You pick up the phone and someone says, "Hello. You're home, are you?" and with just these five words you know, although you haven't heard from him for ten years, that Uncle Ed is calling.That was the first sentence of the chapter I started reading from my Creative Writing textbook today. Ed is a common name for an uncle to have (for anyone to have, really). I know that's why the author chose to use it. Not because everyone has an Uncle Ed, but because most everyone has an uncle who probably doesn't call that often, but whose mannerisms stick in our heads regardless. Ultimately, every reader should be able to relate to the sentence, whether their Uncle's name is Ed or Bo or Willie or George or what have you. And if your Uncle's name is Ed, then the connection between you and the sentence is even stronger.
However, the connection was lost on me, broken before it could reach me. I still understood the sentence's purpose, and why the author chose to use it, of course. It just wasn't the same. But hey, what are the chances of me taking this course, reading this book, two years after my Uncle Ed died?