Friday, October 10, 2008

A better name, anyone?

This won't be a revelation on par with learning that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's twisted dad, but the truth is that Mum was pretty against Sonny to start with. Or, we ought to say, against 'Sonny'.

About the time we got this blog to its unsteady feet (and it's been reeling clumsily along ever since), we felt especially uninspired over what to call our then-two-week-old. As a stylistic ground rule, we didn't want to use either his or our own real names. Yet while 'Mum' and 'Pa' were easily arrived at, 'Sonny' - to Mum's ears, especially - landed with a ugly thud.

Perhaps there was an unconscious echo of the brutish boxer Sonny Liston. Or a secret dislike of the music of Sonny Bono. Even Pa has to admit there is something of a Yankie oafishness to the appellation. But we couldn't come up with anything better. The main restriction was that we needed something that would be immediately recognisable as a 'child-designator' to first-timer readers. So anything too exotic ('Longlegs' or 'Screamer') wouldn't fly. Consider the small pool of useable options that we were left with: 'Kiddo' was simply too infantile; 'Champ' is a ridiculous sobriquet to apply to an infant.

In the end, therefore, 'Sonny' had at least the virtue of being accurate, direct and succinct. No one would think we were referring to a pet dog, for instance. But since this blog isn't called 'Sonny's the Word', we could still effect a drastic changeover if someone can come up with a brilliant alternative. In other words, we are still trolling for possibilities. Truth be told, though, it would have to be something really spectacular, since over the months we've become rather used to 'Sonny'. It's become like the ungainly neighbour that you get attached to over time.

We even use it among ourselves now once in a while. And, oh well, it sure beats 'Kiddo'.