Abbé B—, who came from R— in Italy
April 7, 2009 2:24 PM Subscribe
Say I'm writing a story and I want to emulate the old practice of referring to proper nouns by initials: i.e. Dr. M— from the town of S—. Where and when did this start? Why did they do this? (It hides the person's name, but from the author's perspective, is it to give his story an air of veracity, as with Defoe and Cervantes's works?) Would some names remain hidden and others not? Do I hide the last name only? If a man came from Monte Cristo, would I write M— C— or simply M—? I want as much information on this as possible. The name of this practice, if there is one, might be useful.
posted by Busoni to Writing & Language (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite