Thursday, April 7

Larry Or Lawrence (LOL) moments.

What’s in a name? Was Shakespeare right, “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”? I’m not so sure. Would Mickey Mouse be as popular as he is today if his name was Michael Chapman Mouse the third? I think not. Even the whole mouse thing is a bit misleading, people tend to think of mice as rather cute little guys but really, when you think about it, what’s the difference between a mouse and a rat which everyone agrees are disgusting creatures? I mean a rat is just a large mouse, right? Would you build a theme park around a rat?

Take the names Larry and Lawrence. If you were writing a short story, would you send your protagonists to the tough biker bar to share a beer with Larry or Lawrence? Let’s see a show of hands from everyone who picked Lawrence. Yeah, that’s about what I thought. And what about the name Lawrence? Doesn’t it sound more fitting for an investment banker or someone with a column in the financial section? Now if you were going to name the lobster that was about to appear on the dinner table then I’d have go with before-mentioned Larry, as in, “Oh-no, Larry the lobster has fallen into a pot of boiling water!” But I can’t see calling him Lawrence; it just doesn’t have the right ring to it. Larry, Lawrence, Larry, Lawrence, Larry, Lawrence – what’s in a name? The details, of course, and everyone knows that the devil is in the details. Yeah, sure, a rose might smell as sweet with a different name but who’s to say a different name would sound as sweet? We’re talking marketing here, people, it’s the whole package we’re trying to sell.

Names matter. Sticks and stones might break your bones but words can really rip your heart out. A good friend of mine changed his name after high school. I didn’t think the old name was that bad. Sure, it wasn’t pronounced anything like it was spelled and if you pronounced it like it was spelled, well…I guess that could be a problem, but to actually go before a judge and have it legally changed – that’s got to show you something. He said he was teased and tormented so much about his name throughout school that he just wanted a fresh start. Even after all these years I could see his pain and hear the anger in his voice. Time doesn’t heal all wounds but I guess a new name might have some bandage-like qualities.

What if people or objects that weren’t named properly glowed fiercely like fireflies? Wouldn’t it then be our duty to take the time to properly name them so that we could all get some sleep at night? But here’s a thought: what if you glowed brightly but you really loved your name?

It would be like, “Hey, glad to meet you my name’s Greg.”

And everyone would just stare at you with their best puzzled expressions before finally shaking their heads and saying, “No…I don’t think so.”

Here’s a little something to bring out that healthy lol glow.

1 comment:

April Henry said...

I had a long conversation with Carol Shields once about why she named a character Larry.