“Every Generation’s Baby Names Are the Refuse of Terrible Literature”

After spending almost a week in California (and not writing any new blog posts), I decided to get back to work and write some new posts. Just after writing yesterday’s post about Daenerys and Khaleesi, I read Alexandra Petri’s Wa Po article titled “Never mind Khaleesi” which puts fictional name fads into a historical context.

So, I’m suggesting you give it a read. I found it fun, even though I disagreed with Petri about a few names:

-When Petri writes: “Well, it can’t get worse than that horrible Edward/Jacob/Bella Twilight situation a year or so back, and then it does,” I think she’s referring to the inordinate popularity of Jacob, Bella and Edward rather than their quality as names. I think all three are fine names, though Jacob is still a top-ten boy’s name–so I’d avoid it for that reason.

-I enjoyed Petri’s comment about Paisley, “This is like naming your child Terrible Tie Pattern or Ugly Scarf.” However, I like Paisley as a name for girls (because I remember wearing paisley ties in the 60s and liking them). Unfortunately, Northern Ireland’s Ian Paisley is an awful namesake (from human rights perspective).

-Petri “prefers Paris to Londyn but not if you’re going to spell it Parys.” In my view, Londyn and other names that substitute “y”s for other vowels invite people to misspell the name and make the child wish her parents had been more considerate.

-Petri also had some good news: “Baby Anastasias stayed relatively stable in the years following the publication of 50 Shades of Grey, and the number of Baby Christians actually went DOWN from 2011 to 2012.” And, in better news, “This is the first year Adolph did not chart!”

-Petri complained about parents’ disinclination to spell Zachary (or even Elvis) properly. I agree completely.

-And finally, I love this comment from Petri about baby names:” Every generation’s baby names are the refuse of terrible literature. It is a tradition of long standing.”

 

 

 

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