Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Whats in a name?


A friend of mine recently changed her name. It was kinda interesting because i think she's wanted to change her name for a couple of years now. She sent me an email to tell me that the courts had officially approved the name change. She went on to say that the person she was previously known by is no more. She's a new woman with a new name.

Does a name really change who you are?

Shakespeare, very eloquently, suggest that a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. But a more modern writer, Terry Pratchett, suggests that changing the name of an object, actually changes its properties.

They can't both be right, can they?

Well, actually yes, they can.

You see it all comes down to a matter of semantics and psychology. While its true that a rose may continue to contain all its current properties, no matter its name, the changing of the name changes the emphasis put upon the object. So if we started calling a rose a THORNY BUSH, we might lose the focus on its fragrance and begin to notice its thorns more often. The flower itself would not change but we'd see it in a new light.

So now that my friend is no longer the person that she was yesterday. Is she still my friend?

She assures me that remains the same as yesterday.

2 comments:

SugarPuff said...

When I started high school I was determined to use my middle name instead of my first... but I couldn't get my family to call me by it and so gave up.


I've since wondered on many an occasion what would my life have been like if I had indeed been Skye?

Sauly said...

My real name is Nicholas, but every one calls me Nick... :p