Monday, January 19, 2009

What's In A Name?

When my first child was born, his mother and I were looking for the perfect name for him. In the daily local paper, it listed not only births, but the names that the parents had inflicted on them. There were lots of Brandons and Dylans (Beverly Hills 90210 being very popular at the time) as well as Connors, Rumers and other various permutations of names inspired by America's celebrity worship. I even saw, I swear, a Wyatt Earp Cowznofski.
But that's part of the joy of being a parent; deciding what label you wish to define your child by. There were a lot of girl's names, for instance, that were more befitting a stripper or a princess than say, a doctor or lawyer. One of the great things about living in a free society is you can name your child whatever you choose, no matter how ridiculous, because when the child grows up, they end up defining the name themselves.
(We ended up naming him Wilbur, after my maternal grandfather, and took a lot of grief for it from my sister, who named her child after a character on a television show. And now, rather than be some weirdo, he is a smart, handsome and cool kid who plays guitar in his school's jazz band)
Is giving your child a name a cause for child abuse? What if you were to name your child Adolf Hitler? Well, officials in New Jersey have removed a child named Adolf Hitler Campbell from the custody of his parents. Officials won't say what the reasons were young Adolf, or his sisters Lynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 1, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie were removed from their parents, and if they have been abusive,(honestly, they'd have to be on some kind of drug to name their kids what they did) well then more power to them for protecting the children. But if they have removed them as many have speculated because of the children's unfortunate names, then they have over stepped their bounds. In America, people have the right to be stupid. It's not like his friends are going to call him by his full name, most likely, they'd shorten it to Dolph, like one of the bullies from The Simpson's, but if he doesn't really like it, he can go the route of one Zowie Bowie, and change it when he gets older.(And really, he may want to change it, because it would look pretty stupid when he has to fill out a job application)Just look at our new president, his middle name is Hussein, for cryin' out loud!
Now, I know some people may disagree with me, and that's another good thing about America, people are allowed to have differing viewpoints. And still it could have been worse-he could have named him George Bush Campbell

4 comments:

Tom Harper said...

I also thought that was a trivial reason for the state to take those children. From what I've heard, even abused children aren't usually taken away by social services unless the abuse is really extreme, because there are so many really severe cases of abuse. I can't believe a tasteless name would be such a high priority.

Snave said...

Mrs. Snave and I are not Irish, but we gave our daughters standard Irish names. Fairly common names, hard to make fun of.

We see too many cowboy names around here where I live, stuff like John Wayne Whatever, Shania, etc., or macho names like "Gage" It's brutal. Another one that's popular around here for girls is "Cadence", sometimes spelled with a K.

But I suppose parents, without penalty, should be able to name their kid something like Doofuscheisse if they want... or Warthog McSchitter McGee, or Headcheese Liverwort Big Gruntzy Smith, or whatever. After all, I think kids can legally change their names when they are 18, can't they? At least in some states I think they can by age 18.

Kathy said...

If the name really prompted their actions, shame on them for diverting resources away from children who really need saving.

I personally don't like the name they chose, but I also know from experience that my own children didn't care for their names at certain points in their lives, and they had average names like John and Mary. Children always find ways to ridicule names if they want to.

Ripping a person away from his family over his name seems pretty extreme, and it probably causes more trauma than the name itself.

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