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I'm a published author of short fiction for kids and adults. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. I'm a former content writer for Spirit and Truth publishing on their Living the Word series. I've also worked as a paid book reviewer and as a student editor for The Louisville Review literary magazine. I'm a wife and mom to two great kids, three dogs, and a cat. I love books, movies, gardening, kids, and animals.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Name, name, what's the big deal about names?

Would romance spring to mind if roses were called cabbages?

Recently, (as in just a few minutes ago) I read an article about how to tell how old someone is by their name. Here is the link: How to Tell Someone's Age When All You Know is Her Name.

If you do read the article it really makes you think about name trends for babies and how we use this to form impressions about people before even seeing them. For instance, what do you think of when you hear of someone named Gertrude or Elmer? Does a young toddler come to mind? I'm just as guilty as the next person. When I read these names I immediately thought of older people.

This led me to do a search about what's in a name. I found another website that talked about the significance of names using mathematical principles based on an entire philosophy about names called the Kabalarian Philosophy. Feeling adventurous I typed in my first name for them to do a free simple analysis of it. Some of what their analysis came up with was true, some of it wasn't. I do like to think I'm creative and inventive. People do tend to share their problems with me and I do try to give them good advice and be a good listener for them. Sadly, I also do tend not to follow my own good advice at times. However, I don't generally have many problems with my sinuses, ears, or have lots of headaches. I also don't have problems with hair loss thank goodness. If I really felt my name impacted my hair situation I'd probably change it. Happily I tend to believe genetics plays a greater part in this rather than my name.

As human beings we do put great store in naming things, including ourselves. It does form our first impression with others and is based in our conscious reasoning and ability to create language as our basis for communication. If you enjoy reading or writing it also can lead to hours lost looking through baby name books and searching the web looking up names and reading what they mean. I admit I've always been fascinated with names and where they originated and what meaning they might have. Picking out names was one of the things I enjoyed most when I was anticipating the addition of a child to my family.

Choosing the right name for someone or something is important--whether real or fictitious. Shakespeare pondered whether a rose by another name would smell as sweet. I ponder whether calling a rose a cabbage instead would affect the sale of said flowers on Valentine's Day. Can you envision someone giving a you a lovely bouquet of red cabbages as a romantic gesture. What do you think? Do you think your name in part defines you? Is choosing a name for someone/ or something hard for you and a bit of a chore or something fun you enjoy? Leave a comment and let me know and don't forget to check in on Thursday for my guest post by author Margo Dill. She'll be discussing what makes a book YA (young adult).


4 comments:

  1. My name, Jocelyn, means just and fair. I like to think that reflects my character. I used to be teased as Jostlin' around, which, when I protested, led to taunts of "the goslings are crying."

    Over the years, I've had to weather through many mispronunciations--Jozzlyn, Joycelyn, Jacquelyn, Jocklyn, Josh Lynn, and so on--the trials of which have had an impact on me.

    It's no surprise I've decided to name the main character in my YA novel SUSANNAH.

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  2. Wow! I never thought Jocelyn would be a name people would give someone so much grief over. I've always been a little self-conscious about my name. I guess I always felt it was kind of ordinary as far as names go. But I never really got teased about it. Once in religion class in high school St. Ann was discussed as the mother of the Virgin Mary. Everybody turned and looked at me when that was brought up. I just stared back, like what--that wasn't me! If it was and I've been reincarnated with the same name I don't remember it and don't think I'd want to. Speaking of reincarnation, how boring would that be to keep coming back and getting stuck with the same name?

    Oh, my name means favored by God. Sweet, but I'm not certain how character building that is. Though I am very blessed.

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  3. This is interesting. One, I think older names are coming back. I have a lot of friends naming their babies, James, Roger, and Charles (Charlie) instead of Luke and Jake! But I haven't heard any girls named Gertrude in FOREVER. Anyway, my critique group is always on to me about the names I choose. They always say --too old fashioned. Doesn't fit the character, etc. etc. So, I am the worst name picker EVER.

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    Replies
    1. Hehe! I guess you are drawn to the classics as far as names go. Usually my characters come to me already named. It's weird, but I never really thought about that before. But they do. My problem--and one I'm still struggling with--is characters who want to have names that start with the same letter. I have three characters with D names in my Canary Princess story and I still haven' t figured out how to fix that. I tried changing Dyfan's name because he was one of my minor characters, but my critique group hated his name change. They loved Dyfan. They suggested I change my main villain's name from Damien to something else. I just haven't found a name dark and creepy enough to suit Damien yet. And since he enjoys the suffering of others he isn't forthcoming with any suggestions. Dyfan is insistent that he is Dyfan and that is it. And of course my hero of the story Daniel shyly assures me that he couldn't be called anything else either. And I love him too much to think of him by any other name. So it is likely Damien will be dubbed something else eventually when I figure out an evil enough name to fit him.

      Any suggestions on dark and dastardly names??

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