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This question about the origin of the name Yan-C-Bin has so far attracted only one answer. That answer makes the claim that all of the names of the Princes of Elemental Evil were made up "wholecloth" with "no mythological/cultural callback".

While I thought that might be possible for Yan-C-Bin, it was clearly not true for at least some of the Princes, whose names incorporate Greek and Latin roots that match their aspects. I said as much in a comment. The comment has since been deleted.

I thought my tone was respectful, and I don't think the comment is no longer needed, since as of this writing the answer still makes the claim. I am pretty sure I actually posted the comment, because I initially posted noting the roots "hydr" and "cryo" and then within 5 minutes edited to add "ogre"; I would not have been able to edit had the first comment not posted.

I am at a loss as to why my comment was deleted.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Sounds like the moderator thought your comment was more of an answer, and based on your explanation here, I think I agree. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 22, 2023 at 9:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does this answer your question? Why are site comments being deleted? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 22, 2023 at 9:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov the comment was not related to the question. It was only relevant about the answer. The answer made a claim about other names unrelated to the one in the question. The comment pointed out the claim seemed incorrect for those. In what way does that answer the question? IMO, were this to be posted as an answer, I'd vote it NAA and I think such an answer would indeed be removed. Because it's irrelevant. \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 22, 2023 at 10:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VLAZ I don’t know exactly what the comment said, I’m just basing it off of what Kirt has described here, which seems to be evidence or part of some sort of answer, which is something our “do not answer in comments” FAQ says will be deleted. But it doesn’t matter, any and all comments are subject to deletion by design. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 22, 2023 at 11:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I feel like this one is worth leaving to the mods to provide the exact reason. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 22, 2023 at 13:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ The comment seems to have been restored now. \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 22, 2023 at 14:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Multiple users flagged the comment as "no longer needed". Users sometimes use such flags to get rid of comments that are adding value, but that the flagging user does not like. The mods try to check each flag to avoid deleting comments in such cases, but we don't always have time to fully investigate each comment, and it looks like your comment slipped through the cracks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage Mod
    Feb 22, 2023 at 14:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ObliviousSage Nope, I don’t agree that this “slipped through the cracks.” That is a worthless comment, and definitely shouldn’t have been restored. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 22, 2023 at 14:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ This discussion should not be deleted. The comment should be. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 22, 2023 at 16:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not satisfied with either of the current answers to this question, nor, given its specific nature, do I think it is a duplicate of the question suggested. ObliviousSage's comment that multiple users flagged the comment as 'no longer needed' is helpful, and may be as much resolution as I can hope for. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Feb 22, 2023 at 19:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since the instigating comment has now been restored, there is less value to me in knowing the answer - my main concern was that my comment could have been taken as rude / offensive, and no one has suggested that so far. What is etiquette in this case - do I leave this question with no answer selected, or self-delete it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Feb 22, 2023 at 19:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt It's fine to just leave it be, you don't need to do anything further. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 22, 2023 at 22:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ has so far attracted only one answer This has now been overcome by events. There are two answers. One of them went to the source. The original one was right, he made it up; that's from the horse's mouth. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9, 2023 at 21:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Thank you - good to hear that the original question has been resolved. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Mar 9, 2023 at 21:13

2 Answers 2

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All comments are subject to deletion, by design.

Naturally, I cannot comment on the exact reason your particular comment was deleted, since I neither know what it said, nor have the button to delete it. However, we often see users approaching comments with the expectation that comments have some sort of permanence as long as they follow the rules, and this is simply not the case. From the comments privileges page (emphasis mine):

What are comments?

Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer. They can be upvoted (but not downvoted) and flagged, but do not generate reputation. There's no revision history, and when they are deleted they're gone for good.

By design, all comments are subject to deletion, at moderator discretion (usually, there are some automated systems that delete comments based on user flags). So you should have no expectations that any comment you post will be left up permanently. See this post for a number of reasons why your comment may have been selected for deletion: Why are site comments being deleted? It was probably for one of the reasons listed there.

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Because it’s unnecessary pedantry. It does not suggest any improvement to the answer, and it does not add any value being left there as is.

It seems utterly implausible that anyone reading that question would be unaware of the meanings of “hydro” or “cryo.” No one is suggesting that the author invented those meanings, or just happened to coincidentally fall on those roots in their made-up name. No one reading it is ever going to get that impression. The answer clearly is referring to the specific usage of those roots, the “names” that are actually what the answer claims to have been made up, and there is zero reason to “clarify” on that point, either in the answer or in a comment.

The comment should be deleted, and should stay that way.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Re: 'No one is suggesting that the author invented those meanings' I'm pretty sure the author of that answer is suggesting just that, even if inadvertently with sloppy wording. "The creator of the Princes of Elemental Evil, Lewis Pulsipher, made it up wholecloth, just as he made up Olhydra, Imix, Ogremoch, and Cryonax. No mythological/cultural callback to be found." \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Feb 22, 2023 at 16:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt Yes, Pulsipher made up those names. There is no basis in real-world myths or cultures for those names. The text specifically refers to the names as being made up. That he used etymological roots is 1. obvious, and 2. irrelevant. No claim is made that Pulsipher invented those roots. This is pedantry. It isn’t helping anyone or anything. If you had suggested an edit along these lines, it should be rejected as making no improvement whatsoever. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 22, 2023 at 16:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, on further consideration I think that comment is revealing a deep flaw in the answer. The other elemental prince names are all basically the fantasy equivalent of "Joe Earthface", "Bubba Waterpants", and "Sally Firehair". It's easy to take the word roots used in their names to make that case. Yan-C-Bin doesn't follow that pattern, though, which suggests there may be some other inspiration. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage Mod
    Feb 22, 2023 at 17:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ObliviousSage How is that a flaw in the answer? The answer says that, if there was some other inspiration, it isn’t to be found in any of the sourcebooks. That’s a valid answer. Reasons to suspect another inspiration are kind of irrelevant; of course we have reason to suspect inspiration from somewhere, that’s why the question was asked in the first place. If anything, that should be added to the question, as motivation for asking after the one name and not the others. But that still seems unnecessary, because questions don’t have to justify themselves like that. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 22, 2023 at 18:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ I understand that the names themselves are unique and original creations. But the claim is made that they contain no mythological or cultural callbacks. If deliberately including elements like 'hydr' (found in the Greek and D&D monster Hydra), 'cryo' (found in the D&D monster cryohydra), and ogre (found in the RW and D&D ogre and Orcus) is not a mythological / cultural callback', I would like to understand what is one? Could you help me understand what the names would have to do to actually count as callbacks for you? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Feb 22, 2023 at 19:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ The answer claims that it's a made-up name that does not reference anything and has no deeper meaning, just like the other elemental prince names. The fact that the other elemental prince names follow a pattern and Yan-C-Bin breaks that pattern makes that claim suspect. The asker didn't ask if the books mention the names being references, it asked if they are references. The fact that the books don't mention it just means they aren't helpful for answering the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage Mod
    Feb 22, 2023 at 19:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Literally every book published on the subject is “one tiny bit” to you?" let me answer this with a question - if you go to Scotland and see a black sheep, would you decalre that all sheep in Scotland are black? Or that the sheep you've seen so far are black? That's really the difference here - the question is whether or not the name has any cultural or mythological meaning. Going through all sourcebooks tells you there isn't anything in the souircebooks. Not that there are no cultural or mythological roots. \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 22, 2023 at 21:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Else you are trying to argue here that the titular "dragons" from D&D also entirely self-contained entities, if no D&D book mention a real world origin. Is this what you're arguing here? That the sole and only way for something to have cultural and mythological connections is if they are explicitly written about in a sourcebook? Do think about how much sense that makes. Because it doesn't. Meta materials and knowledge do exist outside sourcebooks. \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 22, 2023 at 21:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ If someone asks "what do the books say about X", an answer of "I've read all the books even remotely related to X cover-to-cover and none of them say anything about it" is a great answer. But when someone asks "is X related to anything outside the game" an answer of "the game books don't say X is related to anything outside the game, so it must not be" is a pretty bad answer. I could be convinced that it isn't an answer at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage Mod
    Feb 22, 2023 at 21:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ObliviousSage 1. your point has nothing to do with the comment being discussed, since it raises none of these concerns, it’s just pedantry. 2. your position is wildly at odds with historical practice on this site, and again, is only going to mean that people who have done exhaustive research aren’t going to bother sharing it with the site. That’s how the site dies. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 22, 2023 at 21:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Honestly, this is yet another straw on the "let's re-ban designer-reasons questions" camel-back. The site handles questions where deep knowledge of the rulebooks is valuable quite well. It handles questions about whether some random person has ever mentioned X... less well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage Mod
    Feb 22, 2023 at 21:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ObliviousSage I will say, emphatically—with acknowledgment that it is opinion, but it is an opinion rooted in expertise—that you are wrong. It’s not a bad question. It’s not a bad answer. It’s a bad premise to have that the only acceptable way to answer is with a statement from the designer. That isn’t—and has never been—true. Answers have to be backed up. Speculative answers are bad. Answers that are based in deep expertise are good. Answers that are backed up—even if the backing up falls short of some Platonic ideal—are good. Accessing that expertise is the point of the site. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 22, 2023 at 21:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ If there was a Chinese mythological figure named Yang Zhi Wen who could summon storms, and the rulebooks simply didn't mention them, an answer saying "the rulebooks don't mention it being a reference to anything, so it's not a reference to anything" would be more obviously wrong. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage Mod
    Feb 22, 2023 at 21:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ObliviousSage Got it. The plan for the site going forward is to tear down all the Good so that the Perfect can finally win the fight. I’d love to know whose decision that was and why they had the authority to make it, but regardless, message is hard, loud and clear. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 23, 2023 at 23:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can see why people like that question, even though I don't think it's a good fit for the site, and the community has voted to allow designer-reasons questions so I'm leaving it be. It's blowing my mind, though, that you think the answer is a good answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage Mod
    Feb 23, 2023 at 23:53

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