Friday, August 6, 2010

What is a Univarn - An LiE Anniversary Special!

I would like to begin by pointing out that whoever made the above picture is my hero.

Well ladies and gents you voted for it, and as today is the 1 year anniversary of A Life in Equinox, here it is: the story behind UNIVARN


Backstory
Before I begin I figured a bit of back story would suffice in explaining why I opted for such a name. When I first came into the online realm back in 2003 with the release of Call of Duty I needed a handle. A way of identifying myself in the online realm. So, I invariably, and uncreatively, opted for the title: Ryanator43567. Having just watched Terminator I adopted the -ator onto my own name, and threw in 43567 (which is my last name spelled out on a telephone). As I grew older this name became more annoying, and I therefore began a time in which my name was constantly changing: I was Invisioned, TheLastChicken, Requiem, and to be quite honest I don't even remember all the handles I went by.

I'll be frank when I say I hated most of the names I went by.

Creating Univarn
What I found most annoying was that no matter where I went whatever handle I went by was eventually adopted by someone else. And due to my word selection was immediately associated with something people were familiar with. I went by Chicken because I thought it was funny, not because I am, in social colloquium, a chicken (to be fair though I may very well be). No, I was annoyed by this. I needed something unique. Something that identified me, and represented me.

So, I began my search. I thought of using old Gaelic names, or perhaps something of a the Latin variety, but nothing appeased me. It always sounded boring to me. Especially in the case of their associative meanings. No, I wanted something a bit different. Perhaps, my own word. Ah, yes, there we go. A word nobody has ever used before, and nobody but me ever will. One that is completely meaningless, and can only be used in association with me. But how? It's not easing coming up with a word that's out of the blue, and justifiably pronounceable.

So, here is where the journey begins. Oh, and if you lot keep asking me if Univarn is a combination of UNITY and VARNISH I'm going to throw a tantrum. Why the hell would I name myself after that? Give me some credit!

No, Univarn has nothing to do with either of the above despite containing letters from both of them (it also shares letters with University and Barn but nobody went there either). No, its creation I'm afraid to admit is a bit more straight forward. As I sat around debating a name I had what I can only describe as a Pontypool moment (minus the whole turning into a Zombie thing afterwords) and the sound Uni got stuck into my head.

Sitting there, repeating this word over and over again I tried adding suffixes to make it sit well, but it never did. Yet I was sure it was something I wanted to use. I just enjoyed the ring of it. Sounded cheerful, but also different. But after days of wondering about it I could not find an ending I found suitable (not to mention the number of times I kept reminding myself Unicorn was already a word). No, it wouldn't be until I sat in front of my computer and just kept typing endings that I finally, and with great relief, typed the ending -varn onto the end of my Uni.

Sitting there, I found something appealing about it. But it sounded too much like a word. It had to be one! Quick, Google check. Nothing. There was a company named Univar, but that's different. And a few efforts by google to siphon out the word came up with a variety of uni and varnish related things, but no Univarn. Eureka! I found it.

Pronunciation
I know this is a hot topic, but seeing as it's my own word I think I have the right to tell people how to pronounce it. Especially as people have a bad habit of adding syllables, and noises, that aren't there (how people keep trying to say Un-e-vern is well beyond me). No, the reason people assume it's from some random concoction of Unity and Varnish is because it is pronounced EXACTLY as the two subsections of those words. Uni is pronounced in the manner you would in unity and Varn is pronounced in the manner you would varnish. Please keep that in mind will yah?

Meaning
I've already said this, but I'll say it anyways: Univarn is meaningless. When you say Univarn you're not talking about your hair, a mythical creature (debatable), or what you were doing. It's simply a reference to me. Is that a bit self-centered, and self-gratifying? Yes, I'll admit it. But it comes with a great relief that when you say Univarn I know 100% you're talking about, or to, me. At the same time I also have the upper-hand of mystery (something I found as a very useful distraction during my Poker days). People love to try and find out what Univarn is. But it's meaningless stature gives me the advantage of telling them whatever I want.

I've had more fun with telling people false stories about the creation of Univarn than you can imagine. Some far more wildly concocted than others I'll admit (at one time I believe I told someone it came to me in a vision - but that would be weird). Oh, those were the days. Of course, you could be asking yourself, how do I know what you told me now is the truth of Univarn's origin and meaning?

I'll simply say: you can't. Whether or not I'm telling the truth is for my knowledge only...

14 better thoughts:

DEZMOND said...

hey, Uni, I didn't know you look so good on horse ;))
I knew right from the start that your name is pronounced as /ju:niva:n/

MovieNut14 said...

Awesome. Now we can stop bugging you about it (or not).

Castor said...

Ok... ok, but you still haven't told us what a Univarn is. The word just sounds too true to be meaningless. We will not relent in our quest to find out the truth!

The Mad Hatter said...

I haven't felt this satisfied since I learned what the Dharma Initiative was...

Alex said...

Well I'm a little disappointed that it came to you by trial and error and not in some drug-laced trippy vision, but I'll take it. Thanks for clearing that up!

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Well Ryan, aren't you a mythical creative?

Like Castor and Mad Hatter I don't buy the non-meaning. I smell conspiracy.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Mythical creature. Not creative. What on earth...

SugaryCynic said...

The mystery has been solved! Also robocop has never looked so right.

Simon said...

At last I know! Hazzah!

TJMAC510 said...

Great story. I always wondered what a Univarn was and where/how you came up with it. It's a great story and now I feel like I know the real Uni a little better now.

And happy anniversary. You did good man.

Rachel said...

Happy one year anniversary!

You know who else made up their own words? Shakespeare.

Kaiderman said...

That's awesome... so what does Univarn mean? :)
JK... Happy anniversary, sir!!!

Heather said...

You are now officially your own mythical creature. I'm also relieved to hear that you aren't in some way of relation to a Panda.

I empathize with the online gaming identity though. I started off as my childhood and adolescent nickname "Punky" (yes-because of my look a like appearance to soleil moon frye or however her bloody name is spelled)then I realized I was played violent kick ass games, I needed to be more intimidating........so I rocked Darth Punky, but then everyone called me Darth, and it was annoying. They all sounded like they needed to poop. So I switched to Ripley x1981x and kept it. It worked, but even now I pretty much go by my last name or H-Rod........I don't usually respond when people refer to me by my first name.

Isn't it strange the evolution of names and identity?

My favorite part about your name is it doesn't mean poo, but to you it has significance. I dig that.

Danny King said...

Creating the name to distinguish yourself in the online community is as good a reason as any other. And, evidently, it has worked. Congrats on the anniversary.

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