Writer's Block: The name game
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Feb. 1st, 2011 | 05:20 am
music: Edvard Grieg - Op. 68 Nr. 4, Aften på højfjeldet (Orchestral) | Powered by Last.fm
Oh boy. Um. Congratulations, LiveJournal, you found the narcissistic-babbling-question. I'm going to go on and on about this for a while.
I've gone by some variation on Troldtog (Trold, most often) for ~6 years. Trold is:
1. A compilation of supernatural folktales from northern Norway by Jonas Lie which my dad used to tell me before bedtime. My (and Roald Dahl's) favorite, Elias and the Draug is available here in translation thanks to R. Nisbet Bain (1893). I actually was completely unaware that my favorite childhood ghost stories were compiled by a single person, let alone published in a volume called Trold, at the time I first started going by the name online. I picked it knowing only that it was:
2. Danish (and some particular, possibly no longer extant though I don't really know, dialects of Norwegian) for troll. I picked it largely because I liked the idea of a username that explicitly identified the person behind it as a troll (you know, the kind that cause trouble on webforums). I think -- though on this point my memory is a bit hazy -- it appealed to me because, at the time, I'd found that, by expressing some opinions, or not being as careful as I ought to with words, I'd offend someone (almost always extended family, though a few school mates too). Usually they'd find me irreverent, and I'd really have no idea what it was I'd done or said that was so dreadful. For the most part I still don't (I don't really think of myself as the sort of person to say shocking things, and I'd bet a reader of this journal wouldn't expect it of me either, though I could be wrong). But I got people, wholly unintentionally, to gasp and clutch pearls or to take a sudden and keen interest in my moral education.
Rather than worry I was a menace to society or something melodramatic and silly, I chose to just own it and appreciate the comedy in the fact that I could say something I thought was totally innocuous and still get people to frown and shift uncomfortably. I still do, though I've had fewer occasions to think the username fitting in the past few years (I chalk it up to different sensibilities in the people I hang out with, rather than improvement in my sense of tact which is, for good or bad, as it always was).
Unfortunately, Trold was already taken when I created this account. Since I love Grieg I went with Troldtog, the name of one of his lyric pieces. Grieg's home was, also, called Troldhaugen ("the Hill of Trolls") after a local story about the place.