Thursday, October 11, 2007

What’s in a name?

Over the past few years or so, Onomastics (or onomatology-- the study of names) has enamored me completely. The word, which is derived from Greek ονομα (onoma), means "name".

So, I have been drawing a mental comparison between people with identical first names and dissimilar cognomen. My postulation: people with the same first compellation share comparable characteristics. It could be the persona or the demeanor, but there is that inexplicable common thread created by the almighty. They are not doppelgangers. So, what I am sharing is my candid raw analysis based on keen observation.

Over the weekend, I was at a party in Albany. The host, who is my crony, introduced me to her confrere and posse, including a person named Anu. Five minutes into a conversation with her, I could see similarities between her and my friend Anu, who lives in NYC. They have the same hairstyle, analogous demeanor; they are dead ringers of each other physically and have the exact same style of iterating their point. I could not believe my ears or eyes. Was it an eidetic image? It was enough for my conjecture to morph in a conviction.

At the top of my head, I can think of four “Archana’s,” who I know closely and they all have indistinguishable hair and similar outlook towards life. None of them knows the other one. Isn’t that bizarre?

My list of examples doesn’t end with just these two names, but I’ll stop here. I don’t know what anyone else thinks, but I am convinced-- It’s all in the name!

Copyright © 10.11.2007

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - William Shakespeare

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know of two Amitaabhs....no comparison. Anil is another name that comes to my mind...I know so many of them & none of them look or act Anil Kapoor...I can go on too....I would rather be anonymous..

Anonymous said...

interesting idea! never thought of it that way!

peacelover said...

naam gumjayegaa
chehra yeh badal jayegaa

too good yaar.

J said...

Interesting article!

you know said...

babby, keep them coming

Anonymous said...

I would strongly recommend that you cut back on your use of arcane words where simpler synonyms would suffice. Your writing style just serves to obfuscate the point you are trying to make (if there is one at all! like I said, its hard to keep track of after all the translation one needs to perform).

Before you point out my ignorance, take a step back and ask yourself if its typical to use words like "cognomen, complellation, eidetic" in written or spoken English.

Take my advice for what it is..making a change might make your blog a more pleasant read.

R said...

Dear Anonymous,
You really don't have to read the blog you know. The fact that you took the time to actually translate the post shows how impressed you are. So get off the author's back and try improving your vocab.

Welsh said...

Way to go R! You took the words right out of my mouth.

By the way Anonymous, if you do have such strong sentiments, atleast sign your name so that people know who you are. Hiding behind anonymity is for the cowards, isn't it? Further, if you so strongly dislike it, just don't read the blog! No one is holding at gun at your head forcing you to read it!!

My take on the blog is that it is the author's way for using just those words that one wouldn't normally use in everyday conversation. I don't know about the others, but I certainly learn a few new ones every time I read the posts. (Yes, it does take a while with the dictionary, and yes, at times it is too painfull to look up all of them; but, the general meaning is easily understood and a new word sometimes learnt.) I take that as a plus. Don't you?

Or are you too caught up in your own insecurities and self-inflicted misery to look at the positives that might come your way?

opinionated said...

You have a point here Welsh. I think this person has a bone to pick with Pandorastwocents. There was that rather angry rant and the pathetic attempt with Jack and Jill a little while ago and now this.

I agree with you on Pandorastwocents intention behind the posts. I wonder what is driving Anonymous.

Anjali said...

I am surprised at how you can try to suggest that a coincidence can be anything more than just that. If your theory were true then everybody will want to name their daughters Aishwarya and son Amitabh!

btw, I agree with Anonymous (who everyone seems to be lashing out at). I think your articles would be more interesting if they had more substance and used less aberrant words that just distract the reader (the frequency of these types of words in your articles points to the fact that you focus on using these words too much!). Anyone can pull a thesaurus and find uncommon words to use, but a good author is able to convey their message without having to resort to seemingly impressive but superfluous words.

Anonymous said...

I think the blog is great, but the writer seems to be more concerned about impressions rather than expressions. And also, the blog does not make light and fun reading. Its tedious to refer the ditionary so often.....Again, excellent writing, very impressive, but does not touch a chord ........... fails to evoke emotions, Very pedantic,aloof and judgemental....The writing is perfect, but it lacks soul......

Besides, I am all about simplifying things , not complicating and this blog is all about complicating the english language. Seriously , I am bored......

welsh said...

If you are so bored, why are you still reading the posts and commenting on them?

Looks like you have nothing better to do with your life! Hey pandorastwocents, what do you think about posting your opinion on jobless lifeless losers who post arcane insane opinions? Now that should be fun! And Oh! please do use simple everyday words in that post so Anonymous above does not have much trouble understanding your opinion of his/her kind.