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