I recently received a question on one of my ebay auctions that was simply an observation about my name, TET. To quote the message in full (name withheld but if you wrote this you'll know):
hi there,For those of you that don't know how I came to be called The Extraordinary Tourist there's an explanation on my biography page which includes a nice video explanation too however this is a discussion on the merits and importance of the word the.
you should call yourself tET (i.e. from ET)
Not TET.....the insignificant word "the" should be in lower case, thus, tET. (further, inbalance in artwork is good, adds interest....ie. the symmetry of TET is too much, should be tET)
looks better...looks good.
all the best !
Back to the message above. I understand the author's logic and it is very sound. Insignificant words like the, a, and, or etc. aren't usually abbreviated and are often even left out altogether, hence The is not as important as Extraordinary and Tourist and therefore should be a lowercase t in the abbreviation tET. Visually the lowercase t unbalances tET as a signature or monogram thus creating interest for the eye when viewing.
All good logic except that within the context of my name The is a very significant word that distinguishes me from all the rest i.e. I am not one of many extraordinary tourists, I am THE Extraordinary Tourist - The ONE and only - if you will.
Another reason why I'm TET and not tET is that the emphasis on the letters ET would invariably attract a barrage of alien jokes along with many references to the movie of that name. This would distract people from me and my art. So the first T plays an important role in quashing all the alien jokes again making the word The a very significant part of my name.
Finally in pronouncing the abbreviation TET as a word Tet it makes for a better sounding name than tET where people may simply drop the first t because of its lack of emphasis. In fact people may be less likely to call me Tet and start calling me E.T. and thus open me to all those alien jokes again.
That's three compelling reasons why I am THE Extraordinary Tourist and not just any extraordinary tourist (of whom I'm sure there are many).
Sometimes I like to joke that I'm THE Extraordinary Tourist because I never actually travel anywhere but this isn't actually true. You can follow my extensive, month long road trip across Australia in 2007.
In actual fact the name has become something of a life goal. Eventually I want to spend my life traveling whilst earning a living from creating art and writing about my experiences. Then I would be The Extraordinary Tourist.