There is an article on the MSN home page today about a possible link between a boy’s name and his chances of landing in jail in the future. Nonsense, but it reminded me of one of my pet peeves these days- odd spellings.
It is difficult enough for a teacher to learn twenty names and match them to parents, personalities, and learning styles. Nowadays we must add to that the task of memorizing the spelling of twenty names that may not adhere to any traditional spelling rules at all. I understand names with ethnic origins. What I do NOT understand are names that are just spelled in some random fashion because parents think that will somehow make their child unique. Here are some actual examples from years past: Jon, Alecsander, Mari, Austun, Jasin. The MSN author’s contention is that children who get teased about their names end up bitter and resentful. I think the children with misspelled names are just going to become weary of people saying “Can you spell that again?”
I also cringe when I hear actors and actresses give their children odd names because I know those will end up in my classroom in five years. People love to copy the lives of stars! In fact they will copy almost anything. I’ve already met children named Beautiful, Cinnamon, Candy, Shady, and Cinderella.
I know names go in cycles. You can read lists of the top ten names for the past five decades and recognize trends and origins. What I’m hoping for soon is a return to the basics: James, Robert, Mary, Andrew, Paul- or at least just the standard spellings!