Friday, May 29, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Apparently, my recent column on weird people names struck a nerve. There are strong feelings about alternate spellings — Soozy, Mychal, Stefanee, Arika — and “made-up” names— Diggery, Moon Unit, Lea (I’ll explain later) and so forth.
One reader wrote: At my job, I take appointments, and I’m required to write down the person’s name with correct spelling. The strangest spelling I’ve ever seen is the name “Susie”— spelled “Siouxzy.”
That poor girl would automatically have to spell her name every time! He continues:
From a reader named Jo Ellen: Two true stories from a niece who worked as a nurse in a St. Louis, Mo., hospital: A baby named “Le-a.” Want to try to guess the pronunciation? “Ladash- a.” (Note: This name was reported by several readers, as was Da-Da or “DaDashda”). There was also a baby boy named Marco. Want to try to guess the pronunciation? “D-marco.”
To quote the mother, “The d is invisible.”
Invisible letters...quite a trick. Besides, Le-a should really be pronounced Lahyphena, but maybe I shouldn't give anyone ideas.
He has some general guidelines he thinks parents should follow. I think they are pretty darn sensible.
1. If you can’t walk into a truck stop or gift shop and find a key chain or a coffee cup with that name or the same spelling, then try something else. 2. You must be able to determine the gender of the child when you hear/see the name.
No more girls named Stevie, Mychal, Jordan, Chase, Devon, Drew, Kyle or, for all we know, Harold and Arthur.
There are lots of unisex names: Morgan, Tyler (yes), Tracy, Kelly, Kris (Chris), etc.
3. You must be able to say it when you see it. Use of punctuation doesn’t even come up for consideration. Le-a is out. If you plan to name your next kid “& Smith” or “* Johnson” and expect anyone to call him/her “Asterisk” or “Ampersand,” think again.
4. You should be able to spell the name when you hear it — for the most part, people should not have to ask. Let’s nationalize the spelling of some names and move on — is it Shayne, Shane, Shain, LeShane? Attention, future parents, if you have doubts about the spelling of a name, ask for help.
Different can be good, but it can also be a real pain. He has more general rules.
5. Please, enough already with using last names for first names — Taylor, Kennedy, Madison, Johnson, Anderson, Lincoln.
6. No naming kids after weather phenomena— Misty, Dusty, Smoky, Winter, Autumn (Autymn), Spring, Stormy (Stormee), Windy (Windee), Nimbus, Precipitation, Humidity (Humiditee) and so forth. Those are pony names, not human names.
7. It must be a name for people, not for objects, etc. “Apple,” doesn’t cut it, and neither does Avocado nor Celery nor any other fruit or vegetable.
8. If you get too cute with the name, you’re probably trying too hard. A reader named Derek (Darrick?) reports that a co-worker gathered these names from his Facebook account: Jermagesty, Tequila, Bacardi, Champagne, Abcde (pronounced like “rhapsody”).
I heard a young mother in a store, calling to her runaway toddler, "McCartney, come back." Obviously, I'm not sure of the spelling, although I thought immediately of Paul--must be my age.
His last bit of wisdom was about using great characters, like from the Bible, for names. Lots of pressure for Abrahams, Isaacs, and Jacobs.
Mom and I have talked about this too and we agree that if a child is exceptionally bright, friendly, and beautiful, he/she can survive a weird name. But, woe be to a child who has any weaknesses.
As I have many young nieces and nephews who are planning parenthood, I hope they read his last thought: “A man’s name is not like a mantle which merely hangs about him, and which one perchance may safely twitch and pull, but a perfectly fitting garment, which, like the skin, has grown over and over him, at which one cannot rake and scrape without injuring the man himself.”
He ended by signing, Duhg Robynson, but he could have used another y.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I'd better go now and check my Facebook page to see if anyone wants to be my "friend." Then I think I'll go out and actually converse with people for a while. Moderation in all things.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I'll be interested to see what's in tomorrow's newspaper. In the meantime, I'll try and figure out something to post that actually belongs to me.