Friday, September 17, 2010

That Which Has No Name

Everything has a name and I don’t know why. Even weeds, the various types of sand grains, each discovered star in the sky. Anything you can name has a name.

Suppose we discovered an object and deliberately did not give it a name? “Hey! Look what I found!” Then, “What should we call it?” Reply: “Let’s break with tradition and not give it a name.” So they have an object which has no name and does it really need one? Only to distinguish it from others – but they all have names.

I wonder what would happen if you had a child with no name. No first name, no middle name, no last name. I usually introduce myself as, “I’m Tom Carten”; that’s not really who am, but just name my parents chose for me and the family into which I happened to fall by destiny. Fate placed me here, choice gave me an identity.

At the start of The Daily Show, the host says, “My name is Jon Stewart.” That’s more obviously not who he is, but what he chose when he changed it from his original last name. For real-namers, it might be, “This is how you may refer to me.” It’s like a vocal name tag. “Hello. My name is Joe Isuzu.”

In the Catholic Church, we name our children after saints so they will be inspired by them. Nice theory. Actually, we name them after parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, tv and movie stars, and strange spellings of whoever is hot at the moment. Maybe that’s why kids so often grow up hating their parents. Better no name than that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Enola, PA?

Pretty quiet place......CJV

September 16, 2010 9:30 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

I wonder.

September 18, 2010 4:42 PM  

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