MORE ON NAMES
According to the Bible, in Genesis Chapter 3, it was Adam that named the creations of the LORD God.
And the LORD God said, It is and brought her unto the man.
not good that the man should be alone;
I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the LORD
God formed every beast of the field, and
every fowl of the air; and brought them
unto Adam to see what he would call
them: and whatsoever Adam called every
living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle,
and to the fowl of the air, and to every
beast of the field; but for Adam there
was not found an help meet for him~
21 And the LORD God caused a deep
sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept;
and he took one of his ribs, and closed
up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God
had taken from man, made he a woman,
and brought her unto the man.
-The naming goes recklessly on, in spite of anything I can do. I had a very
good name for the estate, and it was musical and pretty-GARDEN OF EDEN.
Privately, I continue to call it that, but not any longer publicly. The new
creature says it is all woods and rocks and scenery, and therefore has no
resemblance to a garden. Says it looks like a park, and does not look like
anything but a park. Consequently, without consulting me, it has been
new-named-NIAGARA FALLS PARK. This is sufficiently high-handed, it seems to me.
And already there is a sign up:
life is not as happy as it was.
new creature eats too much fruit. We are going to run short, most likely.
"We" again-that is its word; mine, too, now, from hearing it so much.
Good deal of fog this morning. I do not go out in the fog myself. The new
creature does. It goes out in all weathers, and stumps right in with its muddy
feet. And talks. It used to be so pleasant and quiet here.
through. This day is getting to be more and more trying. It was selected and set
apart last November as a day of rest. I had already six of them per week before.
This morning found the new creature trying to clod apples out of that forbidden
Monday. -The new creature says its name is Eve. That is all right, I have no objections. Says it is to call it by, when I want it to come. I said it was superfluous, then. The word evidently raised me in its respect; and indeed it is a large, good word and will bear repetition. It says it is not an It, it is a She. This is probably doubtful; yet it is all one to me; what she is were nothing to me if she would but go by herself and not talk.
. . .
-She fell in the pond yesterday when she was looking at herself in it, which she
is always doing. She nearly strangled, and said it was most uncomfortable. This
made her sorry for the creatures which live in there, which she calls fish, for
she continues to fasten names on to things that don't need them and don't come
when they are called by them, which is a matter of no consequence to her, she is
such a numskull, anyway; so she got a lot of them out and brought them in last
night and put them in my bed to keep warm, but I have noticed them now and then
all day and I don't see that they are any happier there than they were before,
only quieter. When night comes I shall throw them outdoors. I will not sleep
with them again, for I find them clammy and unpleasant to lie among when a
person hasn't anything on.
Lewis Carroll also thought that names might be superfluous, particularly for insects. He records his ideas in this selection from "Through The Looking Glass", the second of his Alice tales. Many of his writings contain outrageous situations, designed to delight children.
sort of insects do you rejoice in, where you come from?" the Gnat inquired.
"I don't rejoice in insects at all," Alice explained, "because I'm rather afraid of them-at least the large kinds. But I can tell you the names of some of them."
"Of course they answer to their names?" the Gnat remarked carelessly.
"I never knew them do it."
"What's the use of their having names," the Gnat said, "if they wo'n't answer to them?"
"No use to them." said Alice; "but it's useful to the people that name them, I suppose. If not, why do things have names at all?"
"I ca'n't say," the Gnat replied. "Further on, in the wood down there, they've got no names - however, go on with your list of insects: you're wasting time."