James A. Landau
JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Wed Mar 21 11:36:41 UTC 2001
The following all involve proper nouns:
President Ford once said, "I'm a Ford, not a Lincoln."
According to a biography of Rock Hudson, there was someone in Hollywood who
for a living invented stage names. One such was for the actor (?) "Tab
Hunter". The pseudonymous Mr. Hunter was in search of a name, or in other
words "hunting for a tab".
The pseudonym "Mark Twain" is a play on words. The lead line (a rope with a
lead weight on the end) used to determine the depth of water has various
marks for differnt depth, and the "mark twain" was the mark for two fathoms.
Samuel Clemens construed "mark" as the proper name "Mark" and chose it as his
Two other punning pseudonyms I have encountered:
"Lincoln Pinn" (a writer on railroad subjects; "link and pin" is an obsolete
method of coupling railroad cars"
Robert Birch of the National Agricultural Library claimed that the places
names "Cabin John", "Indian Head", "Seat Pleasant", and "Old Point Comfort"
(all real names in Virginia/DC/Maryland) proved the existence of an early
explorer who was a "johnsmith".
I once owned a convertible, whose top was somewhat overdue for replacement.
My then roommate said, "I now know what a Landau roof is: ragged and leaking".
- Jim Landau
More information about the Ads-l