Thursday, February 23, 2012

1 Nephi 9: A Shell Game...with Plates

Holy Naming Convention, Batman!
The second verse of this chapter is pretty lol-worthy. Observe:
And now, as I have spoken concerning these plates, behold they are not the plates upon which I make a full account of the history of my people; for the plates upon which I make a full account of my people I have given the name of Nephi; wherefore, they are called the plates of Nephi, after mine own name; and these plates also are called the plates of Nephi.
Let's break that down into the modern vernacular:
The plates I'm writing on right now are not the ones I'm using to record detailed history. I've named the history-related ones "The Plates of Nephi," after myself. And I've also named these plates "The Plates of Nephi."
Why bother naming your journals anything if you're just going to give them identical names? Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of giving them names at all? This brings to mind two comparable examples of poor naming.

First, George Foreman. He named all five of his sons George. Going beyond the charming tradition of naming one child after yourself just seems narcissistic. Similarly, Nephi naming not one, but both sets of records after himself seems like going out of his way to ensure himself a legacy.

Second, the TV show "Newhart." Whenever Larry introduces himself, he also introduces his brother Darryl, and his other brother Darryl. It was funny. The reason it was funny, of course, is because it's freaking stupid to give two separate, closely-related things the exact same name.

I have one question for you, Nephi: Seriously?

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