Thursday, January 8, 2015

More NBA Onomastics

A surprising number of current NBA players take the floor with their names reversed: first name for surname, surname for first. The king of this confusion is LeBron James, who in any sensible universe would be named James LeBron. 

And then there's the budding star Nerlens Noel. Who can possibly doubt that Nerlens Noel is a copy editor's error for Nerlens, Noel -- the lost comma precipitating the embarrassing inversion? 

The very same error seems to have produced Leonard Kawhi, Jack Jarrett, Howard Dwight, Irving Kyrie, Arthur Darrell, Leonard Meyers and Anthony Carmelo. 

Then there's Cory Joseph, the Spurs' talented backup point guard, about whom Edward Arlington Robinson wrote the poem -- o wait no, that was Richard Cory -- or Cory Richard, as he would have been known if he had preferred b-ball to banking. 

And there are also two closely related onomastic anomalies: the "two first name syndrome" featuring Chris Paul and Paul George (with help from Joel Anthony), and the "two surname syndrome," where the Dallas Mavericks teammates Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parsons have completely confounded prae with cog. Or should their team now be updated to Mavericks Dallas?