Naming game’s gone mad when spelling equals cool

This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

What’s in a name? More than you’d imagine, if online message boards are anything to go by.

Reading posts on what are effectively the online versions of the office water cooler (a place to catch up with the goss) is both entertaining and educational.

Now, don’t get me wrong _ I’m not dissing message boards, it’s just that it seems a couple of the message boards I visit regularly have been taken over by a particularly self-righteous bunch of mothers who extol the virtues of raising your children using their blueprint (because, of course, their children are perfect specimens who were walking at 3 months old and potty trained at birth), they put down anyone who has any type of hospital birth (here … bite down on this piece of leather and push, you can finish cooking dinner when you’re done), they look down their collective noses at mothers who work, saying their career is being a fulltime mother (so what, I’ve been a fulltime mother for the past 18 years as well as being a fulltime journalist but I don’t want a medal) and they seem to start thread after thread on what to name their precious offspring.


It’s those threads that leave me feeling amused but just a little bit guilty at taking pleasure in someone else’s misfortune.

Oh, those poor, innocent little babies … Blayde, Dasharna, Krisstehl, Providence and all the others.

My name isn’t particularly unusual but it can be spelled a couple of ways, which means I’m constantly having to tell people the correct spelling. Can you imagine what those poor little buggers are going to have to contend with?

It’s even more worrying when the parents start debating the best spelling of a name, looking for the most unusual spelling to be that little bit trendier then the other Blaydes, Dasharnas, Krisstehls and Providences. Just what they need.

I think the best one I’ve seen was the mum who was planning on calling her daughter Haeleee (yes, that’s 3 Es at the end) because she thought it looked “cool”.

I’m not sure which is worse, the unusual names or the common names with the creative spellings.
If you’re going to lumber your kid with a name they’ll probably want to change by deed poll as soon as they’ve saved enough money from the tooth fairy to pay for it, why not try something really different?

The Jedi religion has taken off, according to the last Census, so why not a Jedi name? The Jedi name generator will put you on the right track.

If that doesn’t suit your Mini-You, there’s also the Viking name generator, the Goddamn Rock Solid Ghetto Shiznit name generator (yo dude, my name’s Fallopian Teapot) and the now famous Hobbit name generator.

If you’re looking for a name that might point to their future career, check out the gangsta name generator, or perhaps you’re hoping you’ve bred an evangelist (I scored the name Reverend T Arsen Parsley III. All I need now is a 0900 number and a late-night TV slot).

By the way, it’s nice to see PlayStation has cut the price of its PlayStation 3 console in the United States by $NZ129. It’s good but the console is still looking pretty pricey when compared to the competition.


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