While I concede that Ferdinand is a hell of a name to render in katakana, the Japanese phonetic language used for transcribing words in other languages, I think that the translation Stephenson goes with is pretty much god awful. It really doesn't parse, no matter how hard I try. I think something like Faajinando comes a lot closer, but maybe that's just me. It just seems like sloppiness, which doesn't really fit with the meticulous construction of an encyclopedic narrative. Could he be trying to get at something with such a seemingly bad translation?