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What’s in a Name?

Posted Feb 21 2010 3:44pm

In the last post, Nick from Careless in the Community made the comment that he wanted to think of a name for me that wasn’t “SI”. I also had a discussion with C on Thursday (blog to follow when I can be arsed) about how I’d built up an entire online alter-ego via this blog.

To both ends I wonder if the moniker of “SI” isn’t too impersonal. For reasons I will go into in more detail on another occasion, I have to blog anonymously, at least for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, I wondered if I could invent a more personal sounding journalling identity.

My intention is not exactly to abandon the handle of Serial Insomniac of course; that’s still and always will be the name of the blog. But the writer could be called something different, perhaps – Lola Snow, for example, is the author of the Marine Snow blog, Ophelia is the author of Writing Myself Sane . Their names are distinct from the names of their blogs, whereas at present mine is not. On the other hand, changing my name as an author may simply confuse issues; after all, I’ve been known as SI to my readership for over nine months. But then I was known by my original surname for over 26 years, and am now trying to get used to my new one . What do you think?

Anyway, I’ve done a little short-list of possible pseudonyms:

Clara – simply because I quite like it. But it means ‘bright’ which would be laughably ironic.

Elora – again, I quite like it. Used it for a role-playing character in Call of Cthulhu once. Means ’silent’, which by virtue of this blog I most certainly am not – but where it actually counts, I do often feel as if I am. The whole C-cessation of therapy saga, the whole maternal denial of the sexual abuse. I am indeed voiceless.

Elysia – from Greek and Roman mythology. Refers to elysium, which is the realm of the dead, and specifically means ‘blissful’. Your humble narrator is not ‘blissful’, clearly. However, that realm of the dead most assuredly could be so in her dark and suicidal eyes. The name reminds me slightly of the Dylan Thomas poem, Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night (see here ), the ‘good night’ of course being death. The blissful elysium. The good night. Yes indeedy.

Lorena (or Lorina) – ’sorrowful’. ‘Mournful’. Who knew first names for such beautiful misery existed? This provides me with much pleasure. I find this one nicely evocative too.

Pandora – I can’t easily dissociate it from the Adrian Mole books, but then I loved them, so that’s OK. Everyone else will probably be familiar with the Pandora whose curiosity led her to open a box, thus unleashing evil across the world. I feel like I do this everyday, with every word I speak or type, and it is ultimately my own selfishness that drives it.

Perdita – invented by Shakespeare. I don’t like its diminutive, Perdy, but Perdita itself is fine with me (though A claims to hate it). It means ‘lost’ or ‘forgotten’. I am certainly ‘lost’ in the metaphorical sense; I have no idea where I’ve come from in life and even less of where I’m going. I feel ‘forgotten’ by the system, and even to some extent by a few people that ought to care more than they apparently do.

So that’s the short-list. I don’t have a strong preference, so I’m going to let you, my dearest readers, vote for your preferred choice of pseudonym. I can’t guarantee that I’ll end up following your advice, though I’ll at least strongly consider it as you lot can be decisive, a characteristic that is wholly absent in me.

The realm of SI has temporarily become a democracy. Exercise your egalitarian right to be heard! It will make your life better to do so, yeah! Oh look, a flying pig…

EDIT: The poll has now closed. Stay tuned for the results!

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