aaron vinson and alphabetical prejudice


Aaron Vinson is not pleased with the way alphabetical order has affected his life. As a man with a "V" last name, he spent much of his public school career at the back of the alphabetically-determined line, called on last when roll was taken, his picture relegated to that last half-page of the yearbook along with W-Z and "camera-shy." Understandably, Mr. Vinson does not want his children to grow up victims of the same alphabetical prejudice he had to endure. And since reversing the institutional bias against end-of-alphabet last names would take years, if not centuries, Mr. Vinson is left with little recourse outside of a name change.

Potential name #1: Vincent Aaron

People invariably mistake his last name for "Vincent" anyway, so why not change the spelling and reverse the first and last names? The double "a" ensures that any Vins... er, Aaron children will be first in nearly any alphabetical arrangement imaginable. The downside to this is that Aaron is hesitant to have his children be first in line, with the inevitable pressure that comes with that position. Though not nearly the disadvantage of a "v " name, the surname "Aaron" is still less than ideal.

Potential name #2: Aaron Cavin

"Aaron Cavin" is a great name. It conjures up images of gentle guitar melodies, long flowing beard hair, and the occasional interpetive dance to Tom Waits' "Jockey Full of Bourbon." Aaron Vinson has in fact claimed to be Aaron Cavin on at least one notable occasion. The "c" last name means that offspring would be near the front of the line in elementary school, but not so far forward as to be self-conscious. A "c" name is like a B+ grade, a Golden Globe nomination, Milky Way bars, or the city of Phoenix: consistently above-average, but not so much that it stands out.

The drawback here is that Aaron Cavin himself still has a claim to the name. And it's not like Mr. Vinson's social group is lacking for name confusion as is, with more people named Josh, Ch/Kris, Kati/e than is really manageable, to say nothing of the multiple Aarons. Still, the name does have a certain ring to it, which leads to...

Potential name #3: Aaron Cavinson

This name has it all. It retains the alphabetical value of "Cavin," while making a homage to the original Vinson name. Potential Cavinson children need not fear name confusion, nor alphabetic prejudice. The Vinson signature can be easily modified to become the Cavinson signature.

We are still left with the problem of first name confusion. Just on Ward Street alone, the excess of Aarons often led to miscommunication and inefficiency. Ideally, Mr. Vinson-nee-Cavinson would have a more unique appellation than "Aaron." "Bin" was suggested, for brevity's sake, although "Go" and "Yes" were also considered.

One unique element of the original name, "Aaron Lloyd Vinson," is that the first and middle name start with double letters. It seems a shame to lose that. Kristina Almquist hit on a compromise name that would certainly be striking, and retain the Lloyd factor:

Potential name #4: Bin Lloyden Cavinson

Or BLC for short.


I must now appropriately identify Aaron (or the future BLC) as a whiney bitch. I've lived my whole life looking at the back of Mr. Vinson's head as I sit in the "W" section of the line. Any negative effects that Bin Lloyden has experienced, I've received 10 fold. This being because, as Sean alluded to in this entry, there is a bell curve effect of shittyness to last name proximity to the beginning and ends of the alphabet. As one approaches the beginning or end of the alphabet there is an asymptotic acceleration of shittyness during one's school age years. For example Kristen Larson and Kelly Koskelin have never experienced a disparity in the quality of their elementary school days. They both blissfully passed through that gauntlet the BLC and myself knew as hell, without a clue to their fortune or their miniscule discrepancy in fortune. I however, existing in that violently dynamic region of the last name, can assure you, gentle reader, that Bin Lloyden knows nothing of my pain.

Gene Wood

although i admittedly concede the horror that being the end or beginning of the alphabet entails, i must also point out that disgust can enter into one's relationship with their last name depending on who they get sandwiched between in all their classes when forced to sit alphabetically, and all those school projects assigned alphabetically. speak to me of corey gilette and kirsten gruber pain. oh please.

I was fortunate enough to be alphabetically assigned a spot next to Kim Jordan most of the time, although I did once have to spend a cross-country plane trip sitting beside Donald Keck.

But such highs, and minor lows, are simply a part of life in the middle of the nomenclature bell curve.

I think Eugene is just bitter because his first name is, well, Eugene. All of us in the back of the line feel the same twinge of unbridled rage when the A-list (so to speak) names get all the good shit. My childhood was spent in lonely, back of room isolation with Michael Warner. I think that we end-of-the-alphabet folk should start a revolution, and take out the front of the line. And then we should turn our anger on the middle of the line! Those passive fools will never see it coming!

I actually think Eugene is a very nice name. Sorry Gene.

Kati - no need to apologize. I am sure Gene has come to terms by now with his first name, but even he would consider it a stretch to call "Eugene" a "very nice name."

In Germany, they pronounce his name "Oi-gen."

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on January 21, 2003 1:55 PM.

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