SHUTTERSTOCK PHOTO COPYRIGHT MIKE FLIPPO
What’s your almost name?
Ask around and you’ll find that, before they were born, most people had two or three names juggling in consideration before their parents decided on the final eponymous label that can either influence one’s destiny or, depending on your capacity for drama, ruin it.
Mine, for the record, was the very girlie Lorinda, a mash-up of Lori and Linda.
“You are so not a 'Lorinda',” said our publisher in disbelief when I told her, illustrating the power that names have beyond mere words and possess the capacity to become inextricably tethered to their wearers.
Two of my three kids didn't get their planned names – one after seeing his face and realizing he just wasn't a 'Thierry' and the other who, on the day he was born, my husband confided he didn't like the name 'Bruno' that I had picked out months before.
“Now, you tell me this?” I hissed, buttressed by postpartum exhaustion and attitude.
It was three weeks of referring to the poor little guy as 'Booger' before we came up with something we could both agree upon.
While occasionally, one's almost name seems to fit, be careful about expressing this opinion. When I suggested a co-worker's near-moniker kinda suited her, her eyes narrowed and I detected a glint of frost.
“I am not a Wendy,” she glared.
Like children, literature and movies are also a product of their own gestation period and, as such, are subject to modifications as they evolve and situations change.
If the internet is to be believed, a list of classical works of literature had their own draft names, none of which fit the final product better than what we know and associate with the story.
The Great Gatsby was originally titled Trimalchio in West Egg, an obscure reference to parallel character traits between the 1925 book and a 1st Century Roman satire.
Lord of the Flies was reportedly first titled Strangers from Within. An interesting tidbit is that the final title, coined by the book's editor, is a translation of the Hebrew word 'Beelzebub,' a contemporary name for the devil.
Tomorrow is Another Day lacks the drama of Gone With the Wind and I don't think Tolstoy's War and Peace would have the same impact had the author gone with the working title of All's Well that Ends Well.
Movies have the same evolution between working and final titles though I would guess from some of them, the creative team had no intention of releasing the films under their exaggerated working titles.
Annie Hall was reportedly christened It had to be Jew and Me and my Goy while Basic Instinct was allegedly made under the moniker Love Hurts.
The Tom Hanks’ film Big was fittingly originally called When I Grow Up and Blade Runner was first referred to as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which, if you've seen the film, is not all that far-fetched.
I once worked with a bunch of British folks who, after introducing themselves, proceeded to address each other either by nicknames, or completely different names, leaving me thoroughly confused.
I distinctly remember bumping into one of them in the hall and in frantically trying to recall whether he was named Steve or Mike.
“Smike!” I finally blurted and even typing this memory evokes blushing.