Because I know I always get confused when people do this: I have changed my LJ account name.
I originally created this account years ago when I wanted to make a post that absolutely should not be recognised by anyone I knew. And then after that was over with and deleted, it was a handy account to use when I wanted to join communities about naughty things that would merely embarrass me if anyone saw, and then four years and fifteen thousand
comments later I found myself still using a username I had never liked, and cringing slightly whenever someone called me by it. I've been waiting for the right name to come along for a while and finally took the plunge.
So, new name: scien
. It's short, it contains some of the same letters as my real name, it doesn't sound like a 14 year old girl trying desperately to be liked*, I'm happy. * Note: I was never that 14 year old girl. I just registered an account that sounded like one. Sigh. Anyway.
I've also been on a 'looking things up in the OED' kick lately, just because I can. 'Scien' appears to be a variant spelling of 'sign': 'A gesture or motion of the hand, head, etc., serving to convey an intimation or to communicate some idea.'
Not bad eh? Although the only place I actually found this exact spelling used was in the context of one of the other definitions, 'A device borne on a banner, shield, etc.; a cognizance or badge'
. Which is what a username is, really.
I don't know that it's perfect - lots of names I would have liked to have were taken. But I'm kind of relieved.
Speaking of names and labels. Something I've been finding interesting lately is the way some terms seem to take on a reality and strength of their own.
As an English student, along with the OED obsession I got it thoroughly pounded into my skull that words don't intrinsically
'mean' anything, but that the meaning of a word lies in the way it is used and understood, which can be a messy cloud of associations that varies by time and place. (You can point to a dictionary all you like - classifying words and usages as 'correct' or not based on their etymology and the whim of the editor went out of fashion with Johnson
. Lexicographers these days see their job as following usage, not dictating it).
And intellectually, I understand that. But as a day to day shorthand, it is much easier to just get on with life under the assumption that the word 'sock' directly correlates to an actual 'sock'. In the case of a sock, that's probably a pretty safe assumption. But in some contexts this gets somewhat less accurate or helpful.
I already touched on this in my post about virginity
, in which I talked about people treating virginity as though it was an 'either/or' status that actually
existed, and with enough information we could divine which one they were. When in fact it's a term that is (self contradictingly) medical, technical, cultural and personal all rolled into one word. ( The same sort of thing applies to other labelsCollapse )
Also I'm curious, dear readers, about what labels you choose to describe yourself with and why. I wonder if there is as much variation as I would expect. What considerations brought you to one word over another? Do they feel like a perfect fit, or an uneasy one?