Steven D. Levitt
07/24/2012 | 2:04 pm
This piece on baby names by Drew Magary made me laugh out loud. I sent it to my wife, and she laughed so hard she cried.
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gawd. thank you so much, Steyyfinn.
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I motion that “Weird Baby Names” be forever banned from freakonomics. Do I hear a second?
Isn’t this a form of child abuse? Maybe not, as weird names become the new norm.
Doing an intake at my job I encountered a young woman [fudging here] Bcda. I made my best guess and she became angry and informed me that her name was B’key-da. Thanks — a couple vowels would have helped.
Yes. Feel free to mix in a few vowels. They’re here for you.
In New Zealand, and a few other countries like Sweden it is genuinely treated as such and you can have names rejected often by judges (that get added to a ban list).
RHCP drummer recently baffled the audience by a new tattoo saying “Cash.” Questions followed. Turns out, it’s not the pecuniary kind: rather, it is the second name of his son who shares a birthday with Johnny Cash.
Our next door neighbor is a NICU & L&D nurse at a Houston hospital that sees a fair amount of inner city traffic and sees creative names (How many ways can one spell Katelyn?), laden with punctuation, almost daily. Not only do the parents not know how names are usually spelled, they don’t know what punctuation is called. One mother got particularly irate when my neighbor didn’t know an apostrophe is actually called, I kid you not, “a comma to the top” and saw fit to argue when told the correct name of the punctuation. She has gotten to the point that she simply asks the parents of the new baby to write down the name for her.
Exactly why we didn’t use Katelynn, Caitlyn, Catlynn, Kaitlyn.. you get the point..
You’d be surprised how many different ways you can spell a name. When we named my daughter Addelyn, I made a spreadsheet that automatically generated different ways of spelling the name (i.e. two ‘d’s or one, ‘e’ at the end or not…etc.) It created over 1000 variations, and of those, there were at least 20 that looked appealing. However that also means that there were over 980 ways NOT to spell it.
ADDELYN? If you’re not part of the solution…
As a former teacher, this article really struck home. I have spent many Septembers carefully studying names and then practicing pronunciation (yeah, that kid with the last name Cockburn was SO happy when I pronounced it correctly–coh-burn). A few gems from the past include: Toshiba (I kid you not), and Mizebra (pronounced my-zebra). Try to find those on bicycle license plates. My other favorite is dual gender names–you don’t know what you’re gonna get til they walk in the door.
That article was amazing… Especially about the people that cannot spell. It is easier to accept a unique spelling versus a total misspelling that they don’t figure out until years later. Punctuation really must go away; we are going to have to make legal guidelines for naming children in the US.
There are whole categories of yuppie white names: it’s like a chose your own adventure book.
Names of professions: tanner, baker, archer, Parker
Old presidents: Jackson, Madison, Jefferson, (treasury secretary) Hamilton
Any surname period. I think the goal here is to make your kid sound like a law firm….Riker Logan Howe.
Giving your kid a waspy surname as their first name is the yuppie/swpl equivalent of a black couple giving their kid a faux-African name. I’m not generally a fan of measures described above such as requiring names to be approved by a judge, but this kind of cruelty has to stop.
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