January 13, 2017 ☞ Word of the day

It’s a rare occasion that I wish my name were Vern (never) but in this moment, I can see one reason why. So I could start a personal blog called Vernacular. That’s today’s word of the day.

Vernacular (or could it be: Vernacular!) would be an online magazine to house the idiosyncratic musings that only a Vern is capable of musing. Verns around the world would scroll and click and consume every bit of that Vern-oriented content. This is based on my assumption that those named Vern have demented world views (views best clarified and explicated in blog form) and require a publication by them and for them.

Because right? Also, for some reason I associate Verns with ferns. (Is that only because they rhyme? No. There must be another reason.)

Yet how is it that Vernon, with its two extra letters, is four letters more respectable? (At least four!) Vernon is a man that I would loan a leaf blower to. Vern is a man I would politely, but firmly, ask to get off my property.

Does this suggest a Syllable Theory of Male First Names? Let’s find out.

The Syllable Theory of Male First Names

One syllable names

The mono-syllabic male first name has a retro feel to it. It hearkens back to an age when every business was a factory called “Plexco,” clipboards were ubiquitous, and White Men were in charge:

Two syllable names

Add a syllable and it’s like planing off a layer of patriarchy. Here are the same(ish) names, but note how they are marginally more effete. These men aren’t the CEO, but they might run the accounting apartment.

Three syllable names

Add syllable number three and these names start to get a bit hinky–and un poco caliente. I think the third syllable speaks to the tragedy of modernity and also to the redefinition of gender roles, something, something, late-stage capitalism, et cetera…

While the effect is less clear, these are dudes I’d rather party with. (Except Reginald, of course.)

Four syllable names

As we enter the Realm of the Fourth Syllable it becomes clear this experiment is less “science” and more something written-on-a-Friday:

In summary

1 syllable 2 syllables 3 syllables 4 syllables
Mark Marcus Marketing Marcutio
Ted Edward Eduardo Theo-doro
Bob Robert Roberto Robertorebor
Dave David Video Da’video
Chas Charlie Charlemagne Chucklefucker
Frank Francis Fransisco San Francisco
Bill Billy Will.I.Am The Black Eyed Peas
John Jonzo Jon-? Jon-Jon John-John
Sam Sammy Samuel Sam-bastien
Reg Reggie Reginald Reg-ariah

These results feel squishy. Get the full report in next month’s Vernacular.