A Rose By Any Other Name…
WHAT’S IN A NAME? Quite a bit actually. The names we have can go a long way to deciding our direction in life. If a name wasn’t all that important you wouldn’t see actors and actresses changing their names as they enter the business. Example: Famous actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg came into this world as Caryn Johnson.
There is nothing wrong with that name, but she felt that Whoopi Goldberg was easier to remember. It is a name that works for her. I’m sure that she is glad that she considered and rejected an earlier possible name – Whoopi Cushion. That just misses the mark, doesn’t it?
The reason I bring this up is that this morning our local news mentioned a youngster here in Terre Haute (French for “You want fries with that?”) who was having a birthday. This fine lad’s name was “Jonah Fish.” I’m sorry, but I think that his parents have not done him a favor. I’d wager a quarter that Jonah gets teased a lot by teachers and classmates. When he hits 18 I can see him going to court to change his name.
My wife, the wonderful and lovely Dawn, went to school with a girl named Dora Belle Ringer. That was cruel. Not as cruel, however, as another Texan of legendary note. In the early 20th century the Governor of Texas, Governor Hogg (you can see this coming, can’t you?), had brain freeze when he named his daughter (brace yourself) – Ima. From everything I have heard she was a wonderful person and led a life of philanthropy and civic grandeur in Texas.
William Lear of “Lear Jet” fame saddled his daughter with the name of “Shanda.” He also invented the 8-track tape, so he was far from perfect.
A few short years ago I had the misfortune to meet a couple who started out doing a wonderful thing and then managed to screw it up royally. They opened their hearts and home by adopting a child. For that I praise them to the heavens. I don’t know what they were thinking when it came time to name their newest family member. Why on God’s green earth would you, me, or anyone, name your son “Buckshot?” I think it just bodes ill for the future. Hopefully, I am wrong – but I doubt it. Nope – I don’t care what Mommy and Daddy think- Buckshot was not a good choice.
This makes me think that some people shouldn’t have children, or at least they should be able to pass a sobriety test before naming the children.
I know that it is a fad these days to be creative in coming up with names for kids, and I have no problem with that. Unique spellings, silent letters galore, or even oddly placed punctuation marks as part of a name are fine with me. But giving out a name that is going to get the kid teased, beat up, or unfairly categorized is not OK.
Hey, my first name is John and that carries a few extra connotations around with it, but it sure is better than Buckshot.
If you don’t think this can be a problem I urge you to listen to that old Johnny Cash song “A Boy Named Sue,” and then get back to me.