I don't know why I've been noodling this of late, but I have so bear with me, please. Or don't. It's still sort of a free country, depending on who you ask these days. Straying... Focus, focus, focus...
So, I've been noodling how it is one ends up with a name or moniker or nom de plume or whatever. Back when I wrote my old blog, I went by my real name, because, well, why shouldn't I? Then one day I decided I'd replace the old blog with a new blog in an effort to a) no longer have to hear from certain family members about why blogging was a bad thing; b) no longer have to hear how certain extended family members were using my blog against certain immediate family members; c) get with the program that says blogging under your real name is a foolish thing to do; and d) ensure I couldn't be found via a Google search.
I chose a couple of letters out of my real name, plus a geographic location and came up with Jay M. Tewkesbury. I figured I'd be called Jay on this blog, but somehow I've ended up with the nickname Tewkes or Tewkesy. I'm indifferent either way and I kind of like being called Tewkes; it makes me feel sort of a regimental in a rather English ancestral manner whereas Jay just sounds sort of eh.
Oddly, when people mispronounce my real name or take it upon themselves to shorten it or think it's cute when they realize my name rhymes with planet and they combine the two, my hackles are raised and I become a very cranky girl. I'll stop dead in my tracks and tell you not to call me that or admonish you for using the word planet in conjunction with my name. In fact, I'm so adamant about it, I think I've shocked some people into embarrassed, awkward silence. It's one of my lesser social graces, truth be told.
Why is that? I mean, most times it's a no harm, no foul situation and I doubt the person intended with forethought of any kind--malicious or otherwise--to call me Jan or Janice or Janette. Still. My name is my name and I like it that way. As for calling me Interplanetary J*net or J*net From Another Planet a la The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Well, I'd suggest you not. Otherwise, you might find yourself on the receiving end of my acerbic tongue.
Could be worse, though. When I worked in San Francisco, I worked with a guy who use to talk to himself in whispers. He was a production editor and spent the bulk of his day laying out newsletters. We shared a cubicle wall. One day, I kept hearing him say what I thought were the words "Dammit, J*net" under his breath. Finally, after the sixth or seventh expletive-name combo, I said, "What Giles?" He looked over his cubicle at me in confusion.
"You keep saying my name and cursing," I explained.
He laughed and said, "No, I'm just saying dammit, dammit, dammit."
Yeah. I'd misheard. Which resulted in Rule Number Three when employing the use of my name in a sentence. If cursing, my name cannot be used in conjunction with dammit, because hearing the words "Dammit J*net" in the same sentence is just not cool! I don't care if it is a cult classic.