Thank you to all the people who participated in my naming contest! Dudes, this was a hard one! I think next time I’m going to have to restrict it to one name per entrant.
Because it amuses me, I’m going to share with you my thought processes in narrowing down the field. If you just want to see the top three, skip to the end. But you’ll be missing all the fun.
First I had to take off the people I actually knew in high school, since this story is set at my high school (it came out of a writing exercise at the Short Story Workshop in June): Dwayne, Thaddius/Tad, Vernon, Joel (really? Teri, what’s wrong with Joel?), Maurice/Maury (well, I knew him when I was younger, but close enough).
Jeffery had to go because I have a relative named Jeffery, plus I think Jeffery/Jeff is a perfectly fine name. I also think that Joel and Drew are great names. I waffled a little on Spencer; I like it but I could see where it might be borderline. Theodore was close, but I think Ted isn’t bad. This whole process made me realize another criteria: If the bad name has a decent nickname, it doesn’t count. I know a lot of Bruces, and while they’re geeks in a good sense (SCA folks, etc.), I don’t think it’s a name kids would point and laugh at.
Then there’s Clancy. Are you kidding? What about Clancy Motherf*cking Brown?! Now I’m scared that Clancy Motherf*cking Brown will read this blog and come after me. (Morgana, of course, hopes she’s in the vicinity so she can tell him he’s her pagan lust god. Maybe that will keep Clancy Motherf*cking Brown from killing me.)
I voted against Sheldon and Howard simply because of The Big Bang Theory. Too obviously and currently nerdy!
Also, I’d said “not unrealistic names like Mortimer or Englebert.” Now, both of those are actual names, but in my mind it’s unrealistic that someone would saddle their child with that name nowadays. Not impossible, but pretty damn unlikely. So despite them being real names, I dropped Zephyr, Ignotz, Egbert, and Robespierre.
Besides, Zephyr is clearly homeschooled by his hippie parents (or is the long-lost son of Frank Zappa. Zephyr Zappa is such a freaking awesome name that I’m going to use it someday, I swear), and Ignotz is the weird kid everybody secretly likes because he has access to drugs and knows how to blow up the school in a way nobody would ever be able to trace back to him. Ignotz grows up to be Jackie Earl Haley’s character in Human Target, basically. Robespierre is an exchange student. Egbert…I just don’t know about poor Egbert. Which is why nobody names their child Egbert unless they live in the 9th century.
I was leaning towards Eugene, but then pondered that it could be shortened to Gene, which isn’t as bad.
So that left me with the following:
- Erin (for Aaron)
I’m favoring Ernest, because I think Ernie’s just as bad (::waves hi to our friend Ernie::), but Ken doesn’t think Ernie’s that bad. Ken’s favorite is Clarence. But I confess there’s something about Herman that fits the bill pretty well, too.
So I’m going to toss it back out to the masses: Vote for your favorite of those three. One vote per entrant. Vote here at Enchantments, not on Facebook/Twitter. Use the little voting thingie below instead of leaving a comment (but you are welcome to leave a comment to discuss the reason for your choice). Voting will close on Sunday at midnight Pacific time.