Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Putting the A in Anonymous

One of my high school teachers was the kind you wouldn't be surprised to find on the news one night. She was quite popular with the students and stories swirled about her throwing parties for teens which included alcohol and drugs. It could have been the fantasy of a few of the male students, but I'm inclined to believe there was some truth to the rumors. The only accomplishment of her class was to teach us hundreds of the most common prefixes and suffixes in order to most accurately guess on multiple choice tests, and when that failed, how to outright cheat. I never knew of the entire world that exists to fill the market for scholarly deceit!

Thanks to that teacher, I know that there's a website where one can print off a cheat sheet that appears to be a coca-cola bottle wrapper and I know that the prefix a- means without, as in amoral, atypical, aardvark and abysmal. Likewise is the doubly-complicated vowel-preceding prefix of an- as in anaerobic, anarchy, and anonymous.

So why is my anonymous blog looking rather onymous? Elizabeth and Andrew are chosen names in honor of Eliza and Andrew Johnson whose marriage had some of the traits of my own. I thought it sounded better than calling myself Mrs. FiveEggsIn and my husband Mr. FEI. I briefly considered more heavenly namesakes such as Nicholas and Thérèse, both saints known for their anonymity, but decided that I had a long way to go before I could connect myself to them in such a public way. I figured one of the worst US presidents and his sickly wife were something we could do better than, so Andrew and Elizabeth it was.

Elizabeth, Elspeth, Betsy and Bess,
They all went together to seek a bird's nest.
They found a bird's nest with five eggs in,
They all took one, and left four in.


  1. Interesting background about your monikers. I just chose Abby because I do feel quite abnormal most of the time (but in a good way!). My husband "Magnum" because he enjoys shooting, not champagne.

    Also interesting about your high school teacher. I teach standardized test preparation, so know about guessing strategies, but I swear I know nothing of the coke bottle label!

  2. Hahaha! You mean you don't teach your students how to cheat? What kind of teacher are you? One of those ethical ones who tries to actually teach them or something? You aren't going to get on the good side of the 16 yr old boys that way, you know! lol

    Interesting that Magnum enjoys shooting. Andrew does as well. Focus, precision, predictability, solitary skill that can be done around other people... it is a perfect match for him.