Author Topic: On Naming  (Read 2810 times)

Offline WordBird

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On Naming
« on: June 01, 2010, 01:06:51 PM »
So, I want a character named Joey. But the problem is, she is a she. The conventional ways of changing a name for gender seem to make the name confusing, though.

Joie
Joei
Joee

Or is it all that bad to have a girl named Joey?

Offline Joe Mynhardt

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Re: On Naming
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2010, 02:00:59 PM »
I have a friend who's a girl named Joe. It depends on where your story takes place. If that's a
common name for a girl in that area then it's fine. Also keep in mind how old she is. Some names
weren't common in the 70's or 80's.

Hope it helps.  :)
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Re: On Naming
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2010, 04:28:11 PM »
If the name is short for Joanne - then why not use Jo.

Most girls I have known use that spelling.

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Offline Gyppo

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Re: On Naming
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2010, 05:27:24 PM »
if you are determined to have a female Joey then you'll need to make it clear as soon as possible that she is female, otherwise readers will assume the character is male and have trouble adjusting when the truth emerges..  As someone else has suggested, you could just call her Jo.  It may sound the same in speech, with room for a bit of amusing or awkward misunderstanding between your characters, but it can't be misread by your audience.

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Offline Spell Chick

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Re: On Naming
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2010, 06:47:15 PM »
D, if I didn't know you were trying to get me to think "Joey" with your odd spellings, I would pronounce the person's name as "Joy" which apparently isn't what you want.

My mother's name was Jo. My son is Joe. When you know which one I'm talking about, It doesn't matter if I add a second syllable or not. You can make a little "pet name" after you get your readers to understand Jo is a girl person who is sometimes called Joey.

BTW, when we didn't know which one we referring to, it made for odd conversations with some people talking about my mother and others about my son using the same conversation and things not making much sense at all. It was occasionally funny, but more often annoying.
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Offline bonitakale

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Re: On Naming
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2010, 06:26:41 AM »
As Gyppo mentioned, it will be vital to have Joey shown to be a girl right away. That said, if she's the main character, Joey is fine. But if she's a minor character, showing up here and there in the book, it may be hard for people to remember who she is.

Kay Hooper's Bishop Special Crimes Unit books have some oddly-named women--Bailey, Hollis. Hooper is careful to name the sex when the character is first mentioned by another character, but the names still occasionally give me a 'huh?' moment.
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Offline A.J.B

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Re: On Naming
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2010, 08:07:20 AM »
Is it absolutely important that the character must be called Joey all the time? You could have her called that fleetingly and mainly called Jo.
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Offline AzariaScout

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Re: On Naming
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2010, 09:22:05 AM »
It isn't uncommon to have Joey as a nickname for Josephine. I have a friend who does just that. Perhaps use both names so the reader can understand the nickname.
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Offline Max Zvyagintsev

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Re: On Naming
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2010, 07:35:59 PM »
Quote
if you are determined to have a female Joey then you'll need to make it clear as soon as possible that she is female, otherwise readers will assume the character is male and have trouble adjusting when the truth emerges..
- It is a little awkward to have a female character as "Joey" but Gyppo is right. As long as you make it clear from the very beginning, I don't see a problem.

Be-careful when choosing the names of your other characters, to make sure it's not a variation of Joey. E.g: Jo, or Joanne. That stuff really annoys the reader.  ;D
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Offline Jos

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Re: On Naming
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2010, 01:50:11 AM »
I'm a Joanne and my Gran used to call me Joey. I don't think Joey's that strange for a girl, although I don't like to be called it - grans get to call you what they want, of course.  ;D
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Offline mulcahywrites

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Re: On Naming
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2010, 01:33:46 PM »
Joey is not a strange name at all for a girl. Katie Holmes on Dawsons Creek, one of the most popular teen soaps ever, her name was Joey Potter. Yes, you have to make it clear early on if it is a boy or a girl, but it's not like that is some sort of challenge or anything.
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Re: On Naming
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2010, 05:33:01 AM »
Personally I wouldnt use it as Joey.   Anything which is 'strange' to the reader can be annoying and take the pleasure out of the read and draw attention to that one thing rather than getting into the main story.

In my new novel in progress, with a working title of "Under Dalewood"  I have a main character Jessica.  When she introduces herself for the first time to a new character she says 'Call me Jess, everyone else does, I don't mind.'


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Offline Winterborn

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Re: On Naming
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2010, 09:00:32 AM »
You can use Joey as a name for a female, but make it clear that she is indeed female.
you ould give her a nickname, like Jo.
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Offline Spell Chick

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Re: On Naming
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2010, 06:40:19 PM »
I'm reading a book where the protag is named Jaguar. As long as I know it is a name and the person is female (since it become important to the tale) then I'm okay.

I read a lot of SciFi and naming conventions aren't as strict, but giving the reader a clue about your characters remains essential.
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Offline jj

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Re: On Naming
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2010, 04:39:34 AM »
I don't really see what the problem is. I would keep her as Joey - there are girls with this name so why shouldn't it be used in a book?