Do You Hate Your Kids?

Oh, I know. You want little precious to be unique. To stand out from the crowd. They should have their own identity and a special personality, and all that. At least that’s what you say when explaining it. Not sure I buy it, though.

Made-up ridiculous names are bad enough. You’ve already sentenced your child to a lifetime of saying, “Do you want fries with that?” But what’s really evil and insidious is burdening your kid with one of those absurd spellings of a common name. That’s completely uncalled for. For example… It’s not Kelleigh, it’s Kelly. Or, Kelli, which was the extent of silly creativity when I was a kid (get off my lawn!). Is it Heather, or Heathyr? Abigail, or Abiagael? Quinn, or Kwynn? Channyn is not Shannon. (I looked all these up, seriously.)

You must hate your kids. That’s the only logical explanation.  You must have a sadistic side that relishes watching them correct people and spell their names to everybody for their entire freakin’ lives. I mean, really, why else would you do that to them?

I read an announcement recently introducing Jaci.  I thought, “Jaci, like Macy, or Casey.”  Then I read further and saw the disclaimer, “(Pronounced Jackie.)”  Ummm… if you have to pre-emptively explain it, you’re doing it wrong.

Then there’s the extreme edge of ludicrous. Not Jacob, but Gakub. I bet he got called ‘Gay Cub’ a lot in school. I know, you’re reading this shaking your head and thinking it can’t get any worse, right? But wait, there’s more. How about… wait for it… KVIIIlyn? It’s obvious, right? This can be explained, which is good because it needs to be explained. Spelling with numbers… think Roman numerals. Not K-8-lyn, but K-VIII-lyn, pronounced Kaitlyn. 😐 Those parents should be prosecuted for child abuse.

And if you don’t know how to spell what you want? Why, just guess, like this mother did…

One of my English teachers once had a student with a name listed as “Johnhatten”, and she pronounced it as “John-hat-in” For a very long time.

One day, Johnhatten approached my teacher and said, “My name isn’t actually John-hat-in. It’s actually Jonathan.”

Apparently his mom wanted to name him Jonathan, but she and the nurse who was writing the birth certificate didn’t know how to spell it.

Works every time.

I was in line at a local hardware store one day and the teen girl who was checking me out… No, not like that! Get your head out of the gutter. Sheez!… was named Baighleigh. It took me over thirty seconds looking at her name tag for me to properly decipher her freakin’ name. Bailey, btw.

As someone who has had to spell their surname since Day One I know full well that this is a major pain in the rear end, so why saddle that rear end pain on your kid on purpose?  When people ask me my last name I just start spelling it for them, because I know that 99% of the time they will ask. (Then I get the, “Oh, just like it sounds.” response. 😐 Yes, just like it sounds) But it’s a surname, you’re pretty much stuck with it. It’s not a chosen name that you foist on someone else against their will.

Here’s the bottom line. Don’t be mean to your kids. Some countries you have to actually choose from a limited list of approved names. We don’t need to go that far, but we also need to stop making our kid’s lives more difficult than they need to be.  They will have their own identity no matter what you do, and it’ll be from their own personalities, not incidental cutsie stuff.