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Names fascinate me. You can tell a lot about a person just by knowing their name. You don’t even have to know the guy. My mother wanted to name me Maxwell, or Max, but my father obviously thought that was much to cool of a name for a kid that, as a small child, resembled a deranged seal. I’m still pissed about my name today, and I try not to think about it. Your saying, “if your trying not to think about names, why are you writing a column about them?” Well, reader, the answer to that question is quite simple: I am an idiot.

But seriously, a name can tell a lot about you. For instance, if you were a boxer, and you had to choose between fighting a guy named Ernie or a guy named Bruno, who would you choose? Try to mentally picture a guy named Ernie in your head. He looks like an insufferable dweeb, doesn’t he? Whereas a normal mental picture of a guy named Bruno tends to look like a guy who strangles people regularly and has about half a metric ton of chest hair. I don’t care if your Mike friggin’ Tyson, if your fighting a guy named Bruno, your going to tense up a bit. I’d say Ernie is your best bet.

I also find it interesting that on any given sci-fi show, the characters names don’t even sound human. It’s like they had a guy stand by the delivery table while a woman was giving birth and take notes of what she said while in labor.

“Uuk? That sounds good.”

“Worf! Theres a classic!”

Which brings me to an idea: wouldn’t it be fun to name your offspring after Star Trek characters? No fair using Kirk and Picard. No human names allowed. Imagine introducing your kids to the new neighbors down the street. Some soccer mom introduces her kids as Tyler, Michael, and James, and you shoot right back with “these are my children, Worf, Uuk, and Spock.”

Names also give race and culture away. You show me a white girl named ShaQuiqui, and I’ll show you a girl that doesn’t exist. Any guy named Sherome is black. Anyone named Boyd is a hick; a guy named Jerry is always going to have a great sense of humor. That’s why Jerry Falwell is so ridiculous. The last guy I’m gonna believe has an inside track with God is some guy named Jerry. I met a girl named Symphonee, for Christs sake. Whats next, Overture, Fugue, and Concerto? Musette, Mazurka, Minuet, Waltz? Or God forbid, Melody. Jesus!

Some names are just plain perverted. I swear on everything that is good and decent that there is someone in the Flint Area phone book named Reverend Christian Butz. Wonder if ‘ol maw and paw ever caught that little message there. I’ve had teachers named Mrs. Chode, Mr. Shaft, and, crikey, a guy named Dick Handwerker! These parents must have been in a frigging coma to not catch something like that.

Lastly, I would like to announce that I’m going to name my son Bike. That sounds like a hardcore name, doesn’t it? “Whats up, Bike!”
Builds character.


The following comments are for "Whats in a name?"
by Lei605

Names also fascinate me (In fact, I have an article about place names somewhere on my computer that I really should publish here some time).

I have met people called Melody and Minuette. I also know a lady named Sunshine. :-) There's lots of interesting names out there.

Now... to actually talk about the writing...

First thing: You use the word "your" quite a few times in this piece, when it should be "you're". It's not really a major complaint, but I do find it a bit distracting (My old English teacher would have had a fit, though!).

I liked the bit about Bruno and Ernie; I think you got the humour across quite well.

The bit about names from Sci-fi was also fun, but I think you missed a lot of potential in names from our own planet - there's a never-ending supply of names out there; in fact, a lot of sci-fi names are often real names taken directly from far-off cultures (and not so far-off ones).

Anyway, I'd better stop and give you a score... I think 7/10. It's not bad, but it needs a bit more work before I'd give it 8.

Finally, if you're into names, may I humbly recommend the "Nutty Names" section of my own web site, - I think you'll enjoy it. ;-)

Also, you should try listening to the song "Boy Named Sue", by Shel Silverstein. It's an amusing take on being lumbered with an unusual name.

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: March 14, 2003 )

That is pretty funny,Cannadia. (I spelled that wrong on purpose for once.) I thought "a boy named Sue" was Jonhny Cash?

( Posted by: Shiane Canleo [Member] On: March 14, 2003 )

"Boy named Sue" - written by Silverstein, sung by Cash.

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: March 15, 2003 )

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