By any other name would smell as sweet.”
–Romeo and Juliet, Act II Scene 2
“The more I think about it, Old Billy was right. Let’s kill all the lawyers, kill ’em tonight.”
–Get Over It, The Eagles
Yeah, that Mr. Shakespeare fella could turn a phrase, a sentiment with which the honorable Mr. Henley and Mr. Frey would surely agree. But I come neither to bury lawyers nor to praise them, but rather to dwell upon the whole “by any other name” concept.
For over ten years, my primary Internet provider has been SOL – excuse me – AOL. On the day I opened my account, I came to that pivotal moment when it was time to create my primary screen name. I don’t remember anymore what I typed in, but be assured it was something devilishly clever to which I had devoted hours of careful thought. I deftly typed the name in the space provided and hit Enter. After a few moments, AOL tersely informed me that this name was already in use so I would need to choose something else. They helpfully suggested that I use a screen name composed of my first initial and last name.
Perhaps a lesser person would have been utterly deflated by this news, but I forged ahead, undaunted – some blind squirrel had obviously stumbled across my acorn; nothing more. I quickly devised a new screen name every bit as adorable and original as the first one. Once again, AOL informed me that this name, too, was already in use. Once again, they dutifully suggested a name made up of my first initial and last name. Hmphh! I Don’t Think So!
There then followed a veritable geyser of delightfully creative names, each more brilliant than the last, each springing from the deepest pools of imagination to be found in my brain. Each of these, in turn, was also shot down, as each had already been thought up by somebody else.
I finally realized that I was going about this all wrong – anybody can think up one of those clever screen names! I see them every day! I needed to put my own stamp on it; to come up with something that could only have come from me. Ultimately, I decided to pull a little switcheroo; go old school on ’em. Though I will not publish it here, let me just say that my primary screen name consists of my first initial followed by my last name. Is that too cool for school or what?