Tuesday, March 01, 2005

What's in a Name?

Occasionally -- some would say, not occasionally enough -- Best of the Web Today, by James Taranto and his minions, trots out silly names under the heading It's the Eponomy, Stupid.

I can't say I'd like having to have suffered through high school with one,
and we don't get to pick our names any more than we pick our parents,
but there's a difference between Christian names and surnames.

Last names, we're stuck with coming out the gate. Our only easy option, saddled with a tough one, is to pronounce it carefully.

When I broke my arm, my physical therapist was Laura Shove. She pronounced it "Show-ve." Our in-plan urologist is Dr. Weiner. He pronounces it "Wy-ner."

Well? Wouldn't you?

First names, though, parents get to choose. Some people must wish their parents had chosen more carefully. 15 years ago, I got a list of all names given to girls, in the state of Colorado, the year before. Somewhere in Colorado, there are now two sixteen-year-old girls named "Unique." I can hear the conversation now:

"Hi! I'm Unique."

"No you're not."

Today, John McMullen sent me this:

I don't know if you've ever been to Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing, but she rails against stupid baby names. Now, she pulls this down upon herself willingly by going to baby name bulletin boards and trolling for idiocies, and some of her comments are funny.

However, today she pointed me to the Kabalarians, a numerology group who will provide a vague cold-reading type of analysis of any name you enter.

Here are the entries for those popular kid names, Beer and Toilet.

Thanks, John.

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