Monday, August 30, 2010

Be kind to your children...

You may find this offensive. Just a head's up...

In my line of work, I come across all kinds of names. Some are old fashioned (George, Edward, Timothy), some are classics that never go in or out of style (Elizabeth, Mary, John, Charles), some are "creative" variations on a classic, some are just plain made up and some are so ridiculous that I wonder if the parent naming the child realized what they were doing. I've even seen someone named after a breakfast food.

Do your child a favor and stick with, if not a traditional name, at least one where the pronunciation corresponds with the spelling. I once had a name come across my desk that was made entirely of d's, v's, q's, r's and k's along with a couple of apostrophes. No one in the family could agree upon the actual spelling or how to say it, just that there were no vowels involved, not even a y.

Sometimes I think if I see another variation of Brittany I'll scream. I've seen Brittany, Britany, Britteny, Britney, Brittney, Briteny, Britnee, Britni, Britknee and Brit'nee. Every time I think I've seen all of the possible variations, someone comes up with another one. (And I thought the variations of Katherine were bad. Sheesh!)

Trust me, stick with the common or common sense spellings for your kid's name. It will make their life much easier. I'm a Katharine. Not the more common Katherine. Katharine. At some point, my name was misspelled in a school board data base. When I got to kindergarten, I could already read and write. They insisted I was spelling my own name wrong and made me relearn it the way it was on their roll books. All through school it was spelled wrong on all of my official papers. Finally when I was senior, I pitched a big enough fit that they fixed it so it would be correct on my transcripts and diploma.

For a long time I resented my parents for giving me a name that so many people had trouble getting correct. And the Katharine spelling isn't uncommon, it's just not the most common. Now I think it's cool - Katharine Hepburn spelled it the same way and she was so classy and smart - but growing up, it was a challenge.

Think about it this way: You're at a bank applying for a loan. You sit down at the loan officer's desk and see the name plate. It says Britni Jones. Are you really going to be able to take that person seriously or are you going to be wondering what that child's parents had against them to do that to their name?


  1. Of course my name and Anabelle's name are both difficult to spell!

    But I once heard of someone named (phonetically here): in Orange Jello. Evidently, the mom saw a box of Orange Jello in the maternity ward and decided that would be a good name.

    And, in a small town in north mississippi, I read a birth announcement for "Marina Dale Raye Smith"......NO LIE!!


  2. Phyllis, I've heard that one, too. As well as Nosmo King (No Smoking), lol.

    Was the Marina Del Rey in Brandon?

  3. too funny. A few years ago I came across the birth announcement for a little girl. I can't find it anymore, but it sounded like / was spelled like "Said De Nasty Champagne". I really wish I could find it. Saide'nasti or something like that. It was on the refrigerator for years.

  4. My brother told me about a student (I think in a friend's class) named La-a (pronounced "La-dash-a"); I knew firsthand someone named Lasagne (yes, pronounced lasagna). But there are several things on this list that are worse:

    I've always been particularly amused by VulvaMae and Jennyfivetina and K8.

  5. I was trying to be non-specific about some of them because of work, but I find I have to share!

    The breakfast food reference I made was Quiche Lorraine - spelled that way and everything - although I'm almost certain it was pronounced "Keisha".

    April, I'm betting that first name was probably Sade, like the singer.

    Candace, I've heard of La-a before; I think if I were that kid, I'd just spell it all the way out. And, I'll be sure to check out that website. It sounds hilarious.