Monday, July 5, 2010

By Which I Offend Nearly Everyone, Even Star Wars Fans

If you haven't been around long enough to hear my opinions on baby names (1) boy, you must be new around here and (2) be prepared to leave in a huff. Because I'm going to lay it out how I see it. And there is a very high chance one or more of your children's names will be on my not-so-favorite list. I'm sorry, in advance. But since my readership has plummeted into the wee single digits already, I figure it's as good a time as any to get on my child-naming soapbox.


1) I am not a fan of using trendy names. Personally. I know a lot of people are. That's how they become trendy. But for me, I just prefer something a little less common. What is a trendy name to me? It's the name that you hear all the time, the one that is shouted from every playground bench and into the bottom of every McDonalds playland tube slide. Often trendy names are last names made to be first names. They tend to end in -en/-on or -er/or, especially for boys. For girls, they can be last names too, but lately they tend to be cute old-fashioned names that have come back in style... with a vengeance. It's sad about those names. Because on their own I probably would have really liked each and every one of them. But once they reach the top 100 in popularity nationally, forget it. Overplayed is not my thing. It might be your thing. And that's OK. But I just can't do trendy. (Seriously, though, there are some very cute names on this list! So I'm not saying your child's name is ugly. )


2) I strongly dislike made-up names. You've heard a lot of these too, especially if you live in Utah. They sound vaguely familiar. They might use syllables from more popular names. But then the ending is changed, or part of another name is added, or they are made up altogether. These names are born of good intentions, I believe. A desire to be unique and different is something I can relate to. But once names become too kreeaytiv, I just can't abide them.


3) Which brings me to my third category: I despise, DESPISE alternate spellings for common names. In my mind, it doesn't show more creativity. Or make the child more unique. All it does is confuse the poor kid when they are learning to read and write, and cause every human being for the rest of their life to spell their name wrong. Again, I apologize if you are in the camp of loving unique spellings for common names. (Your name is probably Lisa or Jennifer or Heather, right? You certainly didn't grow up having to spell "A-R-I-A-N-N-E" twenty times a day, I'm guessing.)

So in the end, the best names, in my book, are usually traditional. You've heard them before, but not often. They are easy to say, spell, and remember, but they are slightly off the beaten path. And they are definitely not common enough that there will ever be multiple children in the same classroom with that name. (Irony approaching. Be prepared to mock.)



There is an actual plot to this blog post, though. It's not just a friend-losing post. So if you haven't been infuriated yet, read on?

After quite a lot of do-si-do-ing with this school and that, charter vs public, morning vs afternoon, I finally got Daphne into a charter school that I am reasonably pleased with, and, more importantly (FAR more importantly), I got her into the afternoon class of Kindergarten for the fall. HALLELUIA. So this week I got the class lists from the Kindergarten teacher.

The first thing I noticed when I got them was the plethora of uber-trendy names present: (Click to enlarge)


What jumped out to me next was, of course, the horrific spellings of common names. There were some doozies on the class lists. (Click to enlarge)



As I scanned down to Daphne's class, you can imagine my horror when I saw this:

Not only is there another Daphne in her school, and in her grade, there is one IN HER CLASS--after we specifically chose the name Daphne on the likelihood of there never being another Daphne in her class! AND the other Daphne is right next to her in alphabetical order! You could have scraped my chin off the floor with a spatula. (On a more pleasant note, I can't wait to meet Daphne W's parents and see what their other kids are named!)


The last thing I noticed, as I scanned through the lists, was this I-KID-YOU-NOT name. I didn't make this up. It isn't a type-o. Take a look-see....



Well, after all I said above about kids' names, I take it all back. Name your kid whatever you want! Name them any variation, any spelling, name them the #1 name in America spelled with all the 'y's and 'x's you want. Because from now on, any name beats R2.

Except...maybe... Renesmee.

25 comments:

Tiffany said...

Hilarious post. I love your theories (and I'd like to say for the record, that I had a Max before everyone else decided to use the name!), but I am dying over R2. DYING!

And we didn't even get to "Kyle Anne" on the list. WHAT THE?

The Boob Nazi said...

R2 has to be a joke of some kind!!!!

Jen said...

R2 huh! NICE maybe they will be best friends!!! ;) I was and wasnt surprised to see Brighton or Bryton, down here in Houston no one knows that name, but I guess there is the ski resort there in Utah. Thats what most people say when I tell them the name (if they ski) Oh like the ski resort in Utah? I sigh and say yeah. lol

Daphne is showing up more and more now too. Just like Mason, I didnt hear many Mason's before we named Mason Mason, but now they are EVERYWHERE!!! I hated having 4 Jennifer's in my graduating class of 64. So I did not want that for my kids, hopefully that wont happen, but I wouldnt doubt it.

Mrs. Organic said...

Maybe his name is really "R squared"?

My friend works in Peds and sends me the funky names she comes across. The latest? Dragyn Hunter.

Soul-Fusion said...

hilarious! I can't be offended or even join the conversation since I don't have kids but I will say I enjoyed growing up with a unique name (Alyssa - though it isn't so unique these days) although the constant misspellings and mispronunciations got frustrating. Especially when the spelling is phonetically correct and my high school English teacher could never quite say it correctly. All year.

jennie w. said...

R2 is pretty much my favorite name ever!

barbara bledsoe said...

My daughter babysits a little 3 yr old here in Austin named G3.

Maybe it's something new - a new trend.

Karyn said...

On Daphne.... You can thank Scooby. And the fact other people are trying to find less usual names.
I don't mind made up names or unique spellings so long as it makes sense and aren't offensive or are fads. I do not like those that name their kids after objects- like Placenta or Candlebria. Or the same first name like Robert and different last names. (Each had different dad's.) And those are true examples.

Rachel Sue said...

I pretty much agree with you 110%. I knew a little girl in Idaho named Bruklin. (Brooklyn.) It took me a long time how to figure out how to say it by looking at the spelling. And then I was talking to my sister in law. Her daughter's best friend is named Ransom. Not joking. 1. It's a girl. 2. Seriously? Do you know what that word means? And I honestly don't know how they spelled it but I wouldn't be surprised if it was something like Ransym. Honestly.

Charlie said...

don't get me started on Renesmee.

I actually agree with you on most points. A lot of the "trendy" names I didn't think were trendy, but maybe I'm too stuck in my generation. (When I hear "trendy" I think things like Katie, Jason, Brittany, Kyle, etc.)

And for some reason I really like the name Matthew, despite its over-use. I probably won't even name my kid Matthew, but I like it.

Honestly, your sister has some of my favorite names. York, Finn, Adelaide, and Jasper are fantastic names, I think. (Though I imagine Jasper will become more popular thanks to Stephenie Meyer.)

I'm also really surprised there's a second Daphne! The only other time I've heard of Daphne was on the TV show Frasier. I still remember how disappointed I was when I reached 7th grade and had another Charlie (well, "Charlee") in my class...

Charlie said...

Also, not to be a comment whore, but people overuse Ys way too much, as seen in the alternate spellings. I make it a mental note to use Ys as seldom as possible when naming characters in my books, ha.

Kristina P. said...

I could not agree more. And that R2 has to be a mistake. Right? RIGHT?!?!@?!

I actually really like old fashioned names, excpet they are starting to be trendy again.

Nicki said...

I hope you get to meet R2's parents at some point - I'd love to know if they have any more kids and what they named them!

just call me jo said...

I used to be a teacher. Nothing shocks me in the name game. Most people are lunatics. That's the best excuse I can come up with. I agree with you in total. (I can't even say "totally" any more...) I want to throw up every time I hear a name with Bella anywhere in around or through it. Renesmee is almost as idiotic as they come. There are many names I hate just because I associate them with a kid who was a monster in my class. My daughter wants to name her new one Wyatt. Blech!! Sorry, child of mine, but I see a fat, pimply-faced kid. I csn't help myself. (And don't be silly enough to think I didn't tell her! Tactful I ain't.)

Lyns said...

I'm with you on pretty much everything--except we didn't choose traditional untrendy names for our kidlets. We didn't choose trendy names either--in fact I can say with 100% honesty our kids names are not even in the top 500. Our daughters is like 687 and our son's is like 749. (Yes I'm a total nerd and HAD to look it up)
I despise "unique" spellings FTR...no bueno.

But I may use the word verification just for fun. Who wouldn't love the name "Emedooke"????

Amy said...

I had to share a name practically every year. It's not the worst. At least it wasn't spelled "Aimee". I got irritated the other day when I went to McDonalds and they wrote "Aimee" on my receipt. I'm like: shortest distance between two points dude.

Recently I was contemplating what would have happened had I taken a page from Twilight and combined names for my children. I suppose that DD would have been "Kathelin" (Kathy and Elin) and DS would have ended up being "Grag". (Greg and Ragnar aka Rag). Kathelin pretty. Grag, not so much.
My best advice to anybody reading is don't plan on having your child go by his/her middle name. Worst idea ever. Somehow I got it in my head that "Alexander Quinn" sounded nice whilst "Quinn Alexander" sounded too much like Queen Alexander. What can I say? I was hopped up on pregnancy hormones.
Don't get me started on Bjorge.

Amy said...

Speaking of twilight, I'm afraid Jasper isn't going to be so unique for long. :)

Katie was going to be Emma. I found this name cleaning out estate planning files for my old boss and I fell in love with it. It was unique until the "Friends" got to it two years before she was born. ***** them.

alex dumas said...

Even if I had children, I don't think I could be offended, because I have to agree on general name silliness. Good thing my siblings have had the sense to use normal names for their children.

bel said...

Oh, please tell us when you find out if R2 has brothers and/or sisters and what their names are.

Very funny!!

Amy said...

I agree that naming a child after a Star Wars character is sorta lame. But to name a child after a character on Star Trek- especially a character as awesome as the omnipotent Q- is nothing but kewl. Now naming a child "Q" is a little weird but something that begins with Q. Ain't no coincidence.
No, my other one wasn't named after Janeway. Though she was my favorite female Trek character.

Tyla said...

Very funny post. As a former 3rd grade teacher I was forever amazed at the new, creative spellings of some pretty basic names. And then, as an elementary school librarian, I will never forget taking roll during a kindergarten class' first visit and calling out one little boy's very normal name only to be corrected by him... "Just call me Scorpio."

Koreena said...

R2? Seriously? What are parent's thinking!? Sure, they like Star Wars, but what if the kid is more of a Babylon 5 kind on geek? It's ASKING for your kid to get picked on.

I'm shocked there's another Daphne in her class. I've never met another Daphne besides her!

Sara said...

I'm laughing my but off, only because I was one of those "make up the spelling of your child's name" so it will be easier to spell for everyone else. Boy was I wrong.

I did find it ironic that my neighbor had the same first and almost last name of Daphne. It's a smaller world than we think.

L. said...

It would be only natural if little R2s last name was Deetue.

Great blog! Enormous response!

MiaKatia said...

I'm with the crowd. Let us know what his siblings names are!