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§18.10. Printing the name of something

1. When it happens. Whenever the name of a thing or room is printed, either as part of text visible to the player, or sometimes internally in order to determine something about that name.

2. The default behaviour. For items other than the current player, the "printed name" property is printed out; but for the current player, "you" or "yourself" is printed. (That doesn't necessarily mean that the "printed name" of the player is never used. Suppose there are two people, Alice and Bob, and the narrative switches between them: when Alice is the player, she appears as "yourself" but Bob is "Bob"; but when Bob is the player, he is "yourself" and Alice is "Alice".)

3. Examples. (a) A pen which is described differently in inventories:

Rule for printing the name of the pen while taking inventory: say "useful pen".

"Taking inventory" is a condition which is true if that's the current action and not otherwise, so the effect is that the pen is called "a useful pen" only in inventory listings. "While looking" is a similarly useful one.

(b) Italicising the names of novels:

A novel is a kind of thing. Dr Zhivago and Persuasion are novels. Before printing the name of a novel, say "[italic type]". After printing the name of a novel, say "[roman type]".

(c) Telling the time:

After printing the name of the wrist watch while taking inventory: say " (time: [the time of day])".

(d) Merging containers with their contents:

paste.png Rule for printing the name of the bottle while not inserting or removing:
    if the bottle contains sand, say "bottle of sand";
    otherwise say "empty bottle";
    omit contents in listing.

This example makes use of a special phrase:

omit contents in listing

This phrase changes the form of an inventory listing, room description, etc., so that it will simply list "a bottle of sand" or "an empty bottle", rather than "a bottle (in which is sand)" or "a bottle (which is empt )". It should be used only when the listing is imminent, and does not have permanent effect.

The clause about not inserting or removing is to prevent messages like "You put the sand in the bottle of sand.", where it's confusing to refer to the bottle as anything other than "the bottle".

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*ExampleShipping Trunk
A box of baking soda whose name changes to "completely ineffective baking soda" when it is in a container with something that smells funny.

**ExampleTrachypachidae Maturin 1803
Bottles with removable stoppers: when the stopper is in the bottle, the bottle is functionally closed, but the stopper can also be removed and used elsewhere. Descriptions of the bottle reflect its state intelligently.

****ExampleChronic Hinting Syndrome
Using name-printing rules to keep track of whether the player knows about objects, and also to highlight things he might want to follow up.