Conventional Naming

First and foremost, hi everybody. I would just like to thank the Newbie Blogger Initiative over at http://nbihq.freeforums.org/index.php for helping me finally get up the gumption to start this thing. If (god forbid) people actually become interested in my mad musings, I may think about doing an ‘about me’ post in the future.

Naming something is hard. A name is so much more than ‘just a name’; it is the embodiment of your character, a reflection of you wit, or perhaps testament to a long-standing tradition. Which is why most of us would have, at some point or another, experienced that apprehension after you have typed something into that ‘Name’ box, staring at your creation and wondering “Is this what I want?” “Is it good enough”” and most importantly “Will other people like it?” So much pressure in such a seemingly small decision, which is why we use naming conventions to help us.

But naming conventions can be both a gift and a curse.

One example of a solid naming convention that suffers from a distinct lack of creativity is my dad’s naming convention for pets/animals in general. In my life, we have owned a Hammy, a Birdie (it would have been two but we talked him out of it), countless Fishies, a resident Possy (sounds cuter than it is, believe me, these things don’t want you to sleep) [that is a possum for those by the way, just wanted to clarify this after reading through] and the neighbours turtle became Turtely when we took care of it for a month. Following that example, you would be currently reading http://www.Bloggy.wordpress.com (that name was already taken by the way).

Personally, my conventions started a long time ago, back when I was a wee lad of eight and my uncle showed me this bright and shiny new game, Runescape (incidentally this was the start of my MMO career). However, before I could be the amazing knight/ranger/mage I was destined to be, I had to name myself. Easy for a kid of eight, “I will call myself me!” I boldly stated typing in ‘Brady’ into the box. ‘User name already taken’ flashed across my screen, and suddenly the reality of naming something in the MMO space came crashing down. ‘B Brady’ was created that day, and whilst satisfied at the time, looking back…it was truly not a very inspired name.

I abandoned that convention before it even took off, coming up with the juvenile (and more appropriate because of it) Killboy_jr convention, Killboy having been already taken *sigh*, for  BattleOn, that ridiculous browser RPG. This continued on to Diablo (the original and best), several Backyard Sports stars (I ended up with a Killgirl_jr, Killman, and perhaps my favourite for creativity, Killboy_kill) and my first email address (don’t bother spamming it, it has been long out of commission).

I am not proud to admit that Killboy_jr was my prominent convention through for several years and names to come, until finally I made it to the character creation screen in WoW and was confronted with the inability to use the hallmark underscore. As all noobs do, I picked a Warlock, and decided to name him to refelct his imagined character, a crazed mage dabbling in fel arts. Sadly, Alarical the Gnome Warlock didn’t make it to 18 (R.I.P), at that point in the game, I really wasn’t good at not dying.

My very first character

I decided to play a Draenei Shaman next. Following my pattern, I named him Maarna, after doing research into prominent Draenei of law to get the right feel. I think this was probably the last of my ‘realistic’ names, but it served me well for that short period of time.

After taking a break from WoW for a bit, I came back to roll a new character, an Orc Warlock. I wanted to make a humorous name for my newly-minted main, something that people would remember. I came up with several ideas, and even canvassed them to my friends. Finally I settled on Voldemorc. Man I thought I was funny. I actually got several comments about the name, which was nice. He was also the first character I got to max level and raided on, think that dps you always have to carry and you will be overestimating my ability.

Another break and another expansion later, and my new-new-main returned from the grave, the indomitable Night Elf Death Knight, Frostwald. I wanted to tank and I wanted people to know it, so I named him accordingly. Most people cannnot make the connection between Frostwald and tanking. Perhaps it makes more sense when I mention that my original idea was to call him Frostwall, but I liked the concept of a more refined, aristocratic, frost-wielding juggernaut.

This brings us up to near present. You see, it all started when (another break and coming back just before another expansion) I was rolling my new-new-new main which was to be a Paladin (well actually he was the original character I got to level 55 to roll a DK). Tauren pallies had been announced for Cataclysm, and I knew that’s what I wanted to be, none of this sissy furless humans for me. When I finally made the server-faction-race change, I was once again confronted with that dreaded character naming box.

Unfortunately, I think my creativity declined in my time away, and for some reason I was set on using the word ‘Light’ in the name.  Lightbrow, Lightbeard, Goldylight were all discarded with nothing better to take their place, until a moment of sheer brilliance, or perhaps savage mockery, (to this day I still don’t know) my brother uttered the following phrase which changed the course of my naming conventions more profoundly than I will ever give him credit for, “What about just light?”

"What about just light?"

Justlight the noble Tauren Paladin was born into the world that day, shortly followed by Justdark (in case I ever wanted to go back to the glory days of dual-wield frost tanking), and a slight variation on the formula, Primalight (currently newly minted to 85 and loving healing dungeons with just riptide).

This carried forward to other games, other pursuits; HoN, LoL, Dota 2 et al. However, having found Justlight cruelly taken, a new iteration was needed. I finally settled on JustRight, or if that too was taken, JustRite(s). Currently, I am contently naming things with this new convention, with (mostly) success, and am (hopefully) starting to build an online profile.

And here we are. Well almost. You may be wondering then, why you are not reading the first post of www.JustRight.wordpress.com. Well partly because that too is taken. You may notice, though, that  NotTooHeavy does indeed relate to JustRight, although you may need to be Australian to make the connection.

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7 comments

  1. I seriously giggled reading through your childhood pet’s names. I currently own a rabbit whose breed is Rex and his name is Rex. We’re unimaginitive too, lol.

    Welcome to the world of blogging. I hope you stick with it. :)

    1. Nice to see that my family are not the only ones and thanks for the encouragement.

  2. welcome to blogging :) I started in Runescape too ( though I think I went around using a common nic of mine when I played) in wow I tried to stick with lots of z’s zip, zoph zah,but that was pretty much it with random names for alts being thown in. Goodluck and hope you keep writing!

  3. Don’t get me started on names in MMOs. It makes me bang my head against the wall a quite often. Your pet name list, along with Mypally, Pegshealer, and similar names make me cringe. So do names from public life or figures out of popular fiction, especially misspellings of them. Lately I have picked names starting with the same 3 letter sequence like Dime, Dimo, Dimski, Dimor, etc, etc. I need the variations, since I am an altaholic.

  4. Most of my names are good ones…this one was after some frustration of trying to come up with a cute druid name on an alt I didn’t plan on playing. People seem to love it though, I named her while my kids were watching the Lion King…

    1. Very nice, perfect blend relevance and humour

  5. I giggled at the stories of Birdie, Hammy and the Fishies – but then again I’m easily swooned by diminutive forms, especially when they concern animals!
    I also choose proper names when naming something, having a pet in WoW called “ImWithStupid” just doesn’t do it for me.

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