Thursday, January 12, 2012

Naming Inanimate Objects

I've been desperately trying to find a suitable name for my new smartphone... it's quite difficult. Usually in the process of using a new piece of technology I somehow manage to find a name for it.

My very first cell phone's name was Flipper... it was a flip phone and I was uninspired. The second cell phone was named Smiles since for the longest time it's bluetooth device name was "=)". I decided that if people wanted to connect to my phone via bluetooth they had to be reminded to smile. When I got my laptop I named it Lappy completely without thinking... well I wasn't about to name it Toppy now was I? When I got the Asus Eee pad Transformer, which functions as both a tablet and a netbook really nicely, I named it Neblet, after sending a text to a friend and combining the words as to not have to write as much.

Now I'm at a loss for what to name this smartphone I have. And while I pondered it I started wondering why I name my electronics...

So for an elective this year I took a linguistic anthropology course. I remember distinctively in the book we were to read (written by the professor) a chapter about naming. It was interesting because it talked of names as a way humans tried to make a link with the "soul"... and by naming something, it was like creating life. In a way I understand this, adding a name to something personifies it for me... but not really to the point where I'd know if Neblet was male or female.

When I was small I named my stuffed animals. The ones that are now lost or given away I can not longer remember the names for, the ones that are still around I do remember the names for... generally. It seems the more attached to a plushie I am, the more likely I'd remember it's name.

My very first doggy plushie was named Tom. My favourite nanny gave me it when I was just entering "childhood". Tom was the first English name I learned and since I knew I was going to an English speaking country I decided that it would only be right that this doggy plushie had an English name.

Tom and I shared a lot of memories, and one day someone got me another doggy plushie (probably trying to win over my young heart's affection after seeing how much I loved Tom). This doggy plushie was actually a valentine gift, it was a doggy holding this heart that said something on it (beyond memory). I cut the heart off; I just wanted the doggy part of the plushie. Did this make me a heartless person?

Regardless, I named the new doggy Sarah, can't remember the reasoning now. But Tom and Sarah made for a good clique-like couple. I still have them now because I can't really bare to throw them into the cold confines of the basement.

So now I'm considering naming the phone Sandwich. Because soon (hopefully) it will run on android Ice-cream sandwich, and it is not the LG Ice-cream phone that I wanted in the past, hence it is only a Sandwich... But it really looks more like a Bar than a Sandwich. I suppose I'll have to decide later.

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