Thursday September 14, 2006

Goodbye, Xena...

...hail Eris!  (And all hail Dysnomia, too.)

Eris seems like a fitting name for the object that triggered the Great Planet Debate.  Do you think it would be appropriate to start Google-bombing its Wikipedia page with the phrase planet Eris?  Or would that be sowing too much discord?

[Update:  Oh, I just got the joke.  Dysnomia is named after the daughter of Eris, but the Greek word dysnomia means 'lawlessness'.  How much you want to bet that's a Xena reference?]

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The New York Times article suggests so:

The moon is now officially named Dysnomia, after Eris’ daughter, a demon spirit of lawlessness. That name is also, in part, a nod to Xena fans. Xena was played by Lucy Lawless.

Posted by: Dave Menendez at Sep 15, 2006 12:53:01 AM

And see Language Log.

Posted by: language hat at Sep 15, 2006 5:33:23 AM

Per Bad Astronomy, the official word from the namers is that Dysnomia was one of several names suggested, and when they discovered that it meant 'lawlessness' as well, it was a shoe-in.

So, it wasn't intentional, but they knew about it when they made the decision.

Posted by: Xanthir, FCD at Oct 2, 2006 4:43:51 PM