People say that learning something's true name robs it of power. That's the basis of myths like Rumplestiltskin, and of movie exorcisms.
"The name is the thing, and the true name is the true thing," legendary sci-fi writer Ursula K. LeGuin wrote in her short story "The Rule of Names." "To speak the name is to control the thing."
French post-structuralist philosopher Jacques Derrida theorized that by naming something, we both preserve its essence in history and annihilate its uniqueness by obliterating inscribing it in the imperfect world of representative language.
"The name: What does one call thus?" he wrote in his "On the Name." "What does one understand under the name of name? And what occurs when one gives a name? What does one give then? One does not offer a thing, one delivers nothing, and still something comes to be, which comes down to giving that which one does not have, as Plotinus said of the Good. What happens, above all, when it is necessary to sur-name, renaming there where, precisely, the name comes to be found lacking? What makes the proper name into a sort of sur-name, pseudonym, or cryptonym at once singular and singularly untranslatable?"
All this to say, we just learned Schmidt's name on New Girl and we're having trouble coping. That's because, drumroll, it's Winston. Winston is Schmidt. Schmidt is Winston. We're all everybody else, all at once. It's like a Terrence Malick movie.
There you go.
Twitter went pretty nuts.