Monday, August 6, 2007

Is Your Baby's Name Too Fat?

Yeah I guess I was being melodramatic regarding the things you mention. It really doesn't discomfit me a whit to look at Greek or Roman art sans classical worldview or Pound sans fascism.

I think you're essentially correct to distinguish religious dogma from religious experience. This would allow a secular-humanist appreciation of religiously-bound art and literature without committing to the dogmatic trammels of their creators/co-religionists. You seem to further characterize the type or religious experience necessary as a "cognizance of the infinite" or "shared sense of being human" -- both of which phrases I like and think are fascinating. Basically I like your solution although I still have serious reservations.

However, rather than share these (boring) reservations, I've decided to change the subject entirely in order to talk about something else of equal weight I've been pondering recently.

Whenever I hear the name "Bertha," I can't help but think of a fat person. Why is this? Is it the sound of the word (e.g., the rounded "er" sound)? Or is it the way our culture presents people named "Bertha" in movies and television? A combination of the two?

If I named my daughter Bertha, would she be prone to sweller up like a pumpkin? Are names determinative of the entities they name, or are they content-less labels affixed at random?

More importantly, should we be giving our children "thin" names? The thinnest name I can think of is, "Splivka," but that's probably not a real name because I just made it up. What are some real thin names? Meredith? Victoria? Maximilian? What are some fat names? Fanny? Molson? Pieface?

William sounds thin, but Billy sounds fat. A paradox?

I wonder what connotative baggage "Hal" carries -- I mean, besides the murderous-computer baggage.

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