Because fans should be critical, too

Is It “Avatar: the Last Airbender” Or “The Last Airbender?”

Maybe I’m just being petty, but it really bothered me that Michael Dante DiMartino, when referring to his own show Avatar: the Last Airbender (in relation to a podcast that talked about it), called it The Last Airbender. Hell, it bothers me when anyone refers to the show as The Last Airbender.

For the longest time, I’ve been calling the show by it’s full name Avatar: the Last Airbender, only shortening it to Avatar further within written articles because that’s proper English etiquette. If I were ever to refer to those other Avatars, I would just say Avatar for the James Cameron film, or The Last Airbender in reference to the M. Night Shyamalan travesty. (Also, I don’t like abbreviations that much, so you’ll never see me write ATLA or LOK in any other post.) In casual conversation, I tend to say Avatar: the Last Airbender whenever I am referring to the show, The Last Airbender when it’s about the film, and Avatar when it’s about the Nazis.

Is this petty? It’s certainly a hassel, but I don’t think it’s petty. It saves for confusion at least. So for DiMartino to refer to his own show as The Last Airbender (that film neither he nor Bryan Konietzko will ever discuss in public) is terribly confusing and careless.

I don’t know. The whole name dilemma has been maddening since both James Cameron’s film and M. Night Shyamalan’s film came into being. So perhaps that’s what’s troubling me. But what about you? Is this silly title debate really worth getting worked up over? (Let’s not forget that The Legend of Korra‘s name changed about three times before Paramount finally cleared the rights for the title Avatar.)


4 responses

  1. Grindal

    I would never just call it “The Last Airbender” or “Avatar”, but I think now with Korra out “ATLA” works. Although I will still always prefer to refer to it as “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, we kinda have to move on a bit. I don’t say “The Legend of Korra” though. I just think it’s sufficient to say “Korra”, namely as she’s hardly as “legend” (bad humour, I know).

    March 7, 2013 at 7:22 pm

  2. TexasHammer

    I agree- the acronym is a perfectly fine, concise way of paraphrasing. In any case, when referring to it in person (when someone might not know which thing you’re talking about), the full name can easily be used. When on the Internet (when everyone you’re addressing probably does know what your talking about), just about anything is fine except for simply calling it ‘The Last Airbender’, which is certain to cause confusion with the movie. I doubt anyone mentions the kids TV show and the James Cameron movie in the same breath.

    March 7, 2013 at 11:36 pm

  3. tuppawear

    When will your next video come out?

    March 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    • Honestly, I’m aiming to get it finished tonight. I was hoping for a Friday release, but I underestimated the amount of work that would go into this.

      March 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm

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