The Arts

The Society of Name Changerators


There seem to be a lot of bad names out there. I mean, really bad names. We`ve got ethnic names, which sound really cool but make people look at you weirdly if you are the wrong race for them. I can`t give you specific examples, because that would get me tagged as a racist person (Bu the way, I can point to friends of every race that I actually consider friends and not just law suit shields. I live in Northern Virginia, racial diversity is inevitable even in social circles.) But to give you a hint, a white person on the East Coast sounds pretty stupid with a Hawaiin name. Same with a white person and a black name- both recent true African immigrants and long established African-American`s names don`t really suite a white face. And the name Le-a (actual name of a person I`ve met, verbatim: [Umm, Mrs. Teach. That name on attendance there, you said it wrong.] “The dash don`t be silent”) on a person of any ethnicity just sounds ghetto. Especially if you say “don`t” but mean “isn`t”. But that`s really besides the point. Because things go beyond the ‘weird’ in the world on names.

Photo courtesy of Southern Mama`s blog.
Photo courtesy of Southern Mama`s blog.

Also in the world of improper use of punctuation in names (isn`t any punctuation in a name kind of improper?) are names made solely of this device. That`s right. There are babies alive in the world right now who have been emoti-conned and puncti-gravated by their parents. Yes. There are parents out there trying to name their child “Period”. As in the actual sign. As in really. (Check out CNN if you don`t believe me.)

   There are babies alive in the world right now who have been emoti-conned and puncti-gravated by their parents.

                       I remember reading MaryJanice Davidson`s book “Dead over Heels“* book and being shocked by a character with the ridiculous name Crescent Muhn. (pronounced moon.) And I thought that was one of the worst names I`d ever heard. But it wasn`t. That`s because finding all the misnamed people in the world seems to be a new trend on the interwebs. There are blogs, Tumblrs by the dozen (okay, you got me, these are a type of blogs too. But geeze, it`s Nanowrimo. Give me a break!), and news articles on sites like Huffington. If that blur of tangled links wasn`t enough to overwhelm you with bad names, I`ve even got one better. There is a website for the Institute for Naming Children Humanely. You know, because it`s become pretty obvious that not enough parents are doing that, if children with names like “Hitler” and “Poopy McPants” out terrorizing some young victim. Maybe that`s where we should be channeling more of our anti-bullying initiative`s money to. Because I think that`s something pretty scarring that you have no hope of fighting back. How can you defend yourself when your name clearly states your parents don`t care about you or were as drunk as satyrs at your birth?

That`s why I have a fresh proposal for you, world. I want to start a charity. They would give people who really desperately need it the money to get the courts to legally change their names to something decent. The “Killing Our Nasty Names” agency. We can even give this group the acronym KONN, because obviously these parents were conning their children out of a lifetime of happiness and joy. With your help, these people can hide their shameful past names from future spouses and perhaps avoid crying in shame when their name is called on Graduation Day. They`ll thank you for your contributions, believe me.

Would you donate to save a person with an awful name from untold and lifelong horrors? (“Or are you a jerk?,” is implied in the question, so no pressure or anything.)

*The book mentioned is recommended for days at the beach where you don`t really want to think too much but want to laugh maybe a little bit. It`s a little crude. And there`s a lot of shoes.

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19 comments

      1. Then I shall hold my proverbial tongue. But they are some real gems, I can promise you that. Imagine, if you will, a made up name or two accidentally being identical–even in spelling–to a dread disease, or a branded piece of industrial equipment. Truth is stranger than fiction.

      2. No, I`d believe it all right. Human nature is full of anomalies from normal behavior, that`s why we are entertained by celebrities and the news, because they are so much more different than us it makes us feel normal.

      3. Ah, these poor children. I would have to consider how best to do so without adding insult to injury; and this is the first time I believe I have used this phrase in nearly a century. Still never, I fear, has it been so appropriately applied.

      4. That is quite true. I think that this is a case where even the strictest matron would call a child by a self identified nick name which is not quite so painful. “Apple”, for example, could be turned into Alyss or Adam, depending on the child`s gender. I think it is almost our duty to call a child`s preferred nickname if their real name is so embarrassing.

      5. I`m sorry, I don`t get that at all, probably because I`m very limited in the shows I watch. Reruns of Poirot, Sherlock, Psych. Sometimes a little of the Simpsons, but Southpark is just too much for me!

      6. I try to channel my inner gradeschooler in order to tolerate the often cringe inducing “toilet” humour of Matt and Trey (the show’s creators) it is worth it for the brilliant–even fearless–social commentary. Not all have my stout heart, however : )

      1. Thank you. I am not sure if it is the work I do there that Kanzen enjoys as much as the story of love that most of my sonnets describe. And of course, My Dearest Mrs. Emeron can be found lurking about in the comment section quite often.

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