Monday, August 25, 2008

what's in a name?

Now, I may never have children, so I feel it my duty to give advice on things that don’t really concern me. While I may not be an expert on child-rearing, I am a member of society. From my unique vantage point of not living underneath a rock, I have been exposed to the good, bad, and ugly of parenting. I suppose the worst thing you could ever do (aside from abuse, duh!) is start your child on the wrong foot by giving them an awful name.

I honestly don’t know what some people are thinking. I suppose they are trying to be unique. Having a very common name, I sometimes wish my parents would have spiced up my name a tad. However, there is fine line between unique and downright strange. I read an article that said No Doubt front-runner Gwen Stefani and her husband named their recent newborn Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale (my spell check can’t make heads or tales of it either). Really?! It hurts my teeth to just say it. Thank goodness she has the money to pay for the future therapy bills!

What about the kids who can’t say ‘my name might be stupid but my mom’s a famous pop star’? The average Joes whose names are anything but really have no retort but silent agreement in the unfortunate nature of their name-age. Also for those parents out there who want to add a bit of flare to a standard name by adding/removing letters, throwing in apostrophes or asterisks, or a few silent Q’s, leave well enough alone! No one will ever pronounce it right and you will make your child subject to a life of name corrections! Unnecessary!

Other names like Maynard, Stuart, Muriel, or anything else resembling a retirement home resident are best left retired. I mean are you giving birth to an 89-year-old? Furthermore, unless your house is on cinderblocks or wheels, try to avoid the tragic ‘double first names’ (i.e. – Billy Joe, Bobby Ray, Peggy Sue, etc.) Also in terms of the number of names, let’s keep it at 3 (first, middle, or last). Crazy family names are best reserved for the middle (if at all.)

Children have enough against them in this world of playground bullies, self-image problems, and/or any other psychologically impairing development; let’s not subject them to a life of tragic reminder every time they hear their name. In the world of child naming, maybe it is ok to just conform. If you choose to get a little creative, have it your way… just don’t get crazy!

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