Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What's In Your Name?

Source: iStock Photo

I've been carrying around this Wall Street Journal article scribbled on a scrap piece of paper for almost a week.

When I first read the headline ... yeah *rolls eyes* ... I thought, "No more Weiner! Please." I'd had just about enough of this guy's nonsense in the news. But I gave the writers a chance and read past the first couple of short paragraphs.

The article draws an interesting connection between occupations (some might say behavior, too) and people's names -- a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

As I read the names of an attorney ("Sue Yoo") and urologist ("Dr. Chopp"), I pondered my own. My-annoying-when-pronounced-in-English-name. Had I missed a "calling," some interesting career opportunity because I'd been too busy cringing every time I heard it?

"But Esmeralda ... it's so beautiful."

Yes, in Spanish, "Esmeralda," or "Emerald," rolls off the tongue. In English -- well -- it comes out like a fur ball. Like a malady in need of a cure.

Maybe I feel this way because every teacher I ever had from K-8 butchered it during roll-call. Or perhaps it's because the only other "Esmeraldas" I'd ever heard named were from film or TV, e.g. Samantha's nervous aunt on BEWITCHED, or the gypsy who got dragged up a tower by a hunchback.

Yup. All gems.

Trust me, there's a reason why the first time somebody called me "Ezzy," I latched on to it like a barnacle to the hull of ship.

If what this article suggests is true, should I have been a miner?  A gemologist? A museum curator or art collector? Hmmmmm ... what should somebody named after a precious stone do for their life's work?

In case you're wondering, I can't stand the sound of "Ezzy" in Spanish, either.

Are you in an occupation, or behave in a way that's "fitting" of your name?