Sunday, September 30, 2012

Quote of the week #7

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

William Shakespeare

Today’s topic is all about names.
Certainly, a rose would be the same if it had another name, although it is the same in German and French, each with a different pronunciation. Anyway, I don’t want to explain the tasks of language here.
What I am more interested in is the names of persons. It is only recently that I have realized that I have an unordinary relation to names, you might even say it’s strange. 
Apparently, the name of another person is something very intimate for me. Of course, this is illogical, as everyone has a name and everyone can call you by that name.
When I meet people and make friends with them, they very soon address me with my name all of the time. I have realized that I actually only call my closest friends with their names and that it takes me a lot of time to address someone with his/her name in real life, but when I do it, I like to do it and mention their names very often.  I don’t think at all it’s inappropriate when people say my name, I think I even like it, it’s just that I don’t do it. For example, someone asks me “[name], do you want to go the cinema tonight?” If I ask that question, I only use the name when it’s a close friend. Maybe I’m crazy.

However, it made me think about names and their importance for us.
At least for me, names indicate a lot of intimacy.

So, what’s in a name?
What does our name mean for us? Is it just a word? Is it us? After all, we identify ourselves with that name.
Would you like to choose another name for yourself? Would that make a difference? How important is the name you choose for your children?

Here’s another quote:
In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.
Hubert H. Humphrey

Things are what they seem to be, but does the name determine what we seem to be? Or does our personality and our behaviour have an influence on how our name seems to be?

What is the cause and what is the result or is it reciprocal in a way? Is there any connection at all?
Would you feel different about yourself if you had a completely different name, would other people expect someone differently? How much of your name determines what you seem to be?

Or, ultimately, does it only depend on who uses your name? Does it not make any difference what your name actually is but what people make out of it?
For that purpose, a last quote. It’s one that I really like and it is from a little child called Billy who was asked to define love. Can you believe he was just four years old?

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.

Did you ever realize it makes a difference? I did. There are people who pronounce my name in a way I don’t like and there are other people that make it sound valuable.

They make your name sound unique.


  1. Anonymous1/10/12 01:24

    As time goes by I find that we, humans, get more relation, and interest in life subjects from our old scripts coming from the, let me use a trite sentence, night of times.

    The Vedas, the Qur'an, the Gospels, the Eddas, the Egyptian Sacred Books, and the infinite production of lore through the time is a complete source that we can take as reference to the most recent, or ancient ideas.

    Somewhere into each one of those mentioned scripts there is a sentence almost mystic, and written in different ways, but not less true:

    Words belong to Humankind, Facts belong to (here write the name of your Deity, do not forget that atheism does not exists, there is always a "some(one)thing", we design as our fulfiller)

    The Bard in his best could not elude this law, he had the gift of words, but he could not go further than that.

    In a kind of ecstasy, Shakespeare could glimpse that whatever the name, a rose will keep the Fact of Being a rose.

    This is why the use of names into the recess humankind created in the Universe, has lost their real meaning. We never lose totally the heavy significance that 'A Name' has.

    Anyway, we lost the track into the myriad of names we received, and invented since Adam (to take one example but not the only one) started
    to name the things he found in Eden.

    If I follow your drift, I will tell you it is not strange to feel names are important, on the contrary, it is a natural subservient to what I wrote above, most of the things we do in our life are the effect that the Cause generated and we forgot through the centuries.

    Several year ago, one of those "brainy" advisors hired by the Corporations has the brilliant idea of create a new movement called "Let's treat one another sweetly, calling us by our given name".

    It started as a joke and finally was a success. Why? because the same reason mentioned above, namely: we give names an extraordinary importance even if some of us or maybe all of us cannot explain why.

    Names indicate a lot about their possessors, not only intimacy, but the essence of reality that makes each one of us what we are.

    Unfortunately, I am talking about our "real" name, not the one we receive when we disembark on Earth.

    Usually, we identify with that not too real name received here, but that is only natural, what else can we be but a name when there are events and subjects happening in our environment and that concern us?

    I strongly suspect that the quote Mr. Hubert H Humphrey presented involving Shakespeare, was done with the tongue in the cheek. I do not know well the man's work but can imagine his family trends looking to his given names!

    Things are, we can name them and we can change their names (included ourselves), once or as many times as we felt like it, thing will keep being what they are and the names we give to them will be what they are, too: words.

    No, I would not feel different because I changed my name, it only will be a game of identities without content! Neither it will make any difference who uses it and how, maybe with just one exception, but that is as impossible to know that is preferable not to consider the event.

    Nice and cute last quote! I love it, too. And finally, yes! I can believe he was just four years old!

    In my environment, there is not much difference in the way people pronounce my name, but that is understandable. Anyway I do not lose the hope to hear somebody making of my name that unique sound you mention!

    Nice subject, Kleopatra, thank you.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! You gave me some food for thought again. I guess you're right with what you wrote!
      I am not sure what my Deity is, by the way, although I agree with you and would not call myself an atheist.

      But may I ask, what do you mean by our "real" name? I do not fully understand that... How can there be a real name when names are actually just an invention and an attempt from us to name things? How can there be a real name at all?

      There is also not much difference in the way people pronounce my name at the moment, but there used to be someone for some time that did pronounce it in that special way, so I know that sound. And I am sure you will hear somebody pronouncing your name that way!

    2. Anonymous2/10/12 02:36

      I am going to answer my answer, Kleopatra, which is not at all The Answer. This is only what I think to be true based on the lack of real facts assented in my mind:

      You wrote "I am not sure what my Deity is", but you are, just look long and steady into your deepest nook, and lo! there it is! :)

      Also: "what do you mean by our 'real' name?", this is only a batty idea of mine that define the existence, essence, and being of a living creature. Nobody can exist if first "somehow" that real name is not 'pronounced'. I must add I do not know how is it done, but surely not by mean of words, since those tricky means never mean what we want them to mean! :)

      As in the case of the above "pronounced" which does not mean to say aloud, but be brought into existence, somehow but not clearly told, since it is just a word.

      So you see the Bard was right: What's in a name?, if by name we mean the word we use to describe something in our tricky reality.

      In the way of money, there maybe real bills (made legally) and fake ones (invented by us to move around 'known' things).

      Hope have answered your Q's!

    3. I do understand what you mean now!
      I was just confused about how the name should be pronounced but I agree with you it isn't pronounced with words.
      I like those ideas of yours you call batty. :)

      You have, thank you!

  2. Vary interesting post.
    Thanks for share your knowledge with us.

    1. Thank you for your comment!

  3. I think names use to be important many moons ago and still are to a certain point. Names use to mean something, people took the time to choose a name for their child because behind that name had a meaning. For example, you won't find many people with the name Lucifer, Jezebel or Hitler, because of the history behind it, but on the flip side, many people are called Mary, Elisabeth or Jesus, etc, so names have an importance.

    Nowadays, the younger generation are making up all sorts of crazy names for their children - (I won't offend any by mentioning them here) that make no sense, have no meaning, and they don't even know how to spell it. I have a feeling that there will be many name changes in years to come, ha ha. Interesting Post Kleopatra.

    1. I agree that names are still important for us. We give them a meaning by something we know.

      I have been reading about some of those names you mentioned. I don't know how this is in the UK, but in Germany it is not allowed to choose such names as in the US. We can give our children only "ordinary" names, that means we can't choose the name of a city or a fruit, for example.

      Thank you, RPD!

  4. Very interesting post!

    As for me names have an you know how long it takes to name my character in a video game? Just kidding but seriously it does play an importance...the simple example of being called by your name by your loved ones compared to being called by your name by an absolute stranger....the comfort just comes out of nowhere!

    Even names sometimes gives a unusual representation to one's personality...I have no idea why but it just in a odd way does!Like when I name my lil stray kitty friends (not a crazy cat lady by the way) and I automatically just name them according to how they act and how they are...I guess a name because I find them special or I find them close to my heart!

    By now I have no idea what I just blabbed out....too lazy to recheck what I wrote anyway...not sure if I got my message sent out right lol but nevertheless this is a well written post!

    1. I agree with you, we attach great importance to the process of choosing a name. I don't play video games and I don't have cats, so I don't know about that. :) But I can imagine it would take me a lot of time to decide how to name my children, if I ever have any.
      You are right, there is a great difference between being called by your name by a stranger and by your loved ones!

      No worries, your comment is perfectly understandable!

      Thank you for your comment and your kind words!

  5. Hi!

    I think names can influence the character of a person. For example, if we keep calling a kid with his name that shows pride or strength, he might grow up to be a person with confidence.

    1. Hi,
      this is an interesting idea, although I think there are more influences that determine a person's confidence.

      Thank you for stopping by and for your comment!

  6. In my belief, names plays an important part in one's life. For example, "Nur" means light. We know what it implies. When a a baby is born, it's the duty of the parents to give her/him a good name with meanings. It's like a prayer when calling the baby with such name with the hope, the baby grows up to be a good and blessed person. I agree with Zunnur on its influence in a person's character.

    It's not necessary to agree with me. This is just my thought.

    A nice post, Kleopatra. :)

    1. That is a nice costum to give a baby a name with a good meaning. :) In Germany, we don't really have such names with meanings. But a friend of mine is Turkish and when she was born there was a storm, so she was named Yagmur which means rain.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Balqis! :)