Just Don’t Call Him “Davey”

Secret Names by David Mamet in The Threepenny Review:

The assignment of nicknames, the application of jargon is an understood tool for the manipulation of behavior. We know the quote “charismatic” boss who is making up “cute” and idiosyncratic names for his or her employees. “I alone know and I alone will assign you your name.” This is a powerful (and impolite) tool. It is an arrogation of power and a useful diagnostic. For those who grin and tilt their heads to have their ears rubbed at the new name have surrendered their personality to the oppressor; they have given up their soul.

(Via Arts and Letters Daily.)


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