Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Naming Thing

Trey Smith

I was reading in the newspaper about various athletes and student leaders from our three area high schools. After a while, something dawned on me. I don't think I ran across any students named John, Bob, Nancy or Mary. I only saw one Thomas, but no one named Steve or Cindy.

The names cited above were commonplace when I attended school. In fact, they were so common that it often made it difficult to keep individuals straight in conversation. "Did you hear that Steve and Nancy are going steady?" "Steve L., Steve O. or Steve C.?" "No, it's Steve W. You know, the one who lives around the corner for Mary P...or is that Mary S.?" "Oh, so Steve W. and Nancy A. finally got together!" "No, Steve L. asked Nancy Y." "Nancy Y.? I thought she was going with Rick. M." "No, she broke up with Rick M. 2 months ago. After that, she was seeing Rick Q......"

Of course, by the time my generation arrived on the scene previously common names like Orville, Wilbur, George, Elizabeth, and Thelma predominately had bit the dust. In all my years in school, I don't think I ever encountered a student named Mortimer or Zelda!

It's funny how names fall in and out of favor.

Speaking of names, why do we give storms human names? The winter storm throttling the US east coast today is called Nemo. Late last fall it was storm Sandy. And who can forget Hurricane Katrina?

Why don't we simply assign storms numbers?

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