The “Name Shame” Game
One of my biggest pet peeves — and one of yours, too, probably — is when people make fun of other peoples’ names.
Consider this blog post the antithesis of all the blog posts like this one out there that, I guess, just want to rain on parents’ parades for naming their offspring whatever they chose to name them? Although I can’t claim to be as clever as Key & Peele, who turned this concept on its head with this brilliant skit:
The argument against parents giving their kids, ahem, “stupid” names falls apart rather quickly when you ask the obvious question: What’s in a name? Various cultural traditions have different rules governing what names are given — or not given — to one’s offspring. It’s a pretty ethnocentric bullshit argument to claim that only “John, Jane, Jennifer, and George” are “REaL” names, and everyone else’s ideas are “stupid.” I mean, what is an “Elizabeth,” anyway? Why do people have names? And why do parents get to assign their child a nonsense word at birth that comes to stand for their existence for the rest of their life? And yeah, I’m aware that I sound like a 17-year-old who just discovered marijuana, trying to deconstruct all of *society, MAN!* but if you think about it, I have a damn good point.
After all, I myself, have a rather goofy name.
“Meghan” with an “H,” “Sara” without.
Two fairly common names, both misspelled by one letter, coincidentally, the same letter. I gotta hand it to my parents: that’s pretty nerdy wordplay and honestly, pretty funky for 1984.
I used to think my name was goofy, but now, I realize that the moniker bestowed upon me by my parents all those years ago has bound me to my cause. I am devoted to sticking up for people with names that others *ahem* might consider “stupid” because my name is stupid.
Maybe your name is stupid, too. Maybe everyone’s name is “stupid,” maybe the concept of running around pointing back at yourself with your thumb and declaring “I’m ASHLEY” like, “what’s an Ashley?” Now imagine the Dowager Countess saying YOUR name and yeah, all names are pretty weird aren’t they?
So maybe we should ease up on policing whatever people choose to name their kids and just let people live.
Cuz lest we forget, you can always change your name when you’re 18.