It was certainly not my intention to offend any of the RPers on the server by choosing to try to attain the name Aerbear for a Pandaren character. I am sorry if that is the case or if anyone feel it teeters at the edge of the naming policy. For the following reasons, I believe that it does not and that there is no clear line in the naming policy and, as community members, we cannot say that there definitely is. Of course, we can define the ends of the spectrum, but between those are the gray areas were reasonable minds disagree. As with many things, interpretation is a tool applied by subjective minds to reinforce their beliefs.
With that said, I believe that there are various ways that the naming policy can be interpreted. There are entire courses dedicated to statutory interpretation and the tools implemented by authorities to determine the ‘true’ meaning of a statute. Indeed, some canons of statutory interpretation directly contradict each other!
Some interpreters go on a purely textual basis, as you seem to believe should be used in this case. However, even if that is used, the path is far from clear. Words have different meanings and syntax and grammar can cloud meaning. For example, in the naming policy, I will assume (noting right now that it’s an assumption) that your issue with Aerbear is that it is “Partial or Complete Sentence names.” Under this, I would maintain that Aerbear does not break this policy because it is not more than two words. Indeed, Aer is not a dictionary-defined word on its own, so there’s only one word in that name and thus would not constitute “words strung together to create partial or complete sentences.” This is merely an example to show how purporting to apply things equally becomes difficult because interpreting how to apply things is a subjective endeavor.
On the other hand, if your issue is under the “Non-Medieval/Fantasy Character Names,” it would depend on what your definition of a fantasy name is. I would put forth that such a name could be construed as a fantasy name, especially if the backstory and/or RP was written to support it. For example, long ago there was a member of the Ravenholdt community who applied to TE and his name was one that made the officers of the guild wary. As I see Donnelly has noted, once the officers were made aware of his backstory, we accepted the name as an RP name because it was. Before I judge or report the names of others, I urge myself to remember this individual =)
Others, as Bobcat stated, look at the purpose or spirit behind the law. Even so, you can look at the purpose behind the law itself or the purpose behind the law when it was implemented at a certain period in time. As with other tools of interpretation, I’m sure you can see how this quickly becomes a mess and is also far from clear.
There is no ultimate authority except for Blizzard on what may or may not constitute such a naming violation. The rest of us in the community are left to ascertain as best we can whether we feel names align to the stated guidelines. Some may report more often than others and that is certainly their prerogative. As I’ve stated, there are so many ways to interpret the naming policies. It’s not my intention for Aerbear to teeter on the brink at all. And, given the way that I interpret the naming policies, I don’t feel that it does. However, should I be lucky enough to get the name and Blizzard feels that it is a violation, I will accept their decision since theirs is the final say in the matter.
Next, regarding matters on the RP Sanctum: I feel that unless one is intimately aware of the process that the Sanctum Team goes through and the disciplinary procedures we implement, it is unfair to say that you had to point out whatever matter you are speaking of. The Sanctum Team does not believe in public ridicule nor do we act with undue harshness upon minor offenses. Oftentimes, members of the Sanctum are sent PMs by a Moderator if there are issues. I can assure you that in no way do we give preferential treatment to anyone on the Sanctum, nor do we allow them to bypass the rules. Yet, were are merely humans and thus may make mistakes. We are dedicated to serving the community by enforcing Sanctum rules in a respectful and private matter. I hope that this might clear things up somewhat.
In conclusion, this is merely an inquiry into the name. I assure you that the name shall have a logical reason for being such, should I be lucky enough to get it. Even should such not justify the name in your eyes, I hope that I have at least demonstrated the many ways that rules can and are interpreted. I am sorry if you still feel the name totters on the brink of the naming policy, but opinions, as noted by other posters are by nature subjective. There is no clear line here, certainly. So here is to hoping that the name is available and that it is not deemed as violating the naming policy by Blizzard!