Published 27 JAN 2013 • Updated 16 JUN 2014 21 JUL 2015

shadows thenakedlistener DSC3800 2014-0702

The name of my blog (especially regarding the use of ‘naked’) came from a personal incident that happened a long time ago — well before I even ever started going online, well before this blog came into existence in 1996.

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Cool name. How did it come about?

This is the backstory that happened in 1980:—

The Naked Listener” is my ‘handle’ — like those CB radio nicknames in the Seventies — that I use for signing guestbooks and logbooks when I’m on the move.

The Listener 1983 Aug 18It started when some unknown biker chick — maybe twice my age then and staying at the same B & B as me up in Lancashire (northwest of England) — just called me THAT out of the blue.

It was the sight of me with a copy of ‘The Listener’ magazine (1929–91), pretending to read, but actually listening in on somebody else’s conversation in ‘deep hack mode’ — naked listening,’ as we say in those days.

I didn’t mean to listen in on others, but that conversation was RIVETTING.

Had I been reading something else at the time like some high-penetration smut rag — like “Rapier” popular in those days, or that one called “Joy Boy for Roy” — my handle might’ve turned out incredibly radically different, no?

I can’t believe I still remember those two smut mags…

rapier

Sorry, I don’t have a picture of “Joy Boy for Roy”…

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Why must you use ‘Naked’ in your blog name?

This is the all-time favourite question put to me.

This blog has been The Naked Listener’s Weblog since at least 1996/97 because it comes from my ‘handle.’ (Before then, I had no blog and wasn’t even into blogging.) It is the name used for registration with WordPress.com when this blog migrated here in 2008. And just to make clear, I have no plans whatsoever to change or modify the blog name because it’s come to be part of my blogosphere branding.

I frequently get this question — especially from that bunch of wallies who:—

(a) believe they are native English speakers, and/or

(b) believe their command of English is perfect or near-perfect or otherwise holier-than-thou while being in a state of (a) above.

Clearly those wallies are not (a) or (b) when they have to ask THAT question.

Notice also that the question is set as “why must” (in the sense of ‘have to’) instead of the regular “why do” — a clear sign of moralistic disapproval AND psychological anxiety AS MUCH AS a degree of difficulty in understanding the world at large.

Originally, the name I had dreamt up for this blog was “F*cker’s Paradise.”

Which one do you prefer now?

Why MUST you dislike the word ‘naked’? What is the nature of your grievance? Pray tell, why is the nature of your grievance?

Strange that you didn’t ask why MUST I have ‘Robert’ as my name…

You can find out why Robert HERE.

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Don’t you know ‘naked means nude?

Do you think I do or don’t, on balance of probability?

In fact, ‘nude’ means without clothing, but ‘naked’ means uncovered. Learn English, or starve.

I’m pretty sure you know the following already:—

The adjective ‘naked’ is longstanding English usage for:—

  • unaided
  • undisguised
  • being without addition, concealment or embellishment
  • nothing to hide
  • bare, stripped back
  • open, uncovered, without covering
  • without reserving any preconceived notions, rights or quality control

The exact things that those people who question my blog name are coming across with. Such as, in other words—

The naked moronicity of some people who cannot read things unsupervised.

Naked singularity (see below), by contrast, has no such protective barrier.

The word ‘naked’ implies it is free and with no constraints, just as nature intended. It’s also a bit cheeky and provocative as well, which hopefully reflect the persona of both me and my readers.

Honestly, I can feel my sperm dying one by one inside me from having to explain this.

You ought to subscribe to this blog:— Learn English or Starve.

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Nonsense! I’ve never heard ‘naked’ used that way.

Not a question, but I’ll answer it all the same.

You don’t seem to have a problem with these centuries-old, often-used expressions:—

the naked eye
The well-known English figure of speech (since AD 900) for human visual perception unaided by some external device.

naked stupidity
Another well-known English idiom for stupidity that is manifest and obvious (i.e. undisguised) to everybody except to the stupid person himself.

naked singularity
Another well-known, 700-year-old English idiom for ‘being a rigid one-track mind.’

Just on those three phrases, your argument is invalid. You lie, you die, pal. Just because YOU have never heard of ‘naked’ used in that way doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t exist or are wrong. Stop being so biased and prejudiced.

*

The phrases are fine, but truthfully ‘naked’ isn’t used anywhere like you have.

Again, not a question, but I’ll answer it all the same.

Let me know after you’ve read the below, or when you’ve found your balls — or when you’ve finally stopped crying your vagina to pieces every night. Cheers, mate.

LANGUAGE

In language, we have these expressions:—

  1. the naked eye (see above)
  2. naked stupidity (above)
  3. naked singularity (above)
  4. naked shit, the urban-culture idiom to mean when you take such a nasty dump that you have to take all your clothes off just to handle it

FILMS

In films, we have these highly iconic and iconoclastic giants:—

  1. La Donna Nuda (‘The Naked Truth’), a 1914 Italian silent drama film
  2. The Naked and the Dead, a 1958 movie about World War Two
  3. The Naked Ape, a 1973 comedy drama (Link)
  4. The Naked City, a 1949 film noir
  5. The Naked Edge, a 1961 thriller film
  6. The Naked Eye, a 1958 documentary film
  7. The Naked Face, the 1983 film adaptation of Sidney Sheldon’s novel
  8. The Naked Gun series of comedy movies (1988–94)
  9. The Naked Hills, a 1956 film
  10. The Naked Island (裸の島 Hadaka no Shima), a 1960 Japanese art film
  11. The Naked Jungle, a 1954 film
  12. The Naked Kitchen (키친 Kichin), a 2009 South Korean comedy drama
  13. The Naked Kiss, a 1964 neo-noir film
  14. The Naked Maja, a 1958 Italian-Franco-American historical film
  15. The Naked Prey, a 1966 adventure film
  16. The Naked Proof, a 2004 independent feature film about a confused and unhappy philosophy student whose life is turned upside down by a fictional pregnant woman
  17. The Naked Runner, a 1967 British spy film
  18. The Naked Spur, a 1953 American Western film
  19. The Naked Street, a 1955 American crime film noir
  20. The Naked Truth, a 1957 comedy film with Peter Sellers (the pre-Bond James Bond)

MUSIC AND THEATRE

In music and theatre, we have:—

  1. Naked Angels, a theatre community whose name was inspired by the Beat generation (Link)
  2. Naked Stage/Goli oder, a theatre festival held yearly in Ljubljana, Slovenia
  3. The Naked and Famous, an New Zealand alternative rock band
  4. The Naked Boot Leggers, a band from the Santa Cruz Mountains, USA (Link)
  5. The Naked Carmen, David Hess and John Corigliano’s 1970 ‘electric rock opera’
  6. The Naked Eye, a band active in Los Angeles and Orange County (Link)
  7. The Naked Hands, a German duo from Dresden named the best rock band from Saxony in 2012 (Link)
  8. The Naked Heroes, a music and performance group (Link)
  9. James Wallace & The Naked Light, whose album has the oddballest name (Link)
  10. The Naked Stills, a Boston folk, blues and rock band (Link)
  11. The Naked Sweat Drips (T.N.S.D.), a Dutch rock orchestra from Nijmegen (Link)
  12. The Naked Sun, a rock band from South Philadelphia, USA (Link)

TV AND RADIO

In TV and radio, we have these too:—

  1. Naked and Afraid, the latest (2013) insanity that passes for ‘reality TV’ (Link)
  2. The Naked Brothers Band, an American musical comedy TV series
  3. The Naked CEO, an Australian TV show about corporate experiences (website below)
  4. The Naked Mind, a 1974 Canadian current-affairs TV mini-series on mental health
  5. The Naked Now, 3rd episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” aired on 5 Oct 1987
  6. The Naked Pilgrim, a 2003 documentary series on Channel 5 (UK)
  7. The Naked Scientists, a BBC Radio 5 science radio talkshow (Link)

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

For the printed word, we have these greats (and I’m pretty sure you’ve read some of them):—

  1. Naked Conversations, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel’s 2006 book about blogs changing the way businesses are talking to customers
  2. Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs’ 1959 novel
  3. The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer’s 1948 novel that gave us ‘fug’ as a euphemism for ‘fuck’
  4. The Naked Ape: A Zoologist’s Study of the Human Animal, Desmond Morris’ 1967 ethology book
  5. The Naked Author: A Guide to Self-Publishing by Alison Baverstock (A & C Black, 2011) (Link)
  6. The Naked Communist, the 1958 book by conservative American political theorist Cleon Skousen
  7. The Naked Corporation, Don Tapscott and David Ticoll’s 2003 book about business transparency (Link)
  8. The Naked Face, Sidney Sheldon’s first novel (1970)
  9. The Naked God, Peter F. Hamilton’s 1999 sci-fi novel
  10. The Naked Guide to Cider, James Russell’s 2010 guide to all things cider (Link)
  11. The Naked Investor, John Lawrence Reynolds’ 2007 book that exposes the myths of retirement investment (Link)
  12. The Naked Quaker: True Crimes and Controversies from the Courts of Colonial New England, by Diane Rapaport (LINK)
  13. The Naked Sun, Isaac Asimov’s 1957 sci-fi novel (photo up top)
  14. The Naked Warrior, ex-Speznaz commando Pavel Tsatsouline’s 2003 book about high-strength exercising (Link)

OBJECTS

For objects, we have at least this:—

  • The Naked Ladies, a statue complex of eight Oceanids and a pair of aquatic horses on a rockery and water cascade, late 19th or early 20th century, in the gardens of York House, Twickenham, Middlesex, England

PEOPLE

For people, we have these people (not including myself):—

  1. The Naked Chef: Jamie Oliver, MBE (born 1975)
  2. The Naked Diplomat: Tom Fletcher, the UK ambassador to Lebanon (Link)
  3. The Naked Guy: Luis Andrew Martinez (1972–2006), the American activist who achieved fame at the University of California, Berkeley
  4. The Naked Englishman: Richard Vobes, the UK’s most prolific and award-winning podcaster (Link)
  5. The Naked Pastor: David Hayward of Canada (Link)
  6. The Naked Rambler: Stephen Gough (born 1959), the ex-Royal Marine who walked the length of Great Britain naked in 2003–2004 and again in 2005–2006
  7. The Naked Trader: Robbie Burns of the UK who writes about stock trading (Link)

BUSINESSES, BRANDS AND ORGANISATIONS

Try writing to the below about their use of ‘naked’:—

  1. Naked Apartments, a New York City apartment-hunting service
  2. Naked Ape Fashion Consulting, run by South African designer Shaldon Kopman
  3. Naked Authors, a blog by a group of crime novelists
  4. Naked Capitalism, a news aggregator
  5. Naked Chocolate Cafe of Philadelphia, USA
  6. Naked Coffee, a ’boutiqe’ coffee shop in Sacramento, California, USA
  7. Naked Eco Friendly Binder, a ringbinder made with 100% recyclable non-plastics
  8. Naked Fish Bistro, a Japanese bistro (!) in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  9. Naked Heart Foundation, a Russian charity founded after the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis to build modern play parks in urban areas of Russia
  10. Naked Juice, an American brand of fruit juice drink made by a PepsiCo subsidiary
  11. Naked Pizza, possibly the world’s only pizza chain with a branch in Kenya
  12. Naked Security, the award-winning IT security blog of Sophos, a software maker
  13. Naked Winery, a wine producer in River Hood, Oregon, USA
  14. The Naked, an art website that promotes global understanding of the art world
  15. The Naked Alien, a brand of handmade leather bags and accessories
  16. The Naked Ape Gets Dressed, a personal fashion blog
  17. The Naked Ape Paleo Snacks, a UK business about the ‘paleo’ diet
  18. The Naked Bean Coffee Roasters, an Australian coffee merchant
  19. The Naked Bee sells natural personal care products
  20. The Naked Beet, a blog of recipes for “sensual eating”
  21. The Naked Bible, about the Christian bible, stripped bare of denominational confessions and theological systems
  22. The Naked Bird, a seller of figurines on Etsy.com
  23. The Naked Bite, the catering website of Miami pro chef Amber Antonelli
  24. The Naked Bun, a patisserie and café in Mapua, New Zealand
  25. The Naked Butcher, an award-winning Australian butcher’s shop in Perth
  26. The Naked Cafe, a restaurant chain in California, USA
  27. The Naked Canvas, a personal styling blog from a Chicagoan
  28. The Naked CEO, the website of the Australian TV show about corporate experiences
  29. The Naked City, a blog supplement of Citypaper, Philadelphia’s weekly newspaper
  30. The Naked Corporation, the website of Tapscott and Ticoll’s 2003 book
  31. The Naked Creative, a design, branding and marketing agency in Hereford, UK
  32. The Naked Crêpe Bistro in the charming town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada
  33. The Naked Convos, an multi-award-winning Nigerian interactive community website
  34. The Naked Cupcake Bar, a full-service cupcake caterer in Victoria, Australia
  35. The Naked Dollar, blog of Scott C. Johnston, who straddles the (alternative) investment and social media worlds
  36. The Naked Emperor, media producers and awareness campaign for truth and art
  37. The Naked Face Project, two American women’s mission to go without makeup, etc
  38. The Naked Facts, an insightful but aesthetically chaotic news and exposé site
  39. The Naked Finn, a ’boutique’ seafood restaurant in Singapore
  40. The Naked Fish, the original sushi restaurant in South Lake Tahoe, California, USA
  41. The Naked Foot 5K, which organises running and paddle-boarding races in the USA
  42. The Naked Grape, a wine merchant in Hampshire, UK
  43. The Naked Grocer, the world-famous greengrocer in Waltham-on-Thames, UK
  44. The Naked Hero, a website about character branding for creative writing
  45. The Naked Kitchen, a website about organic food and healthy recipes
  46. The Naked Label, a coalition of nutritionists and healthcare workers
  47. The Naked Leader, website of the original authentic leadership training
  48. The Naked Leaf, a Canadian tea vendor in Calgary founded by a professional dancer
  49. The Naked Lens, a photographer’s portfolio website
  50. The Naked Loon, the local newspaper of Puget Sound, Washington state, USA
  51. The Naked Me, a 36-year-old woman takes tastefully erotic pictures with an iPhone (not porn, but NSFW)
  52. The Naked Monk, a website for people who want to explore Buddhism without faith or wishful thinking
  53. The Naked Monkey, a waxing spa in Indiana, USA
  54. The Naked Noodle, a seafood and noodle restaurant in Whitefish, Montana, USA
  55. The Naked Nut, a nut farmer and merchant in San Joaquin Valley, California, USA
  56. The Naked Nutritionist, a firm of UK nutrition therapists
  57. The Naked Oyster, a seafood bistro in Hyannis, Massachusetts, USA
  58. The Naked Peach Waxing Boutique, a skincare shop in Philadelphia, USA
  59. The Naked Plate, a WordPress blog about whole-food choices and whole-life living
  60. The Naked Possum, a wild-game restaurant in Kaituna, Golden Bay, New Zealand
  61. The Naked Potter, a professional pottery studio (unglazed pottery) in Vermont, USA
  62. The Naked Roommate, a community website for college students in the USA
  63. The Naked Runners, a website about plain running without the tech distractions
  64. The Naked Sheep Knit Shop, a yarn shop in Portland, Oregon, USA
  65. The Naked Sprout, an award-winning vegan restaurant in Burlington, Ontario, Canada
  66. The Naked Table Project, Shackleton Thomas’s workshop that builds tables with and for communities across New England region in the USA
  67. The Naked Tank, a Canadian-made garment that transforms into a nursing shirt
  68. The Naked Truth Entertainment, a networking site for the adult entertainment and sex industry communities
  69. The Naked Turtle, a restaurant in Lake Champlain near Plattsburgh, New York, USA
  70. The Naked Turtle White Rum, made by The Naked Rum Co. of Connecticut, USA
  71. The Naked Underwear (a.k.a. The Naked Shop) sells underwear in the USA
  72. The Naked Vigneron, an organic Bordeaux wine producer in southwest France originally from the Yorkshire Dales
  73. The Naked Vine, blog about wine for the common man by sommelier Mike Rosenberg
  74. The Naked Voice, a UK charity dedicated to using devotional singing and speechwork to transform lives
  75. The Naked Wing, a pub (or pub chain) somewhere in Canada
  76. The Official Naked Cowboy Website, an American entertainer’s website
  77. … and the list just never ends!

Considering the above, d’you think you know the meaning of ‘naked,’ or I know?

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I don’t buy it. They’re just book and movie names.

And “The Naked Listener’s Weblog” isn’t a name, is that what you’re saying?

You know, people are not answerable to you. They don’t need your permission or approval for their blog names, just as you don’t need theirs for yours.

Have you no goddamn control over how creepy you come across?

*

Anything more authoritative about the ‘naked’ usage?

I raise you the more authoritative legal concept of the naked licence:—

Naked licence is licensing with no usage restrictions. In trademark law, it is licensing a trademark without the necessary quality controls (restrictions) over its use (such as failing to specify the quality of the goods or services to be sold under that trademark). The lack of restrictions is seen as causing the trademark to lose value and/or identity so that the assignor (original licensor) is considered to have abandoned the trademark and passed it on as absolute assignment to the assignee (the new user). (Author’s words)

Naked licence has existed since time immemorial, a legal term of art that means that which dates before legal memory. In English law (the common law of England and Wales), legal memory started on 6 July 1189 — the date of accession of King Richard I (‘The Lionheart’) as provided in The Statute of Westminster of 1275 (3 Edw. I). In short, naked licence pre-dates the reign of Richard the Lionheart.

Since you’re most probably not a lawyer (unlike me), you’d welcome the easier-to-look-up American authority of Barcamerica v. Tyfield:—

“Generally, the licensing of a mark without reserving any rights of ‘quality control’ is a naked license. …If you license your trademark without specifying the quality of the goods to be sold, such is called ‘naked licensing‘ and your trademark would be deemed abandoned. This was confirmed when the [U.S.] Ninth Circuit held ‘that Barcamerica engaged in naked licensing of its ‘Leonardo Da Vinci’ mark — and that by doing so, Barcamerica forfeited its rights in the mark.’ ”

Barcamerica International USA v. Tyfield Imports Inc., 289 F.3d 589-598 (9th Cir. 2002)

An even more recent example is the US Supreme Court of Appeals case of Eva’s Bridal Ltd. v. Halanick Enterprises Inc., 1 No. 10-2863 (7th Cir. May 10, 2011).

Authoritative enough for you?

In light of everything above, have you ever considered that your understanding of English might actually be INADEQUATE?

_____

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013.

Images: Shadow © thenakedlistener ♦ “The Listener” magazine, 18 Aug 1983, via eBid ♦ “Rapier” magazine, 1981 vol. 3 no. 7, via Tilley’s Vintage Magazines ♦ “The Naked Sun” by Isaac Asimov via Wikipedia.

CHANGELOG (B13292):
Re-created 27 Jan 2013 during the first full moon of the year from previous FAQs (B12291)
Released 06 Feb 2013 as a standalone page (B12291)
Re-issued 21 July 2013 as part of dedicated static FAQ pages
Updated 24 Aug 2013 (new links, amendments for clarity)
Re-created 06 Sep 2013 (from FAQNAME page)
Updated 08 SEP 2013 (typo fixes, bulleted items into numbered items)
Updated 12 SEP 2013 (added ‘naked capitalism’; trimming copy)
Updated 15 SEP 2013 (added ‘Naked Conversations’)
Updated 30 SEP 2013 (added link to why my name is ‘Robert’)
Updated 16 JUN 2014 (added The Naked Quaker entry)
Updated 21 JUL 2015 (top picture added, updated links)

3 Responses to “About blog name”

  1. James said

    It’s shorter and snappier than: ‘to listen without prior judgment’.

    Like

  2. lawmrh said

    Great post! Earthy, erudite and entertaining.
    – Mo

    Liked by 1 person

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