Sunday, May 11, 2008

What's in a Name?

Have you ever noticed that when you're trying to do something creative, particularly a writing project, half the time seems to be spent just deciding what to name things?

Take this blog, for example. Before you ever write your first post, possibly before you even know what you're going to be blogging about, they make you choose a name. Somehow this name has to relate to whatever you intend to write about, encompass any future topics you might decide to expand into, and sound cool all at the same time. And the burden of choosing is forced upon while you sit staring at your monitor pondering your first post and wondering if you really have anything worthy of publishing for all the world to see.

Then, once you have your title, as wonderful and creative as it could be, you suddenly think to wonder whether somebody else might not have thought of it first.

Assuming your name is unique enough to be available, you then have another name to choose - the post itself. Sometimes this is easy enough to come by, or it comes to you during the process of writing your post, but other times it feels like pulling teeth to come up with something meaningful and yet still original. Then there's the pressure to finish and post before your browser decides to forget who you are and dump all your hard work.

Of course, you could always decide to put off naming things like your NPC's and cities and World of Warcraft pets, hoping that just the right name manages to come to you before crunch time, before you're forced to name the recurring NPC Reggie just to get your friends off your back. Or you could pick a throw-away name, only to realize later that everybody you want to talk to knows you by a screen name that you never liked in the first place.

They should have a Cool Name Generator for all those of us whose writing is inhibited by the search for the perfect name. It needs to be able to simultaneously look up every related wikipedia page, scan every foreign language dictionary, filter through all those baby name websites, and read your mind. Then you can just push a button and DING! instant name!

Now, what was I blogging about again?