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The Name Game
I think all of us could agree that the selection of a name is an important task. One of the first tasks that God gave to man was to name the animals. Names matter. Names establish identity. How affirming it is when someone remembers you and calls you by name. Names distinguish one person from another. Hearing our name spoken or seeing our name in print can be very affirming. Or condemning. A person’s name is significant and careful consideration should be given to the choice of a name.
Because names are so vital to our identity, some people change their names in an attempt to change their image. How much fear do the names Terry Jean Bollette and Marion Robert Morrison conjure? Better to be Hulk Hogan and John Wayne. How much swooning would there be over Roy Harold Scherer Jr., Archibald Alexander Leach, or Norma Jeane Mortenson? Better to be Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, and Marilyn Monroe. Nothing too funny about Caryn Johnson, or Allen Konigsberg? But, Whoopi Goldberg and Woody Allen, those names carry a grin. Finally, how clever would you need to be to be called a real Albert Brooks? But, an Albert Einstein?! That packs a punch. Yes, names conjure up images, and affect the impressions we have of individuals.
Due to the significance of one’s name, I have to wonder what, or if, some parents were thinking when they chose their offspring’s name. To avoid childhood teasing, many resist names like Fairy Belle, Nod, and Wheezer. Some parents, however, fail to consider the unfortunate consequences of pairing their last name with an otherwise acceptable first name. For example, if your last name is Dover, Ben is probably not the best choice for a first name. Likewise, if your name is Clay, Brock might not be the best choice. Turner is best not paired with Paige. Nor, Register with the first name, Kash. If your last name is Pigg don’t name your twins, Ima and Ura. If Day, avoid Wendy and Sonny. No, just no. Somewhat more acceptable, but questionably so, are the names the Rhoades’ family chose for their children: Dusty, Rocky, and Sandy. I wouldn’t have, though it did make for good conversation starters. I also had a friend named Pat Peck. Okay, but? Other names emit a question mark only when you add the middle name. Kristal Leer, and Chris Bacon seem like perfectly acceptable choices for names, until you learn their middle names. Kristal’s is Shanda. Chris, has the simple initial, P. Seriously?
“A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet,” says William Shakespeare, whose real name is actually William Shakespeare. But, let’s just be honest, some names can create a stink. By the way, all the names mentioned in this article are actual names of real people. Bless their rosy little hearts!
Contributed by Carolyn Primm