How did Nick Nicholas come up with the name Necrologue?

When Nick is not rabble-rousing with discontent about Quora, he is a Greek linguist.

The idea of the Necrologue came up to me as far back as July 2016, when I ran the idea past the now departed Laura Hale—though I only publicly announced it in October: The fight continues by Nick Nicholas on Opɯdʒɯlɯklɑr In Exile. (The whole block on speculation was her most welcome suggestion.)

Those who are banned are dead to Quora, and Necrologue is a kind of obituary column of the dead. As Konstantinos Konstantinides points out, it’s a Greek coinage meaning, variably: “Study of the dead” or “List of the dead” or “Word of the dead” or “Student of the dead”. I was going for “list of the dead”, which is the accepted meaning of NECROLOGUE; but apparently the more usual expression in English is NECROLOGY. And in Modern Greek, nekrologia is the word for obituary.

If you look more closely, the usual suffix for “list” is –logy: cf. anthology (“collection of flowers”). The usual sense of –logue is instead “word, writing”: epilogue “afterword”, prologue “foreword”. However catalogue (“down word”) is a pervasive word for lists, and it has influenced the formation in English of necrologue: catalogue of the dead.

So, necrology would have been the normal Greek-based word for an obituary, or even a collection of obituaries. I went with necrologue, because it sounds like catalogue, emphasising that it’s just a listing; and the blog was always intended to be a bare listing.

But Konstantinos is right. –logue is a useful suffix, because of its broad meanings. I am myself something of a necrologue (as in ideologue): a nekrológos rather than nekrólogos in Greek. (The –lógos suffix in Greek corresponds to –logist in English; so I guess I’m something of a necrologist.)