11 May 2010

Giving your baby a ridiculous name is child abuse

Paul Schmidtberger wrote a brilliant reader-submitted article for the New York Times (complaint box) about the latest fad of misspelling names for newborns.
... I’m about to meet little Brittney, Brittny, Brittneigh, Brit’nee, Brittani and Bryttney. If you absolutely have to name your child after a rugged French peninsula, then get out a dictionary and look it up. It’s Brittany.

I have a major gripe with the trend of misspelling baby names. On purpose. The parents’ logic runs something like this: “My child is special and unique. Thus, my child deserves a special, uniquely spelled name.” The upshot is that Chloe becomes Kloey, and Jacqueline metastasizes into something ghastly, like Jaq’leen.

It would be easy to blame this on celebrities, since there appears to be an unspoken contest among them to saddle children with awful names. Gwyneth Paltrow set the bar high when she named her daughter Apple, but not high enough. Reign Beau, daughter of Ving Rhames, and Vanilla Ice’s Dusti Rain and Keelee Breeze are way up there. For boys, could any name be worse than Bronx Mowgli, son of Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz? Perhaps Jermajesty Jackson?

Not that this is just a Hollywood problem. All across America, parents are mangling names in a misguided mission to trumpet their kid’s individuality. Take the wildly popular name Chase, which is actually not a name at all, but something a dog does to its tail. It was annoying to begin with, but now it gets worse as it slowly mutates from Chase to Chace, and on to Chayce.

Perhaps not misspelling, but rather intentional variations of already perfectly spelled out names. Everybody is unique but there is nothing wrong with conforming.

See also Things Bogans Like.

1 comment:

nate said...

Ha! I too can't stand this idiotic trend. I can't recall the story exactly, but I think it was in New Zeland or somewhere around the area that a judge fed up with this took the kid from the parents and place her on foster care after the parents named her something like "Talula does the hulahoo...." it was a long sentence. And was calling for a law to forid parents from doing this. That should be a law everywhere in the world.