Don’t give your kids shitty names

15 May

This article was on NPR yesterday. It’s about the partisan divide in baby naming. The story seems kind of shady to me, but it does make some logical points at why people who lean left name their children a certain, as well as people who lean right naming their children another way.  Of course this is not all inclusive and there are certainly exceptions to this idea, or these findings.

The article basically says that people in blue states tend to name their children traditional, classic names and that people in red states tend to get creative in both naming and spelling.

I tend to think this study doesn’t hold much water and that naming patterns have more to do with education, socioeconomic status, and culture than they do with political leanings.

As a teacher, I see lots of names. I see lots of names that shouldn’t be names. I see lots of names that shouldn’t be names hung on multiple children. I teach in a rural district, we have a lot of poverty and very few residents with advanced degrees. We have a lot of farmers, who are generationally wealthy, and we have folks who are scraping by working at Wal-Mart and gas stations.

Here, I have noticed a big trend in giving kids unisex names. Well, actually names that were boys names that have been feminized by this practice. Jordans, Rileys, Ryleigh/Rylee (these are a twofer because they are also spelled cre8tivlee), Madisons, and Colbys (yep, like the cheese).  I loathe unisex names and I think it blurs the line between the sexes, which in the job market is a good thing, but not so much so in the personal side.

When I taught in the urban district, there was a much more distinct set of naming patterns. They included a lot of apostrophes, dashes, and other punctuation usually reserved for HTML text. The most memorable of these names was a little 8th grade girl named, I’munique Sofine. Those were her first and middle names. I wish I was joking. There was also a boy who I was wrongly calling Ty-ron for three days, because it was spelled T-Y-R-O-N, only for him to finally correct me and tell me his name was pronounced Ty-rone. I was teaching remedial reading and it was no wonder to me that the kid was in there, his mother didn’t understand phonics in naming him, how did this kid stand a chance?

Now, as a left leaning person, I do prefer traditional names. Classic names. Names that look nice with Dr. in front of them. Names that are easy to pronounce and spell:

David, Mark, Matthew, Charlotte, Eleanor, and Caroline.

Names certainly make an impression. I will admit, when I hear a name like Paislee, or Blaze, I roll my eyes and try very hard to swallow the already present vomit in my mouth. Those are the names of things, not people. Honestly no different than naming children Houndstooth and Flame. Great names for bands, not so much for humans.

I must say that I am pleased my parents gave me a classic, feminine name that has served me well. My sister, she got hung with a male name that has been feminized, Stacey. Sad really.

I suppose though, if you give your kid a shitty name, I can’t do much about it and I will have to leave the hating up to your poorly named spawn when they can’t be taken seriously for jobs, schools, or prostitution.

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2 Responses to “Don’t give your kids shitty names”

  1. Debbie Stanley 15/05/2012 at 11:34 #

    I think some names are the result of somebody playing a cruel joke on an illiterate parent. About 15 years ago when I worked in Detroit, a colleague of mine came in one day and told us what had happened to his wife the day before. She worked for the juvenile court and often struggled to pronounce the kids’ names, but then she found one she absolutely could not decipher. Finally the exasperated mother said, “It’s pronounced ASH-oh-LAY, can’t you read?” The poor girl’s name was spelled A-s-s-h-o-l-e. Whoever allowed that on a birth certificate should be fired.

    • Elle 15/05/2012 at 11:40 #

      If you can’t read, you shouldn’t breed.

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