A blog about life, language, writing, and other trivia.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What's in a Name?

Over at earth wide moth, Derek links to this image and caption. I always get a kick out of the name "Lance" as a fictional or hypothetical name, I guess because it's my name and the choice often doesn't seem to fit what I think of as a "Lance." Here are two of the funnier examples:

Homer Simpson, on gay men: "They ruined all our best names like Bruce and Lance and Julian. Those were the toughest names we had!"

Pilot of an airplane in distress in DeLillo's White Noise (inadvertently spoken over the plane's intercom): "'This is American two-one-three to the cockpit voice recorder. Now we know what it's like. It is worse than we ever imagined. They didn't prepare us for this at the death simulator in Denver. Our fear is pure, so totally stripped of distractions and pressures as to be a form of transcendental meditation. In less than three minutes we will touch down, so to speak. They will find our bodies in some smoking field, strewn about in the grisly attitudes of death. I love you, Lance.' This time there was a brief pause before the wailing recommenced. Lance? What kind of people were in control of this aircraft?"


At 6:51 PM, Blogger Derek said...

Funny thing is, it's a reference made by a professor in our program. She told us that early in her career, when she'd write herself into a quandary about a particular problem in the field, she always thought about a story she knew when she was younger. In the story, a adventuring soul--Lance--found himself to be in a terrible, insurmountable mess (in a pit, impending doom, etc.). Inexplicably, as if by some force of uncanny magic, the story ended happily: Lance simply jumped out of the pit. In a class last spring, she related this to the gloom narratives in comp, moments of despair, and so on.

At 5:20 AM, Blogger Lance said...

A kind of deus ex machina meets Horatio Alger, I guess.

At 7:58 PM, Anonymous dhawhee said...

heh. You're an adventuring soul, Lance. I don't know about thinking like a blogger, but it's true that one's bloggability antennae get honed somehow. Today at a dissertation defense (congrats, Jim!), when I posed a question about the last word in the dissertation, Cara Finnegan (who also blogs) said aloud "Now I'm going to start looking at the last word of every book," and then she looked at me importantly and said "now THAT's bloggable!"

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Lance said...

Thanks, Debbie! (Was that the Jim I know who defended?)


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