When it came down to it, I didn’t know why it was so important to remember a name. I had recently learned in my Real Life Fiction class that names carry a part of identity, who a person is, with them. Which is why in this article I will be talking about last names, pen names, and chosen names.
I decided to ask some people some hard questions to get a better understanding on the remembrance of names, such as why it’s good to remember and why it’s not. The first person I spoke to was Lynn Plewes. Lynn spoke of the complications growing up with her maiden name. Until the age of 3 she believed her name to be Lynn Wolsoncroft. It wasn’t until later in life that she learned her father’s real last name was Cherubini. On her birth certificate it does say Wolsoncroft, but she went by Cherubini instead. She said she doesn’t want to be remembered by either last names. That Cherubini is a cursed last name and she has no relations to Wolsoncroft. She said she wants to be known by Plewes.
Lynn also told me about some of her relatives, the Bobrownicki’s. As I listened to the story of when the Bobrownicki’s came over from Poland, I learned that they changed the spelling of their name so not to be associated with their other family who were in the Polish mafia. By talking to Lynn for a while I learned that there were lots of reasons to not want to be remembered by a name – one might believe a name is cursed or want to try to escape it.
Rebekah Smith told me she had a boring last name and that it wasn’t memorable. She was trying to come up with a pen name for this reason. Something that would stick in the minds of her readers. “Rebekah Morpheus" she told me would be her new pen name. “Because I get most of my ideas from my dreams, and Morpheus is the Greek God of dreams." She told me as a writer “It’s important to be remembered. Not like an ego. To go down in history for writing something cool. If I wrote something, I wouldn’t want it to be under a boring name."
Lastly I want to talk about chosen names. I feel this really hit the point I was trying to make. Aiden McKracken came up with his name when he was 18. It was the first name that resonated with him. “If someone kept forgetting my name I would have a sit down with them and try to get them to realize how important it is for me and to get them to try a little harder." He explained further that his name makes him feel accepted. I learned from him that a name shows that a person exists and that they’re valid. Names set us apart from everybody else, but you can still remember someone even without knowing their name.
I came to the conclusion that remembering a name is important, but it depends on how you want to be remember. It is also not the end all be all answer. A name is not needed to make a major impact, but in some cases it is a necessity for someone to know someone’s name. The remembrance of someone’s name is situational, but when it comes down to the idea of a name, names are very important.