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The Importance of One’s Name Essay

Argumentative essay on The Importance of one’s Name:
When a child is born, the parents name him or her as per their wish. They could name him or her in accordance to their cultural practices, events, names of dead relatives, materials and tools used, animals among others. Names always play critical roles in people’s lives. Different names may to mean different things. Names may be similar but have different meanings while others may be different but have the same meanings. Virtually everything that is in existence has a name attached to it. Such names are always used when referring to these things to bring to memory the thing in question. Every name has some sense of power associated with it. Such powers may have influences on the life of any individual possessing those names. Therefore, naming of a newborn child or an adult depends on several factors such as cultural beliefs, practices, customs, and the environment.

It is an indisputable fact that human beings have been responsible for naming everything, whether alive or dead, moving, static, plants, animals or microorganisms. For instance, : Sandra Cisneros, in her essay My name notes that a name can mean hope, many letters, sadness waiting (pg. 190) The naming in such cases has been as distinctly precise as none of the organisms named share the same names. In cases where they might share such names, there has always been a clear and precise way that conventionally applies in differentiating the two organisms. Under such situations, different methods are put into consideration. These methods of differentiation of names majorly depend upon the parental hierarchy of such organisms.

Consequently, human beings also accord a lot of credit to the power of naming. However, the decision on which name to give to someone is not an easy task. People are named with regard to a number of factors. Some people may name their children after some renowned people. These people may be influential in the society or may have some adorable characteristics that the parents may want their children to adopt. Another factor that may define naming may be a remarkable or memorable occurrence. For instance: Lini S. Kadaba, in her essay, What‘s in a Name? Shows how Christopher Angelo Annas of South Philadelphia was named after his grandfather, Annas. The grandfather, initially named Papanastasiou but later changed the name to Annas on arrival to America. The grandchild later changed his name to Christopher Angelo Anastasiou, back to the original meaning. He claims that Annas, the name adopted by his grandfather sounded like part of anatomy (pg. 175). Under such situations, the naming instills the spirit, ability, as well as the power of memory of such occurrences and one can change it later in life.

Naming could also be done due to phenomena linked to some sort of victory. Under such conditions, it is immensely easy to memorize all the events that transpired in such an occurrence, thereby instilling the sense of identification with the occurrence even if it took place a long time ago. Under such conditions, a parent may decide to name his or her daughter following such victorious events in order that it remains indelible in the memory of the parent. A good example of a name that best suits such occurrences is Victor; for a boy, or Victoria; for a girl or a woman.

Other people may absolutely refuse change their names, while others may opt to change their names if need arises. Some of these memories heavily rely upon the past, and may have strong basis on some issues that put someone in some essence of slavery. For example, most African Americans for a long time did not prefer American names thus opted for African or Muslim names due to the memories of slavery. Lini S. Kadaba in her essay reveals how Kunte Kinte, a young slave refused to change his name even after getting a thorough whipping since he thought doing so would enslave him even more and more. Later, he changed his name to Richard Kenyada basing his argument on cultural, ethnic, and even social heritage (pp. 176).

In English, the name Lucky may mean a victory that someone achieves because of chance. On the other hand, the name Lucky may entails sad memories in cases where the person with such a name was the only survivor of a tragic accident. Under such situations, such a name when used brings in the sense of sad memories. The name Hope, on the other side, may also mean either a positive thing or a negative thing. This name may mean different contrasting things in relation to the language in use. For example, in Latin the name Hope may mean sadness, or waiting.

The use of names may also play a significant role in associating us with our friends, families, as well as, societies as noted by Liny S. Kadiba in the essay (pp. 175). Names connects us with family and influence others perception of us and can change someone’s life. A good proportion of names that we use bear the responsibility of shaping the perception of people towards us. In this sense, it is true that names are ideally the best identification marks for every individual in any social setup. Some parents may name their children after their grandparents or after some prominent persons in the society. This helps in identifying such children with the adorable qualities that such prominent persons possess, thus, it may happen that the child may be lucky to possess such qualities as he or she grows up.

Naming could also be due to someone’s heritage, culture, or spiritual linkage. Lini S. Kadaba continues to illustrate in her essay how Jane Komarov, changed her name to Jane Komarow as she claims that the sounding of the name connects her with a richer heritage. She does not care whether the name means a mosquito, as she believes she is not a mosquito in real sense (pp 175). Name could also mean spiritual events or personalities. For instance, Omi Yori in Yoruba is a spiritual leader as indicated by Lini S. Kadaba (pp176). Consequently, the American name Smith means someone who works with metal (pp177).

However, even though names associates someone with the family or society, none of the parents may be in need of naming a child after someone who bears bad characters in the society, for instance, a renowned witch, thief, or a serial criminal. This is due to the fear of the power in naming. Thus, every name bears its own powers that can heavily affect the life of an individual, thus making such a person to change his life in correspondence to the power associated with such a name. Therefore, it implies that when someone takes another person’s name, it is somehow closer to taking away the latter’s soul. In such cases, people always avoid identifying themselves with such bad names as they can bear some bad omen to an individual.

In conclusion, it is true that names play a major role in the lives of people in the society. Different names mean different things. The major role of naming is to accord some sort of identification to the thing in question. People accord different names to themselves or to their children with regard to a number of factors, such as cultures, occurrences, or naming after some prominent persons or dead relatives in the society.

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Nov 10, 2011

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