08 April 2009

It's time for an intervention

I don't know what happened in the late 1980's to make baby names go off the rails, but at this point, that train is now rushing out of control through the forest burning the skin right off thousands of little furry animals. Girls certainly have this far, far worse. Heaven help you if you're a girl born after 1988 with a common name that you have to spell for everyone because your parents went through the Scrabble set looking for every possible phonetic alteration they could make to it.

Clearly, we need to lay out some ground rules here:

  • There is a limit of one 'y' for every two syllables.
  • As a general rule, spell nothing with a 'k' that can't be spelled with a 'c'
  • Back-to-back 'e's are forbidden.
  • Vowels are not interchangeable; pronunciations have meaning.
  • No matter how clever you think you are, you aren't going to invent a new name that suddenly everyone else will want to use.
  • Giving your kid a name from a dramatically different culture can be cool, but only if you know its background and meaning, not because it has a lot of 'y''s, 'k''s, or 'h''s.
  • Your child's name belongs to then, not to you. It is not an outlet for your creativity. What you think sounds cute when they are five years old will not be when they are twenty.

My own suspicion is that most bad baby names tend to be foisted on kids whose parents are in their early 20's from strictly patriarchal backgrounds, where the mother has been taught to obsess about parenthood from birth and the father would just like you to pass him another fuckin' beer please.