Place item was collected
South Jordan, Utah
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Megan Monson was born in Rexburg, Idaho but was raised in South Jordan, Utah. She went to Bingham High School. Megan is an undergraduate student at Utah State University who is pursuing a degree in English Teaching. She served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Washington Tacoma Mission. Megan is a fellow student of mine in the English Program.
Megan and I did this interview over text as it was easier for the both of us. Megan wanted to assist me with my collection project, so she just sent me some random pieces of folklore that she had that were typically shared among her high school friends. I was at my apartment when I received her messages. Each of us are used to texting and using our mobile devices, so this was an easy and natural way of communicating. This piece of folklore applies to people who have cars, specifically those who name them.
“So in my whole neighborhood, lots of people gave their cars names. One family had a Civic named Rico and a Carolla named Lola. One of my friends’ car was named Jellybean. Jellybean got totaled in the high school parking lot, it was a really sad day. My brother’s car was named Rfad, I really don’t know why. It was this little red carolla that was older than my parents’ marriage. My parents tell me I named him Rfad when they first got it, but I don’t remember. When I got my first car I named her Sharona after the song ‘My Sharona’ and also the lady on Monk. I’ve never understood why everyone names their cars, but it’s like a requirement, when you name your car, it is OFFICIAL. So, when I got my new Jetta everyone judged me for not having a name for it…but I still can’t decide if it’s a boy car or a girl car, so I might give it a gender neutral name like Taylor or Riley.”
I found it interesting that Megan spent time capitalizing some of the names and car types but did not capitalize all of them. She used ellipses to illustrate that she took a longer pause to think about whether or not she had decided the gender of her car before carrying on with the conversation. There were some punctuation errors, implying that Megan was either in a hurry or she disregards grammar when she texts. After her story was finished, I texted back and told her about my car, who my brother named Barnabus, but that I call her B because she is a female car, not a male. We exchanged laughter through laughing emojis and haha’s. Our conversation was very casual and comfortable because we are fellow students and have developed a friendship this last semester.
Dr. Lynne McNeill
Semester and year
G3: Folk Speech
Crane, Terin, "Naming Cars" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 460.