Sunday, August 27, 2006

How do they come up with these names? (paca)

So my actual given name is relatively distinctive. Not as much as it used to be, but relatively. When I was a kid, people frequently remarked upon it. Ath this point it's relatively common and it is not unheard of for a mother at the grocery to store to call to her young son with my name, and I have to know not to turn. That never ever happened when I was a child. I didn't meet anyone with my first name until I went to a summer camp as a kid. Still, some people flub the name, as is natural, but what is weird is that when they do flub it, they choose something completely different. I can imagine a Katherine being called Karen or a Abe being called Gabe. That's not what I get.

A customer once called my old work looking for "Forrest".
I got an email today from a prof I am editing that started "Thanks, Darryl".

The only connections I can see are that they remember it's two syllables and that it's vaguely Southern.

Now*, I do frequently get people who think my first name is my last. Just a couple days ago I was giving my name out and when I gave my first name they wrote it in the Last Name spot and waited for the given. My son, B, is going to hate me and N when he is six. His first name is my mother's maiden name, my middle, and his first. Moreover, it sounds very close to a much more common first name, so he is going to spend his entire life being called with the wrong name. Oh well.

For those who do not know, my first name is the first name of the "gonzo journalist" Paca S. Thompson.

*For those linguistically inclined, the word "now" is a common discourse marker in American English and is used to mark the start of new paragraphs in speech. There are computers out in the world programmed to listen for the word "now" at the beginning of a sentence and note a probable new paragraph as they try to understand what it being said.

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