Monday, April 6, 2009

What's in a nickname: Naming conventions

There's a word for it
And words don't mean a thing
There's a name for it
And names make all the difference in the world

I have the interesting knack of giving nicknames to everyone I know. Not only that, but I am the only person I know who has given a nickname to a stuffed animal (aren't they supposed to have just one name if at all)— but I'll save that for another post.

Most people don't like going by their given name. The short version of someone's name is considered a nickname to me. I tend to tell people if they want to address me professionally, then use my full name— otherwise use the short version of my name (because it is the casual form of my name). I sometimes find that some names cannot be shortened, or the short name just doesn't fit— and a unique nickname is in order.

I have been known to take the wrong part of a full name on purpose just to be unique. For example, a lot of people call Julia "Jewels" for short. I would switch it around and call her "Lia" instead. Other times I use the first letter of their name as a nickname. For example, if I knew a Margaret (I don't by the way)— I would call her "M".

If all else fails, I typically use the format "Mr./Ms. First name here" as a catch all. Let's use Margaret as an example again… I would call her Ms. Margaret (not to be confused with the princess of the same name). Sometimes if a person has the same letter for their first and last name I will use the number two after that initial. For example, let's say Margaret's last name was Miller… I would probably then call her M2 (pronounced emm two).

I have no rhyme or reason why I use one convention over another. I guess it all depends on how I know the person— and if they choose to accept the nickname I give to them. The nice thing about the blogging community is that many people have already chosen a nickname to use— so I don't have to come up with one. Many of you have chosen to call me CaJoh— which is fine since it just adds to my many nicknames… but I'll save that for yet another post.

1 Excerpt from the Talking Heads song: "Give Me Back My Name" from the album Little Creatures.

Post a Comment
Web Analytics