The Journal of Provincial Thought
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little diamond2luminancelittle diamond2 Pigasus the JPT Flying Pig c 2007 William J. Schafer
Pete Branch Memorial Name Repository
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how good is a name?
reality weighs in
Positively, the world is filled with real persons' names that to the ears of foreign provincials sound odd-to-uproarious. This is a sublime thing for humorists both lay and professional, yet it isn't the final word in nominal adventure. There appear numerous colorful, curious, and mindblowing specimens strapped to people who turn up in one's native sphere. Obviously, real-person names enjoy a vital dimension that fictitious names are unlikely to attain. Any number of contrived names, mundane as mere word associations, would become fascinating if borne by actual people. Consider, for example, "Cardboardegg Moneyhair Etcetera." (Actually, "Moneyhair" is amusing enough. But the point, the point.) By all means, appreciate what's real. Formulate the rest to taste.
Some namefolk are excited only by names sounding as if they could be real. Real-sounding names that aren't real but are amusing: a tall order, infrequently achieved?

To others, goofiness carries a premium. Something in the individual psyche responds to Micky-Mouseism.

Then we have the Poet, who goes for soul, for rhythm, even rhyme and alliteration.

The Anarchist delights in attacking formality and tradition.

The Tech Jockie enjoys creating Frankensteins-by-number, plugging in stock components, as well as monsters made from components randomly chosen.

The Ironist likes to see both redundancy and internal contradiction (not necessarily both in a particular specimen): pointless consistency as well as flagrant inconsistency.

Mr. or Ms. Intellect deigns to dally with complexity, academic nuance, polycultural accents.

The Churl finds amusement in the simple things.

The Hybrid combines two or more of the above categories of tastes. The Omninomic is a see-all, be-all chameleon with a darting forked tongue for names.

Namelisting naturally follows the namist's tastes. If writing is strictly for oneself, tactics of name composition and listing sequence might nonetheless be employed for exercise in patterns of thought and perception. Random and selected taste-styles might be implemented by instinct or by careful design. If writing is not only for oneself but also for the audience real or imaginary, tactics might be considered for either selective or broadest possible appeal. It goes without saying that the reader who is a specific-taste-purist will be amused only to the extent that his or her category is implemented. The omninomic namist should steel himself/herself for dilution of public appreciation of his/her labors, as most readers or hearers will not be omninomic. Indeed, some will prove anomic or even antinomic/neganomic! Regrettable, but a trifling price to pay for power.

What level of enjoyment might be said to define a decent session? The Field Marshal Fibes, who seems to randomize his tactics, reckons that a consumer taken at random should expect to find solid amusement in an omninomic list perhaps once every 10-20 names, and to laugh at least once in a session. This would not apply to "serious-freaks" suffering with so-called "modern-mood disorder."

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