This I Believe

Ashley - Allendale, Michigan
Entered on November 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity

I believe in naming.

There is moment before a final creation can be completed that flashes through an artist’s mind. Whether a painter finished his painting, a lyricist wrote a song, a grad student completed a toiled over master thesis, or a blogger typed the final thought to be blogged, it is a known phenomenon to name “it.” Within the final brush strokes or the last keys typed, there’s a moment of creativity, of wonder. “What should I call this?”

It is a unifying step that everyone does, but maybe not so many people share their reasoning for the titles they choose. I pine over putting a title to something I’ve created. My sophomore year British Lit class forced me to spend lots of constructive time thinking of “names” for my essays – I can’t imagine what it will be like when I have my first child.

Perhaps it’s just my curiosity, but I can’t help but to wonder why a typical student in the seventh grade might name her poem “Love and Peaches, and Why I Like Both” or why textbooks from educated companies sit on shelves labeled “Math: A Geometry Approach” or “Child Development and Psychology.”

Most of the time these names are decided upon quickly in mere seconds. What creative flow persuades a person to name something, precisely what they decide? Why do inventors of new technology gadgets pick names such as “iPod” or “Zune?” Why does the most popular fast food chain name its new sandwich after a southwestern state?

Having this moment of creativity is a silent unifier between everyone in the world, or at least I like to think so. It’s a solid few seconds or even days, if you’re like me, that is spent trying to make your creation have a title that is informative, yet precise, yet unique enough, yet still kind of connected to the work for obvious reasons, yet not too obvious to where it looked like no time was put into the naming of the piece at all.

Establishing that special connection of understanding between a creator and an audience makes the value of appreciation rise as one accepts whatever said thing is. Whether you admire a girl named Sunday for her rare name or your favorite short story for it’s unobvious title, grasping the reasoning behind the creator’s wishes allows a glimpse into the creator’s mind to see the pride and energy put into the object. This glimpse allows that silent connection between the creator and the receiver, where a guaranteed heartfelt thought can be felt on both ends.