Give Me A Name
Writing a chapter for the next edition of The Tinderbox Way, I needed a bunch of fictitious names to fill a sample list of imaginary campaign supporters. My original plan was to sit down and invent names. I’ve done this before, but it can be tough work.
- John Smith and Samantha Adams will only get you so far.
- It’s hard, and potentially embarrassing, to distinguish an imaginary name that just popped into your head from the name of an actually famous person you’ve scarcely heard of.
- When I make lists of names, I can’t help playing games. I was thinking of a town populated by minor characters from Trollope. Who wouldn’t want to canvass Mr. And Mrs. Grex? But this, too, takes time, and doesn’t greatly contribute to understanding Tinderbox.
So, I fired up the Scrivener Names Generator, and was pleased to find that it now generates batches of names with one click. Click! 116 names, instantly, in a nice list. Copy, paste into Tinderbox. Explode. In no time at all, we’ve got 116 people, plausible names, and a nice balance of gender and ethnicity. Here’s the first ten:
- Arturo Ellison
- Shannon Everton
- Hiro Gooch
- Hideo Lee
- Maria Cohen
- Lee Hasek
- Katsumi Wileman
- Gina March
- Lynette Fraser
- Courtney Wiltshire
This is not bad. “Maria Cohen” struck me as unlikely, but no one named “Mark Bernstein” is going to tell you it’s impossible. In fact, there are plenty of Maria Cohens in LinkedIn. I didn’t know that my candidate’s voter pool had quite this many Japanese-Americans, but local campaigns are like that. (Other people in my voter pool include Poppy Wimsey, Angelica van Doren, Susumu Shepard, and Josie Neruda; this town reads a lot of classics.)
Impressive example of the easy interoperability we so easily overlook.