Sunday, November 16, 2003

I love names. I have been stuck with a name that is most common in one part of the world but hopelessly ridiculous in the part I ended up living my life. I've got enough pseudonyms to rival any major pre-modern Chinese poet.

One of my correspondents sent me this link about babies named after brands like Timberland and Courvoisier cognac. Parents may want to mark their children out as different, but, someone who is damned to being nominally different, I found that being different is a hindrance.

Another study shows that even children with common names spelled differently will be discriminated against and will be viewed as weak, stupid or effeminate. Think about that when you meet the next Cathryne or Bradlee.

Why can't we change names to match ourselves at different points in our lives? Baby names only reflect the parents' wishes, whether it is to honour a relative (I am honouring my rapist grandfather) or fit a physical trait (like red hair) that might change with age. At least those of us who would be responsible not use our name-changing to ease fraudulent endeavours should be excused from the general rules. Why do we have to write a novel to be allowed a pseudonym or to go through a lengthy process of legally changing?

And I think Tamika sounds pretty cute.

This discussion about names began with the name Gus. There weren't many Guses around. But now that I am connected to a Gus through someone else, Gus seems to be everywhere. In the ad for a new movie. Some guy in the article about Heidi Fleiss - I believe he pissed her off. On a magazine editorial staff. Where were the Guses hiding before?

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