I’ve been reading “Back to Blood” by Tom Wolfe and enjoying the trip (to Miami). If you’ve read “Bonfire of the Vanities,” you know that Wolfe is quite the savant about WASP social mores—including naming practices. Here’s what he has to say about girls who come from families with plain Jones last names like Smith and Johnson.
“Swell Anglo families with common names like Jones or Smith or Johnson had a way of giving their children, especially their daughters, romantic or exotic or striking first names like Serena or Cornelia or Bettina or else Old Family Lineage first names like Bradley or Ainsley or Loxley or Taylor or Templeton, Templeton Smith.”
See the difference just the right two or three syllable name can make with a plain Jones last name like Smith or Johnson?
© 2013 Bruce Lansky
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