Misnomered

You may have read a few posts back I wrote about not using the nom de plume “Aranyakananda” anymore. In response to that post I received a comment from a friend who pointed out that people who change their name to something that refers to God rather than the small s self usually end up sidetracked by having done so anyway. All kinds of egotistical booby traps when ever one’s name is involved.

With that in mind, I have a story to tell.

Having started a new job two weeks ago at the local newspaper, I was part of a feature about all of the new hires. In the section about me, my last name was spelled wrong four times. On the website they got the name right under my photo but within the copy, three misprints remained intact.

I made a joke about it to my supervisor asking who I had to “scream at” about getting a retraction, and the following day I announced on my Facebook page that I was legally changing my first AND last name after having a co-worker get my last name right but my first name wrong. These are the trappings of having a first and a last name that are both English words if spelled slightly differently. So it is frustrating but really I think this is a nice bit of demonstratory experience about the whole thing about names.

My ego doesn’t demand that you get it right as a sign of my own singular importance. It is just sort of frustrating having to clear up any misunderstandings as to which is the right way. I don’t think names are meant to signify “me” vs. “you”. If they truly did then it would be impossible for anyone to have a name that someone else has. I think of names as a tool used to clarify the location in space of the part of Brahman one is referring to at the moment.

Aum Namo Narayanaya Namaha!

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2 Responses to Misnomered

  1. Dhrishti says:

    “My ego doesn’t demand that you get it right as a sign of my own singular importance. It is just sort of frustrating having to clear up any misunderstandings as to which is the right way.”

    — I’m not sure I follow. If your ego isn’t demanding anything then why would clearing anything up be frustrating, and in fact, why would there be a perceived need to even clear anything up? Is there another Forrest that works where you do? Does the misspelling of either your first or last names, or both, have an effect on anything?

    • treadmarkz says:

      It easily could, from a clerical standpoint, finding my name in a system for instance, at a place where I call in and give my name.

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