Name That Baby

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This is nuts. Neurotic parents paying third parties to recommend names for their babies. Is there any part of parenting we won't outsource?

Some parents are checking Social Security data to make sure their choices aren't too trendy, while others are fussing over every consonant like corporate branding experts. They're also pulling ideas from books, Web sites and software programs, and in some cases, hiring professional baby-name consultants who use mathematical formulas.

Professional baby-name consultants? Seriously? This would be only laughably pathetic if it weren't a symptom of a rejection of traditional family and religious ties.

At our parish, Jenny and I are in charge of a committee that conducts classes for parents who want to have children baptized. One of the things we do is have everybody talk about their own names and the names they plan to give (or have already given) their children. We try to hit the point of having a saint's name, though really I'm equally impressed with couples who have dear family members they wish to honor as with couples who pull them out of the breviary.

Yet increasingly, the answer to "Who are you named after?" will be "Nobody," and on top of the usual angst, tomorrow's teenagers will also have to deal with the fact that, after drafting college students and unemployed poor women to carry them, and before shipping them off to daycare 6 weeks after birth, their parents also PayPal-ed five bills to a complete stranger to draft a naming portfolio. How much more will the insecurity be multiplied when they realize that the appellation strategy consisted of misspelling a perfectly good name and that they are going to spend the rest of their lives paying for their parents' idiocy by spelling their names two or three times to every customer service representative and civil servant they encounter?

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2 Comments

Howdy, Papa Lu -

I wrote a perl script 11 years ago now to help us name our first baby & we've used it on all the others, too. We would select 10 or 20 single names we liked and the script listed all the combined full names randomly. Then we'd spend weeks or months going through the list reading names, listening for rhythm, dissonance, ease of pronunciation, etc.

Cheers -

Bill

That's pretty cool. Jenny and I sat down with pen and paper before Charlie was born and cranked out about 20 girls and boys names, but subsequently lost the list :(.

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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on June 25, 2007 12:10 AM.

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