OK, so I geeked out on this Atlantic.com story about NPR names, and why they’re so fabulous. Excerpt:
So: Is an unusual name a blessing or a curse? Ophira Eisenberg was once introduced at a party as Oprah Something-Jewish. Guy Raz used to think his name was “too ethnic.” In Moroccan Arabic, Quil Lawrence’s first name is not far off the colloquial word for “drunkard.” At the same time, many reporters recognize the benefits of an unusual name. Lawrence first went by his given name — David Aquila Lawrence — until a friend told him to switch to his nickname Quil because it “sticks in the ear.”
But what if your parents didn’t bless you with an NPR name? You could, of course, make up your own — novelist Liana Maeby suggests sticking your middle initial in your first name, and adding it to the smallest foreign place you’ve ever visited. (Her NPR name is Liarna Kassel.)
Ah. So my NPR name is Rayo Anloo — Anloo (pron. AHN-low) being a hamlet in the middle of rural northeastern Holland. I once visited there and ate pancakes with an elderly Dutch farm couple. It was wonderful.