Living, Really?

Your Name is Boring

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Marmot drawing

A few people seem to be worried about America being outperformed by other world powers in the coming years. These fears seem to be somewhat founded, as one of the first warning signs is already showing up: better names.

Chances are that unless you’re an international scientist, you have a boring name and will in turn pass mind-numbingly tedious appellations on to your dull children. Think about how many people you know named Jason, Heather, John, or Chris. If it’s not more than five of each, I’ll eat my hat. I’ll bet you know so many dudes named Dave that you either have to refer to them by their last names or come up with qualifiers. “No, the Dave from Philly. Oh, there are two of them? Well, the Dave that rides a bike or Bike Dave.” And so on.

For some reason, international scientists as a community sport some of the most entertaining monikers around. Take Dr. Electron Kebebew, for instance. Not only does he save lives, but he also saves us from stupefaction. As do his siblings, Positron, Neutron, Deutron, and Proton. Nobody over here would have the balls to name their children after subatomic particles. Meanwhile, this guy is like a walking conversation piece. He doesn’t even need his last name, like he just dropped a gold album last week or got caught on video performing sodomy. Who would you get him confused with? “Oh, you mean that Electron; I was thinking about the other guy.”

How about Michael Marmot from England? He’s been knighted and is a professor at a university in London. That means he can go by Sir Professor Marmot. Are you serious? How has this guy not taken over the planet yet with a nomenclature like that? At the very least he should have his own kids’ show, line of vinyl toys, and a street named after him in every city over there.

Finally, consider Dallas Swallow, a human geneticist at University College London. Her work on the lactase persistence polymorphism helps us understand the significance of milk in the development of culture, and she does all this with a name more appropriate for a hooker in Grand Theft Auto. Now tell me what you did today besides boring me with your trite name. Yeah, that’s what I thought.