Thursday, June 26, 2014

Giving Names to Machines

The other day I read a very interesting article by Adrienne LaFrance in The Atlantic: Why People Name Their Machines.

We know that people like to give names to inanimate things. For instance, many of us name our cars (my friend Katherine once drove a car she named "Oskar") or our boats (the “Sally May”). Many gun owners like to name their weapons with monikers like “Big John” or, as Ms LaFrance reminds us in her article, Davy Crockett’s “Old Betsy” or the fearful World War I German artillery piece “Big Bertha.” And, of course, the infamous Kalashnikov automatic rifle beloved of terrorists and guerillas. We have the “Archimedes Screw” (which is not something one purchases from a Greek marital aids shop), the Mae West lifejacket, and the Ford Edsel (named for Edsel Ford, who probably would rather have been memorialized by something other than a marketing disaster).

We give names to things for any number of reasons. As Ms LaFrance says at the end of her article,

Machines don't need names, but we feel the need to name them—out of a mix of affection, perhaps, but mostly out of a desire to reorganize forces more powerful than we are so that they appear to be under human control.

This got me to thinking about all the other sorts of machines that might benefit from having names to personalize them, such as

A duplicating machine called Kate;

A bilge pump called Rush;

A hot air blower called Ted;


A device for treating severe memory loss called Dick.

Hmmm … I think I could get used to this. Any of you have any other creative suggestions for names for machines? Leave a comment.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



eViL pOp TaRt said...

A brand of vuvuzela called Justin?

A gaudy billboard with a large backside named Kim?

When I read your hot air blower name, I thought of a former Senator.

Kristen Drittsekkdatter said...

A attention attracter with a beautiful physique named Jesse?

Mike said...

The hot air blower made me think of Ted Turner. Mr. hot air himself.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

These are all excellent.
Love the bilge pump...tee hee

men name their privates too and that was where my dirty mind went when I read " people like to give names to inanimate things."
bad bad margaret!

Banana Oil said...

Men name their private parts, often Richard or Johnson or Peter or something like that.
No Homers.