Names. I’m not sure what you may think of this theory of mine, I mean, it’s not exactly scientifically proven. You could even call me a warped heathen for it. Go on, I don’t mind, I’ll take it as a compliment.
But I have this theory that names mean quite a bit. I should know – thanks parents! – I’ve been blessed/cursed with an unusual name for a good few years, and it’s taken me all of them to grow into it and finally enjoy it. Of course, it helps that it’s becoming more popular. But it’s still odd enough for it to be mispronounced, misspelled, misfaxed. Sometimes it’s funny, mostly it means people make me sound like a purple rinsed, fully paid up lavender scented old biddy. (For the record, I’m not. I’m purple haired and I have a passion for Black Phoenix perfume oils. Especially ones which smell of chocolate or leather. Or preferably both.) Hmm…where was I?
Ah yes. Names. My theory. The name helps to shape the being. From my personal experience I’ve grown from being the odd one out to being oddly comfortable with myself. Then there’s pet names. You name a cat Cuddles and there’s two ways it can go. One is all soft and purry….the other, well, you’d better hope that you’ve got an industrial sized bottle of antiseptic. The name can come back to bite you. Tip for the day: don’t even think about naming your feline Loki unless you’ve got fully paid up house and contents insurance.
Think of all those celebrity names out there. Peaches, Fifi, Apple, Moonunit, Zowie. I’m sure, despite all the creature comforts their parents’ fame brought, there were moments when they’d cheerfully contemplated their revenge for the pain it brought them in school.
And thus we can extend this theory to WoW guild names. I’ve seen a fair few in my limited time in Azeroth. Some are funny, some…less so. Some are downright reportable, and almost certainly have been. But the fact is that we, as humans, do judge things by their names. If we didn’t then there’d be a lot of marketing folk out of jobs. So when I see a guild name along the lines of Sparkley Crystal Glitterkittyangels, I just KNOW what I’m going to get. And I…um….unashamedly avoid it like the plague. Take the examples below. (Names have been changed to protect the guilty.)
Sparkley Crystal Glitterkittyangels – still has all their crystal bride fairy princess Barbies and was possibly founded with the help of their unfortunate SO who had no say in the name. May be bank guild, may be “casual fun loving non-serious” type.
THE SUPREMELY SUPREME UBER COUNCIL OF THE HIGH AZEROTHIAN DEATHLORDS – `teenagers with delusions of Powah and thinks that capslock makes it even more uber. Yeah. Right. Sure.
teh hawt chix – Accidentally misspelled when making guild charter, no regard to capitols, and either started by some deluded “hawt” girl who thinks she’s it, or some teenage boy trying to lure hawt chix to their guild. They’re playing a hawt female Draenei. Obviously.
But you choose a serious guild name, and you get serious business. I don’t mean the sort that outlaws laughing at something funny mid raid, but a guild that has some structure. Your name is the first thing that people are going to judge. You want to tailor it to what you want people to think. It’s branding of a sort.
We were lucky. Our guild name was an instinctive choice, which summed everything we wanted in one succinct word. When we were discussing what we wanted it kept cropping up again and again. It was serious, but not too serious. It worked.
Had it not cropped up, we’d have thought long and hard about what we’d call our Azerothian home. But of one thing I’m 100% sure.
It certainly wouldn’t have been capslocked, sparkly or hawt.