Babel Central

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Senior Member

The air limousine cushioned down on a landing shelf outside the one hundred and thirty-third level of the Establishment's Babel Central. Siskin himself was waiting at the entrance to his office.

This is from the novel Simulacron-3. "Babel Central" is the headquarters of a company. I'm wondering whether the word "central" in "Babel Central" can be replaced by "center", because I almost find no example of "central" applied in referring to a building on the Internet. Is it normal?

Thanks for your reply!
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's the name the writer has given to the place. He can choose to call it what he likes. So, no, it can't be replaced by "Center".


    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    It is a name. There are no rules for names. They can call it Babel Flafla if they like. But there is nothing unusual about "Central" in a building name.

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I agree with posts 2) and 3). I feel there may be more to it, though.

    Placing the word "central" after another noun implies that a place is an extreme case of that noun. E.g. "This beach is seaweed central" tells us that there is an large amount of seaweed on the beach; more than the amount found on most beaches. "Babel" originally suggested the use of many different languages and has gone on from that to mean that communication is difficult. Consequently "Babel Central" may indicate that people there don't work effectively, particularly if this novel is humorous.
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