The Irony of Names

14_12_31_US_Patent_Office_Sign_Alexandria_VA_02While names become a personal part of our identification, ironically, most of us had no choice in our name. At least for many in the contemporary United States, the family choose the name before the baby is even born, making the name more about their prior image than something about the baby itself. A few people change their name legally, and many decide what form of the name they prefer. (Please call me Steven; it really is not too much effort to add that second syllable.) Both situations require recognition from others, either a court or those with whom you interact. (In my experience, that second syllable is too much to ask of some people, sigh.) Continue reading “The Irony of Names”

“It Makes Us Feel Good”


Have you read ‘s take on the recent episode of the meaningless signing translator at Mandela’s memorial ceremony?

In part, it reads: Continue reading ““It Makes Us Feel Good””

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

mandelamemorialI assume you’ve heard the reaction to the sign language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela memorial a few days ago — the fellow who wasn’t signing anything meaningful. It’s a great example, really, of how signification works. Continue reading “Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign”