yes it's another humans are space orcs post
So even when you’ve figured out how to deal with humans, it still really helps to be able to anticipate that you’re going to have to deal with humans, and there’s still a major pitfall when you’re operating in mixed-species environments where most people are operating as private individuals rather than as representatives of their respective species or planets:
Humans are so good at social modeling, and human naming conventions are such a mess, that it can be really hard to recognize that a person is human until you actually see a visual of them. Some of them include species on their profiles or biographies, but some skip right past species and list location of childhood home or racial/ethnic background or something instead, like everyone else is just supposed to know that the colony on Zendar Three is a human colony or what “latina” means. Some even make a point of not listing their species.
They pick up languages like nobody’s business. It might take an adult years to reach full fluency in a language - or they might pick it up in a matter of months, if they put their mind to it, and the subadults often don’t even require instruction or study. Even the ones who depend on automatic translation technology tend to be fussy about calibration and sounding as much like natural speakers as possible. In general, they put a lot of emphasis on being able to imitate the social manner of the group; many make a study of the social mores of species they intend to interact with, but even if they’re caught unprepared, most will to some extent mimic the attitude and approach of the people they interact with.
And the names. Most people will say that the typical human has a personal name and a family or clan name, and that’s… more or less accurate. Except that sometimes they list them the other way around. And sometimes they only have a personal name. Or they have multiple family names. And a lot of the time they have a kind of secondary personal name that they don’t even use, but not always, and some have as many as three or four of these “middle names.” There are lists of traditional human names that you can learn, but none of them are exhaustive, because almost every human population center and cultural group has its own traditional names and also humans are constantly adapting old names and inventing new ones.
Even if someone has a name that you recognize as being a traditional name of some other species, that isn’t a 100% guarantee that that person isn’t human. Because there’s such a wide variety of human names, there’s some overlap with other species names, to the point that it’s a kind of played out joke that the token human character in popular media has to be specified to be Human Steve. Plus in a lot of human cultures, one of the highest expressions of respect toward a person is to give that person’s name to one’s offspring, so there’s a small but significant number of humans with names that are definitely not human names because their parents chose to honor an alien friend or benefactor with a namesake.
Some humans are amused to be assumed to be another species. Some don’t seem to care, or are apologetic, apparently assuming that the confusion must be embarrassing or upsetting to the other party. A few get offended, but the other humans tend to agree that those ones are jerks and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.