31 August, 2011

What's In A Name


It's been building so I guess I'll just let it fly. Do you get it? I don't get it, and I'm a pretty sensitive guy, especially when it comes to diversity issues.

I had an email from one of my daughters that detailed some of the patient names that she has encountered lately. I'll just quote the good doctor (with her reactions) because I can't improve on it.

Sirus (pronounced Sirius, pesky vowels)
Nixie (rhymes with Pixie)
Xcellence (sure)
Yoav Ze'Ev (I'm sure it's something beautiful in Hebrew, but some things just don't translate)
Sol (sun in Spanish) and her sister Lluvia (rain)
Athena and Minerva (oh, yes)
Deaushanay (extra vowels make you smarter)
Nicodemus (not as good as Nostradamus but still ...)
Jacqeline (because once again, it's okay to drop some of those pesky vowels)
Letchia (only God knows how it should be pronounced)
Griselda (of all the names from Harry Potter to run with ...)

I had previously heard of Oranjello (o ran je lo, accent on ran) and Lemonjello (accent on mon). Come on! No wonder this country is on a downward trajectory. I'd share some of my students' names, but it's probably a FERPA (privacy) violation. Sorry.

What possesses people to saddle their children with these names? Life is hard enough as it is. They don't need this. No one is going to think "what a clever parent you had. Here's a job." They're going to think - as I do - "you're parents were blithering idiots" or "if you go to court, you can change that to something that might not stigmatize you for the rest of your life."

There I feel much better.