A name is a name

~~ Originally printed in The Chapel Hill (NC) Weekly, June 2012 ~~

If anyone had told me when my beautiful babies were placed in my trembling, greedy arms that I would one day address them as Balls, Brake, and Tob, I would have been indignant at best.

Language fascinates me to no end, and I love the idea of a group collectively deciding that this bedcover made of stitched-together fabric scraps is a “quilt,” and that feathered, beaked creature is a “bird.” Naming is a fascinating process, and the fact that I could bring people into the world and christen them with a moniker of my choosing was absolutely thrilling. Continue reading

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What’s in a name?

~~ Originally printed in Carrboro (NC) Free Press, January 2009 ~~

I’m fascinated by language, words, names, and naming. Not just proper names, but the names that have been assigned to objects through the ages. The way mythology teaches of the world being spoken into creation, followed by the naming of all the creatures.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Names reflect consensus, agreement within a group of people that a word or sound belongs with a certain object. At some point it was agreed that the thing you hold and read, with pages of writing between two covers, is, in English, a “book,” and the leather thing you pull on to keep your feet warm and dry is a “boot.” Continue reading