Why "Ming"?

My name is Flemming Funch.

Flemming is my first name.

Ming is one of my nicknames.

It is the last four letters of my first name.

At first it was a joke, because I was really tired of Americans trying to call me "Flem" (pronounced like "Phlegm"), so I started saying "If you have to shorten my name, why don't you use the last part of my name, rather than the first". So, Ming. FlemMing. Most people didn't go for it.

Then some of my closest friends started calling me Ming, usually implicitly referring to the side of me that is a bit more direct and forceful, and not just being Mr.Niceguy all the time.

So, at some point I figured, why not, that's kind of cool as an online handle. Before I was using ffunch, but that doesn't really say anything about anything.

But I had never expected the amount of intrigue that it would give rise to. Well, the only place it has given rise to intrigue is in the online community area of the New Civilization Network. Since I'm its founder and its webmaster and it exists on my server, when some people notice that my handle is Ming, it instantly conjures up a Flash Gordon vision of me sitting behind a wall of monitors, as Emperor Ming the Merciless, plotting to destroy earth.

Well, it goes into the same category as the people who think I'm claiming some elevated status because I'm wearing a silly hat on some pictures.

Or the rather significant number of people who think I'm implying superiority over them by being the person who answers as the "Webmaster". You know, MASTER. WebSLAVE would probably be more appropriate, as it is a lot of work to serve a lot of users.

But still, I feel the urge to explain. I refuse to be Flem.

The Ming dynasty period in China was a time of great change. I wasn't thinking of that, but even if I were, I don't see any problem.

"Ming" can apparently mean a number of things in Chinese, among them "brightness" or even "enlightenment". The character is shown on the left. The shape on the left is an icon symbolising of the Sun. The shape on the right symbolises the Crescent Moon. Together they light the world. All sounds fine to me. But again, I didn't plan any of that.

I've heard that "Wú-Míng" is mandarin for 'no name'. And that it is often used in China as a signature for dissident writings. I like that too.

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