It Needs a Name

January 27, 2007

Any birth is accompanied by the joy of bestowing a name upon the child. So too with the birth of this page. Unlike a child, this page will bear its name prominently on its face, which heightens the solemnity of the task. Also unlike a child, this page’s name can be changed at any time. Still, I would like to choose a good one.

I have tried to do so on my own, but have been unable to settle on one. The name should be descriptive, or at least evocative, of the type of material that will be posted. This will include, but not be limited to, dull ruminations on books and music, sparkling quotations gleaned from my vast personal library, poetry, the occasional essay, ill-informed pronouncements on current events, photographs, recipes, inarticulate private disclosures, advertisements, spyware. I’d like the name to be clever and memorable, but not silly. I would prefer not to choose something of which I’ll be embarassed in a few months, or years.

This, dear reader, is where you come in (if you exist). I would like to solicit suggested names from you. If you were to have such a page of your own, what name would you give it? (Careful, I will steal the good ones.) Let your imagination run wild, but, please, nothing profane or in French.

To get things started, here are a list of eleven possible names that I have dreamed up myself. If you think any of these particularly good – or particularly awful – please leave a comment to that effect.

Fine Names

Of No Description: This is the current name. It has the virtue of leaving much to the imagination, which can be tantalizing. However, it feels like a placeholder. Which it is.

Our Lady’s Tumbler: I have always liked this phrase, which I think I got from Chesterton but which apparently derives from a medieval tale of le jongleur de Dieu. Mindful, however, of the prohibition of French names, let’s stick with Our Lady’s Tumbler. I like the idea of having the page dedicated, however obliquely, to Our Lady. But do I have the wit to merit this name? I have my doubts.

Homo Viator: This name has been at the top of my list for several days now. As sub-title I could take that splendid passage from The Confessions: “It is one thing to glimpse the land of peace from a wooded ridge, and another to tread the path that leads to it.”

Animus Scribendi: Words are what will fill this page, such that in time it will become a kind of monument to the spirit of writing. I like the explosive consonants of the second word, and equivocation on the first word would give me warrant for bitter vendettas against the online enemies I am sure to make.

Alliterative Names

Hebdomadal Hwæt!: This was the first name that really caught my fancy. My experience with my other pages is that I tend to make about one post each week; hence, hebdomadal. When I do make a post, I obviously want everyone to listen up and pay close attention; hence, hwæt! Thus this name is both a descriptive and an imperative. However, I am concerned that it will be too difficult to remember, will flummox the tongues of those who venture to pronounce it, and will thereby thwart the means by which I intend this space to bring me world fame (namely, word of mouth).

Cruggs’ Cudgel: Cruggs is a nickname that has been bestowed upon me by Tom Angier, and I am fond of it. A cudgel is a stick used for beating. Thus, this name accurately reflects the use which I intend to make of this page.

Allusions

All Manner of Thing: At present this ranks among my top three favourites. The allusion is, of course, to Julian of Norwich, or T.S. Eliot. It has a modesty about it that I like, and would give me free rein to roam topically wherever my fancy takes me.

From a Wooded Ridge: This alludes to the passage from Augustine already quoted above. Personally I find the phrase very evocative, and it is a definite front-runner.

The Ambler: This is intended to allude, in a self-deprecating tone, to Johnson’s The Rambler, the sandals of which I am not worthy to untie. Unfortunately, there are already a fair number of Internet presences called The Ambler.

Puns

A Writer of Rohan: Truly, I cannot resist a pun.

Wine and Compline: I must stop!

Please add your suggestions and opinions to the comments!

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6 Responses to “It Needs a Name”

  1. Doug Says:

    Hi Craig. With the blog format one sees your most recent post immediately. As long as you can archive posts into categories I think it is a good way to go. It already seems wordpress allows you to do this- booknotes, etc. I’m not sure with mine, I’m with Blogger. (That’s what life has come to, identifying ourselves with our blog brands, like our grandparents used to do with cars and farm implements. Ford guy: “I’m a Ford man.” Chevy guy says: “Oh yeah? Well, I’m a Chevy man…we’ve always drove Chevy” Ford guy: “Chevy? Baaah. I suppose you’re combinin’ on John Deere then too, ha!” Ford guy: “That’s right, it’s always been Johnny on our three quarters…I wouldn’t have it any other way…”

  2. Filia Artis Says:

    Cruggers,

    I think you already have my votes for Animus Scribendi and Crugg’s Cudgel. However, what’s up with the pink background and edwardian style embellishments? Seems less than macho and somewhat un-curmudgeoney! Otherwise, looks like a great site so far and my Tamer Half (Jim) is quite excited to have a look through it.

    C.A.

  3. Adam Hincks Says:

    Crugg’s Cudgel is the best.

    I also like on your Book Notes page the allusion to Hamlet — ‘unsicklied o’er’ — maybe you could do something with that.

    By the bye, do you not have some reservations about jumping on the blogging bandwagon? It is positively _popular_ these days, which perhaps goes against your native inclinations. The main benefit I can see is that people can respond to your posts. Otherwise, I am a big fan of craigburrell.ca as it is. I think it has received an cruel, contrary and curmudgeonly cudgelling from undiscerning visitors.

  4. cburrell Says:

    Thank you for your comments so far.

    Doug seems to like the idea of a ‘blog’ (a word I dislike), but Adam counters with some encouraging words about my pages at http://www.craigburrell.ca. This contrast mirrors my own indecisiveness on the matter. As I say, this is an experiment. I’m not, by the way, abandoning my personalized domain name, and if I decide I like the WordPress technology I can simply move it over to my craigburrell.ca address.

    Filia Artis: The visual presentation is something that can be changed at the push of a button, so I’m not too worried about your disliking the current look. Your particular way of expressing your dislike, however, cuts to the quick. I retain some faint hope that I might sort of sometimes seem to be macho, and I aim as best I can to be a curmudgeon, so it’s disappointing to hear that my “pink” (pink?) Edwardian scroll achieves neither end. If I could write on faded vellum in a Carolingian script I would certainly do so, but customization can only go so far. For my part, I quite like the way things look. I wish the font were smaller.

    Thanks, all, for comments on possible names. Cruggs’ Cudgel has the most votes so far. Very interesting.

  5. David Elliot Says:

    Sir,

    I favour “Crugg’s Crudgel”, with “Anima Scribendi” as a distant second. For myself, I would call it either “Perspicacious Papist”, or, unleashing your secretly crusader soul into the waking world, “The Saracen’s Head”. I have mixed feelings about “Our Lady’s Tumbler”, but shall consult my inner child forthwith for deliberations.

  6. cburrell Says:

    Sir David,

    Someone out there has already adopted the handle Pertinacious Papist (http://pblosser.blogspot.com/), so your suggestion could create confusion for those not Hooked on Phonics. Your other suggestion is splendid, and I am sorely tempted.


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