Speaking of nicknames, how did my son become Benjer? Is it just a cute diminutive of Benjamin? Not exactly.
Contrary to popular myth, it is not the case that I accidentally transposed the names of Spencer, our late dog (God rest his soul) and that of my son, outright calling my son "Benjer" by mistake. We're getting closer, though.
In fact, I blurted out the amalgam "Spenciman" at the dog one day, and instantly thought to myself, "Spenciman, . . . that's funny. I guess if he's 'Spenciman', then 'Benjamin' must be 'Benjer'. Heyyyy, I like that! "Benjer". (Yes, it's true; this is what my mind spends its time and resources doing.)
So, at some appropriate silly moment thereafter I called him "Benjer." The boy and the wife . . . they both liked it and it caught on, as did its variant "the Benjer."
So, yes, I gave my son part of the dog's name on purpose. And, no, you can't call him that …unless we say so.