Thursday, July 2, 2009

Who says Alexander was great?

I love the idea of having an adjective tacked on to the end of your name but ever since Alexander the Great and Ivan the Terrible disappeared there hasn’t been a whole lot of it going on. As well as being far more interesting it should help simplify things as most of the people I know are either called Dave or Kate and it gets really confusing.

From a branding perspective I feel Jamie the Awesome could be far stronger than Jamie Watson. People would say “wow, this must be good – it was written by Jamie the Awesome!” or “we should have Jamie the Awesome over for drinks” or “pick Jamie the Awesome – I hear he’s awesome.”

I’m not really sure how the whole thing works but you probably wouldn’t get to pick your own adjective. Otherwise you would have everyone calling themselves Eric the Studly, Jessica the Hot or Trevor the Sensational. If people did have adjective names they might try harder so they earn a good one. After all who wants to be known as Michael the Loathsome, Sally the Uninteresting or Danielle the Promiscuous?

One worry I have is that by summing up a person in a singular adjective we may be blinded to alternate parts of their personality. When I hear the name Alexander the Great I think he obviously must have been a top bloke. A little Wikipedia research however reveals that Alexander was a drunk bigamist warlord who spent most of his life roaming around Europe killing people. If he were coming to burn my village, rape my wife and drink all my beer I’d be inclined to call him something other than “the Great”.

I should hope that the adjective gets to change over time. In kindergarten it may be ok to be called Jamie the Pantswetter but ten years on that probably wouldn’t do much for the self image. There’s also the matter of who gets to pick it. Were it my mum I’d probably be known as Jamie the Annoying. Were it my year 12 maths teacher I’d be known as Jamie the Disinterested. If it was any of the girls I’ve ever been out with I’d probably be called Jamie the Thoughtless.

Maybe I should just change my name to Max Power like Homer did.

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