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From the Language Log blog , a note of a story much-reported on the web the past few days:

Richard Smith, a 41-year-old care worker in Carlisle, England, did not think his name did justice to the exciting person that he actually was, so he changed his name by deed poll. The new name he chose was Stormhammer Deathclaw Firebrand.

For those wondering why Leon and Amy Kass wrote their essay on naming , try holding together in your mind, for a moment, the phrases “41-year-old care worker in Carlisle, England” and “Stormhammer Deathclaw Firebrand.”

You know, when the Vikings actually return, I don’t think they’re going to stop to be care workers.

But sometimes there awakes the mad language lover in me—the one who hungers for words to be what they are —and I almost want the Vikings to return, berserkers raging again from their long ships. Does it take violence to make words matter?

Sweet Jesus, I pray not. But at least when Eric Redhand strides ashore, you’d know what you face in someone named Stormhammer Deathclaw Firebrand.

It ain’t a 41-year-old care worker in Carlisle, England.

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