I have already confessed in previous blog entries that I find names an utmost fascinating topic. I think that the concept that our basic and first identities are founded in a string of letters formed together to make an identifying word - name - so interesting. Sometimes I get so caught up in thinking about this that I'll repeat my own name over and over to myself until it sounds even more unusual than it already is, and I get a little dizzy trying to comprehend it.
In trying to consider such a thing, I find myself getting truly enraged at how little parents seem to care about the responsibility they have to their offspring to give them a name which will stand the test of time and adulthood (while first being acceptable at infancy, childhood, and adolescence). That being said, I also wonder, "well, I mean, what is 'normal'? Who is to say one name is worse than another?'" but then ultimately decide that, no, I cannot fight for some parents' rights to choose a name, because the name they have chosen is hideously offensive. Plus, take a look at what research indicates.
At one school I worked at I began a list of terrible names which I came across (all students wear name tags in this post 9/11 and school shooting America of ours). Names such as:
A lot of names I started writing down weren't even for their audaciousness, but rather that they were pretty common names spelled illiterately (or creatively, whichever way you want to look at it).
...a lot of "ee" names now that I look at it...
This got me thinking. One day while Peter and I were both working (this was in the days when I was his boss at the RWC) we compiled a list of the most usual names we could think of and then went about destroying them past recognition. These were our top 2.
Djöhnne Dayvyd (John David)
Saêruh Uhlyzabef (Sarah Elizabeth)
The art and beauty of these two names is that verbally it seems that we have given classic and common names to both of our children. Their names will be universally recognized upon introduction, with no "Sorry, what was that?" or embarrassing mis-pronunciations by relatives who really should know what their names are, but have forgotten because they don't know Pokémon characters or names of Peter's and mine creation. However, Djöhnne Dayvyd and Saêruh Ulyzabef will still be able to empathize with their peers who never have been able to pick out their own personalised souvenir at tourist attractions, and will learn to explain their names' spellings in the same breath as they say them, (i.e. "Djohnne D-J-O (with two dots on top) -H- double N- E" etc.)
This, I truly believe, is a compromise that provides our children with both universality and Younique-ness.