By: Mary Fran Bontempo

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name tagIf only it were that easy.

Last week, Sean “Puffy” Combs, a.k.a. P. Diddy, a.k.a. Diddy, announced that he’s again changing his name, back to the Puff Daddy which originally brought him fame, and later infamy, back in 2001. Or is he changing it to Sean John, his real name? Is that even a change, when it’s your real name? Or is he changing it to “Swag?” No, that was only for a week back in 2011. I’m not sure exactly what he’s changing it to, but does anyone really care?

Apparently, they do. At least Puffy Diddy Daddy seems to think so, hence the announcement.

And he’s not the only one. Not long ago, another infamous rapper, Snoop Dogg, decided to change his name as well. To Snoop Lion. Then, apparently because no one paid attention to the first change, he decided to change it again. This time to Snoopzilla. Snoop is on a mission to become more fierce and will continue to up the ante until someone notices, which could take a while as he still looks like an overgrown, demented kindergartener with those ridiculous pigtailed braids.

Entertainers do this kind of goofy stuff all of the time. Sometimes, they don’t even use an actual name. Remember when Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol? And how about the drummer for The Roots, Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show band? His name is “?uestlove,” occasionally spelled Questlove, just so Jimmy can pronounce it.

Of course it’s a ploy for attention. And most of the time it seems really stupid. But maybe these goofballs are onto something.

We all know names are important. Remember the poor kid in your first grade class with the odd name who everyone made fun of? I do. Clemence Hummel. I’ll bet poor Clemence would have given anything to rid himself of that painful monicker. What if he could have become, oh, I don’t know, Tom McCool, or Dan Strong, or Bill Courageous?

And Clemence was only six. Imagine the benefits of dropping a name that’s attached to decades of problems, or even just decades of mediocre? How great would it be if every time you got bored or screwed up, you could simply become somebody else?

There are people who can help with that, but they’re usually federal agents and you have to be part of the witness protection program. Some days that sounds like an okay option to me.

Then again, changing a name doesn’t always work–witness Snoop Lion, above. Just because you choose a different name doesn’t mean it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Otherwise, it’s a safe bet ninety percent of the world would go by the last name “Rich.” At least I would.

So I guess poor Clemence Hummel is stuck. Although, now that P. Diddy is back to Puff Daddy, he does have options. As long as he leaves Snoopzilla alone. That one’s taken.

 Would you change your name if you could? Click “comments” below and share.