Saturday, July 25, 2009

What's In "A Name"

Julia and I were in a nearby city with a Mexican population so large that there is a Mexican side of town (with excellent authentic food).

We passed a sign that said,

"Sanchez" Auto Repair

Yes, the "Sanchez" was in quotation marks on the sign. What the heck was that?

Was the guy's name Santanna, but everybody called him Sanchez? Was the guy's name Sanders, but, since he served Mexican customers, they called him Sanchez?

Or did the guy have some deconstructionist outlook that views language, and also names, as artificial constructions that shape an arbitrary personal reality, such that any attempt at communication does not transmit information regarding a shared reality, but only reveals the biased worldview of the "communicator."

The latter is not likely because he is still in business. You can be a deconstructionist history professor, but not a deconstructionist auto repair person. "You say that your car is not running. But your car is 'running' our environment toward a cataclysmic ruin. $525.82, please. I don't take 'checks.'"

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