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12/21/03 9:35 PM
Copyright 2002 David C. Loebig

My Column for a Name

I need a name. I already have a name, but I need another one. It’s for my column. I want something that means “thoughts that are random, uncertain, sometimes opinionated, sometimes whimsical, sometimes insightful, sometimes not and often tongue-in-cheek.” In fewer than three words.

You might say that the name doesn’t matter, that the columns will speak for themselves. But they won’t. They’ll be random, sometimes opinionated, sometimes this and sometimes that, and sometimes none of that at all. I’m afraid new readers may take them seriously and write scolding letters to the publisher. Or worse, they may use my “advice.” If that happens the likely outcome is economic decline, wide spread tardiness and class action lawsuits. And more scolding letters to the publisher.

As Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” So I want to get it right.

In fact, what I really need is a legal disclaimer. Something like this:

“Disclaimer: Statements in this column may or may not be true or based on anything resembling actual facts. I’m lucky when I can keep my I’s before my E’s. All statements, comments or implications that could be construed as advice should not be. Doing so will lead to financial ruin, mental stupor and lower back pain, an unhappy combination I assure you.

“In this column, broad generalizations, stereotypes and outright lies may be presented as fact if they can be exploited for comic effect or to fill space. We prefer that you not send scolding and corrective e-mails in response. However, if you really feel compelled, you may direct your fury to”

That covers me legally. But it still leaves the problem of a name.

I thought about high-tech names using meaningless words that sound like they came from another galaxy. Something like Exblat, AxnoGorv or Urbstex. An "X" is mandatory for a progressive, modern feel. It makes you think the column is so advanced that I ran out of other letters. But that’s not right for a column like this.

And by a column like this I mean random, uncertain, sometimes opinionated, sometimes this, sometimes that...but you already know that.

I tried “brainstorming” a name with experienced consultants—meaning the gang at happy hour. Unfortunately, their suggestions always involved body parts and not-so-family-oriented visuals. On the bright side, if I ever run for office, I know where to get a headline-making campaign slogan.

The only other names I came up with were pithy, cutesy tripe like “Pithy Stuff” and “Pith and That.” The best one was “Randomly Rambling,” but that sounds like something a group of drunken friends would make up.

And that’s the story so far, random digressions and all...wait a minute. Random Digressions? Could that be it? Random, meaning “lacking a definite plan, purpose, or pattern,” and digressions, as in “straying from the main topic.” That sounds like what I mean, and I like it indeed. I’ll have to run it by my consultants.

Dave Loebig writes and banters out of the Tampa, Fla. Area. You can banter with him at

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