Doodles with Danielle: What’s in a Name?

Danielle Zhang

What’s in a name?

The literal answer would be a specific order of sounds or characters linked together, but in actuality, a name is so much more than that. A name is someone’s identity. It may carry cultural, historical, familial or even personal significance. A name defines how we communicate, the way we are perceived and who we are. However, this cartoon aims to address the other side of the issue: what happens when we get someone’s name wrong? When we mispronounce, misuse or even deadname someone? To intentionally do any of the previous is to deny someone their identity; it’s to say “I don’t care about you, I don’t respect you enough to call you by your name.”

It’s important to acknowledge here that sometimes, we do accidentally use or say the wrong name. But what’s important is that we are continuously, consciously making an effort to correct these errors.

So what’s in a name?

A lot. A lot is in a name.