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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Research => Topic started by: olmue on March 27, 2012, 08:27 AM

Title: One-use names
Post by: olmue on March 27, 2012, 08:27 AM
In this case, Bristol. Does it ONLY mean Bristol Palin, or can random characters (mean girls that turn into possible allies) assume this name? It fits into the family naming scheme (places, plus, she's bristly), but not sure about how strong the Palin association is. Or if MG kids would even know or care.
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: JennaWren on March 27, 2012, 08:31 AM
My own MG readers would have no clue who she is...I doubt they've even paid attention to Bristol's mom. Not the newsy types, my kids.  :)
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: missy t on March 27, 2012, 08:35 AM
by the time your book comes out, the palins may be a foggy memory even for adults. kind of like in the late nineties, if you said "monica" everyone thought of monica lewinsky, even though monica was a more common name than bristol. but now, saying "monica" doesn't bring up images of an infamous blue dress ;)

p.s. of course, i don't think it'll take more than a decade for your book to come out--first example i could think of  :)
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: mrh on March 27, 2012, 08:38 AM
I agree that today's MG readers will likely not be aware of Bristol Palin. IMO you're in the clear with this choice.

The principle you raise is a good one, though. There ARE names that belong to only one person (Oprah, Cher, Adolph, Moon, Dweezil, etc.), and if they're ones likely to be recognized by your audience, maybe even the adults in some cases, it might be better not to use them, especially since they'll imply character qualities that you might not be intending.
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: Jaina on March 27, 2012, 08:39 AM
My daughter (11) would have no clue who Bristol Palin is.  I, on the other hand, grew up with a neighbor named Bristol, so all my connotations are of a spoiled four year old!
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: olmue on March 27, 2012, 08:43 AM
Oh, good. My kids wouldn't have a clue, but you never know.

And my Bristol would be your neighbor, Jaina, plus a few years.

Missy t, alas, 10+ years may be what it takes, given my current schedule...
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: MysteryRobin on March 27, 2012, 08:45 AM
I think you're good with Bristol - it's a place name, anyway, not just a completely made up name, and I could see it getting used on actual children besides Ms. Palin, and being watered down even more. If it fits your naming scheme, I'd go ahead and use it.
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: amberturner on March 27, 2012, 09:26 AM
Honestly, I didn't even know the Palin association. And for sure, my kid wouldn't.
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: Christy on March 27, 2012, 09:28 AM
I would've never made that connection. And I don't think any of my students would either.
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: J.Ro on March 27, 2012, 12:25 PM
Around here if you say Bristol, people think of race cars (Bristol Motor Speedway) - I think you def. won't have a Palin association.
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: ecb on March 27, 2012, 12:49 PM
I think you're good with Bristol - it's a place name, anyway, not just a completely made up name, and I could see it getting used on actual children besides Ms. Palin...

Oh, let's hope not.
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: olmue on March 27, 2012, 01:20 PM
Oh, let's hope not.

One reason I love writing fiction is that I get to saddle people with names I'd never give them in real life...
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: Lill on March 27, 2012, 02:45 PM
I wouldn't get attached to the name until after the Republican convention. This is not a political statement. There's just an off chance that family could end up in the spotlight again.
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: jojohn on March 27, 2012, 04:20 PM
Another thought is that though you are writing for children, adults read it first and may have connotations for awhile longer. Thus why I'm thinking I may need to change my character, Newt (after Isaac Newton) for the short term. The other Newt wasn't on the political radar when I wrote the book. I may just use the full name vs. the nickname. You could do an alternate spelling.
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: SYoon on March 27, 2012, 04:52 PM
I don't know if this matters, but Bristol Palin will have a reality show, "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp" with Lifetime later this year. It was announced just last month. Most reality shows don't make it beyond the first season,... but if it should take off, then the name "Bristol" might become more associated with Bristol Palin to the teenage demographic. Plus, I imagine she'll find ways to get her name in the news in order to promote her reality show... like many other reality stars seem to.
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: olmue on March 27, 2012, 05:35 PM
Ah...politics, not on the kid radar screen. Reality TV, on the other hand...

Methinks it's time to have a heart to hear with a world atlas to find a replacement. Glad I asked before getting too tied into the story.
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: MysteryRobin on March 27, 2012, 05:40 PM
I have a friend with kids named after European cities... Cardiff, Rennes, Tallinn...
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: ruecole on March 27, 2012, 09:28 PM
I know a Vienna, a Geneva, a Paris, and a Lunden (dunno why the spelling had to be changed...  ::) ).

Rue
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: Beth on March 28, 2012, 06:49 AM
When I think of Bristol I think of the place, not Bristol Palin.

For some reason, I am now imagining kids named after Australian cities/towns with (presumably) aboriginal names - Toowoomba, Marcoola, Brymaroo... I have a friend who is pregnant, maybe I should suggest some of these to her  ;)
Title: Re: One-use names
Post by: annemleone on March 28, 2012, 09:40 AM
Hubby used to live near a road sign in Minnesota for Kenyon-Wanamingo. Always swore that'd be the best kid name ever.