Monday, April 5, 2010

What's in a Name?

Willy Shakespeare (I've performed his work--I figure I can call him Willy) made it sound so simple. A rose by any other name would smell as what's the big deal?

For a perfectionist putting himself out on the internet, the process of naming the blog turned far, far, far more complicated than expected. Going in, all I wanted was a name that: had a sense of humor about itself, was not overly pretentious, sounded like something I'd say, wasn't terribly long, was completely original, described my vision for the blog (read: didn't paint me into a corner in terms of content), had a little double meaning, fed the starving children of the world, ended the political sniping in Congress, and could be the title of the inevitable book deal that would come out of the blog. Is that really so much to ask?

The answer to that question is a resounding yes. Even excluding the last three elements of that list. I'd had a title in mind for this blog for quite some time, but when I did an online search, it turned out that it was taken. Not only by a blog, but by a book (not related to one another), so it didn't fit my need for an original title.

I proceeded to hit the thesaurus, trying to piece together synonyms to come up with a title that would express the same meaning with different words. But I was reminded of something that I learned in high school: if I depend on the thesaurus to speak for me, it winds up sounding nothing like me. So it was back to square one.

At that point, I got a solid piece of advice: step away from the title. Don't think about it, don't worry about it for a few days. Instead, I started working on the initial blog entry (what a concept--working on the actual content of the blog?) and let my brain wander for a few days.

I came back to the title search a couple days later, refreshed and ready to get the blog up and running. I came up with a quick four or five names...all of which were already in use in one form or another. I tossed some names around with another friend, but didn't come up with anything that stuck a chord.

And just when I was ready to walk away again, this title just popped into my head. In my mind, it works nicely to describe me. I'm admittedly guilty of focusing on one thing (sometimes to the detriment of all other things in my life), then moving the focus to something completely different...and on and on. Singular in focus, seemingly random in interests at times. And another friend found the double meaning for me: it can describe my dating life and the women I go after. I think I'm mildly insulted. I'm not saying they're wrong, but I'm still deciding if I'm mildly insulted.

Does this title hit every element on my list? Nah. But it feels right. And while not perfect, I can move my singular focus on to the next thing. Thank goodness.

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