Sunday, May 25, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Search for Naming (Part VIII)

You'd have to think about naming when you're confronted with a name like Indiana. Look what I found on VH1:

14. Don't Call Us Junior
What's in a name? Only our identity, self-worth and life story — all wrapped up in a neat little appellation. Forget what Shakespeare said: A rose by any other name just wouldn't smell as sweet. You call him Dr. Jones, lady, his professional name.

I watched Indy and the Temple of Doom yesterday and have a date to go see the new movie in about an hour. And while Shorty's reprimand was mostly for comedic effect, I'm intrigued by the reference to his professional name. It's a sign of respect--for the person, for the profession. I wonder how much we recognize names as a method of giving respect. I mean I know to refer to higher ups as Mr. or Ms. or Mrs., but currently my two superiors don't want the reference, yet we refer to the Dean of the Law School as Dean. In my online class, I've already shortened my professional name to Prof. NH for ease, but also because of the unease of the full title.

HT: PaleoJudaica

1 comment:

M LO said...

There is a tension that comes along with honorifics and so forth. In my case that tension comes from reinforcing many power structures that I think are faulty or don't want to take part in, namely in academics. With that being said, this tension is especially played out at a community college. About a fourth to a half of my students are older than I am. I certainly don't want them to call me Mrs. It would seem degrading. I also don't want to be called Professor because I am a lowly adjunct and have no power whatsoever. So my students just call me Monica. It's pretty informal, but I guess I'm operating in an alternate academic realm.

However, at church I call everyone who is more than 10 years older than me Mr. or Mrs. until I am instructed otherwise. And of course, I call the priest Father. But this is one structure where I don't mind reinforcing the name issue.

Good topic though. I'm glad you are addressing it.