Thursday, March 20, 2008

Name Game: Do you name your gizmos?

I have a new MacBookPro! Oops, think I mentioned that already. After years as a PC-only person, I have reverted to my more natural state, that of being dual platform. Just now as I was bending over to pick up my new magic box, a name popped into my head: Maxine. Of course! What else could I name my new computer? She joins Idella, my iPhone, as my two newest and presently favorite digital companions. My CRV is Yolanda Dos Honda (Yolanda Uno selflessly saved my life in a rollover) and my mechanical heart valve is named Fido because he is so faithful. I come by this habit naturally--my family always named our cars. There was Easter Egg, a yellow and green two-tone Chevy, and Harriett the Chariot, a long-suffering '38 Plymouth. For a while I named my house plants after people I loved, thinking that might prompt me to take better care of them. Instead it just made me feel more guilty when they died, so I have sworn off that.

I know I am not alone. Back in my undergrad days at Baylor University, somebody put up signs in the dorm bathroom naming the toilets I John, II John, III John, Jude and Revelation (yes, church schools have special Christian grafitti). Many librarians mention that they name their computers in labs and libraries. It helps keep them identified as in..."Mrs. Bell! Jack London is frozen up again!" I remember having a contest to name all our library computers after literary figures.

I just finished reading Counting on Grace, by Elizabeth Winthrop and may blog again about this wonderful book. Grace names the frames she must tend in the textile factory where she works. The easy-to-work-with frames get girl's names and the cranky ones are given boy's names. Albert and Edwin, for instance, are always acting up, just like some of the boys she knew at school before being forced to leave to work in the mill.

It would be a fun digression from more serious tasks to hear from others who name their gizmos. Let's see if I get some responses.


  1. My GPS is named Sacagawea. My grandson thinks this is funny.

    Good post!


    PS Thanks for the shout-out in Multimedia Schools in your Belltones column!

  2. I name my vehicles: my white chevy pick up was "Silver" after the Lone Ranger's horse, my gold chevy pick up was "Trigger" after Roy Rogers' horse, and now I own "Scout" after Tanto's horse which is a brown chevy pickup. I never thought about naming other gizmos, hmmmm...