Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Baby By Any Other Name

I saw a birth announcement the other day and groaned. In recent years, I’d learned to accept the flood of trendy tots named Madison, but this was my first Madicyn. If you care about spelling, my advice is to pour yourself a stiff drink before untying that pink or blue ribbon and reading news of the blessed event.

In a similar vein, leafing through the newspaper these days is like crawling through a minefield of makeshift names. An article will catch my eye — say, something about a tornado that just missed ripping through a preschool beauty pageant — and I dread what’s coming next. They’re going to interview the pint-size witnesses, and I’m about to meet little Brittney, Brittny, Brittneigh, Brit’nee, Brittani and Bryttney. If you absolutely have to name your child after a rugged French peninsula, then get out a dictionary and look it up. It’s Brittany.

Brittney, Brittny, Brittneigh

There was a time when what a named sounded like is what mattered, now it's all about the spelling. And I have a question; if your parents named you Brittani and as an adult you want to spell it Brittany, why is that considered a name change? It's the same damn name! Again, in the old days not that long ago (we're talking 19th century, even, but certainly before that) there was no standard way to spell any name, and the same person might see their named spelled multiple ways, but what mattered was how it was pronounced. That's why if anybody says to me "Make sure you spell it right", I tell them to go take a flying...

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