Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Baby Names, Part Two.

Earlier in the week, I blogged about the names that Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon gave their twins. When I posted the link to that blogpost to Facebook… my sister and I went on such a grammar tangent of made-up names that I had to record it here for all posterity.

Seester: Monroe isn’t actually so bad, but Moroccan has to be the worst name ever. Even Morocco would have been better. But I’m going with Modern Joe for my imaginary boy and Makhalina for the girl. And frankly, as far as adjectival first names go, Modern isn’t half as bad as Moroccan.
Me: No, I’m pretty sure that Moroccan is the worst adjectival name possible. At least he has a decent middle name.
Seester: Now I just know someone’s going to give some poor child a verb for a name.
Me: Or an adverb.
Seester: Hehe, now I want to name someone a conjunction in a short story. “The Tragic Tale of And Jones”. Or something like that. (Note from Whitney: If I find that anyone steals this title for a short story, I will yell at you for stealing from my sister.)
Me: Well, I suppose we should be glad it wasn’t a determiner. This Scott, That Scott. Okay, now I’m just being mean.
Me: I think I want to name someone Quickly. Just so I can write the phrase “Quickly walked slowly down the boulevard.”
Me: Which I suppose I just did.
Seester: That’s it, I’m naming my daughter That Girl! (Name includes the exclamation point)
Me: Now will her middle name be Girl or is that a double first name?
Seester: Middle name is “Girl!”. I think that would best ensure that every minor aspect of her life will be made as difficult as possible.
Me: It’d either be difficult or an Abbot & Costello routine.
Seester: Both. But just imagine filling out any kind of form!

Just to add to this bizarreness, I realized that the worst possible think one could do would be to name their child interrobang. Not the word, but the symbol. It isn’t on any standard keyboard. Though when you tell people what you named their child and they exclaim, “What?!” You can say, “Exactly,” and walk away.

Final note from Whitney: Neither my sister and I advocate taking our joking conversation seriously. We would not name our children anything that horrible. My boys, whose names I don’t share to protect their privacy, have slightly uncommon but utterly normal names. The spellings are the standard spelling.

When I worked in advertising, I saw some horrific names come in on the lead sheets. Duchess, Lexus, Gucci (those weren’t the worst, oh no). And Velveeta and Aquanetta. I saw just about every creative spelling for a regular name under the sun. And I felt bad for every person (they were all adults, too) whose name looked like it was a World of Warcraft character name with double vowels and substitutions (to be the only one on the server).

Please. If you want to set your child apart, don’t give them a crazy name with a spelling that isn’t traditional. Raise your children to be creative and passionate about their interests, and they’ll be unique. A weird name just makes them an outcast and a target of bullying.

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  • http://twitter.com/rabblelog Tim

    Actually Whitney, Some interesting work has been done in the book Freakonmics. They show a correlation of the baby’s name to the education of the mother. They also point out that this can also be a way of discrimination both inside and outside of the persons peer groups. Consider the name Jamial, you most likely have a thought in your head about the ethnicity of someone with that name, Now if his mom were to have happened to call him Liam for example, he and his moms would have been ridiculed by their peer groups for giving him such a name. That said, now when Jamial puts in his resume for jobs, if all qualifications are equal Jamial’s name alone could possibly put him on the bottom of the pile.