I read an article (written by Nicole Fabien Webber, who has a blog called “The Stir”) claiming that the name choice of Ava Berlin Renner “makes the ‘map’ trend official.”
Really? I suppose the thousands of parents who named their daughters Brooklyn (#21 on the Social Security Administration’s list of Top 100 Baby Names) and Savannah (#41) last year “jumped the gun” and picked those names before Jeremy Renner and his girlfriend made the trend official.
Turns out Ava was the #5 most popular name last year. Although it’s a charming “movie star” name, it’s much too popular to use, because there will likely be several girls named Ava in Ava Berlin’s nursery school and, like most tots, she’s likely to feel unhappy about sharing the name with her diaper-wetting buddies.
Berlin is an interesting choice for a middle name. (“Interesting” is a word I often use instead of a pejorative.) It could be the place where Ava Berlin was conceived—in which case I’d say, “TMI.” Berlin is a city that’s rich in history. JFK visited Berlin and said, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” Unfortunately, he spoke German with a Boston accent and pronounced the first word “Ish,” which can’t be found in the German dictionary, but is likely to be right on the tip of Jeremy Renner’s tongue when he changes Ava Berlin’s diaper for the first time.
Is Berlin as romantic as Paris, as charming as Siena, or as fun to visit as Frisco? I don’t think so. And if Ava Berlin gets tired of sharing her name with her day-care buddies, she’s unlikely to enjoy using her middle name (Berlin) instead.
Hence, all that chatter about the “official map trend” ignores the main purpose of a middle name: to give the individual a comfortable “fall-back position” should the first name not work for the purpose intended.
As you can guess, I’m wondering how many thumbs to turn down for Ava Berlin. I’d like to say one-and-a-half, but I’ll go with: one thumb down.
© 2013 Bruce Lansky
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without proper notice of copyright.