Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Name that name

People's names are pretty important. It's how we identify people, even though thousands of people have the same one, which is perhaps why there's been a disturbing recent trend of naming babies with a common name but with a slightly different spelling, such as Caryn (instead of Karen) or Bayli (instead of Bailey) or Giorja (instead of Georgia). Wouldn't it be easier if our names were all numbers? This way we'd all be unique and each name could represent the world's population at that second – though admittedly the name 7,092,903,482 doesn't have the same ring as Sophia or Isabella (last year's top two most popular girls names), but is perhaps better than Madison (#9 most popular).

Anyway, names are important but relative. Say I have a best friend called Michael (not real name) who I've known all my life. Whenever I hear the name Michael I think of him. But then we grow apart, and say I start work with a different Michael and start hearing his name all the time. I may not even like him that much. But still, my idea of Michael changes and now when I hear the name Michael I think of my workmate. But it's not just with common names. It happened recently with two people with pretty unusual names: Axel (not real name). I had always thought of Axel when I heard the name Axel, until I started working with another Axel, and now I think of him when I hear the name. At least he's nice, but none the less, it always feels like a betrayal of the old Axel, or the old Michael. Everything's just so goddamn transient.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Rebekah Brooks resigns over her name

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