Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Hal also conveys alcoholism

Well, apparently there was a German howitzer called "Big Bertha" which demolished Belgian forts in Liege, Namur, and Mauberge, which was named for the manufacturer's wife. I think the reputation grows from there, along with general associations of big, manly Central European housewives with rolling pins and penchants for brandywine. Also, if you wikipedia "Big Bertha," along with the guns, you get a story about a bass drum built for UofC which was contaminated during the Manhattan Project, then decontaminated, and is now apparently at UTexas, and there's some asinine frat-boy story. This may be a microcosm of Wikipedia as a whole.

Also, I think the "B" gives the name it's heft... Betty is hardly any skinnier. But, like, Martha, that's not a fat name... and I can't think of any "er" names right now.

Anyways, I thought I mentioned to you what I indulgently call nominal determinacy, the tendency for people to grow into the name they are given. This is of course totally absurd, but that hardly seems to be a criticism anymore, anyways. But yes, naming your child is like the second act of parenting, its essential to get it right. Of course, the notion that one can get it right is probably why I will be one of those awful parents who simultaneously squash their children while inspiring irrational devotion, but still, at least, you have to pick a name cognizant of three facts:

1 - They will be mocked sometime between the ages of 7 and 12 with this name. This inspires regularity, so that you know your child's tortures are of the bland, generic kind, which, like undercooked gruel, can only serve to strengthen the child's resolve.
2 - This is the name you have to be able to deliver with vindicative fury and righteous anger upon your child's transgressions. This prevents the use of French names... try scolding Remy or Guy. Conversely, how do you even pronounce Archibald but with a sneer? One can escape this, of course, by the use of properly pretentious middle names. Even a name as flaccid as James can be declaimed successfully if properly buoyed. James Winston Marlborough, your insulting lack of table etiquette almost makes me as ill as your sickly sister, Minnie.
3 - This name will appear on their office door, so proper selection of initials is key. If I may humbly submit as an example, HTP. All three are of equal width in most typefaces. The symmetry of the T, as well as its air of elevation, makes it a strong candidate for a middle initial. Compare with, say, IFB. There is a strange sense of the medical about these initials, and the weight of the F and the B almost completely overshadow the I.

It's a daunting task. Happily we've no reason for innovation.

On the fatness front... I was thinking- doesn't being fat affect a lot more people's lives a lot more negatively than drugs? What if we legalized marijuana, made the use of all sorts of food additives illegal, and declared a War on Fat? Ban Bertha as a name. Replace Little Debbie with Little Doobie. This is totally a good idea.

Also, yesterday I have a great musical brainstorm, which is actually a terrible idea, but once I have some freetime in early September, I'm going to spend it on this. I'll explain tomorrow.


  1. One of the badguys on "Carmen Sandiego" was named "Big Bertha." She used to try and steal the Eiffel Tower and shit. But she was more muscular than she was fat.

  2. Its too pathetic to conveys alcohol.I cant summit to that and always i am neglecting it.
    Suffering from an addiction. This website has a lot of great resources and treatment centers.