Monday, August 01, 2022

Random Rant (Names)

I... *ahem*


I collect...


I collect names. I admit it. I'm a name hoarder.

My parents were super-generous and gave me three. Well, they started out by giving me just two, but added a middle name. I actually have an amended birth certificate with my middle name added. I like all of them.

Laura = Victory, my original first name. Most people in real life call me by it. It's a good name. A solid name. It's been used by lots of people, both good and bad, but I like it.

Jean = Gracious, my middle name. Added kind of last minute to my infant self, I still like it. It is also a decent name. I have used it quite a bit online - mostly in games as part of a character name.

Dunham = My original last name. It means something like "village at the hill" or the like. It came down to us from a fellow who changed his own name to it during what might have been a mid-life crisis. The family history on the subject is very interesting.

In college I added a nickname by choice: Tegan. I used it exclusively online and in fandom for many many years. There are more people in this world who know me as Tegan (or my grumpy "RealTegan" when "Tegan" was taken) than as Laura.

Then I married a fellow and decided to collect HIS name as well, and Gjovaag came into my name hoard. Gjovaag is the name of a place in Norway where my husband's ancestors came from. They, too, changed their name when they left that place and went to Stavanger - apparently their name was so common there they just used their old home town name instead. At least, I *think* that's how it worked.

Anyway, at the moment I have five names. I like them all. I've kept them all. And that's nifty.

There are people who have changed their names and don't want to use their old names. That's also fine. What's not fine is when someone changes their name to something new, makes it clear they want to use that new name, and then some jerk comes along and uses the old name. That's a bad thing.

Just because I hoard names doesn't mean I insist on using old names or deadnames for people who don't want them. If they've buried a name, leave it buried. I'm happy to sit on my hoard of names, but other people are different. RESPECT THOSE DIFFERENCES.

This has been a PSA triggered by nothing in particular.