Thursday, 6 July 2017

On the naming of things

I had a tree named after me recently, not merely planted in my honour (which is usually the sort of thing that happens when you're dead - although I'd still take it) but embedded in it's new plot of land and then proudly given my name, after which it was accidentally trodden on, but I think it survived. The whole scene was filmed on a mobile phone (of course) and the footage shown to me the next day by the novice gardeners.

I'm not generally into the whole naming of things, it gives them a personality they don't really have and a value they haven't really earned, but it's a human instinct. I think it gives us a feeling of ownership and therefore power or influence (although how you influence a tree I don't know). People name their houses, their cars, their laptops (yes, I've seen it done) even though it only heightens the sense of sadness when they inevitably lose it, break it, sell it or in some other means cease to have ownership.
     Meanwhile the naming of organisations, societies and events can take weeks and multiple meetings (and cost a fair amount too) all in an attempt to hook people in or provide some kind of importance or unity, which can work if the masses get involved. People can be very partisan these days. But then again, if the name is meaningless and it fails to attract attention you may as well give whatever it is you're naming a number and have done. The only things of any real importance, value and meaning are people. Of course, ironically, given the trend of parents attempting to be original, children being given numbers for names is now perfectly legitimate. MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has just named his new son 'Sixtus', and yes he is the sixth child, poor thing.

2 comments:

  1. So what will you call your house when you get it? You once had a cow named after you, too, I believe. But you're right - people matter, and that's why God says, "I have called you by name."

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