Why all the first and last names?

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Nothingman
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Why all the first and last names?

Post by Nothingman » Mar 6th 2003, 2:21 pm

Why is Jordon always refered to as "Jordan Catalano" and Hallie is always "Hallie Lowenthal"?

Seems to me that after a period of time there wouldn't be the need to use Jordon and Hallie's full names. I'm not sure the reason for doing this is the same in both cases, and i'm assuming it isn't. But why does Angela always refer to Jordon as "Jordon Catalano" even after they are dating and when she's around Rayanne and Rickie when obviously they know who Jordon is? Same question with Hallie, Graham always refer's to her as "Hallie Lowenthal" when he mentions her to Patty when Patty already knows exactly who he's talking about.

As far as Angela and Jordon go, I think the use of his full name might be a way for her put him up on his pedistal. But she continues to do it throughout the show, does that mean she never takes him off that pedistal? We often refer to people we desire, but seem unatainable, by their full names. I guess that reasoning could be applied to Graham and Hallie too. But I think Graham might be using Hallie's full name as a way to maintain distance from her. Her full name is more formal, and he is already struggling to keep that formality in their relationship. Perhaps he's using it as a method to protect himself from crossing that emotional barrier and becoming involved. Or is he using it in front of Patty to reassure her that nothing is going on?

Then again maybe the writers just thought "Jordon Catalano" was fun to say and a sexy name? What do you guy's think?
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TomSpeed
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Post by TomSpeed » Mar 6th 2003, 3:51 pm

Writers get attached to names. They create them and like the way they sound. Also the way people say names can create a feeling or have an effect. How people use names is important in real life as well. Angela's use of Jordan's first and last names does put Jordan on a pedestal. Graham's use of Hallie's full name is also interesting. I think Patty refers to Hallie as that Hallie-person. Graham uses Hallie's first and last names to put a face on her. Is he diminishing or increasing the importance of his relationship with Hallie? You are not the only person to wonder why people use their first and last names. Amber tells Patty that she doesn't have to introduce herself every time they meet.
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Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
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Natasha (candygirl)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Mar 6th 2003, 4:14 pm

Some other threads you might want to read about this topic:

first and last names
the letter
Sharon and Brian
Jordan Catalano
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Nothingman
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Post by Nothingman » Mar 6th 2003, 5:55 pm

Thanks candygirl....I assumed this topic had come up before, but I hadn't found the threads on it. I was mainly interested in what the name usage meant to story and what it symbolized, if anything. I think has more importance than just being one of those little things that make the show special IMHO.
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Post by angelachase » Mar 8th 2003, 10:00 pm

It's weird, but I find myself doing this also. It just seems that some people need to have their last name attached, because it like "fits them" or something. I guess it's just one of those quirky teenage things. Plus, doesn't "Jordan Catalano" have much more of an impact, than just "Jordan"?
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Kheldy
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Post by Kheldy » Mar 24th 2003, 4:46 am

Yes, the dual names - I understand Jordan 'cause, with a name like Catalano - who could stop themselves from saying that!? ;)

Also I find that it characterizes this show in a way. As if everytime they says the name they mean something deeper - you know like connotation or something.

Shrug I'm not too deep a thinker - but this is definately an interesting aspect ...

At least they have pretty decent names though, not just schmuck names, like me... :P
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Post by whatsthatbear » Mar 25th 2003, 5:31 pm

i never thought much of the first/last naming. i always chalked it up to the fact that high school is a small place, with a lot of kids cramed in. at my highschool, we always used first and last names to make sure the listener knew exactly who we were talking about.

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