Not sure where this originated, but there is this idea floating around that John Sheppard giving Wraith nicknames gives him “power” over those Wraith.
This is unfounded, mystical, magical, illogical thinking, akin to something one would see out of a spell book or fairy tale, such as Rumpelstiltskin.
If this worked, politicians, who are given all sorts of names every day, would have started to represent their constituents for once. 😛
This seems like a desperate stretch to give the Lanteans so-called “power,” but maybe Lantean fans feel the need to do so, because the Lanteans are using tech that is not their own.
John may find giving common Westernized names, neo-colonialist-style, to Wraith prisoners of war amusing, and/or it may help to alleviate his fears, and/or he might be trying to annoy them, and/or it would help him and the other Lanteans to tell each Wraith apart. But, in no way are the Wraith themselves diminished, individually or culturally.
Conversely, it can be argued that John giving the Wraith nicknames, where no given names were share previously, would individualize them, making them less easy to objectify in the minds of all of the Lanteans. Mother Teresa astutely said, “If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” People giving to charity open their hearts and wallets much more when collections pitches include individual stories and names, from hunger relief funds to companion animal rescue centers. Naming individuals with unique and proper names is the opposite of the mindset of objectifying.
The act of John giving out nicknames is complex and fraught with psychological and political ramifications, more so for the Lanteans than the Wraith, but, with no powers over the Wraith.