#108 “Name Game”

From Grace in Anchorage, Alaska

The idea of names has always been intriguing to me. I understand why objects have names, of course; everything needs a label with which it may be identified. More specifically, I have always taken an active interest in the meaning of names and whether or not objects or people truly reflect the meaning (or even the feeling) of the name that they possess.

One of my favorite mental pastimes to engage in whenever I read a new book or watch a piece of cinema is to examine the implications of characters’ names. Over the years, a couple of my favorite “tricky” names include¬†Truman from the movie “The Truman Show” (he certainly is the only “true man”) and¬†Willy Loman from “Death of a Salesman” (Willy definitely is about as “low” of a man as you can get).

Whether we will admit to it or not, we all come to preemptive conclusions about people before we even meet them, and we often do this based solely on the person’s name. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself these questions: As a man, would you rather go on a blind date with Gretchin or Candy? As a woman, would you rather go on a blind date with Milhouse or Jacob?

All of this leads me to the wonderful piece of artwork that is on display today. My first thought when I looked at this illustration was how physically and temperamentally different all of these wolves seemed. I began to speculate which wolves were friendly and which were mean, which were reclusive and which were social, which were refined and which were crude, and so on and so forth. You can see how this logically led me to create names for each one of them, and that is exactly what I did. These names are listed below. But the real question is, can you guess which name I assigned to which wolf?

Take your best shot. Here are the names:

Lo Lo

Butch

Marvin

Arthur

Octavious

Melvin

Canaan

Oh yes, I almost forgot! No discussion of names would be complete without a brief mentioning of the name of this wonderful contributor. Grace, your name certainly serves you well, and I thank you tremendously for your “gracious” contribution to WBS.


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