Dear Johns

Saturday, January 08, 2005

I peaked into Voin's mailbox the other day when he was over. Not to read his messages, because he was right next to me, but just to see who he regularly conversed with. What I saw shocked the living daylights out of me.

In his mailbox were names like Anya, Lexi, Marushka, Dusan, Michiko, Jorge and Famir.

I mean, I should have known. His name is Voin de Voin, he comes from Bulgaria, he is a European Socialite, with specialties in Paris and Greek culture, and he was based in Amsterdam for the last seven years. So, obviously, unlike me, he hasn't had a time in his life where he's known four "Mike"s, three "Jason"s, three "Chris"s," three "Jeremy"s, two "Dan"s, two "Natasha"s, three "Carolyn"s, two "Karen"s...etc etc etc.

North American people generally choose to anglicize and uncomplicate their ethnic heritage. So, while we can have people called John, in France it can be Jean or Yann or Yannick, all within a span of kilometres, not including, Italian, German, Spanish, Nordic, Slavic or Russian variations.

Now, in the North America, we live in a world where there are less variations in names, based on dialect differences, but where one name can stand for many, like Britney. Ubiquity you ask? No, ubiquity would imply that there is one individual particle, that can be differentiated, that is present in many. Not ubiquity. Dilution.