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posted: 3/30/2013 5:00 AM

Odd names, spellings do kids no favors

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Being a very recent father, I am full of the typical joys and wonderment that come with the institution of fatherhood. It's such a massive responsibility, being charged with raising a child so he or she can be successful at life.

One of the first things for parents to do obviously is give the child a name. I am troubled by some of the choices people have made. We have all heard of the Hollywood celebrity kid's names such as "Apple," but nontraditional names have made their way into the general public. Not only does there seem to be an influx of odd names these days, but traditional names are being spelled phonetically instead of in their proper, original form.

Recently, a lady cutting my hair asked about what I was going to name my son. I told her "James." "How are you going to spell that?" she asked. Quizzically I stated, "The traditional way ...," with her response being, "My daughter named her child that, too, except it was spelled J-A-Y-M-Z." I don't know what else to say except, "What?!"

Children are a wonderful, miraculous gift to those of us fortunate to be parents, but keep in mind that the child needs to be prepared to live in the world. Part of that is figuring out how they'll fit into society. Giving them ridiculous names and modifying the spellings of those names does not make the child unique. What truly makes that little person unique is all in the eye of the beholder, and parents are there to provide guidance and teaching so that life for them can ideally be happy and successful. Besides, what parent wants to hear their kid grow up and say, "Why did you name me Apple?"

Steve Howard


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