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Say My Name, Say My Name

October 18, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’m writing this in response to a post by drewpan a few days ago about names. In his post he talked about the nature of names and how he chooses to pronounce his surname differently to other members of his family.

And I have to admit I’m pretty odd when it comes to names too. After all, I call myself Sven over on my movie blog, a joke name given to me by the woman who would become my girlfriend during a stream where I played video games for the Internet, connected to a Youtube account where I do more games playing under the name of Bob The Pet Ferret. Yes, there’s a ferret theme here, you may have noticed.

But then what name do I use on here? My real name, of course, since I intend on releasing writing under that name, so might as well use that name here on my blog too. But even then, I’m awkward with it. I call myself L. Haydn Price, which is my real name, but instead of crediting myself with the normal “first name last name” convention, I chopped off all but the first letter of my first name and dumped my middle name in there.

Why did I do this? Because I’m pretty ambivalent to my first name. It’s a rather boring name that tries not to be boring by being spelt weird. But when grouped with my surname and said aloud, its dullness reveals itself, and I cringe at the thought of that name being on the front of a book someday.

I have this weird, almost OCD-like issue with two syllable names when it comes to writing. In my head, inexplicably, it must be three syllables or more, and that’s why I made my name have four. Plus, as weird as it sounds, using an initial feels more like a writer’s name. Look at J. K. Rowling or J. R. R. R. R. R. Tolkien (yes, I know there aren’t that many R’s, he just has too many in the first place), or even more contemporary writers like Iain M. Banks. Initials everywhere! So why not be L. Haydn Price?

Plus I kind of like my middle name. Don’t really like the story behind my middle name, since it’s a paternal hand-me-down middle name that I’m expected to give to my son-that-will-never-exist, but hey, it sounds cool, and it looks cool. So I intend to use it as my professional name, if and when I eventually become professional.

See, names matter. Names are part of our identity, and we tend to choose how to present ourselves to the world through nicknames and variations on our names. Some people prefer to be known by their middle names instead of their first (almost my case, except I liked that first initial being there too). Some people drop their names entirely and choose new ones. Hell, I’m more interested in altered/changed names, since there’s usually a story behind it, while our real names may have stories that we only know second hand.

So I say everyone should be able to choose how they wish to present their identity to the world, up to and including altering the names they prefer to be known be.

  1. October 19, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Authors seem to like going by their first initials these days. Maybe the whole gender-mystery thing attracts a greater audience?

    Thanks for mentioning my post!

  2. November 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Hey ‘L’ doesn’t sound quite right so Sven it is. I went for Dianamj for my wordpress because I didn’t want to be DianaJackson57. (no mention of a bean in sight) The same for my website, where I added my middle name too. No one told me at the time about continuity! So if we call you L Hayden, does it slip off the tongue as well as JK Rowling. I think Hayden Price sounds quite ‘cool’ as a writer. Difficult things, names!

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