I have recently been pondering the very confusing issue of names. Yes, personal names like yours and mine.
When parents experience the birth of a child, one of the responsibilities of the parents is to choose a name for their new arrival. This is usually a fun and thoughtful exercise. Usually, the name is selected for one of three reasons---it is meaningful (like a biblical name); it is personal (like a family name); or it holds beauty in its spoken form (i.e. "Annabella").
However, something seems to happen after the name is conferred upon the little tyke. After a few years go by, the name often becomes something different. This is puzzling to me. And quite often, it is the parents who conferred the name to begin with who are instrumental in the name being changed.
As an example, my wife's given name at birth was "Cynthia". But everyone---including her parents---now call her "Cindy".
My birth name was "Clinton". Now, I am called "Clint". But for many years as a child, everyone called me "Tex". Go figure.
I have noticed that Barbaras are called Barb. Johns are Jacks. Williams are Bills and Wills. Nancys are Nans. Josephs are Joes. Thomases are Toms. Raymonds are Rays. Sandras are Sandys. Roberts are Bobs or Robs. Jennifers are Jennys. Samuels and Samanthas are Sams.
Now, this does not make a lot of sense to me. I mean, as a parent thinking of a name for my baby, I am going to want to choose something that carries some kind of significance---something that my beloved little baby will carry proudly throughout life. I really don't want that name to change into a nickname or a shortened version.
I mean, let's say you love the name "William". Well, think about that. The kid is going to be called "Will" or "Bill"---but not "William". Or, how about considering the name "Gabrielle"? It's a beautiful name, but you know darn well everyone is going to want to call her "Gabby".
I don't get it. What is in a name?