A Predator of Information

Our songs will all be silenced, but what of it? Go on singing.

Nomen mihi est…

29 July 2016 2:45 PM (musing | language)

This article reminded me how fortunate the children I won't have are that I will never reproduce.

When I was young I came up with lists of names I would give to my children. Some names are just obviously viscerally enjoyable, like Daniel, Zedekiah, Aliyah, Fleet, and Xavier. Some names are obviously unpleasant, like Wyatt, Garrett, Scott, Connor, Molly, Abigail, Hannah, Amber, Carly, and George.

I liked many Old Testament names and still enjoy hortatory names those (comprising a command or exhortation). For a few decades, Dissenters were wandering around being named Magnify-the-Lord, Search-the-Scriptures, and Thou-Shalt-Love-the-Lord. Shorter examples persist today in names like Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, Patience, and Grace.

Sometimes I imagine reviving the hortatory tradition with more secular virtues. I could name my children Hope, Sincere Investigation, Wonder, and If-thou-Hackest-thy-P-Value-Thou-Wilt-Be-Damned. Somewhere in the Meinongian zoo my children rejoice in their nonexistence.

I often feel strange about my name. I don't hate it, but I don't feel like it really belongs to me either. Therefore, I think that if I have children, I might not name them at all and see if they come up with names of their own, give each other names, or get them assigned by folks outside the home. Alternatively I could wait to name them until a few years after they're born. Once they develop a personality I could see what name fits and give them that one.

As a last resort, I could think up as many names as I could for each child, give each one all the names, and see what sticks.

One response

  1. Digital says:

    Hey, at least you're not thinking of using your kids' names for penetration testing, like Bobby Tables... https://xkcd.com/327/

    Joking aside, similarly, I don't have a fondness for my name. It's nice, I don't mind it (even though some made jokes.. I tend to be oblivious to that, maybe), but the name itself seems to act more like a ping than something I value as a distinct part of my identity. There may be other things related, too, such as not picking names for alternative persona.

    (If my parents wind up reading this - it's okay, don't worry about the name you chose)

    Name changes are legally possible, and some folks stick to alternative names even without officially changing the legal record (though that usually tends to happen once past the period of time when name-calling happens the most). Government, schools, and others need some form of identification, which makes delaying assigning a name not easily feasible

    (And I doubt most people want a GUID for their name...)

    This comment was originally posted on 2016-7-29 around 7:20:36 pm EST, and restored from my local backup after the Great Server Reset.

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