Confusing Name (Valentin) is Misspelled by Celebrity Baby Scoop, Thus Demonstrating What’s In Store for Ali Landry’s Baby Boy.

The article I read in Celebrity Baby Scoop announced the birth of Valentin Francesco
to former actress/model Ali Landry and her husband Alejandro Monteverde. Unfortunately, the headline contained a serious typo: it added an “e” to the end of the baby’s first name, Valentin, thus turning it into a girl’s name, Valentine.

If you think about it, that’s the kind of mistake the baby will experience as long as he keeps that name (and Celebrity Baby Scoop’s mistake explains why parents should avoid names likely to be misspelled, mispronounced and likely to promote confusion as to the child’s gender).

For me, the best part of the article were the comments from readers that followed. Here are a couple of comments I think are spot-on.
-“Francesco Valentine sounds better.”
-“Or Valentino Francesco.”
-“Valentine is a girl’s name in French.”

Readers picked up on the fact that Francesco was a better first name for a boy than a name that could easily be confused for Valentine, and that the Italian version of the name, Valentino is stronger and more appealing name than Valentin and a much more masculine name than Valentine.

I was charmed to read that the baby was blessed by the Pope Francis and that the parents picked the boy’s middle name, Francesco, to honor the Pope. Their son will be able save trouble with gender confusion by switching to Francesco when he gets tired of being called Valentine, but a lot of Americans are likely to have trouble spelling and pronouncing that name, too. Rating: One thumb down.

3 thoughts on “Confusing Name (Valentin) is Misspelled by Celebrity Baby Scoop, Thus Demonstrating What’s In Store for Ali Landry’s Baby Boy.

  1. Bruce, I don’t think this is a confusing spelling. I think it is a Spanish one. I made the same mistake when I picked up the headline and added an ‘e’. The correct spelling should be Valentín. Since the couple’s other children are Estela Ines and Marcelo Alejandro, and their dad is Mexican, it wouldn’t make sense for him to be Valentino, would it?

    Diacritical marks in English are challenging, and I understand if parents want to avoid them – but I also get it when parents want to use a name that reflects their heritage, and presumably, a country where they spend a lot of time.

    • I agree with you that Valentín is the correct male Spanish version of the name the parents chose. I also agree it makes sense for a Mexican father to choose a Spanish version of a name rather than an Italian version of the name (Valentino). I found it telling that Celebrity Baby Scoop misspelled the name as Valentine in the headline (though they spelled it correctly in the rest of the article). I found it telling that readers commented that they thought Valentine was a girl’s name and that they preferred either Francesco Valentine or Valentino Francesco.

      You may not be aware of the fact that that I often use celebrity baby names as object lessons to discuss baby naming issues to parents in general. (The kind of celebrities who fly to Rome to have their baby blessed by the Pope are not likely to take advice from anyone.) In brief, my post suggests that spelling and pronunciation confusion may produce gender confusion, and all three kinds of confusion are likely to be a recurring problem for the boy. (Why would celebrities act as though they have little or no concern for the welfare of their child? I have no idea.)

      Of course, I wouldn’t advise a Mexican father to choose an Italian version of a name instead of a Spanish version. But I would advise him to choose a Spanish name that won’t cause lots of unnecessary problems for his son if the family spends part of all of their time in the U.S. or in other English-speaking countries. There are many male Spanish names (Carlos, Juan, or Diego, for example) that won’t be frequently misspelled, mispronounced or misconstrued as names for girls.

      I was charmed by the fact that the Pope had blessed the baby boy and that his parents had chosen a middle name to honor the Pope. I’m glad they chose the Spanish version of Francis, because that would prevent some teasing. However, Francesco is likely to cause pronunciation and spelling problems in the U.S., if not gender confusion.

    • Dear A.M.,
      Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. When I wrote the post I knew Valentín was a Spanish name and that someone had assumed it was a mistake and added an ‘e,’ like you did. Unfortunately my keyboard doesn’t enable me to use diacritical marks when I write about European (e.g., Spanish, French, German, Swedish) names. (Or if it does, I need to find out how to do it.) Your comment about (my suggestion of) Valentino for a family with a Mexican father made me laugh.
      Without rereading the post, I think I was brainstorming about a wide range of options vs. Valentine for a boy. But in retrospect, if I’d been able to write Valentín, the mission would have been accomplished a lot more quickly and easily.
      Thanks for writing!!!
      P.S. BTW, I cut and pasted “Valentín” from your note. I didn’t suddenly figure out how to make diacritical marks. But I will write to my “tech guru” to find out if he knows how I can duplicate your typographical feat.

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