Now, I’m all for originality, but let’s not screw up the kids, eh? I mean, being original is fine when it comes down to choosing to have a barcode tattooed onto your forehead (although it’s been done before) but when it means calling your child Barcode, then that’s a different thing altogether.
There have been plenty of stories recently about people calling their kids stupid names – remember Tallulah Does The Hula From Hawaii, anyone? Or the twins, Benson and Hedges? But it is not these that concern me the most.
What worries me more than anything is the proliferation of totally made up names. Names that have come from nowhere and mean nothing.
Often it is just a single letter or part of the name that has been changed for effect – Latasha, Shanita, Jelissa, Jeswald, Natrick.
And then there are the names that have had a bit added to them – I give you LaDawn, ShaLisa, LaTanya. I’ve met a LaCorey and a DeJohn. Really. I have. And don’t get me started on D’Shaun.
But the crème de la crème – the totally made up names. Those that have truly been thought up on the spot by the parents. Let’s have a round of applause, ladies and gentlemen, for Quanesha, Tyaishia and Shalonna. For LaCrasha and Trinique and Keyair. And for my very favourite – ShaQueen. Beautiful and understated, I think.
Really, these are all names that we encountered during our big American road trip in ’07. It got to the point where we were so startled by some that we started to write them down.
But it’s not just in the United States that you find this. In the UK you don’t have to go far too find an Aimii, a Cydney or a Mishell. Bad spelling or innovation?
Whatever happened to George, Julie and Peter? Normal names for normal people.
I thank the Lord every day that my parents had the foresight to give me a normal name. They gave me a normal, everyday, easy-to-spell name.
I'd tell you what it is, but I prefer it if you just call me Sir.