Archive for the ‘Names’ Category

Morning: Conrad Ecklie

April 25, 2015

This morning’s name was Conrad Ecklie. From Wikipedia:

Conrad Ecklie is a fictional character on the television series CSI played by Marc Vann. He was employed as Assistant Director of the crime lab of Clark County, Nevada until he was promoted first to Undersheriff in Season 10, then to Sheriff of Clark County in Season 13. In earlier seasons, he is a typical antagonist. As the series progresses, he gradually starts to become a good friend to the CSI team.



Conversation with the Muffman

April 23, 2015

Today’s Zippy, with another roadside fiberglass icon:


There’s a Wikipedia article on Muffler Men, roadside fiberglass figures originally serving as commercial icons, usually holding a sample of whatever is advertised — a muffler in the case of the canonical Muffler Man. Muffler Men take many forms: images of Paul Bunyan, for instance, and the very popular cowboy figure, as above. Zippy fairly often engages Muffler Men (and other fiberglass figures) in conversation.


Note: ethnic names

April 19, 2015

In the NYT on the 17th an obit by Daniel Slotkin, “Ira Lewis, Actor and Playwright, Dies at 82″. Fascinating life in the theater, ending with this familial note:

Mr. Lewis, who lived in Westfield, N.J., is survived by two brothers, Marvin and Seymour.

Lovely: Ira, Marvin, and Seymour, three traditional American Jewish names. Times have changed. A couple of generations ago, such names went out of fashion, to be replaced by more generically “American” (gentile) names — for men, by a collection of Irish-derived names. So Ira, Marvin, and Seymour became Kevin, Sean, and Brady.

Morning: Rob Ford

April 18, 2015

This morning’s name: Rob Ford. Oh my, who would have thought this would happen in Canada?


Morning: Gary Owens, and other entertainment Gar(r)ys

April 17, 2015

Today’s morning name was Gary Owens. From Wikipedia:

Gary Owens (born Gary Bernard Altman; May 10, 1934 – February 12, 2015) was an American disc jockey and voice actor. His polished baritone speaking voice generally offered deadpan recitations of total nonsense, which he frequently demonstrated as the announcer on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Owens was equally proficient in straight or silly assignments and was frequently heard on television, radio and in commercials.

He was best known, aside from being the announcer on Laugh-In, for providing the voice of the titular superhero on Space Ghost. … Owens’ first cartoon voice acting was performing the voice of Roger Ramjet on the Roger Ramjet cartoons.

… Owens started his radio career in 1952 as a news reporter at KORN, Mitchell, South Dakota and two years later was promoted to news director.

In action:

I was then reminded of the many Garys and Garrys in the entertainment world. A sampling follows.


Morning: C. elegans

April 16, 2015

Today’s morning name: the biological workhorse nematode, C. elegans.


James Garner

April 13, 2015

(Mostly about movies and tv, but with some material on names.)

Back in my Julie Andrews posting, James Garner came up, in the movie Victor Victoria. But the actor is an old favorite of mine, thanks to two television shows.


Morning: Ronald Arbuthnott Knox

April 13, 2015

This morning’s surprise name was Ronald Arbuthnot(t) — which led me nowhere, until I realized that the (very British) name was just the beginning of the name of Ronald Arbuthnott Knox, who is a figure of considerable interest. (The surname Arbuthnot(t) is Scottish.) Knox leads to the fictional detective Miles Bredon and to the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.



April 10, 2015

Today’s Zits:

Pierce seems to believe that using the same label for things means that there’s a deep connection between them. In this case, why bears and worms but not other things? (In the real world, there are all sorts of gummi candies.)

The hotel con

April 9, 2015

(Mostly about movies and tv, rather than language.)

In the Spring 2015 issue of The American Scholar, the piece “Looking for Mister Gustave: Who is the inspiration for the Grand Budapest’s concierge?” by Elena S. Danielson:

The central figure in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, winner of this year’s Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy and the recipient of nine Academy Award nominations, is the hotel’s concierge, Monsieur Gustave H. Played with great aplomb by Ralph Fiennes, Gustave is a genuinely appealing, the epitome of Middle European charm and style. He recites syrupy Rilke-esque poetry while seeing to the needs of the hotel’s well-heeled guests — the men as well as the aging women who seek him out for certain discreet and salacious entertainments — who, in return, bestow extravagant gifts upon him.

But then one of these women, Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoff und Taxis [wonderful name!] — the aristocratic Madame D — is found dead under suspicious circumstances. At the reading of her will, Gustave is awarded possession of a rare and valuable painting

The question is then whether Gustave is a con man, a swindler.

Danielson seeks a hotel con man in the writings of Stefan Zweig (whose work was an inspiration for Anderson’s film), but she “did not find any conniving concierges in Zweig’s mesmerizing short stories and novellas”. Then she looks at two more promising candidates, in Vicki Baum’s Grand Hotel and Thomas Mann’s Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 846 other followers