OPED: What’s in a name anyway?

By Jen Hill
(or Hell, whatever
rocks your boat)
jen@theheraldtimes.com
RANGELY | Names are important. As our primary identifier they are often invaluable. You protect your name and the reputation associated with it. For centuries tribes have gone into war yelling their clan name, and today people put vinyl letters on living room walls spelling out their last name. We take pride in our names. I have a pretty basic name; Jen Hill. Short, easy to spell and pronounce, no extra vowels. Shoot, my last name is even an actual word, hill. All of this is why it was so funny when I discovered in last week’s paper that my name had changed. Jen Hell. It’s got a ring to it. In the paper business we are somewhat accustomed to running corrections so when the idea of running a correction on my own name hit me (no, I didn’t make the typo on my name) I had to chuckle. Then I thought, what if I don’t? What if I take on this new name with a whole new persona. Jen Hell. That sounds like a woman to be reckoned with. I considered all the black leather and tattoo ink I would have to invest in and the reaction I could expect from receptionists when scheduling appointments. I thought about making the AC DC song “Hells Bells” my permanent ringtone. The more I thought about it the more I realized that I’m not quite ready to be Jen Hell. So for now I’ll just stay the same old me, slowly working to improve on a wide variety of personal weaknesses, but I’ll keep the name Hill. After all, it rarely raises eyebrows.