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On 06/04/01 07:22, Chris Taylor said this-
>Then of course there's the cohort of 50's Afro Caribbean immigrants to
>Britain, who all seem to have the names of British Prime Ministers
>(Winston etc.) - I don't know where those came from (whether it was a
>Carribean thing, or whether they just grabbed names for their kids once
>over here, and drew on the token bit of colonial history someone had
And then of course there's the choice taken by the Electroids from Planet
X (or something like that) from the movie Buckeroo Banzai - they all took
the first name of John and had different last names. But, they did that
because they figured taking the most popular name would tend towards
I will tell you the story of the names I gave my two daughters, since the
itch is present.
I am a fan of science fiction, and one of my favorite movies is Forbidden
Planet, the first major studio usanian SF movie, made by MGM in '56 and a
seminal influence of Star Trek, and dozens of others.
There is one female character in the movie (why will be revealed
shortly), who is named Altaira, after the world she was born on, Altair
IV. I fell in love with the actress (Anne Francis), in that movie-star
crush sort of way, but I fell in love also with that name, and I vowed,
that if I ever were to have a daughter, that Altaira would be her name,
and I did, and it is.
Forbidden Planet is scripted with a loose wave towards Shakespeare's 'The
Tempest', and many of the characters are indirect transcriptions. Thus,
we have Morbius (Prospero), the lone scientist (sorceror), with his
created servant Robby the Robot (Caliban), and a force unseen but somehow
called forth (Ariel) from the inner workings of the planet.
And we have Altaira.
And upon the birth of my second daughter, the name Miranda was impossible
to avoid, so I didn't, and it is also hers.
It doesn't hurt that the names also mean things. Altair is from the
arabic, the eagle - flying highest. Miranda is from the greek - 'woman of
Altaira is an unusual name, so much so that I have only, mostly through
the benefit of this internet, found one other. And there was a character
on a briefly seen TV show called Modern Science named Altaira, the
daughter of an astronomer. Miranda is much more common, but still nowhere
near the ubiquity of Brittany, Jessica, or even Courtney - a name also
well-trampled here in the US due to media and celebrity.
And, yeah, I chose names that mean something to me. (We had a deal, the
ex- and I, to name opposite sex children. She had 'Brendan' all picked
out....) At the back of my mind was also an impulse to give them names
that were not easily or rudely shortened. 'Dick' and 'BJ' and 'Bill' and
'Fred' and 'Barb' being particular peeves of mine.... I don't use
nicknames, even among close acquaintances, if I can help it, prefering to
say 'Donald' over 'Don' at all times- but this is a peccadillo of mine,
and far from norm..., which is another nickname I tend to abhor.
Books of children's names line the impulse shelves near the checkouts in
supermarkets. Every tourist trap has a tower of keychains and trinkets
with names, hopefully in alphabetical order, to purchase as gifts.
True enough, neither my name nor the names of my daughters are found in
these displays, that I have seen.
But, they _can_ both find all their letters in a bowl of Alpha-Bits....
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