Well, I don’t have a name for my penis and that’s rather inanimate. Yes, well, what is an inanimate object? Something that doesn’t move. Something not sentient. A completely lifeless lump. It could be your guitar. Your computer. Your car. But all these things are far from inanimate. We give them human attributes. We humanise them. “Oh, this bloody computer is misbehaving.” “Oh, you have to tap the television at the top to get it to come on – it’s temperamental.” That’s one for the older readers, you can’t tap a modern television, you’d probably break it. But the old chunky ones – they had life. You could throw a shoe at it and it’d do what you want. But nowadays? You’re more likely to break it. Unless it’s one of these ‘SMART’ televisions I keep hearing about. If it’s so clever, it should be able to duck. Have I misunderstood what one of those is?
We go further, too. We talk to our technology. How many of you have found your mobile telephone is broke, and proceed to ask it, “Oh, come on – what’s wrong with you?” As if it’s going to answer! Unless it’s one of these newfangled things that talks to you. But they never respond correctly, do they? “What’s wrong?” “Beep! The next bus will arrive at four.” It’s useless. And some people go even further: they name their inanimate objects.
Doing this makes us care about these objects. It makes them relatable. Creates a relationship and a bond. It anthropomorphises them. You grow attached and find yourself reacting emotionally to any harm that comes their way. And to part with them is impossible.
I think it is safe to say that the majority of us simply never name an object, and it’s probably not sexist to say that those who do tend to be women. I’ve lost track of the number of women who I’ve known who’ve named their cars. And as for men? I can’t see many publically announcing, “Ah, you like Derrick? That’s what I call my phone.” Men are far more likely to name parts of their body, often picking a name that they feel is characteristic of that body part. “Ah, is that a phone in my pocket or is Frankenstein pleased to see you?” Draw your own conclusions…
I’ve never felt a need to name anything. That was until this strange trend of naming devices came along. I don’t really understand technology, but many technological devices need to ‘speak’ to one another. Before you can use anything, you have to name it. When I got my tablet, ‘Before you continue, you must name your device’. When I got my phone, ‘Before you continue, you must name your device’. When I got my laptop – you get the picture. But I didn’t really care and I don’t have a good memory. But you have to name everything, these days! So, by necessity, I do name devices. And because of my awful memory, I give them all the same name – Daisy.
I associate that name with extroversion and light-heartedness. Cheerful and playful. A bit goofy. Like a little puppy. Craps all over the place but you still love them. Suits an iPad quite well. Never works and is a complete pain in the arse to live with, but awww, isn’t she cute? Honestly, I really do believe my iPad looks like a Daisy.
I didn’t have a choice, readers! My hands were tied! It’s not something I’d normally do, but if that’s what you must do, then why not? After all, the inanimate objects are far from lifeless…
Do you name your inanimate objects, readers?
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The Indelible Life of Me
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