Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Arcane Irony

Man in Doggles, 2010

Out of simple curiosity I looked up (googled) the most common last names in the USA. Mine registers at the tail end of the 300s. But that's not what I found so interesting. At numbers 932 & 933 are the surnames "Sweet" followed by "Justice". It sounds like the title of a novel that Jonathan Franzen wouldn't write, doesn't it? Sometimes you just have to step back and admire the universe. It either has a great sense of humor, or none at all. I'll stick with the former as I prefer to laugh than cry.
Anyway, MK's surname didn't even make the top 1,000 list. And indeed plus furthermore, the only family name of hers to make the list at all was her paternal grandmother's maiden name, squeaking in the final ten. No Smiths, Johnsons, Taylors or Browns littering her history.
Whenever I start thinking of names, I always remember the line from Buffy The Vampire Slayer (tv show, not the movie): "Nothing in this world names itself." Everything is identified by something someone else has placed upon it. My grandmother lobbied HARD when I was born for me to be named Helen, after her. My parents refused. Would my life have been any different had I been Helen instead of Jennifer? If I'd had an uncommon name for my generation instead of the most common one. I don't know, and really, I think the commonness of my name suits me.


jenniferpelland said...

I'm nowhere in the top 100,000 myself. My name is just plain weird.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Yes, but look how mundane your given name is, Oh Queen of Jenniferlandia!