The Naming Process for Fire Survivors

31 Jul

After conducting keyword research in Google Adwords you will find that are more global search inquiries for “fire victims” or “victims of fire” compared to “fire survivors.”  Creating a name based on the market might seem like a good idea, but in the end does not serve its purpose.  By examining the definitions, references, and connotations of the words “survivor” and “victim” you will be able to see why Fire Survivors is an appropriate name for this blog.

Gate at Wickham Park

Gate at Wickham Park


1) living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite

2) one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent
a) one that is the injury, destroyed, sacrificed under any various conditions
victim of cancer
victim of auto crash
victim of murder

3) one that  is tricked or duped

synonyms: Fatality, loss, prey, casualty

Merriam Webster Online Dictionary

Biblical term

There are several biblical stories that come to mind when thinking about a victim, all which involve some sort of sacrifice.  Reading these testimonies can be hard to endure.  We cannot forget those individuals that also believe in human sacrifice even in the present day that belong to cults or have some type of mental health condition.  Once in a while the news will feature a story about someone that killed his/her child because “God told him/her to do it.”

Legal term

In domestic abuse situations the victim is a common term for someone who has been abused.  The court or other supportive services usually provides a victims advocate to the individual.  From a judicial standpoint the victim can also be someone that has experienced a crime, like rape, torture, or murder.  When it comes to criminal trials the victim is frequently referenced.  Hence, there is the office of the victim in court houses.

Medical term

Sometimes professionals will also refer to people diagnosed with cancer as “victims of cancer.”  The only question is, what about those individuals that survived cancer and came out a stronger person after the whole ordeal?  Being referred to as a victim gives the feeling of impending doom and no hope on the other side for recovery.  It’s no wonder that the synonyms for victim are fatality, loss, prey or casualty.


1) to remain alive or in existence, to live in
2) to continue to function or prosper

1) to continue to exist or live after
2) to remain alive after death of (survived obituary)
3) to continue to function or prosper despite
they survived many hardships

Synonyms: Ride out, weather

Merriam Webster Online Dictionary


Have you ever noticed the wording in obituaries?  For example, “Jack John is survived by his two sons, Henry John of Manchester, New Hampshire and Jacob John of Keene, New Hampshire.”  Even after reading about someone’s death in the paper, people still comment, “That was a nice obituary.”  Now image what it would be like if the wording was different, “Jack John died and left behind his two sons.”  Which sentence would you want to read and in light of a devastation, which one would be more uplifting?  The fact is that obituaries are meant to be embrace someone that has passed on and also others that are still living (surviving), despite the hardship.

Survivor Stories

If you flip through the channels, specifically Animal Planet or Discovery you are bound to come across stories of survival, I survived an animal attack, I survived a paranormal encounter, and so forth.  The part that intrigues viewers the most is what happened and how they were able to overcome it.  Let us not forget about the show, “Survivor,” which also keeps people guessing who is going to be the survivor.  If these stories were geared to show how someone was a victim, then the entertainment world would not have a place in the market.

I am a Survivor

Many people refer them to themselves as survivors for one reason or another, but rarely refer to themselves as victims.  When someone has endured cancer and come out on the other end, he/she refers to him/himself as a survivor, not a victim.  There is a victory or sense of accomplishment in saying “I am a survivor, rather than, I am a victim.”  Nobody wants to think of themselves as someone who wasn’t able to function or prosper despite whatever obstacles they have faced.

After examining the definitions, connotations, and references of the words victim and survivors, it is evident why this blog is titled Fire Survivors.  When referring to someone as a victim, there is always negative connotations.  However, when you refer to someone as a survivor, there is always positive connotations.

5 Responses to “The Naming Process for Fire Survivors”

  1. shoshwrites August 4, 2011 at 20:32 #

    I think people who experience fires (or other catastropes) may feel like victims at the beginning and then evolve into survivors. At first there’s just shock that something else has affected your life so much, but as we gain take power over our lives, bit by bit, we become survivors controlling our fate again.

    • firesurvivors August 5, 2011 at 13:29 #

      I agree with you totally. You think, “Why did this happen to me?” Then slowly you start to realize there is a reason. You cannot let life’s unfortunate events control you and have to find a way to live on.

  2. Anxiety medication September 7, 2011 at 13:05 #

    These are impressive articles. Keep up the sunny handiwork.
    My website is about Anxiety relief.

    • firesurvivors September 16, 2011 at 12:08 #

      very nice site, there are a lot of helpful resources.


  1. What All Fire Survivors Should Know « Fire Survivors - November 13, 2011

    […] How Fire Survivors Got its Name ( […]

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