Word Use


The names of real people--world leaders, arts, business, others in the news--should convince any writer of the need to choose character names carefully, just as God apparently does.


  1. Would the U.S. General who defined the U.S. be named "U.S." Grant?
  2. Do you want a man named "Gore" in the White House with impending Armageddon? (Perhaps that's why he chose Lieberman--"loverman" in German--as his running mate.)
  3. Should an ethnic-cleansing bad boy (in the general world view) be named "Slobodan" (meaning freedom)?
  4. Would you name a giant killer, the only East European leader to fend off Stalin and Hitler, "Tito" (titan=giant)?
  5. What would a President named "Truman" be best known to historians for, his truthfulness and straightforwardness?
  6. Would a President named "Reagan" (raygun) be famous for his "Star Wars" initiative to disarm enemy missiles down with lasers?
  7. Might a totalitarian dictator who named himself "Stalin" (Russian for steel) rule with an iron fist, and lower the "Iron Curtain"?
  8. Would a fascist muscleman be named "Mussolini"?
  9. Wouldn't you entrust your entire faith in victory in a man named "WINston CHURCHill"?
  10. Was it proper for an English princess most famous for her inglorious death to be named "Lady Di"? (Her brother's eulogy highlighted the irony that his sister, named for "Diana" the mythological huntress, died hunted by photographers.)


  1. The true writer of Shake- speare named "de Vere" ("of truth")?
  2. America's Bard-of-All-Time named "Poe", which starts off the words "poem", "poet", "poetry", "poetic", etc.?
  3. The biggest heart throb of all time named "Valentino"?
  4. A director named "Zombie" who creates a horror movie so gruesome the studio funding it decides against release?


  1. A man named "Gates" who develops software to open up the potential of the personal computer?
  2. A fugitive commodities trader and fabulously wealthy financier named "Rich", his partner "Green", and his attorney "Fink" who helps him secure a presidential pardon?
  3. A man who milked the securities industry for hundreds of millions of dollars named "Milken"?
  4. A man who built automobiles identified later with seniors named "Olds"?
  5. Wouldn't the man who built the first affordable automobile be "a Ford"?
  6. A feller who becomes massively wealthy extracting petroleum from rocks named "Rockefeller"?
  7. Wouldn't the man who founded the Price Club, a deep-discount department store, be named "Price"?
  8. How about a man who starts a five-and-dime store named "Penney"?
  9. Would a man who starts a discount store where you can save a buck be named "RoeBUCK"?
  10. What do the names in the collapse of Enron Corporation, e.g., "Enron", "Lay", "Skilling", "Fastow", "Causey", "Lawrence M. Lawyer", "Chewco", "Rubin", "Kopper", "Pai", "Kinder", etc., do for you?


  1. Consider the names in the Monica Lewinsky Sex Scandal. What does "Monica" mean in Greek? Which prosecutor had the biggest spotlight on him? Who was the most outspoken member of the Congressional investigating committee? Who seemed intent on taking a piece of the president's flesh (almost like something out of a horror movie)?
  2. Would the dean of an Ivy League college divinity school caught using his work computer to download pornography from the internet be named "Thighman"?
  3. Would the alleged architect of a major insurance scam in the state of California be named "Quackenbush"?
  4. Would a bold and venturesome governor of a Western state be named "Ventura"?
  5. Would a Los Angeles man who coaxes Indonesian women to be servants in his home, turning them subsequently into slaves, be named "Lies"?
If you were to write screenplays using fictional characters designed after the above ones, what would you expect your reader to sense from these names?

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