101 Words I Don't Use
by Paul Niquette
Copyright 1996 Resource Books All rights reserved.

Reaman (pronounced "ree'-muhn-are-ee-ay-em-ay-en") First name of the author of the present work, a collection of autobiographical anecdotes and satirical essays, many characterized by self-reference, to explain why each word, including the author's own first name, is not used.

How would you like to have an an eight-syllable moniker like...

...for a first name?

 Reaman-R-E-A-M-A-N might not be so bad in front of a common family name, but preceding a mouth mangler twice as long -- "Niquette-N-as-in-November-I-Q-(pause because most people cannot remember how to make a Q)-U-E-double-T-E"?  Give me a break!

Sophistication, I find, is three things:

  1. Control of Relationship Tension,
  2. Management of Expectations, and
  3. Conquest of Ego.
Naming one's offspring touches them all, especially the third.  How strange to observe that decades of noble parental effort ("doing what's best for the kids") is preceded by the naming process, which is often anything but.
One's own name is a whole lot more significant for one than for one's own parents.
Along about the end of the second trimester, some people undergo an ego-meltdown characterized by reckless disregard for the life-long consequences about to be imposed upon the unborn.  Pending parents seize the moment to un-frustrate their own individuality.  One might only hope (pray, if one knows how) that the mild madness will pass while the offspring remains safely in utero.
Or that they choose a sensible middle name like Paul.  Which reminds me...
A number of us young engineers were due for our "6-month review."  One by one, we were summoned to the department head's office.  My turn finally came that afternoon in 1955.  It was my first "performance appraisal" since college.  I closed the door behind me and occupied the side chair, still warm.

From behind his desk, Mr. Stephenson inhaled deeply and commenced an unctuous speech about the importance of our company relative to national interests.  Another breath made our division a vital contributor to the success of the company.  In words worn glib, he lauded the accomplishments of our department and expressed appreciation for the efforts of my own engineering group "over there in Building 114."

"Finally," said the department head with a smile, "in recognition of your own personal contributions..."  He took a slip of paper from a folder and handed it to me.

Wow, a raise of $5.00 per week!

Mr. Stephenson made a checkmark on a list, then he rose to his feet and offered me his hand.  "Keep up the good work, Bruce."

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