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Ability Naming Conventions
The following sources are used for determining evolved human ability names, in order:
1. Canon Sources Episodes
2. Near-canon Sources Webisodes,
Graphic Novels,
Heroes Evolutions
3. Secondary Sources Episode commentary,
Heroes: Survival
4. Common names for abilities
Names from other works
5. Descriptions of abilities Descriptions
6. Possessor's name If no non-speculative
description is possible

Note: The highlighted row represents the level of the source used to determine imprinting's name.
"Imprinting" is a common name for what Joe Macon can do.


Unless this can bu used to write long works wuch as papers and essays, this has got to be the most useless ability the show has ever come up with. However, if he can forge people's signatures or things like that, it can actually be quite useful. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 11:10, 3 February 2009 (EST)

Agreed! I don't know why Sylar would want THAT power. --Cro Magnon 11:45, 3 February 2009 (EST)

  • How about to remotely forge checks and other documents? And it gives validating his parking ticket a whole new meaning...--MiamiVolts (talk) 11:53, 3 February 2009 (EST)
    • You think he might be able to use it to change what's already written down? Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 12:03, 3 February 2009 (EST)
      • I dunno about that, but he could likely copy parts of what's written down onto another piece of paper. I think his ability may work by xeroxing his signature onto the papers, though to call it xeroxing or photocopying would be adding speculation.--MiamiVolts (talk) 12:26, 3 February 2009 (EST)
  • I'm getting a hilarious image of this being used offensively....
  • An ability doesn't have to be destructive to be useful. Sylar could use this power to save time while writing things down. He doesn't have a photographic memory anymore, so it would be helpful for him to be able to write information quickly. Remiel DeCarta
  • Sylar is not picky with power he just wants them all --Cj31094 17:22, 25 February 2009 (EST)

Animal imprinting what I think of first when I hear "imprinting". If someone winds up with that ability, I recommend changing this to inscribing. This name is fine for now, though.--MiamiVolts (talk) 11:53, 3 February 2009 (EST)

I'm just glad it's not "Joe's ability"

  • because if that would have happened I would have done a backflip and kicked my printer out the window. It's nice to have a new power with no speculation for once. Too bad it didnt work for shattering, then sylar's powers would be completley clean. Oh, and we got to see Mr. Muggles again! --Piemanmoo 16:07, 3 February 2009 (EST)
    • Also glad it's not another pseudo-electical ability like electrical ink manipulation. I also hated seeing how vague they were in the show about Peter's power(s) resurfacing too...sometimes I think the writers do things solely with the purpose to tie us here at the HeroesWiki in knots for a week or so. --HiroDynoSlayer (talk) 02/3/2009 16:20 (EST)

Yes, it would. They should come here once in a while to check things like that, at the least.

They should hire us for ideas, too! Just as long as we get paid... Ah, just kidding. :)

Also, you guys need spelling lessons, it seems. Probably just typos, but still.--ERROR 21:48, 18 June 2009 (EDT)

Oh just stop it already, I'm sure you wouldn't like if people kept calling you on typos, stop being a grammar nazi. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:40, 19 June 2009 (EDT)

Name and Naming conventions

This ability has a name in popular culture already (which is higher on the conventions list)... It is called Nensha. Thoughtography also falls under this banner usually, but it isnt necessary, so the name isnt speculative. But essentially its the ability to imprint objects with your mind. Check it out here- [1] --Action Figure 23:45, 3 February 2009 (EST)

  • Never heard of this word, and it certainly doesn't take my mind to what the ability does. Still think that imprinting is a better name. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 09:20, 4 February 2009 (EST)
  • Imprinting might work, but it puts me in mind of, dare I say it, Twilight *shudders*. So, my vote goes to Thoughtography. -- Bonchilla 13:12, 20 February 2009 (EST)
  • "thoughtography" sounds good though. --NiveKJ13 (talk2me) 09:49, 4 February 2009 (EST)\=
    • I'm just glad someone with a weird sense of humor didn't name it first, and call it "John Hancocking". --HiroDynoSlayer (talk) 02/4/2009 09:51 (EST)
      • Or John Footpenis LOL jk XD
  • I'm not a big fan of "nensha," but thoughtography is good for me. And you're right; that is the common name for the ability so it would rank higher on the canon scale. Sincerely, Thrashmeister [ U | T | C ] 17:36, 4 February 2009 (EST)
    • Where else has this been used? Until now, I've never heard of this term. Can you give some examples? Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:44, 4 February 2009 (EST)
    • I saw this in one of the Xmen films, Soz I know not helping much. Thoughtography has my vote though.---Drwho113
      • I think "imprinting" works fine. "Nensha" might be the actual name for it, but I don't know if it's the common name for it. I've heard the term before, but if you asked me what it was two days ago, I probably wouldn't have been able to tell you. That doesn't seem like a good choice in name, in my opinion. However, I don't really care too much one way or the other on this one. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 18:09, 4 February 2009 (EST)
        • I saw this in the X-Men film as well, but until this showed up, I've never heard of either term. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 18:17, 4 February 2009 (EST)
          • I recommend adding redirects for "nensha" and "thoughtography", but leaving this article's name as-is.--MiamiVolts (talk) 19:23, 4 February 2009 (EST)
    • I would like to point out that it doesnt matter which name anyone likes, or if they personally have heard of the term. But this IS the name for it, and clearly its well known enough to pass as the name for the article on Wikipedia. I am asking for a name change simply to follow the rules here. I wasnt really looking for opinions. I know that sounds jerk-y.. but.. well.. thems the breaks. --Action Figure 16:19, 7 February 2009 (EST)
      • Our naming conventions place common names above descriptive names. I don't have a very strong opinion on the name of this article, but I'll be the first to say that "nensha" is not a common name. It might be technically "correct" (we're talking about fantasy, here, so I'm not sure there's ever a "correct" name) and it may be the title of an article on another wiki, but that still doesn't mean it's a common name. I'm not opposed to "nensha" any more than I'm in favor of or opposed to "thoughtography" or "imprinting". None of those names is more common than the other. In that vein, I think "imprinting" is as good as any other name, and works better as the title of this article. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 17:14, 7 February 2009 (EST)
        • But Nensha and thoughtography are more common than "imprinting" for what we are talking about. In fact, I'd bet there is nowhere else where this ability is called Imprinting... These are their common names in the paranormal.. just like "Telepathy" or "Telekinesis" (which is actually more commonly called psychokinesis now...) --Action Figure 23:22, 7 February 2009 (EST)
          • The reasons I didn't vote in the other names: Nensha is far from being common, at least in the Heroes universe; thoughtography, while accurate, it doesn't feel as natural as imprinting and inscribing gives me the idea of actual writing, even carving. The reason I chose imprinting is because the way the ability works, it's like he's actually printing what he wants written, as if he was stamping what he wanted written. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 12:54, 16 February 2009 (EST)


  • How bout a consensus?--NiveKJ13 (talk2me) 19:38, 4 February 2009 (EST)
    • A consensus [check], you mean? But using the below format is actually a type of polling which discourages consensus. It is normally divisive, as it encourages people to join camps without interacting with the others who express opinions.--MiamiVolts (talk) 04:56, 8 February 2009 (EST)


  1. --Shade 23:51, 23 February 2009 (EST) Imprinting sounds like a more purely mental ability... dunno, my guess at its meaning before actually opening the page was some kind of mental snapshots or telepathic control power. And Thoughtography... whether or not it's used elsewhere, it seems like an awkward name both in meaning/possible interpretations and just sound. Honestly, the first time I heard it, I thought it was a joke. Nensha may be uncommon and have no verbal associations with "writing things with your mind", but it's at least a distinct name that has no verbal associations with anything else.


  1. --NiveKJ13 (talk2me) 19:38, 4 February 2009 (EST)Sounds clearer. Thought = mind/ graphy = writing (i.e. Calligraphy (produce an artistic writing), Filmography (produce images/ films), Hagiography (write about a certain subject), Radiography(produce image ) = they all have something to do with ink/printing/writing. And its a substitute for the name ability's real name Nensha, (Nensha Link).
    • Some people above have already said they prefer 'Imprinting'. All the terms mean roughly the same thing. A consensus [check] cannot help here, but only serve to force this to become Joe's ability. Is that what you want???--MiamiVolts (talk) 19:55, 4 February 2009 (EST)
  2. --Action Figure 19:08, 5 February 2009 (EST) Although Nensha is closer, because thoughtography usually refers to photographs, it technically isnt wrong and it seems to be the one people prefer. As for if you've never heard of it, thats fine, but it doesnt mean much. Anyone who is into the paranormal and especially ESP would know the term. Its used a lot. Nensha is just the Japanese word for it. (And used in the Ring movies for how the girl imprints her "curse" on the videotape) I have to go for this because I think we cant be so loose on some names and so strict on others (freezing... lightning...) you know? :)
  3. -- IronyUTC CH 14:46, 8 February 2009 (EST) Makes much more sense than imprinting (it makes it sound like the ability is to activate a printer)
  4. --Witchy2006 07:46, 13 February 2009 (EST) Imprinting just doesn't sound like an ability's name
  5. --Most formal, and descriptive. Imprinting sounds too much like Twilight, something we do not want to be associated with. Therequiembellishere 12:52, 15 February 2009 (EST)
  6. --Bonchilla 13:19, 20 February 2009 (EST) I agree that Imprinting doesn't sound like the right name for an ability. Plus, it also sounds too strongly of Twilight.
    • Whats the connection to Twilight? I neither read the books nor watched the movies, so it doesn't ring a bell to me. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:21, 20 February 2009 (EST)
      • Consider yourself lucky, mate. In Twilight, "Imprinting" is apparently when a werewolf finds someone s/he loves and is destined to be with; something reminiscent of finding your soul-mate. This is called 'imprinting'. The werewolf in questions knows that they are meant to be with that person they "feel a connection to" against all odds. In Twatlight Twilight, there's a werewolf - can't remember his name, fortunately - who "imprints" his mark on an infant; the bouncing baby of joy damnation offspring of the protagonists. Now excuse me while I go and bleach my brains out. - Bonchilla 08:42, 21 February 2009 (EST)
  7. This is the common scientific, ENGLISH, term for the ability. --Crazyaspie 15:58, 22 April 2009 (EDT)
  8. Common name for magically putting text and images on paper. Imprinting is a psychology term, which has nothing to do with this ability. Presumably someone thought it sounded right because it contains the word "printing". - Hive 11:29, 11 May 2009 (EDT)


  1. --Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 19:59, 5 February 2009 (EST) It's a simple and accurate name, it says exactly what the ability does, it's easy to understand and it fits the format used by other abilities (ability supercharging, cloning, crumpling, enhanced hearing, freezing, healing, melting, phasing and precognitive dreaming).
  2. --Crazylicious 13:34, 8 February 2009 (EST) IE said it all.
  3. ----Steelymcbeam 14:19, 8 February 2009 (EST) Yep IE got here first.
    • It just doesnt matter --Action Figure 22:17, 8 February 2009 (EST)
  4. For me this sounds the most concise and just rolls off the tongue well. --Gianni23 18:13, 9 February 2009 (EST)
  5. SPARTAN-077 20:44, 13 February 2009 (EST)
  6. --posted by Laughingdevilboy

Talk 06:23, 19 February 2009 (EST)

  1. -- Psilaq R.- \m/ -_- \m/- 19:47, 18 February 2009 (EST) Nothing no one else hasn't said yet.
  2. ~Uncanny474 Come on. Thoughtography? What's next, Ink-okinesis?
  3. -Mateussf 19:19, 18 March 2009 (EDT) IE said it all.
  • Thoughtography isn't just randomly made up like "ink-okinesis". Its one of the substitute names for Nensha (Nensha Link), but 'Nensha' just doesn't described the ability carefully. --NiveKJ13 (talk2me) 16:30, 1 March 2009 (EST)
  • Four tildes to sign.. yes "Ink o kinesis" and a term that is ACTUALLY ALREADY USED for this ability are similar. Slippery slopes are for bad debaters. --Action Figure 23:37, 23 February 2009 (EST)


  1. ----Powermimic 22:27, 5 February 2009 (EST) Simple and to the point, Imprinting usually means to imprint by pressure.
  2. ----Max G. (T) 13:37, 9 February 2009 (EST) exactly.

In the Show

I am hoping to see this ability in the show at some point. I have no clue why Sylar would need to use this ability, but it would be interesting to see..--Catalyst (talk) 14:00, 8 February 2009 (EST)

He could use this ability to write a new list of evolved humans. Hope he doesn't lose this one without ever using it, the way he did with Trevor's cool ability. Mateussf 22:14, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

Perhaps he just killed Joe out of anger, and took his ability for the heck of it, as somebody else said. Or perhaps his Hunger activated--again. He isn't picky about abilities.

But yeah, I agree, this ability needs to be used onscreen.--ERROR 21:45, 18 June 2009 (EDT)


Just a random thought, anyone think he could perform a "Zorro"? Or just super office clerk?--Drwho113 (talk) 17:37, 15 February 2009 (EST)

  • Hard to tell. He's only written on paper so far.--MiamiVolts (talk) 18:41, 15 February 2009 (EST)
    • We also don't know if his imprints are ink or something else... depending on what substance it is, he could possibly use the ability offensively. -Sincerely, Thrashmeister » talk- 19:11, 15 February 2009 (EST)

I think he can imprint with anything on anything. I also think that somebody will come by with the ability to erase anything Joe can imprint. And then that guy's ability and Joe's ability will turn out to be the same ability, which can also be used to alter whatever it can imprint/erase, and that if supercharged, it can alter DNA and probably even memories.

Or that guy's ability, Joe's ability, and the altering ability will turn out to be separate abilities. Just some healthy speculation. Thoughts?--ERROR 21:42, 18 June 2009 (EDT)

Just... no. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:40, 19 June 2009 (EDT)

On second thought, no. Altering DNA and memories? Why did I come up with that? But other than that, I still stand by my theory.--ERROR 23:43, 30 January 2010 (EST)


Anyone else thinks that Sylar could have used it to forge Sandra's signature and not be caught by Noah? Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 18:15, 8 April 2009 (EDT)

  • I think he would need a copy of it, or at least have seen it. --Crazylicious 18:21, 8 April 2009 (EDT)
    • He's buddies with Danko now, he could have asked him to pull an image of it, like Noah did, or at the very least do it himself, since he is posing as an agent. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 18:29, 8 April 2009 (EDT)
      • Yeah, you'd think the ONE time the power could have been used.... --Crazylicious 18:46, 8 April 2009 (EDT)
    • Honestly, how do we know he didn't? Just because it didn't match doesn't mean he didn't use the power. -- Psilaq R.- \m/ -_- \m/- 11:42, 12 April 2009 (EDT)
      • If he had made the signature look wrong intentionally, I think he'd boost about manipulating Noah. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:55, 12 April 2009 (EDT)

You mean boast?

I think he did it intentionally wrong. He said he wanted to "destroy him." So, I guess he wanted Noah to figure out the fake signature, so he would attack his wife, thinking she's Sylar, and so then, the stress of that would make him much more willing to accuse people of being Sylar, so he'd eventually be locked up for guessing wrong and murdering. Thoughts?--ERROR 17:53, 17 June 2009 (EDT)

  • I agree with that theory, he'd have known Noah would have double-checked Sandra's signature.-- By Danko CH 18:00, 17 June 2009 (EDT)
    • Yes, I meant boast. Anyway, I still think that he would've bragged about manipulating Noah if had done the signature wrong on purpose. Also, I don't think Sylar could have planned that far ahead, he can't see the future anymore. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 18:16, 17 June 2009 (EDT)

He wouldn't have to see the future. He'd just have to understand how Noah's mind worked. And if he boasted about that, somebody might find out, and that would ruin his plan.--ERROR 21:34, 18 June 2009 (EDT)

  • Even with IA, it would still be a stretch. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:40, 19 June 2009 (EDT)
    • Yeah, I guess. But then again, it was Noah himself that Sylar told that his ability enables him to rapidly analyze human behavior, if memory serves. Still, yeah, I guess it's still an astonishing feat on Sylar's part.--ERROR 23:47, 30 January 2010 (EST)


Is the name being changed or not? It's been nominated for a name change for weeks. --BoomerDay 19:57, 13 April 2009 (EDT)

Talk 19:59, 13 April 2009 (EDT)

    • Imprinting is what infant animals do to identify their parents. It has nothing to do with printing documents. - Hive 11:32, 11 May 2009 (EDT)

It could.--ERROR 18:02, 17 June 2009 (EDT)