Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What's In a Name?

D here.

I'll be your captain for this post. I anticipate many of my posts will be less serious and more humorous - on the whole anyway.

So if you look off to the right-hand side of the page, you'll see a poll with several suggestions for baby names. I never really thought about the importance of naming another person until I was actually faced with the act of naming another person. I mean, think about it for a minute. I am faced with the task of naming a person for all eternity (assuming we keep our names in Heaven).

The way I see it, there are essentially four categories of names:
  1. The "Oh That's So Cute For a Kid" name that morphs into "Job Application FAIL" later in life. These are the names that are great for kids. They're cute, sweet, and fit the kid to a "T". If they just lived in Neverland, all would be perfect. Unfortunately, the kid grows up and hopefully finds success in the "real world" to help pay for the retirement home he/she will send you to.
  2. The "You Name Him That?" name but winds up being "The Name of Sophistication" in 25 years. These are the names that, quite frankly, make no sense for a child. But being the progressive-minded parent you are, you recognize the value of a name down the road. Businesses will flock to your child based solely on name and not on merit.
  3. The "Of All the Names in the World, You Picked THAT One??" name. The problem with this name is that it often has sentimental value to the family. It's a name that is passed down the family tree or reminds someone of the days of old. So I get why you would want to keep that tradition going. However, and this will be the only time, to quote Rachel from Friends, "Are we having an 89-year old?" You might think it's cute, but the rest of world points and laughs while never running out of jokes for your child. This one I want to avoid at all costs!
  4. The "Now That's a Great Name" - This is category I want the name to come under. Fair and balanced like Fox News, this name works for young and old. It blends the youthful exuberance of a teenager with the elegance of a middle-aged person with the downright adorable-ness of a baby. "Daniel" is one of these names. It also is my name.
Now that we have the categories of names out of the way, let's go over a few rules for naming kids.
  1. Name them what you're going to call them, and call them what you name them! Yes, shortened names can be fun. Yes, nicknames are cute. But the reality is that you need to name the baby what you're going to call him/her. Not following this rule will only lead to confusion later in life. (Caveat: If we have a girl, I am going to have a cute name. This is 98.65% assured to happen.)
  2. Recognize the initials. There are lots of 3-letter combinations. Some of them you do NOT want to see engraved on your child's backpack. Keep this in mind.
  3. Syllables and combinations are important. You want have some rhythm to the name. "Joe Gabriel Robinson" doesn't flow well. In my opinion, you needs to have an a-b-a or a-a-a scheme syllable-wise, unless your last name is Nowitzski or Wojceihowski - at which point it's best to go with "Joe" or "Dirk".
  4. Tread carefully with "Juniors".
So as we journey toward the world of parenthood, we will be sure to keep in mind of all the rules and categories. The last thing we want to do is start a tradition of naming kids after college basketball team arenas... like Lexington Rupp... oh wait... um... never mind.

Don't forget to enter the Baby Pool-ooza contest, and while we're all about shameless plugs, you can follow me on Twitter, or my wife.


1 comment:

  1. While I like the name Alexis Grace but it reminds me of the American Idol contestant from last year who is from Memphis. Seems like I see her all of the time now on commercials and promo boards. Gavin Gafford may become Gentleman Gaga??? Get it? Gavin Gafford..gaga? LADY Gaga? Only Gentleman since a boy???? LOL!! Appreciate my humor?? Seriously, I like the names combined with ancestor names from mom and dad.