Gerry Butler

Oscars 2014: Jennifer Lawrence and the name game

Oscars 2014: Jennifer Lawrence and the name game

When nominee names are called out at Sunday's Academy Awards, audiences will quickly recognize them--Jennifer Lawrence, Matthew McConaughey, Spike Jonze, to name three favorites. But what to actually call them?

In Hollywood, a name is just a name, until it's not. And a nickname is more than a nickname, unless it shouldn't be used all, in which case it's less than a nickname, or something US Weekly editors came up with because they were bored.

The act of identifying celebrities is a complex mix of semiotics and subtle Hollywood codes. Go too informal in referring to an Oscar nominee and you're presumptuous, gauche, a poseur

Keep it too formal and you may as well have just...

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