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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My name is Shona. I love it. It is used in several cultures and is also the name of an African language and tribe.
5 letters, 2 syllables, pronounced phonetically in English. Still, I always need to spell it for others and help with pronunciation.
Heaven help children whose names are misspelled…I mean spelled uniquely. What is accomplished by naming a girl M’Kailla, other than guaranteeing that she will have her name misspelled and mispronounced 100% of the time?
exactly why we didnt’ use Michaela because so many parents are spelling it with a k and a y as in Mikayla because of someone on tv whose parents didn’t know how to spell using it..
The author makes a valid point but goes overboard with strong language. That reaction itself shows the mistaken concern that naming should adhere to some rules. Perhaps all parents should assign names until children reach adulthood and are allowed to accept or get alternative names. This will not cure the problem of weirdness but would save adults from taking the externalities from a very original name.
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Next time, please warn us before you link to a site that is so downright nasty. I have some standards, even if Freakonomics seems willing to provide an audience for a bunch of people who need to demean and swear to make their point.
(my dream name for my hypothetical son: Lexx. Hypothetical daughter: Tai. I’ll see myself out now…) Oh, wait. How about the rather hoity-toity names bestowed on mundane Amurican kids, example: there is a house behind us with a pool, and their LOUD foolish offspring are in it all summer, and all I hear all day besides “halp! Maaaa….he’s drowning me! Halp!” is the mom bellowing: “Worthington! Stoppit! Jessamyn, help Callista! Buckingham, put on your shorts!” And that pool is full of fat little Bobby Hills! (or Rita Sues, or Dora Mays, or Stoshes, or Bubbas)…sorry to be cranky, but a fine moniker for a fat little tub makes me giggle…
Dobyrman isn’t really my name… but I saw it in the article and liked it so much…
A friend of ours works in the Obstetrics ward of a city hospital. She is constantly amused (and appalled) at the names some people inflict upon their newborn. One woman announced that she wanted to name her new daughter Chlamydia. She had seen it on a poster in the hospital and thought it sounded very pretty.
Wow those ARE bad. I think the worst problem is that people who do NOT know how to spell are not checking with those who DO know how to spell in order to name their kids.. that and that the newest parents grew up on texting and the whole… ‘younique’ situation. Yes, I spelled it wrong on purpose. My kids have Irish surnames for first names but they are not uncommon or out there, just not common in our (midwestern, every boy is named Ben or Luke, all girls are Olivia and Sophie per the trend)… area of the US.
Btw, loved the parts of the freakonomics books on child naming. Lemonjello and Orangello, lol.
I often wonder how many of the apostrophes in names were intended to be accent marks, only the namer didn’t know the difference. Amare’, for example. Because the apostrophes usually signify nothing, but are often in a place you might conceivably want to have an accent mark.
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