Friday, 15 September 2017

Names

From Roger Scruton's essay: "How I discovered my name":

“[Many English names] are equally historic, but fatally distorted by their heathen roots. One such name is Scruton—Scrofa’s Tun —named from a Viking chieftain whose distinguishing feature was not red hair but dandruff. The sound can be rectified by no efforts of elocution. In whatever tone of voice, Scruton sounds mean and censorious. Scourge, Scrooge, Scrotum, and Scrutiny all tumble like black scarabs from the mouth that utters it. I am convinced that the hostile reception encountered by even my most forgiving works has been due, not to the conservative voice that speaks through them …, but to the scraping steel of this scalpel-like surname. … And I am sure that its subliminal effect is one cause of the enormous surprise that people feel, on meeting me, to discover that I am approximately human.”   

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