Monday, August 21, 2006

Dear mom: What were you thinking?

Each week, I read with barely-concealed frustration the birth announcements we run. After all, I'm not exactly named "Jennifer" or "Mary." But as more mothers (and fathers) opt for ceativity and individualism in naming their children, the names only get harder to spell - and pronounce. It used to be the only name I could think of with an accent mark was "Cherie," and apostrophes were reserved for select last names only. Now it's almost a contest to see which mother can saddle her child with the most complicated name to both spell and punctuate.
Mothers - don't you know your child will have to learn to spell his or her name? And how do you expect your little darling's teachers to ever get it right? Have you stopped to consider whether standard forms - including driver's licenses, SAT paperwork, and the Social Security Administration - are prepared to handle three apostrophes and an accent mark in one name?
What brought on this step up to the soapbox? Football season. More specifically, the name on one football roster that I still think might be a practical joke.
Somewhere in our circulation area is a poor teenager struggling through life named "Shafton Head." Think about it. Say it out loud. Then you'll understand why I'm concerned. All I can say to Shafton's mother is "What were you thinking?"

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