We All Need Space, Especially Al.Posted: April 16, 2013
Long ago, I realized that for men named Lou, the only possible nickname is Big Lou. Big and Lou just fit together. They bring a certain toughness and a particular image when they are combined. Lou is just a guy. Big Lou is someone you don’t fool with. Lou has a few friends. Big Lou, he has people, if you know what I’m saying.
The same goes for Al. Imagine someone named Al. Now imagine someone who goes by Big Al. Is that person in your mind some weedy little guy, or does he look like a guy who makes offers you can’t refuse?
Now there are certain things we must realize about the Big Al/Big Lou nickname thing –
- Big only works with Al or Lou. Big Bill, Big Kenny and Big Phillip, don’t really work. It just sounds like someone who is trying far too hard.
- It doesn’t matter if the Lou or Al bearing the nickname is actually big. In fact if the gentleman in question is not particularly large in stature, the big moniker adds a twist of humorous irony.
- As with any nickname, it is never acceptable for a person to choose this nickname for themselves.
There is one other important thing that applies to men named Al. It also indicates how important proofreading is, perhaps even having someone else proofread for you. Here is that thing:
When you are Big Al and you order a personalized license plate for your car you should consider how critical spacing is. I’d never considered how a missing space could confuse a message until I saw the license plate for a gentlemen named Al. Al was a proud Big Al, so proud that he ordered a license plate to let everyone know he was Big Al. The tag said –
Al’s message was a lot more ambiguous than he intended. It could be read Big Al. It could be read Bi Gal. Al made a simple mistake. He did not value giving a little space and that bit him.
We all need space now and again. Some, like Al, don’t know they need it. But we should all remember that when words and people don’t have the space they need, it leads to misunderstandings.