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	compiled by tn and reformatted on 49970408
-------------------------------------------------- (Gregory Loren Hansen) writes:
>...AdamsHWA  wrote:
>>After having seen live cuttlefish at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, it
>>became pretty obvious where HPL came up with the idea of Cthulhu.  Gahhh
>>-- these are horrid, vile little monsters.  They peer at you with malign
>>intelligence, their tentacles writhing malevolently.
>>Hey, even the name, "Cthulhu," is reminiscent of "cuttlefish."  

>I have to admit I've never seen live tentacles before.

     Which would suggest that the authentic pronounciation of 'Cthulhu' is not 
"K'thul-hu", or "K'thuloo", but "Cuttle'loo". Hm. I seem to recall reading in 
this newsfroup that someone -- Derleth? -- claimed that this was the the way 
HPL pronounced it. Or perhaps it was "Kootle'loo", but close enough.

     This is fascinating, and -- while non-falsifiable -- seems a plausible 
explanation for the origin of Great Cthulhu, especially considering HPL's 
known bigotry against fish. (Slithey Tove)

Dan Clore  writes:
>Here's my guess for the origin of a couple names in Lovecraft. He stated
>that he tried to make names that sounded like Arabic or Hebrew, with the
>root alien.

	I surmise that he devised words like this largely because they 
have an inherently sinister sound.  They're full of hard consonants, 
short vowels, sibilants and gutturals--the sort of sounds that 
characterize aggressive expressions, or the garglings of someone being 
choked.  Compare the inscription on the One Ring in Tolkien's "Black 
Speech," which was presumably independently invented: "Ash nazg 
thrakatuluk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg durbatuluk agh burzum-ishi 
krimpatul."  It sounds like something Cthulhu might have said.  I don't 
think either Cthulhu or Sauron would use a soft-sounding language like 
Hawaiian. (DONALD G. DAVIS)
========================================= (DONALD G. DAVIS) writes:
>	A post to this group commented on the parallel evolution of the 
>cuttlefish and vertebrate eye.  Perhaps equally interesting is the 
>tentacle (which my dictionary defines as an "elongated, unsegmented, 
>flexible protrusion," capable of grasping).  Although many of Lovecraft's 
>monsters have them, tentacles are rather rare in nature, and are best 
>developed in the cephalopod molluscs (squid/cuttlefish/nautilus/octopus) 
>and coelenterates (jellyfish, hydra, etc.)  The closest approximation I 
>can think of in land animals is the elephant's trunk.  (Constricting 
>snakes and prehensile monkey tails have tentacle-like action, but are 
>really jointed lever arms, as are the common vertebrate and invertebrate 
>	If there is a biophysicist in the group, perhaps he/she could 
>comment on reasons why tentacle-like structures are so much less common 
>than jointed limbs, especially in land animals.  One would suppose that 
>tentacles would be good for precise manipulations--are they inherently 
>weaker than a jointed, bone- or chitin-supported limb of the same size?

Most of the load bearing in your legs is done by the bones, not the muscels.
Most sea creatures have neutral boyancy (otherwise they'd sink to the bottom
or float to the top). With neutral boyancy, the muscles in the tenticles just
have to be strong enough for manipulation. On land they'd also have to support
the creatures weight. Structues with leavers (bones) are a lot better at this
than structures without.  (Mik Clarke)


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