Oh, but what's in a name.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 | 5 Comment(s)

Let's get into it.

I have always strongly encouraged my child-bearing friends to consider Mattitiyahu for their childrens' names.  i say, "it works for both a boy and a girl!"  no ego.  no pretense.  i simply want to live forever, even if it is through other people's children.  Is that too much to ask?   These are children i love mind you--i have some personal investment in.  I'm not just looking for a whole bunch of random Mattitiyahu's popping up all over the place.  (hell, let's be honest.  I would totally friggin LOVE that!)  I figure it would even take some of the ingrained pressure to have a kid off of me.  Mmf has an easy out, her first name is common so she finds nomenclative doppelgangers all over the place.   Me, i'm subjected to injustices which include having my name swapped out and replaced by the Hasidic Rapper (and formerly Matthew from White Plains) Matisyahu.  Not that there is anything particularly wrong with Matisyahu (except that some of his songs make me feel like im back in synagogue . . . in a bad way).  I've even been to one of his concerts (which is saying something considering i don't go to a lot of music shows.).   But, when the check comes back from brunch and it says, as the tab's name, "Matisyahu's Crew," you start to hate the guy.  I swear its not just because he's jewish ;)

Like i was saying.  Name your babies after me.  The name has been working out great for me.  I would go so far as to say naming your baby Mattitiyahu would give them an advantage in life.  Let me create a case using Social Psychology

There is tons of research that says that the more time and contact you have with a person, the more liking there will be (im summarizing folks).  This can happen on a very large scale, e.g. liking a romantic partner more and more as time goes on. (there can be a ceiling effect over enough time e.g. the romantic partner break-up).  or it can happen on a very small level.  Like the DMV.  Whenever there is a line, where a person has discretion over how quickly you get served (aka. doctor's office, pharmacy, restaurant), those are people you want to like you, and therefore being able to spend those few extra moments with that person can influence your experience.  What's more, if you could get them to take some kind of personal interest in you, even at a superficial level, the research says that this will end up to your advantage.

Well, no matter where i go, when i give my name, the person asks about it.  every time.  Where's that from? What language is that?  And i tell them, politely and engagingly, it's Hebrew, biblical. From the Hannukah story.  And we chit-chat, i smile.  And while i may be a manipulative sonofabitch, i'm convinced this gets me faster everything.  Minimally, i never get lost in the shuffle.

There it is folks, i just made a PhD level argument to name your next born Mattitiyahu.  hell, i'll even throw in some blog posts about the growing boy/girl.  And of course, ill love them the most.  More than all the others (i can say that cause none of them can read yet--and their parents are all way too busy parenting to read my blog--cept Eric.  Eric im sorry, but until Maytal, Avi, & Orly have a bro/sis Mattitiyahu, this is the truth).

i know i know.  i know what you're all thinking.  this is like an exercise in narcissism.  And, you are correct sir/madam.  But at least im up front about it.  And almost all great thinkers were misunderstood during their lifetimes.  Perhaps this is the narcissistic nugget of truth.  Maybe baby-makers are simply a means to an ends (the gays would FINALLY get the last laugh).  Maybe we can substitute external definition as more important than all this genetic mumbo-jumbo.  I mean, this at least makes as much sense as creationism -- and they have tried to add that to school curriculum.  that means "in schools" people.

or.  i could be totally wrong.  in which case, im going directly to hell, no passing go.  no $200.

totally worth it.


  1. Well - I'm honored to be mentioned in this blog - but there will be NO MORE children coming from this guy. As fun as Mattitiyahu is, my kids (Maytal, Avi & Orly) have the same pleasure of people mispronouncing, mis-gendering and questioning every time they introduce themselves. Good times. Guess that's my fault, huh? They LOVE daddy!!!

    Have your own kids - they are like clay - you can mold (and name them) however you'd like :)


  2. @SLow-mo I love it when a plan comes together. and even i must admit that 3 is plenty.

  3. I promise to name my first born after you.

    BTW, I just encountered a student named Tempestuous. Now that's a pretty conversation-inducing (or perhaps killing) name.

  4. how long did it take you to learn to spell curriculum? do you still have to think about it every time?

  5. @John. I can't wait to hold you to that.

    @Arthur. curriculum i've got down. now "restaurant" ill never learn. But we've 'evolved' to where i've had students say, "oh, i can spell that, with spell-check." So i'm golden.