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When reading certain books I will encounter names of places or people that have been abbreviated. An example is in Catherine Hutter's translation of Goethe's "The Sorrows of Young Werther":
A few days ago I met a man called V., an ingenuous fellow with a very pleasant face.
Why is this done?
asked Jun 8, 2011 at 10:54
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Actually it's not a matter of translation.
I've checked the Italian version and the original German version (it should be the second entry), and they both had it abbreviated. So they just took it as is from the original work.
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answered Jun 8, 2011 at 11:00
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My German copy of Die Leiden des jungen Werthers does exactly the same thing:
Vor wenig Tagen traf ich einen jungen V. an, einen offnen Jungen, mit
einer gar glücklichen Gesichtsbildung.
answered Jun 8, 2011 at 11:47
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Sometimes this can be because they do not wish to disclose their real names. As in your own example, as well as:
Mr. B. walked passed me this morning.
In a letter:
answered Jun 8, 2011 at 11:37
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