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“Ah! It’s you! My friend Al told me you might be coming. Al is his name, you know? Do you speak English? Well, Al isn’t really his name. It’s what we call a diminutive. Can you say diminutive? His real name might be Alan or Allen or perhaps Albert. Well, it could be a lot of things. We have a lot of names that we cut down to ‘Al.’ There are also Alfred, Aloysius, Albin, Alphonse. Hmph! It could even be short for Alexander, although normally that would be shortened to Alex. Or Alec. Or Xander. Or even Sandy. I had a friend who went by Sandy, although his real name was Alessandro. That’s the Italian version of Alexander. It means the protector of man. Alexander means that, that is. Well, so does Alessandro. And even Alejandro, which is a Spanish version of the name. They all have the same meanings.
“But not Aloysius. That was originally a German name: Chlodovech. Means ‘Famous in War.’ Which the most famous Alexander was. Of course, he wasn’t named that. But Chlodovech became several other names over time, such as Ludwig, Luigi, and Louis. One version of Louis became Alois, and that was Latinized to Aloysius. Latinized means that someone tried to make the name sound as if it were Latin, as if some old Roman had been named Louis.
“That would have been a laugh. Gaius was bad enough. Now, Gaius became ‘Kay,’ as in Sir Kay of the Knights of the Round Table. But that really was an old Roman name.
“Well, enough talk and chitchat. I’m afraid it’s really a bad day for me. Especially for the anal probe. Seem to have a case of the bird flu. Gotta go. Right now,” the man closed the door to his home.
One small gray humanoid turned to look at the other and reached up to pull off a rubber mask revealing a human girl of about twelve, “I think these costumes Grampa made are too good.”
The other small gray alien reached up and pulled off her own mask, “Maybe, but was it my imagination, or did that guy have webbed duck feet?”
The first girl put her mask back on and shrugged, “Next house?”Published in