Friday, July 11, 2008

Nomenclature

After I read my story at Literary Death Match a couple of weeks ago, one of the judges commented on my name. In short, he said it wouldn't work for a literary career. John Williams is a common name, after all, and the composer who shares it will likely be better known no matter how much I accomplish. I think the judge was at least half kidding, but let's run with it (please also run with any presumption inherent to this post). I've always felt it was a challenge of sorts -- to become respected (not famous) enough to overcome the difficulty of being identified. But even in the literary world, there is at least one cult classic written by a John Williams.

Here were the top ten names for baby boys in the U.S. in 1950 (via Megan McArdle):

1. James
2. Robert
3. John
4. Michael
5. David
6. William
7. Richard
8. Thomas
9. Charles
10. Gary

I was born many years after 1950, but still. My full name is #3, followed by #4, followed by #6 with an "s" at the end. It seems the only likely combination with a lower quotient would be James John Roberts. (Chief Justice John Roberts' middle name is Glover. He was born in 1955.)

I'm not complaining. I like my names. And I think I'm sticking with them. Initials and nicknames and such...they have the air of trying too hard. J. M. Williams? That's not me.

2 Comments:

Blogger Todd said...

William John Williams? Oh, wait.

6:03 AM  
Anonymous Kevin Longrie said...

J-Mike.

Michael J. Williams

William J. Michaels.

J.W. Michaels.

9:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home