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12 Subjects We Didn't Realize Had Their Own Fan Fiction

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After we stumbled across some Bill Nye fan fiction, we decided to plumb the depths of and the rest of the internet to see what else is out there. Here are some of the weirdest fan fiction subjects we could find. And this is only the beginning. (Click at your own risk—here be smut!)

1. Pong

Think there couldn’t possibly be fan fiction about a set of paddles and a ball bouncing around on a black screen? Think again. has 114 fanfics—not counting crossovers—devoted to this 1972 video game. Some writers express disbelief that there’s a Pong category; others embrace it with relish. A few standout stories:

“The Last Chance” — Imprisoned and exhausted, Ball knows he has only one chance to escape.

“Blood and Thunder” — The arena roars in anticipation of the battle of a lifetime. Two titans clash, one will fall, one will triumph. Don't miss out on this epic of bloody, thunderous proportions. You'll regret it. No, really.

“PONG: A Curse” — A man has been playing Pong for his entire life ever since he was six. He is in a way cursed to play it. But one day, he meets a woman and falls in love with her. Will love lift the curse?

“A Day in Pong” — At an old beat-up arcade cabinet, the two paddles and the ball remember the good old times when they were the popular ones. Wait...why does Pong have a category, and why did I write this?

If video game fanfic is your thing, you might want to check out the Guitar Hero stories.


Buckle your seatbelts: NASCAR fan fiction isn’t so much about changing a tire at breakneck speed as it is about romancing the racecar driver of your choosing. There are at least two main sites: FanFicNation—“NASCAR fan fiction community where NASCAR fans of all drivers can come together to read, write, discuss, and giggle about their favorite drivers. It doesn't matter if it's Tony Stewart or Brian Vickers, you can find your driver here”—and Loose Lugs: “Why 'Loose Lugs' you ask? Well, to begin with, we're all a little off our rocker arms to read and write stories based on racecar drivers! How many times have you heard a driver shout 'I've got a vibration!'? And what's usually the cause of said vibration? Yep, loose lugs. Besides, it's sorta cool to call each other 'lugnut.’”

3. Classic Literature

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Ever wonder what might have happened after the ending of that classic book you read in 10th grade English class? The internet has every possible answer. On you can find 458 stories about To Kill A Mockingbird, 169 stories about Of Mice and Men (what would Steinbeck think?!), and 110 stores about The Crucible. Some fanfic about these books that you might want to read, based on description alone:

“Tales of a Fourth Grade Lovely” — Now in fourth grade, Scout's getting prettier and making more friends. However, a lot of them are boys. Yet she promises to be Dill's forever. But can she keep her promise?

“And I Get to Tend To the Rabbits” — George and Lennie meet again after George dies.

“The Ballad of Curley’s Wife Call Me Maybe” — Just a little musical interlude, Curley's Wife sings about how she met Curley

“Futuristic Assassinating Lover” — My name is Angel and I'm on a mission. I must go back in time to the Crucible and change it. Abigail Williams must die. Got the title from Katy Perry, but this is NOT a songfic. it's futuristic though... meaning time travel.

"God is Just A Bit Sick and Twisted" — Title says all.The Truth behind how Lucifer was really born.A short story on why the Salem witch-hunts occurred. crackfic. warning: a bit of sugar induced blasphemy.

Head over to the Books forum to find more literary fanfic.

4. TV Commercials

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Sometimes, a TV commercial leaves you wanting. So head on over to this forum, which is devoted to the post-commercial lives of iconic advertisement characters and more. A few of the more ridiculously enjoyable stories (at least judging by their descriptions):

"That's Why Trix Are For Kids" — The Trix rabbit longs for a bowl, a spoon, a taste. When he finally has an opportunity, what will the consequences be if he attains his prize? Both humor and tragedy, but isn't that the way of the rabbit's life?

"Activio" — "I should be studying, I should be studying" 4 bonus points if you get this. Rated K for weirdness, and stuck in the "Drama" genre because there is nothing more dramatic than irregularity.

"Folger's House" — The commercial with the couple? From the 1980's? I'm ending it my way.

"I Hate The Snuggie" — This is what I think of the Snuggie commercial. Please R&R! Flames are not appreciated.

5. Kevin Smith

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Smith's fans are busy creating homages to his work—including Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Mall Rats— in fanfic forums. For example:

"Cheer Up, Silent Bob" — Sing to the tune of "Daydream Believer" by The Monkees

"Haikus for Clerks" — Just like the title. A small collection of short, pointless haikus for Clerks and maybe Clerks 2.

"Jay & Silent Bob Visit the Magical World of Disney" — While visiting Disneyworld, our favorite drug dealers come across a portal to another world while following what appeared to be a mining dwarf. They end up in a world full of princes, princesses, and talking animals and objects. As they travel, they soon realize that their supply of pot is running low. How will Jay and Silent Bob survive with less than a pound of weed while trying to help the heroines with their quest to marry the man of their dreams?

6. Ancient Literature

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Interested in the continuing adventures of your favorite Norse gods, Biblical heroes, or ancient Greeks? There's fanfic for that!

"Bailing Yourself Out With A Straw" — Jesus and the disciples and the women drive around America in a multicolored minibus.

"Digestives of Troy" — Biscuits, always a vital part of life, have been mysteriously omitted from the Iliad. I blame later editing. But what if they were included once more...?

"The Daughter of Apollo" — What happens when the daughter of Apollo is allowed to fight in the Trojan War? Warning: Contains a lot of mythological inconsistancies and chronological errors.This is done on purpose.

"The Raven and The Milkmaid" — Freyja's necklace has been stolen, Heimdall is on the hunt for Loki, and Sigyn is just trying to milk the cows in peace. And maybe outsmart a trickster while she's at it.

"Sins of the Father" — Are monsters born or are they made? This is the story of the Norse serpent god, Jormungund, and how he fell.

BuzzFeed has also gathered some of the saucier Biblical fanfic for your reading, um, pleasure.

7. Kids' Television Shows

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This, in my opinion, is the weirdest category on this list. Why would anyone want to write fan fiction about Dora the Explorer and Thomas the Tank Engine, among other kids' shows? To be fair, I haven't seen Thomas since Ringo was conductor, so maybe there's something I'm missing. But here are a few examples that show just how weird kids' television fanfic (or in Dora's case, hatefic) can get:


"A Typical Day for Dora" — A typical day in Dora's adventuring life. Yes, it does include the farting Maps, giant poop and a weird gizmo... Note: Rated for VIOLENCE and LANGUAGE. Not for Dora-lovers!

"Steamies vs. Diesels: Dawn of the Rebellion" — A humanised story about a war between the Steamies and the Diesel. An evil empire donimates the world and a small band of rebels fight for freedom and to end its tryanny.

"End of an Era" — In the future, steam engines have been made illegal, and any steam engines found by authorities are scrapped. On tank engine, Johnny, enters a resistance movement and encounters a very famous old engine . . . DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN THOMAS AND FRIENDS

"The Survivors" — Thomas finds out that he's the alst E2. He doesn't take it too well. Luckily, his friends are there for him. It's kinda soppy. Oneshot.

8. Judy Blume

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There's no underestimating the impact Judy Blume's books had on millions of young girls. Theoretically, these are the same ladies who are now paying homage to Blume's works and iconic characters—including Fudge, Blubber and Margaret—in fanfic. Some are true to Blume's original intentions, and some ... are not ("Blubber's Revenge," anyone?).

9. Perry Mason

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You can still catch Perry Mason reruns on TV today—but why watch when you can read what fanfic authors have in store for the defense attorney? There are 222 stories on—here are just a few of the stranger stories you might want to check out:

"Got Rhythm" — In the mid 80s, Della's got rhythm when she welcomes the day with some modern music and invites Perry to share it accordingly.

"Statistics" — Because I had this vision of all the main characters standing around watching someone flip a coin while Perry called every toss correctly ...

"The Case of the Memento Mori Murderer" — Perry is abducted by a vengeful young man and his unknown accomplice. Hamilton Burger and Lt. Tragg join Della and Paul in a desperate attempt to find him before it's too late. And what bearing does an unsolved 80-year-old mystery have on the case?

Of course, you could also read Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason mystery novels, but where's the fun in that?

10. Citizen Kane

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Proof that for this newspaper tycoon from the classic 1941 film, there is life after Rosebud—at least on the internet, via stories like "Charlie's Love Nest."

11. Carl Sagan

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Fan fiction doesn't need to be about fictional characters. Real people have fans too! Take, for example, the late Carl Sagan, one of the greatest astronomers of our time. He popularized science through his television show, Cosmos; wrote about space in science fiction novels like Contact (which was eventually turned into a movie starring Jodie Foster); and waxed eloquent about the pale blue dot we live on in "Reflections on a Mote of Dust." Sagan has no shortage of fans, and some of them have chosen to write about him or use him as inspiration:

"The Wormhole in my Mind" — Carl Sagan fanfic. Is that a thing? Well, it is now. After finding a golden ticket allowing travel in space and time, with a guest alive, dead, or fictional, I go on an adventure with Carl Sagan through the cosmos.

"Canned Primate" — “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” The two tall, slender men were sprawled outside on a park bench on the Cornell University campus. It was April 13th 1970, the Ides of April. One was wearing a bright orange nylon parka, the other a long wooly brown coat...

"Eighteen Hours" — Based on the film adaptation of the novel "Contact" by Carl Sagan: A recount of of Ellie's journey via the Machine in Hokkaido, from the perspective of Dr. Kent Clark.

12. Frosty the Snowman

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There's no letting Frosty the Snowman melt away in the fan fiction world. If you want to liven up your annual holiday caroling, sub out the regular "Frosty the Snowman" lyrics for the words from "Frost-T The Kill Bot, Wherein a Snowman-shaped Killer Robot Goes on a Homicidal Rampage."

Why a Major Error in 'A Wrinkle in Time' Was Never Corrected

Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time was published in 1962, and thanks to the recent release of a big-budget Disney adaptation, the book is just as popular as ever. The book has earned its status as a modern classic, but according to the Daily Beast, there's something hiding in the text of every copy that is rarely seen in titles that have enjoyed such a long print run. The book features an error that's been reprinted millions of times, and unless you read Greek, you would likely never notice it.

The mistake falls on page 59 of the new Square Fish edition that was published to tie in with the new film. On that page you'll find a quote from Mrs Who, one of the three mystical beings that guide the protagonist Meg and her companions across the universe. Because verbalizing in her own words takes a lot of energy, Mrs Who communicates strictly by quoting great writers and thinkers from history. In this case, she's quoting the playwright Euripides in his original ancient Greek. She follows it with the English translation, "Nothing is hopeless; we must hope for everything," but Greek speakers will notice that the two quotes don't match up. The original line in Greek includes words that don't make sense together or don't exist at all.

How was such a glaring error able to go unnoticed in a major work for so long? The answer is that it didn't: L'Engle was made aware of it by a friend of Greek heritage in the 1990s. According to L'Engle's granddaughter, the writer could trace the typo back to the Dictionary of Foreign Phrases and Classical Quotations, the book she pulled all of Mrs Who's quotes from. While transcribing the Euripides quote by hand she must have omitted a letter by accident. The quote was further removed from the original when the typesetter chose the Greek characters from her manuscript.

Even after hearing about the mistake, L'Engle didn't make fixing it her top priority. Instead she invested her energy into tackling other copyediting issues for the 1993 reprint, like removing all the periods from Mrs Who's, Mrs Which's, and Mrs Whatsit's names. When L'Engle died in 2007, the mangled quote was still standard in new copies of A Wrinkle in Time.

To date, only one English-language edition of the book contains the corrected quotation: the 1994 audiobook narrated by L'Engle herself. But the publishers of A Wrinkle in Time at Macmillan are apparently aware of the error, so the next printing may finally be the one that gets it right.

[h/t Daily Beast]

iStock // Heinrich Hoffmann/Keystone Features/Getty Images // collage by Jen Pinkowski
When German Scientists Tried to Rename Bats and Shrews, Hitler Threatened to Send Them to War
iStock // Heinrich Hoffmann/Keystone Features/Getty Images // collage by Jen Pinkowski
iStock // Heinrich Hoffmann/Keystone Features/Getty Images // collage by Jen Pinkowski

In The Art of Naming (The MIT Press), Michael Ohl, a biologist at the Natural History Museum of Berlin, delves into the art, science, language, and history of taxonomy. There are some 1.8 million known species—and scientists estimate that 100 million more await discovery. Every one will need a name. How does the process work? 

Ohl takes us into the field with the explorers and scientists at the forefront of naming the natural world, including Father Armand David, a French priest who was the first to describe the panda to the Western world; American paleontologists Edward Dinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, who bitterly battled in the Bone Wars; and Polish biologist Benedykt Dybowski, whose unique naming system for crustaceans called gammarids (a.k.a. "scuds") resulted in tongue-twisters such as Cancelloidokytodermogammarus (Loveninsuskytodermogammarus) loveni.

In the excerpt below, Ohl tells the story of one of the little-known footnotes to World War II: When Adolf Hitler threatened the German biologists who wanted to rename bats and shrews. And, read on for the best bat nickname of all time: "bacon mouse."

—Jen Pinkowski


On March 3, 1942, a brief item with a rather peculiar headline appeared tucked away in the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper. "Fledermaus No Longer!" the bold letters proclaimed. The following short text was printed underneath:

"At its 15th General Assembly, the German Society for Mammalogy passed a resolution to change the zoologically misleading names 'Spitzmaus' [shrew] and 'Fledermaus' [bat] to 'Spitzer' and 'Fleder.' Fleder is an old form for Flatterer [one that flutters]. The Spitzmaus, as it happens, has borne a variety of names: Spitzer [one that is pointed], Spitzlein, Spitzwicht, Spitzling. Over the course of the conference, several important lectures were held in the auditorium of the Zoologisches Museum […]."

To this day, despite the problems announced by Germany's leading specialists on mammals on the pages of one of the capital's daily papers, fledermaus and spitzmaus remain the common German names for bats and shrews. Neither dictionaries nor specialized nature guides contain entries for fleder or spitzer (provided one disregards the primary definition of spitzer, which is a "small implement used for the sharpening of pencils").

Indeed, a swift response to the item in question arrived from an unexpected source. Martin Bormann, Adolf Hitler's private secretary, sent a message on March 4, 1942, to Hans Heinrich Lammers, head of the Reich Chancellery. The missive contained remarkably unambiguous instructions from Hitler:

"In yesterday's newspapers, the Führer read an item regarding the changes of name ratified by the German Society for Mammalogy on the occasion of its 15th General Assembly. The Führer subsequently instructed me to communicate to the responsible parties, in no uncertain terms, that these changes of name are to be reversed immediately. Should members of the Society for Mammalogy have nothing more essential to the war effort or smarter to do, perhaps an extended stint in the construction battalion on the Russian front could be arranged. Should such asinine renamings occur once more, the Führer will unquestionably take appropriate measures; under no circumstance should terms that have become established over the course of many years be altered in this fashion."

There's no question that the "responsible parties" understood and responded to the injunction, which could hardly have been misinterpreted. On July 1, 1942, at least, a notice was printed in the Zoologischer Anzeiger—at that time, the "organ of the German Zoological Society"—that comprised a scant five lines. The notice has no byline and can most likely be attributed to the journal's publishers:

"Regarding the discussion [in earlier issues of the Zoologischer Anzeiger] about potential changes to the names 'Fledermaus' and 'Spitzmaus,' the Editors wish to make public that terms that have become established over the course of many years are not to be altered, following an announcement by the Reich Minister of Science, Education, and National Culture, as per the Führer's directive."

It's conceivable that Lammers forwarded Hitler's instructions (which had reached him by way of Bormann) to Bernhard Rust, the Reich Minister of Science, Education, and National Culture. Rust will then likely have ordered one of the "parties responsible" for the unpopular initiative to publish the retraction in the appropriate platform. The Zoologischer Anzeiger fit the bill, considering the fact that by 1941 it had already featured two articles debating whether the name spitzmaus should be changed.

What is the problem, though, that veteran scientists have with spitzmaus and fledermaus, those innocuous terms for the shrew and the bat? And how could it come to pass that Adolf Hitler—preoccupied as he was in 1942— should personally join in the campaign for the correct classification of these small mammals?


The common thread in these two unremarkable and familiar terms is of course the second word component, maus, or "mouse."

Fledermaus and spitzmaus … are (linguistically) first and foremost mice. By referencing certain characteristics in these compound words (fleder comes from flattern, "to flap"; spitz, or "point," refers to the shrew's pointy nose or rather head shape), it becomes possible to provide a clear name—or almost clear, at least, because there are many bat and shrew species, but more on that later.

Both names, of course, imply affiliation with mice, and that's the sticking point. In zoological terms, mice are a group of rodents known at the higher level of classification as Muroidea, "muroids" or the "mouse-like." The group includes quite the mix of animal groups, with occasionally curious names like zokor, blind mole-rat, spiny tree mouse, and Chinese pygmy dormouse, not to mention our pet hamsters and those domestic but unwelcome mice and rats. Common to all muroids are sundry and complex structural features in the skull, coupled of course with the oversized, continually growing incisors typical of rodents. Beyond that, although endless evolutionary gimmickry can revolve around this mouse theme (long or short legs, different fur colors and tail lengths, and much more), and even without biological expertise, most muroids tend to be identifiable as mice, if only vaguely.

Zoologically speaking, a mere mouse-like appearance is insufficient to denote a muroid. Instead, the specific anatomical features of the skull must be in evidence.

Field, house, and deer mice are familiar to many North Americans, although they typically live hidden away, and we don't often encounter them. These animals with the "mouse" base in their name are truly mice in the zoological sense.

The same cannot exactly be said for the bat and shrew—the fledermaus and spitzmaus—despite their names. Neither of them is even a rodent or, consequently, a muroid. Then what are they?

In the classification of mammals, a whole series of groupings is traditionally distinguished, usually assigned the rank of order within the class of mammals. Depending on scientific opinion, there are 25 to 30 of these orders of mammals. Rodents comprise one of these orders, to which muroids and several other groups of mammals belong.

Bats, meanwhile, are typical representatives of the order of flying mammals. Their scientific name is Chiroptera, from the Greek words chiros (hand) and pteros (wings). Chiroptera, then, means "hand-flier," which is a fitting name for bats and their closest relatives, flying foxes.

The systematic placement of the shrew, or spitzmaus, is determined in much the same way. They, too, fail to possess the mouse characteristics in question, although they do share traits with moles and hedgehogs, as well as with the solenodon (meaning "slotted tooth"), which is a venomous critter native exclusively to the Caribbean islands. They are now situated under the wondrous designation Eulipotyphla, but only since 1999. How they are related—along with ties to an array of other mammal families, such as tenrecs, desmans, and golden moles—has not been conclusively explained.

Experts have known for a long time—since Linnaeus's Systema Naturae at the latest—that neither bats nor shrews are related to mice, to which common parlance pays no heed. The fledermaus and spitzmaus comfortably maintain their spots in the lexicon.


One of the first mammal biologists to campaign for the standardization of German mammal names was Hermann Pohle. Born in Berlin in 1892, Pohle remained faithful to the city until his death and spent a large part of his life working at the natural history museum there. His career as a mammal biologist started early, when as a university student he worked as an unpaid hireling in the museum's famed mammal collection. Through diligence, endurance, and scientific acumen, he worked his way up to head curator of mammals. He thus held one of the most influential positions, of both national and international significance, in the field of systematic mammal research.

In 1926, Pohle—along with Ludwig Heck, the former director of the Berlin Zoo, and a number of other colleagues—founded the German Society for Mammalogy, of which he was the first head. Pohle thus had his finger on the pulse of mammal research, as it were, and he followed the history of the society over the next five decades "with keen interest," as one biographer noted.

In addition to his work as a researcher and curator of the mammal collection at Berlin's Museum für Naturkunde (Museum of Natural History), Pohle's interests also lay with German mammal names. Not only did he push for standardization of names, Pohle also campaigned to have existing names assessed for scientific plausibility and changed, should they not pass (his) zoological muster.

In 1942, Pohle published a summary article addressing the question, "How many species of mammals live in Germany?" He appended a comprehensive list of all German mammals, each with its correct "technical name," as Pohle called it, as well as its corresponding German name. When it came to the various species of spitzmaus (of which the Germans have eight, incidentally, despite the long-standing impression that there is "the" one and only shrew) and the 16 species of bats that have the base word "fledermaus" in their name, Pohle consistently uses alternative terms. The eight shrew species thus became waldspitzer, zwergspitzer, alpenspitzer, wasserspitzer, mittelspitzer, feldspitzer, gartenspitzer, and hausspitzer. For the bats, the base of their compound name was changed to fleder: teichfleder, langfußfleder, wasserfleder, and so on, all the way to a term of particular elegance, wimperfleder.

Pohle's article, which predates the society's 15th General Assembly and Hitler's emotional veto by more than a year, is a particularly interesting source because he also shares his actual motivations for the suggested changes. His emphatic objective is to see "the term 'Maus' disappear, responsible as it is for laypersons' wont to lump the animals together with actual mice."

In the estimation of these laypersons, mice are something "ugly and destructive that must be fought, or ideally exterminated." Shrews and bats, harmless as they are to humans, are thus subject to the same brutal fate. Pohle hopes for a "shift in perspective" to occur, once the endangered animals are no longer referred to as mice.

What to do, then? Pohle would prefer the term spitz for spitzmaus, but it's already been assigned to a dog breed. Rüssler could also work, only it already applies to some other insectivore. That leaves spitzer, a name that emphasizes the pointy head as a distinguishing characteristic and is still available.

Pohle wants a name for bats without "maus" but happily with a nod to the animals' flying ability. Most names of this kind are already employed for birds, and "flatterer" or "flutterer" could only logically be used for a certain population of bats, namely, those bad at flying. "Flieger" or "flyer," another hot candidate, is also in use by various other animal groups.

But why, Pohle asks the reader, would one even need to say "fledermaus," when "fleder" actually makes perfect sense? Pohle mentions that the original meaning of "fleder" was different, but few people were aware of this fact anymore.

On the off chance that he was correct in this assessment, let it be noted that fledermaus can be traced back to the 10th century, to the Old High German "vledern" or "flattern" (the infinitive form of "flatterer"). The image of the bat as a "fluttering mouse" has existed since this time in many languages, including "flittermouse" in English. A number of other German terms exist for bats. In some regions of Germany, such as Rhineland-Palatinate and Southern Hesse, the Old High German "fledarmus" is said to have been used to describe nocturnal creatures, such as moths. There, bats were apparently called "speckmaus," instead of fledermaus, because while hibernating, they could be seen hanging like pieces of bacon (speck) in the smoke.

Pohle's dedication to promoting the protection of bats and shrews through a bold name change reached its temporary culmination a year later, when—at the 15th General Assembly of the German Society for Mammalogy in Berlin—a resolution was passed on a universal and binding adoption of the spitzer- and fleder-based names Pohle had suggested. The results are known: Hitler was not amused.


We can only guess at what Hitler's actual motive was in issuing such drastic threats to prevent the name alterations proposed by the German Society for Mammalogy. It could have been his outrage that in 1942—hard times because of the war—leading German intellectuals were concerned with something so unimportant and banal as the appropriateness of animal names. Perhaps this anecdote is just a further example of Hitler's hostility toward intellectuals.

It is ultimately unclear, even, to what extent Hitler was the driving force behind this directive or whether this is a case of subordinates "working towards the Führer," as historian Ian Kershaw describes it. Conceivably, after reading the Berliner Morgenpost, Hitler may have remarked negatively regarding the zoologists' plans. His circle—in this case, Bormann—may have immediately interpreted this as "the Führer's will" and sprung to action accordingly. As for Pohle and his colleagues, it can't have mattered much whether the "invitation" to the Eastern Front came directly from Hitler or was communicated in an act of premature obedience.

Whatever the case may be, Pohle's suggested name changes did not fail because of Hitler's intervention, which presumably resonated as little with the German-speaking public as the original notice. Pohle failed because he wanted to take the basic idea of a standardized naming system out of the scientific context and transfer it into the realm of vernacular. Everyday German is not formally and officially regulated, and like every other vernacular, it follows different rules than scientific speech. It is shaped by a multitude of factors and influences that have their own unpredictable dynamic, which leads to some word usages changing while others stabilize.

In kindergarten, we learn that small, furry four-legged animals with a tail are "mice." This act of naming fulfills the exact function expected of it. It "tags" specific linguistic content—a meaning—that is generally understood. The difference between muroids and insectivores, which is important to zoologists, has no application in everyday confrontations with "mouse-like" animals and makes no difference to most people. A mouse is a mouse, whether a striped field mouse or a shrew.


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