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Blog Naming out of love

Blog entry from old forum

Wodentoad

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There is something that's been bothering me. I'm sensitive to names because of my own history, but as a long time dog owner, I know that dogs do feel stress when given a derisive name, not from the meaning, but from your feelings about the dog that resulted in it. I may think certain names like "Messy boy" for my son, but I would not name him such. My dog's name is Buddy, a friendly family oriented name. Though he may not be the most driven or even bright creature in the world, to name him "Stupid" or "Dumbo" is--well, to me, it just seems mean spirited.

I know guineas don't feel the same way higher order mammals like dogs or humans do, but they can sense feelings from us. Taking care of pigs and providing a big home is wonderful, veggies, cuddles, floor time, all of that is great, but there's something to be said about the feelings behind a pet's name. Why, if you love them, would you give them a humiliating name?

A name like Flopsy, or Bella, or Cinnamon, or Zane--If I call my boy Zane, he'll come at the promise of Cilantro--those are all wonderful. But I don't want to, especially in front of my son, call out "Poopy! Stinky! Fatso!" These are things I would not dare call another human. Why would I call my pet this?

It just bothers me, that's all. A lot.

In other news, my boys are doing well. I think I may need to change the water bottle again for a kind that more easily attaches to the grids, however. The String theory I have been using is too complicated, and putting it on the side is not conducive to sharing. I'll get another like I have on the top floor.
 

blackarrow

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You say "poopy" and "stinky" as if poopy and stinky were bad things, LOL!

I know what you mean, but it's largely subjective what's endearing and affectionate and what's humiliating. I'm not sure it's fair to assume that someone who named their pet "Stinky" thinks negatively of their pet just because you think of "stinky" as something pejorative. I'd hate to be called "Tootsie" - I think it's often used in a demeaning way - but I sure don't think my aunt and uncle were belittling their dog when they named her that.
 
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3piggymomma

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I agree with you. I love human names on animals and would never give any pet of mine a non-human name. Some like Honey or Fuzzy which are positive, endearing names are okay... Stinky is another story, haha..
 

Wodentoad

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There are some that fall on the line, like Tootsie or diminutive versions of names that are cutesy, but some just cross the line. Fatso, Stinky, Stupid--There's an immaturity or perhaps even an anger in the psychology for that and reflected in each derisive name, just as there is psychology behind naming my son after a departed family member.
 

Mamma-Harlow

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I agree, I've always tried to give my pets respectful, elegant names. Psychologists have shown that we as people do judge each other based on our names, so I do my best to name my pets well because I see animals as people. My first guinea pig was called Puggles/Huggles (I was only 11 when I got him, lol), and then my two piggies now are called Picasso and Houdini, both were given unique names due to their quirky appearance.
 

blackarrow

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Chubby Checker? Fats Domino? Minnesota Fats? Disrespected? I think not.
 

Res Judicata

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So, if diminutive versions of names are too cute, then they are going to harm the person who bears such a name psychologically? And who decides what name is too "cutesy?" I guess I had better start calling my daughters Madeline and Jocelyn because "Maddie" and "Jossie" could be considered too cutesy by some who believe such nicknames are harmful to the girls and a sign that I hate them on some subconscious level.
 

Wodentoad

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Wow, Res, that was harsh and uncalled for. I was referring to names like Stinky. Stinky is not a diminutive version of "Stinkotomere" and Poopy is not short for "Poopricia" these are, in my feeling, mean-spirited names. Short forms like Bob, Rob, or Robin for Robert or what have you are one thing. Names that poke fun at something are another thing entirely.

As you do not seem to understand where I was speaking from on a psychological standpoint, may I ask why you felt it necessary to comment on this? Moreover, may I ask why you felt the need to not read but instead ridicule my personal opinions? I have personal reasons as mentioned before as to why certain naming conventions bother me.

My comments on short versions like "Tootsie" may have been mistaken. I intended to put forward that while some people would prefer to use "Jessie" instead of the full name "Jessica," my sister hates it. What crosses the line is names that are all right out--names that in any circle would be considered offensive. "Dorkface," "Stupid," "Stinky," or things like that may sound cute at the time, but in the long run show a great deal of immaturity, much like your need to ridicule what you do not understand.
 

blackarrow

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Well, you know, Wodentoad, it could easily be considered harsh and uncalled for that you've decided, for your own personal reasons, that people you don't know, and whose reasoning you don't know, must be immature and hostile and out to humiliate their pets by giving them guinea pigs names you don't care for.
 

Wodentoad

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One, my opinion, and like armpits, everyone has them. Two, the opinions of sociologists, scientists who specialize in social trends and conventions. Three, the opinion of psychologists, scientists who specialize in how the mind works. Four, the subject of my own collegiate research. Five, you don't have to agree, but while evidence can lead to incorrect conclusions, opinions and feelings are never wrong. They are not based on fact but on perception, memory, interpretation, and emotion. I have an emotional tie to naming conventions.

I said it had been bothering me. I said I felt a certain way about it. These are my opinions, and as I respect your opinions and feelings, I expect you to respect mine as well. To avoid unnecessary drama, I would like to agree to disagree on this issue.
 

blackarrow

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I understand you have an emotional tie to naming conventions, you've made that very clear. Not everyone shares that feeling about following convention, and not everyone who disagrees with you (such as Res) doesn't understand your POV. She simply didn't attack you.

You are welcome to feel however you feel about someone who has named their guinea pig Fattie. (Perhaps it's a nickname for their beloved grandma Fatima, you don't know.) However, I don't think you get a free pass to go around saying that because YOU don't like some name, the person who named someone or something that name must be immature or hostile or what have you. And you know what? A lot of the pets on this site are children's pets, and thus little "Porky Pig" may well have been named by someone who is by definition "immature." Nothing wrong with that at all, and it certainly doesn't imply hostility that a child doesn't have the negative association with a name that you do.
 

Wodentoad

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I am letting this die. Please honor that. No more comments will be approved.

Further more, due to personal reasons I do not care to discuss, I am pulling back from many online communities with which I have involvement. I do not have time for the drama or games or things which do not contribute to the general welfare of myself or my home and family.

Thank you all for your input.
 

Res Judicata

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And why should I honor that when I, playing devil's advocate as I do a lot around here, put forth a valid argument and then was told I was "being immature." Blackarrow is right. Apparently is it all right for you to ridicule people's choice of names, but the rest of us better not disagree with you.
 

blackarrow

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This is like you poking a hornet's nest with a stick, then complaining that the bees are overreacting, and saying that the bees ought to know you're allergic. A better idea would have been to have avoided the nest altogether if you have some sort of sensitivity.
 

Res Judicata

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I debated adding this, but I have decided to anyway. I have Asperger's Syndrome, so maybe I do not fully understand where you are coming from, as my mind works more in a logical, rational manner than emotional. Did it ever occur to you that maybe I was asking the questions I was in order to understand better? I would really like to know where the line is on "offensive cutesy" and who has decided that this point is the line. And if there should be a bright line in the first place. Or should it swing the other way to the arbitrary "I'll know it when I see it?"
 

Paula

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Wodentoad, you started this blog to note that you don't like people naming their animals things you deem offensive. Fine, as you said, you just don't like it - but others are allowed to comment and disagree without having their comments removed. You posted this blog here and comments are allowed. No one has said anything offensive and there is nothing worth unapproving.

If you don't wish to have this continued, don't continue posting here yourself. Furthermore, nothing that anyone said has been harsh or uncalled for. Why people name their pets or their kids the things they do - whether consciously or not - is their business. I'm not sure why it needs to be discussed, but, after all, you did initiate a discussion on the matter.
 

Wodentoad

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Forgive me. It was something that had been bothering me, I did not intend for it to be a draw for drama. It was my opinion with which I see you and many others do not agree, but then, there are things with which I do not agree either. I am not saying people are wrong, but that *I* as an individual, as a person, as an individual, find it distasteful and immature. Others do not agree.

I do not wish to cause further drama. Forgive me for stating my opinion in a way that has caused so much heat, this was not my intention, and I mistook the reason for the blogs. As stated earlier, I would like very much for this to die. I have conceded that this was my opinion that I, personally, and with no affiliation with anyone else, have. If I could delete the entire entry, I would.

Right now, I am going through personal issues, and it is possible, though I have tried to be as diplomatic as I know how to be, that I have been harsh towards people, but this was not my intent. I only wanted to share, in a non-threatening way, my feelings. Again, my apologies. I do not like confrontation, and I certainly do not like where a small thought or opinion was met with a very high energy and very much negative response.

Mea culpa. Mea MAGNA culpa.

This site has been informative and incredibly helpful, but because of, as mentioned, personal issues, I am having to draw back from this sort of discussion and would again with humblest respect to my fellow posters and their opinions request that this be buried if not deleted. I never intended any harm, and I ask forgiveness from any who have taken offense at this, as it was never meant in that way.

Forgive me again, and thank you for all your help during the past month or so and the introduction of my new guinea pigs.
 

Paula

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I don't think you have anything to apologize for, except perhaps overreacting to Res and Blackarrow's comments. Whatever reasons you have for liking or disliking what someone names their children or their pets are certainly yours and nothing for which you should have to explain. But others may disagree with you and as long as it's kept polite - and honestly, everything here has - there's no reason to take such offense to it.

I also think it's wrong to name your child or pet something like Turd Face for a whole host of reasons - not the least of which the mortification he'll endure as he gets older in the case of a child, or in the case of a pet - the mortification you'll endure calling him in. But, believe it or not, people name their children and pets things that might seem harsh or cruel to an outsider, when in reality it's an affectionate or endearing term to the one doing the naming. For example, Frank Zappa named two of his children Moon Unit and Dweasel, and I think it's ridiculous to say he meant anything cruel or demeaning about those names. I hear the names and think no one in their right mind would do something that cruel to a child. But names, like so many other things, are personal, and whether or not you like, understand, or agree with them, it's absurd to assume that anyone meant anything negative by a name alone.
 
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