What’s in a Name? Sometimes, A Job

The Synchronous World of Aptronyms Have you heard about the gardener named Alan Bloom or the defense attorney Scott Free? How about the brilliant professor of genetics, Dr. Murray Brilliant? Or the winner of the the Nez Perce County Fair hog-calling contest, Jolee Bacon? Such perfect marriages of..

The Synchronous World of Aptronyms

Have you heard about the gardener named Alan Bloom or the defense attorney Scott Free?How about the brilliant professor of genetics, Dr. Murray Brilliant?Or the winner of the the Nez Perce County Fair hog-calling contest, Jolee Bacon?Such perfect marriages of profession and handle sound like old-fashioned jokes from a paleo-comedic era.Nuh-uh.These kismetic combos of name and job are truth, not truthiness. Preposterously well-named people like Rita Book the librarian and Diane Berry the mortician have aptronyms-names that are particularly suited to a person's profession. Folks have been wondering about "nominative determinism" and the "name-career hypothesis" for decades, and collecting the words also called aptonyms, jobonyms, namephreaks, perfect fit last names, and euonyms is a perennial hobby of word-herders.The word aptronym dates back to at least 1925, and no less respectable a publication than New Scientist has been the home of much aptronym-discussing, though they prefer the term nominative determinism, a name for the phenomena that is both science-y and destiny-ish. In 1994, New Scientist introduced that term and discussed such cases as Dr. Misri (a depression-focused psychiatrist), R.A. Sparks (author of electronics textbooks), C.J. Berry (a make-your-own wine maven), and J. Angst, who co-wrote a book on bipolar disorder. Over the years, the letters page of New Scientist has been an

ever-replenishing source of aptronyms, and I particularly enjoyed a 2005 issue that mentioned fish researchers Andrew Bass and Steven Haddock, as well as the journalist Elaine Lies, who probably does not agree that her aptronym is apt.Timothy Noah of Slate-who lacks his own aptronym, unless he collects a metric ark-load of animals-is a top contender for collector laureate of the aptronym world, as his pieces have brought many to light. He's collected dentists named Fear, Hurt, Toothman, Chu, Plack, and Puller, as well as an economist named Dollar, a gastroenterologist named Colon, a professor of relgion named Godlove, an ophthalmologist named Blinder, and a urologist named Peters. (I'll pretend I didn't hear that…) Noah's crowning glories are the discovery of sexual misconduct researcher Charol Shakeshaft and lawyer Sue Yoo, two professionals whose names must make their lives very interesting (and annoying).For aptronym insight, you can't do better than Verbie Prevost, literature professor and head of the English department at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, who I heard give a paper on this topic at the American Name Society conference a few months ago. As to whether or not the name influenced her, Verbie said her parents probably did not intend to steer their daughter toward an inevitable destiny as an English prof: "They were simply naming me after my grandmothers-Verbie for the maternal grandmother and Ann for the paternal one. I'm not sure it ever occurred to them to think about the connection even when I displayed an early interest in become a writer or an English teacher-as early as elementary school, in fact."In her paper, Verbie said that taunt-bearing schoolmates were equally uninterested in her name's meaning: "I also do not really recall much reference being made to the aptronymic quality of my name during my K-12 school days, but then my classmates probably weren't fully aware of my future plans. Instead, they primarily teased me about the unusualness of the name." Admirably, Verbie has managed to not go bonkers from endless jokes about her name, like an old boyfriend who said her sister was named Nounie and another friend who calls Verbie's children the pronouns.

You could say I have an aptronym, though it's a bit of a stretch. As I've heard tell, my great-grandmother, who was more than a tad bonkers, wasn't thrilled with the choice of Mark, saying, "What's that? Like a mark on the wall?" (Guess she never heard of the Bible. Yeeps). But since making marks on paper is my favorite thing to do, even more than plowing through a bag of barbecue chips while watching about five episodes of The Shield in one sitting, the name does fit. I am a mark-er.What about you, oh nameless readers? Is there a Randall Anonymous, who floats name-free notions across the web, or a Carol Comment with something to say? You know what to do, commentadores.
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Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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