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In its purest sense, nicknaming is an elitist ritual practiced by those who cherish hierarchy. For preppies it's a smoke signal that allows Bunny to tell Pooky that they belong to the same tribe, while among the good old boys it serves the cause of masculine dominance by identifying Bear and Wrecker as Alpha males.

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A bit about Florence King ...

Florence King (born 1936) is an American writer, essayist and columnist. While her early writings focused on the American South and those who live there, much of King's later work has been published in the conservative publication National Review. Her column in National Review, "The Misanthrope's Corner," was known for "serving up a smorgasbord of curmudgeonly critiques about rubes and all else bothersome to the Queen of Mean," as the magazine put it. She supports conservatism, but is not a "movement conservative." Though grateful for her fan base, she considers herself a misanthrope.

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