Posts tagged with "name" - Faerye Net 2008-05-30T22:41:01+00:00 Felicity Shoulders No, really. 2008-05-30T22:41:01+00:00 2008-05-30T22:46:22+00:00 <p>When people meet me (or, recently read my name) in a writing context, they occasionally ask if or assume that it&#8217;s a <em>nom de plume</em>. However, in other contexts people tend to take my word on it that that&#8217;s my name. The other day, though, someone was copying my name from a written source in front of him and decided to invert my first and middle names. (He called me by my middle name for the rest of our interaction, it wasn&#8217;t just a typo.) I like to imagine his thought process went something like &#8220;There&#8217;s no way her parents put her through elementary school with that<sup><a href="#fn1">1</a></sup>. It must be a family middle name or something.&#8221;</p> <p id="fn1"><sup>1</sup> I love my name. And yeah, it got some teasing on the playground, but have you met me? I probably would have been teased even if I had been the 3rd Kelly in my grade.</p> A question of names 2006-08-28T15:15:05+00:00 2008-06-08T13:30:02+00:00 <p>I am in the midst of writing a response/commentary to Margaret Atwood&#8217;s <em>The Handmaid&#8217;s Tale</em>, a dystopia based on Fundamentalism&#8217;s grab for reproductive control of women. And I continuously run into one stylistic question: <b>what do I call the protagonist?</b></p> <p>So far, I am using, well, &#8220;the protagonist,&#8221; but it is cumbersome. The issue is that her &#8216;name&#8217; in the novel, &#8220;Offred,&#8221; is not her name. It&#8217;s a possessive title indicating she is the property of Fred (and which applies to her only so long as she is assigned to him.) By using this name, I feel I would be somehow complicit, legitimizing the protagonist&#8217;s reproductive slavery. (Yes, I know she&#8217;s fictional, but I am an English major. Words have power and I have ethical qualms about my treatment of fictional characters.)</p><p>She has a name, this fictional woman, but it is never stated. A good guess is possible from a close reading, but it&#8217;s hardly clear communication to use the possible answer to a riddle as a fact. So, I struggle on with &#8220;the protagonist,&#8221; using &#8220;Offred&#8221; only in scare-quotes, and suspecting that this quandary was <em>precisely</em> Atwood&#8217;s intention.</p> The Poky Puppy 2004-11-11T16:32:17+00:00 2008-10-01T15:35:52+00:00 <p><img src="" alt="The Poky Little Puppy from Golden Books" title="The Original Article" class="imageRight" /></p> <p>I love my car. Not in the way that <a href="" target="links">some</a> people love their cars, but I love it, all the same. My car is not a sleek, wondrous machine, promising endless adventure and growling speed songs somewhere out of the range of human hearing. It does not contain feats of engineering so mind-bogglingly cute or useful that passengers are rendered silent by their sheer beauty. It does not do anything particularly fast.</p> <p>My car is a very dirty white Toyota Corolla, with a very odd and fairly permanent tracing of some black thread, like Goth silly string, along one side and a schmear of peach paint from a wall on the back bumper from the time my depth perception failed me behind <a href="" target="links">Happy Panda</a> one day. It has one little <a href="" target="links">Oregon Zoo</a> decal trying to differentiate it from its myriad Toyota brethren, and three or more hats sitting around the inside or perching on headrests within. It has a special transmission I like to call &#8216;darkmatic,&#8217; because it is one of the various things in the car that doesn&#8217;t light up at night any more. It is a dumpy, frumpy little car, and utterly forgettable.</p> <p> Until very recently, its sheer normalcy (I have it on good authority that my car is the most common make, model, and color in the country) discouraged me from naming it. It took me from place to place, accepted my stuff without comment, hid my Powell&#8217;s &#8216;Great Authors&#8217; Nalgene for almost a year under its seat, and ungrudgingly carried the same load of castoffs for Goodwill for another year or so. It is a useful, dependable thing, my constant companion, and I felt almost ashamed for not having named it. And so it is with great joy and great affection for my blessedly boring little vehicle that I announce that I have at last thought of a name which both acknowledges its unexciting nature and communicates its beloved state. My car&#8217;s name is &#8220;The Poky Puppy.&#8221;</p><p>I can&#8217;t decide whether to splurge and baptize the little dear with a car wash.</p>