) and using a name that canonically someone uses. What's canon is that the ability both heals and kills through touch, and that the Company called it "healing touch" (when they thought that was all Jeremy did). What's not canon is the notion that the ability "should" primarily be called this.

Using the Company's name "healing touch" for Jeremy's is not fitting for us, seeing as we obviously aren't using the entire naming system that name is supposed to fit into. (Do you really think the Company adds the word "touch" to distinguish it from the ability from the ability to heal but kill through touch?) - Josh (talk/contribs) 05:44, 9 January 2010 (EST)

    • Someone above said that we must consider all information given to us, not just textual or oral. I know that previously I would agree with this, but now I'm going to have to disagree. We don't throw the unique factors of someone's ability out the window when placing it under a name that some may consider inappropriate, we list it under the limits section. If all of the effects of someone's ability are listed then the ability is properly documented, so we don't have to change a name and risk being wrong.--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 13:26, 9 January 2010 (EST)
      • But if the name we decide upon is taken from what we've been shown, even if we come up with it ourselves, how can it be wrong? Look at Tracy for example. The show has shown us she can control water. If we dub her name "Water Manipulation" as a result, that name is not speculative, and can't be said to be wrong. There's no risk involved. Swm 14:15, 9 January 2010 (EST)
        • However, to do that would be to say that the information presented in Nathan's files is outright wrong, without an equivalent source telling us otherwise. --Ricard Desi (t,c) 15:04, 9 January 2010 (EST)
          • On the contrary. Nathan's files came from an episode. The information telling us Tracy's ability is no longer just Freezing also comes from an episode. The sources are equally valid, because it's the same source. Swm 15:06, 9 January 2010 (EST)
            • But none outright said "Tracy's ability is no longer freezing". If we come up with a name ourselves, we may be putting words in the writer's mouths. Do the writer's want her ability to remain "freezing"? Maybe not, but maybe they do. It would be illogical, but we are not supposed to make decisions for them. There is a possibility they want it to remain "freezing".--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 15:10, 9 January 2010 (EST)
              • There's also a possibility that the writers want Cloaking, Ability Replication, and every other descriptive name on this site to be called something other then what we call it. Yet we have no problem picking an original, accurate name for these cases despite the fact it's not been used by the writers. So why is it an issue here? We're doing the exact same thing. Besides, if the writers had wanted Tracy's power to be simply freezing, surely it never would have evolved in the first place? Swm 15:16, 9 January 2010 (EST)
                • We're not doing the same thing here, because no explicit name was given for cloaking or ability replication. Freezing was given as a name for the ability explicitly in the show. Also, it's an assumption to say that if the writers wanted Tracy's power to be simply freezing it wouldn't evolve in the first place. It's probably correct, but we don't know for sure. So we can't change it.--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 15:23, 9 January 2010 (EST)
                  • Something people seem to be forgetting is that there is time in the Heroes universe. Aside from dates and ages (tons of inconsistencies to make it work), if we have conflicting canon sources, the most current ones should be used. When Tracy first appeared, she had freezing, ok. Then, we saw that she could turn into water. We've been given "water and ice manipulation" in a Graphic Novel. Now for the sake of argument, let's say that when Tracy was first introduced, she could already turn into water and knew about it, and we would have been given the same name. If we found out that she was once bagged and tagged in the past, and her AT said that in some point in the past she could only freeze things and had her ability named "freezing", would we change the ability name to that? Of course not! It's the same thing with Jeremy. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 16:07, 9 January 2010 (EST)
  • Ah, but that argument works both ways, PJDEP. If the name we use doesn't matter as long as everything's properly documented in article itself...then what's the harm in calling the article something that's not been used in the show? All the information within it will still be true and so correct any initial confusion the name gives, and since the name is the most accurate possible, we're better off overall. I agree completely with Empath. And further, I would argue the cases are exactly the same- in both, we are coming up with a descriptive, original name that describes the parameters of the ability as well as possible. This is true regardless of whether or not an existing canon name has been given in the past. For me, it's very simple- either we are allowed to speculate regarding these names (in which case, there is no harm in changing them when they become outdated), or we are not (in which case all current descriptive names, which are speculative, must go and be replaced with X's ability- which nobody wants). Which is it? Swm 06:16, 10 January 2010 (EST)
    • I'll say it again, most descriptive names are a different case because there was no name explicitly given by the writers, we aren't contradicting anything by coming up with those names. However, with Jeremy's and Tracy's ability, we were given names for those abilities in the show itself. Documenting the limits of an ability does not contradict anything, but giving the ability a new name, even if it makes all the sense in the world, may be contradicting a canon source. Can anyone here say for sure that the writers don't want Jeremy's ability to be healing touch? We can't, and thus, we cannot change the name. I'd love to change it to something more accurate, but we risk being speculative by doing that. And IE, if you still think the names "freezing" and "healing touch" are in consensus, please see the most recent discussion on the latter's talk page.--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 09:44, 10 January 2010 (EST)
      • "The writers gave us a name. We have not had an explicit statement that that name is now wrong, therefore we must keep using it, even in the face of blatant, but non-explicit evidence that suggests it is." I am sorry, but I do not think that this is a good argument. If the contradicted canon source is out of date (which both Jeremy and Tracy's are- Jeremy's AT was taken when they mistook his ability for something else, and Nathan's file on Tracy before she developed the capacity to mimic water), then that source should be ignored. Look it at this way- let's say we change Tracy's ability to Water Manipulation, and in tomorrow's episode we get a very clear statement that it's still Freezing. We would have been wrong to move it, but we can justifiably say "the ability no longer looked like Freezing, so we chose the name that fitted best with all the information we had." Now take the reverse angle- if Tracy's ability is confirmed to be something else tomorrow, what's our justification for having kept it the same? "We couldn't use any information that's not directly spelt out for us?" The former of these two seems a perfectly logical justification, while the latter seems faintly ridiculous. The writers cannot be asked or relied upon to give us an explicit, accurate name for every ability as it is introduced or develops. Where they are given, we should use them, certainly. But when they are not, it's more respectful to the canon of the show as a whole to create and use our own, even if they contradict a canon name that's no longer fit for purpose. Swm 10:02, 10 January 2010 (EST)
        • Swm, I'll ask again, can you tell me with 100% certainty that the writers no longer want Tracy's ability to remain freezing? Yes, most evidence suggests that the ability name has changed, but we don't know for sure. Therefore, changing the ability name to something like "water manipulation" may be inaccurate. We can't say for sure that the names were given when there was no plan for Tracy's ability to evolve. Besides possibly not covering the freezing aspect of her ability, we don't know if that's what the writers intended, and may be shoving words in their mouths. We choose descriptive names when no other source is available. That is NOT the case with Jeremy and Tracy.--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 12:09, 10 January 2010 (EST)
          • No, I can't. But my argument is aimed at showing that requiring such a gurantee before changing anything is unneccessary and counter-productive. Yes, calling Tracy's ability by something not used in the show may be inaccurate. I get that. But as I said before, if it is inaccurate, it is so in spite of what we have been shown. We are blameless in that case because we chose the best name that we could with the information we had. Are you seriously arguing that, unless it's 100% certain that the writers want it to be called something else (i.e. they name it anew), we can't change it? Even though the writers are human, make mistakes, and may in some instances get an ability name outright wrong? I refer again to the "Flint who can control water" case to illustrate the point. Flint's ability was well documented as being pyrokinesis. But if he suddenly manifested the ability to control water/earth/air/etc as well, but nobody ever gave it a new name, are you seriously suggesting the right thing to do would be to keep the old name, even if it's blatantly wrong, because "we're not 100% certain the writers want it changed?" If you aren't, you shouldn't oppose a change in Tracy's name, because it's exactly the same case (the name is no longer suitable, but we lack explicit evidence the power is not that name). And if you are, then you are doing a disservice to a huge chunk of canon- that being, everything that's not an explicit name for an ability. It's clear what action should be taken in cases like that, and since Tracy's case is the same, the same point stands here. Swm 12:30, 10 January 2010 (EST)
            • PJDEP, when did I say that freezing and healing touch were consensus? I don't remember saying that. And if we do name an ability and it changes again, as we can see by this heated debate (heated as in active, not as in angry), we are very concerned about how we do it, and if required, we will rename the ability. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:28, 10 January 2010 (EST)
              • "Ok, something I find really annoying in this whole discussion: people keep using examples, such as Tracy, to justify inaccurate names. THE TRACY MATTER IS STILL IN DISCUSSION MUCH LIKE THIS ONE. Just because we haven't reached a conclusion it doesn't mean that the current situation is the consensus. This goes for every ability we have an issue with effects and name. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 15:38, 9 January 2010 (EST)".--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 17:49, 10 January 2010 (EST)
                • Freezing is a consensus, but an outdated one, hence the current discussion. Tracy's ability had a stable name for a while, something Jeremy didn't, the name vs effects thing happened with him the moment he appeared, unlike Tracy. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 18:13, 10 January 2010 (EST)
              • I just want to clarify, I'm not saying that any of the arguments above are ridiculous, at this point I'm simply offering a counter-argument.--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 18:35, 10 January 2010 (EST)
                • I've been thinking about this, and now I think that the "we can only use information that's explicitly confirmed by the writers", while certainly valid for the majority of cases, is, in the end, untrue. The sheer fact is that we always, absolutely always, speculate; the mere fact of adding information to the wiki is speculative. Let me explain with this thought experiment: Consider any scene in which Claire appears. For the sake of argument, let's consider the scene with Claire and Peter cutting vegetables from Let It Bleed. Can you, with 100% certainty, prove that it was indeed Claire, and not a shapeshifted-who-collected-memories Sylar? You can't, because this was never explicitly confirmed by anyone. Adding to the wiki that Claire, and not Sylar, appeared, is a form of speculation if we only consider explicit information. Yet, I'm completely sure that everyone would think it's silly to really think that Sylar appeared. This "speculation" is safe since it's beyond reasonable doubt. Now, consider a different situation: assume that, this time, Sylar is posing as Claire. This is clear beyond reasonable doubt to the audience (e.g., two Claires appeared in the same scene, the one assumed to be Sylar used telekinesis, etc), but wasn't explicitly confirmed (i.e., nobody said "Sylar is posing as Claire!" and Sylar didn't shapeshift back to his true form). Again, by the logic of the "we only work with explicit information", it would be speculative to say that it was indeed Sylar; but, again, I think everyone would agree that's okay to say that it was Sylar. Proof that we do this: we claim Peter replicated West's power without true confirmation, based solely on subtleties in his conversation with Claire. So, essentially, we don't need explicit confirmation -- we can and do base our decisions on non-textual information. --Referos 20:36, 10 January 2010 (EST)
                    • But we don't assume in spite of information explicitly given. For example, Claire was not confirmed one way or another to be the actual Claire (although it's fairly obvious). However, if we were later told that Claire was actually a shape-shifted Sylar in that particular scene, regardless of whether it made sense or not, we'd state that in the article. It's the same idea with level 5 ability names, the names may be speculative (The Haitian may manipulate the adrenal glands or something to make the mind forget, or Tom may actually be only able to disintegrate ceramic objects), but since it was not clarified either way, we do our best to come up with a name based on what information we have. We only speculate in cases where explicit information is not available. That isn't the case with Jeremy's or Tracy's ability.--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 22:04, 10 January 2010 (EST)
                      • I repeat the argument I made in italics above, because you're still appealing to it, and it still looks ridiculous. What you appear to be saying (and correct me if I'm wrong) is that an explicit name is always correct (and so should be used) unless overruled by a newer, but also explicit name. The collorary of this is that an explicit name is always better than a non-explicit name, even if the explict name is completely unfit for describing the ability and the non-explicit name is perfect. This is why we cannot assume things that contradict an explicit source, even if the canon itself contradicts the explicit name. I spy a contradiction in itself here- the claim is that we are nothing more then documentors of canon, and so we cannot speculate. But when the canon itself changes, as it seems unreasonable to doubt it has in cases like Tracy and Jeremy, we can't change the ability name to something that directly reflects this? Surely if we are documenting the canon, and canon applies to everything we view in an episode, this should apply to the ability name as well? The initial premises of the argument I outline above are also faulty- it doesn't follow that simply because a name is explicit, that it's "better" at doing the job it's supposed to do- i.e. giving a name to an ability. I shouldn't have to point out again how counter-intuitive this logic is when it leads to cases like "Flint controlling water" (which I'm still curious about your answer on- would it still be wrong for us to speculate when the error was so blatant?)The best name is the one that describes the ability the best, explicit or not. Swm 06:11, 11 January 2010 (EST)
                        • If you're resorting to calling my argument ridiculous you're either running out of points or are becoming slightly immature after hours of debate. I'm going to assume that latter, but correct me if I'm wrong. I'd also love it if my analogies weren't used against me, but that's my own fault. Speaking of the analogy, a slightly varied version was created by a user about a year ago, where someone asked an admin what they would do if Flint's ability was listed as "cryokinesis" as opposed to "pyrokinesis". It's a similar situation to what you're proposing above, and the admin responded with more or less the same response I've been reiterating on this page over the last week. Here's a link if you're interested. I share this with you not only to support my argument, but to prove that this issue has been contested several times over in the past, and has not led to much of a change. While that doesn't mean that any motion made after is invalid, you should probably become familiar with what has already been argued in the past. And to answer your question (again), if Flint had suddenly been able to control water, I'd vote to keep his ability as pyrokinesis because we can't assume that the company did not know that before naming his ability, because 1) None of us know exactly what's going through the writers heads when they name these abilities, and 2)It's not our place. We are not here to create our own ability names, that is something we do when no higher-ranking names are available. We are here to document what has occurred on the show, which does NOT include speculation contradicting the show itself--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 14:58, 11 January 2010 (EST)
                          • But we are not creating our own names. Jeremy's power could be renamed to "life and death" or "life flow control", which came from the show. Tracy's ability was also named "water and ice manipulation". Why stick with inaccurate names if the writers themselves gave us better names? For instance, the entire idea that canon should always trump near-canon or secondary sources was completely created by us! As you said, we cannot know what's going in the writer's head, so how do we even know that, in case of contradiction, an episode should trump a graphic novel, for instance? Perhaps the writers want use an interview or a GN to correct something shown in an episode, while being subtle about it (since explicit retconning is often awkward). That's why I think this entire criterion that we use (canon>near-canon>secondary) is sometimes problematic. Nobody ever actually say that we should use this criterion; as far as we know, the writers treat everything equally: episodes, GNs, interviews, iStory, etc. Agree, we shouln't be creating names when the writers give them to us -- but if there's possible valid names from canon, near-canon or secondary sources (such as in the case of Jeremy and Tracy), we should choose the best name based on other factors than simply "oh, this was given in an episode; this was given in a graphic novel".--Referos 11:55, 12 January 2010 (EST)
                            • I apologise for that, PJ. It was unneeded. I see the similar criticism and response has been outlined before, and I thank you for the link. I do not, however, see anything in that discussion as to why we should keep using the older names except "The Company (and by extension the writers) used this name, so we must use it too." This is just an appeal to authority, and as such is only as strong as the authority is wise. Where the authority is mistaken, its judgements no longer have any reason to be obeyed. In other words, when the writers get an ability name wrong, we have no reason to imitate their mistake. Further, to respond to your points: No, we do not have access to the writer's thought processes in naming their powers, less so now then we ever did since Behind the Eclipse vanished. But my argument is that we should not need an explicit statement from them (which cannot be relied upon to be given) to document what has been clearly shown in the canon of the series. And I would further argue that it is our place to do what I suggest, because our place is to document the canon. The canon says beyond reasonable doubt that Tracy's ability isn't just Freezing anymore (for example). Therefore, we should, in our role as documenters, document this development and change the ability name to reflect it. If we've got another canon name to use (as Referos points out), we should use that. If not, then an ability name derived directly from the current information presented to us is still better than an ability name that is canonical, but unfit for purpose, where "better" is understood as "a more accurate documentation of the canon." And this understanding you should accept, because you've been arguing all along that we should aim to document the canon as fully and accurately as possible. Therefore, it follows that we shouldn't keep a name that is no longer an accurate moniker for a power, regardless of the alternatives (or lack thereof) avaliable to us. Swm 14:30, 12 January 2010 (EST)
                              • Don't worry about it Swm, I was slightly rude in my response as well and I'm sorry if I came across as tense. After such a large amount of debate, I think we're going to have to agree to disagree, I have my views and you have yours. I understand your arguments and why you support them, and I'll leave it at that, I just wanted to add some counter-arguments. I wish you luck in your efforts :)--PJDEP - Need further explanation? 17:04, 12 January 2010 (EST)
      • With regards to the idea that we cannot speculate at all...Referos makes an excellent point. We do speculate on things, and the idea that Peter got his flight from West is a great example. There is nothing in canon that explicitly states this...it's just our logical assumption based on him asking Claire if she still talks to West.
        The bottom line is that, at times, we have to make decisions, as a community, because we are not given all of the information (eg - mental manipulation), or because we have information that is unclear or can be interpreted in various ways (eg - Siren's song being a name or not), or we have direct contradictions of the same canonicity (eg - can EH's with RCR be permanently killed?). When these situations occur we have to either speculate or be vague. The idea, I think, is to keep the speculating to a minimum, only using it when necessary, and not let it get in the way with what we see and hear, which is another point I agree with...canon is not just what we hear, it is also what we see.
        To be honest, while the naming convention guidelines are a good framework, I think they need to be redone and be MUCH more detailed to address what we're given. The show has evolved so much that adaptations need to be made. One thing would be to expand the section that differentiates between naming and descriptions, and list where each falls (it may very well be that canon descriptions would be second behind canon explicit naming, but that brings the non-canon AT's into question). We should also have a master list of everyone in the Heroes Universe in terms of expertise, so we know whose opinions trump whose (even if you had a more general tiering system...like having the top bunch separated and then everyone who was a 'know-nothing' equal). --Stevehim 20:34, 10 February 2010 (EST)
        • We need more flexibility to better adjust to new, unusual, and nasty situations. We need to balance canonicity and accuracy. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 20:38, 10 February 2010 (EST)
          • Very much agreed. Here's an example, since Tracy is being discussed a lot. We were given freezing as her ability...then she manifested water manipulation. Some are claiming that we have no choice but to stick with freezing, despite it not being entirely accurate, because that's what we saw onscreen. Well, what if Tracy suddenly, on her own, stopped time and then teleported to Cairo? Are we still forced to stick with freezing and list STM as an aspect of Freezing in the limits section? It's the same thing as water manipulation....it's just that water manipulation seems closer to freezing than STM does, so people can accept that it's just part of her ability, whereas I imagine if she suddenly stopped time there would be a massive movement to change her ability name or give her a second one. But that is speculative, far moreso imo, than speculating that her power changed when she was shot through the head. --Stevehim 20:49, 10 February 2010 (EST)
            • Here's an idea. Currently, there are six tiers, divided in two categories. There is a hierarchy between all six. Let there still be six tiers, but make canon, near canon and secondary have the same "strength" and put them as preferable over the other three. This way there is still a preference for canon and near canon names. GNs, webisodes and iStories are ways to expand the universe. Say that one these is used to retcon or better explain something that isn't clear or is confuse in the show. Saying "if episode, only episode" is denying that expansion, and making the writers waste time needed to develop plots to resolve minutia. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 18:38, 11 February 2010 (EST)
              • Something else I've noticed. In cases where the ability isn't explicitly named, the first name used for it is generally the one kept if there is nothing controversial about the source of its name. In abilities that are hard to name due to lack of clarity on how it works and what it can do, or the source of the name, the first name lingers for quite a while until it is changed. To avoid naming disputes, I think that if an ability has the potential to have those naming disputes, it should have the default X's ability, so that it can be properly discussed before a "first namer" sets in. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 16:54, 12 February 2010 (EST)
                • I agree. I'd almost say we extend that further and, unless we have an explicit name from somewhere, start all new abilities as X's ability until we can hash out what it should be. --Stevehim 17:55, 12 February 2010 (EST)

Links to rules and discussions

I just wanted to start a section collecting links and quotes to rule clarifications or discussions about rules with regards to naming conventions. Please add any you feel at all relevant to the topic, and maybe we can supplement the article page to make things a bit clearer.

There was a good deal of discussion, involving most of the admins as well, about naming conventions on this page. I haven't had time to sift through the entire thing yet, but here is one quote I find relevant to the issue of clarifying naming conventions:

At the very least there certainly has to be a consensus among reasonable people that the name should be changed. By default (i.e. without full consensus) we keep the name we're given, but if there's full consensus then it could be renamed. Without getting into a matter of policy, full consensus can override policy since it reflects a unanimous view of the people here which is ultimately the most important thing. But without consensus (which I define as agreement among reasonable people to at least not disagree) we'd stick to the naming convention so we'd use the exact name we're given. (Admin 01:35, 22 November 2008 (EST))' --Stevehim 00:19, 12 February 2010 (EST)


From Siren song discussion:

Explicitly named abilities would include anything from the Assignment Tracker profiles. Nathan's files and Edgar's list also explicitly name abilities. So do the Genesis files. When Mohinder told Monica, "You're the first we've met with adoptive muscle memory," and Monica replied, "So that's what it's called," that was explicit. However, similes, metaphors, and comparisons are not explicit. They serve as excellent touchstones and have helped name abilities very often, but they would be overruled if we ever had a more explicit name for an ability—like, if the name of the ability was listed somewhere in a form, or as a title, or somebody used the ability's name. "Siren song" is a good example of a name used from Samuel's comparison, when he says that Emma's ability is "like a siren song." He never names her ability, but he gives us a comparison that we can turn into a name.

To make the point a little differently, we could take Samuel's quote and make the ability name "song of the siren" if we wanted. However, the minute we are given something explicit (like an Assignment Tracker), we would use whatever is listed there. If Emma's AT listed her ability as "siren music" that's what we would use, regardless of what Samuel said. Hope that makes sense about the "wiggle room"... — RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 12:26, 12 February 2010 (EST)

"Siren song" (or "sirens' song" or any other way it can be spelled) is neither a description of the ability or an explicit naming of the ability. It's a metaphoric comparison of Emma's ability to an actual Greek myth. For our purposes, it describes the ability well...until we are given an explicit name for the ability. To answer your question, though, a description given in a canon source does not trump an explicit name given in a near-canon source. For instance, in chapter 2 of Operation Splinter, Tim Pope explicitly names Red Eye's ability as "primal rage". Now, if Red Eye were ever to appear on the show and somebody were to describe his ability (like "Did you see that guy? He was suppressing everybody's subconscious!" or "I was so scared when he cast feelings of anger upon me!"), we wouldn't use a descriptive term (like "subconscious suppression" or "anger casting") because we've already been given an explicit name for the ability, regardless of the in-world source from which it came. (GN intros aren't part of the GN, by the way—they're not considered a canon or near-canon source.) Hope that all makes sense...In short, explicitness trumps all. — RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 15:04, 12 February 2010 (EST) --Stevehim 15:52, 12 February 2010 (EST)