Unfortunately, this happens. Examples include the name "crapper", which
IIRC started out as a person's surname, and came to identify his invention.
And how many people have kept the surname "Hitler"? Like ti or not, when
people do things that are either spectacularly great, or spectacularly
stupid, or spectcularly screwed-up, their name tends to become associated
with their action.
If Nifong had cared at all about his family name, he would have deported
himself with something that at least had *some* resemblance, however
distant, to propriety. Not meaning to be rude, but intending only to
clarify: If he didn't care on ewhit ot tittle about the potential effects
of his actions upon his family name, why the heck is the rest of the world
supposed to wither into whimperiing little gelid pools of spineless goo
just because you choose to get all politically correct (i.e.:
hypersensitive) about something he obviously didn't himself care about?
Uh, no, Mr. Nifong would not have had to expect ungentlemanly behavior
on the part of a netizen. It IS meaning to be rude, being rude,
apologetics for being rude, excuses for being rude. Yeah, it's rude.
I have a number of acquaintances who have been calling the current
sitting president "Twig" and similar words since before he was first
elected. I find it says far more about them than it does the
On the other hand, using the word "nifong" derogatorily as seen here
is and expanding its use to verb and adjective forms is not making fun
of the name but rather is a comment on the person. And in particular,
not "making fun" at all but rather making a serious political comment
that needs to be spread.
"Twig" says "I have no actual complaints to make about this person and
must 'attack' his name."
"Nifong" says "this person has done something so notable that it needs
to be marked, perhaps for all time."
I suppose that if you consider his actions laudable then you may feel
that the use of his name is mere taunting. Even so, you'd have to
admit that it would be making fun of him and not his name.
"Twig" is a clear try at a pun. A kind of joke. A way to make fun of
the thing itself.
"Nifonging" isn't much as a direct mock at the name. It's more of a
gerund. A way to ... noun verbs.
Ah, good old armchair psychology. I give it as much credence as I read
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