Tuesday, February 02, 2010

What's in a Name?

During writing conferences with my students today, I came across a story that mentioned the name of another student in a rather unflattering way. I told the author of the paper that while I realized this was a fictional character, it would be better if she didn't use the name of her classmate.

She agreed and set to thinking up another name. But she struggled. I suggested a few, but nothing seemed right to her.

"How about Crystal?" she said.

"That sounds good," I said, knowing that there were no Crystals in the other classes on the grade.

"No," piped up another student, "I'm already using Crystal in my story."

"What if I spell it different?" asked the first student.

"I'm already spelling it different!" the second student exclaimed.

I looked at the second student's paper.

Sure enough, she'd spelled it QRYSTAL.

"Well," I said to the first student, "as long as you don't spell it with a Q, you should be good."
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