Jazzymyn, Ehrik and Caytee walked into a bar
Over the weekend some friends kept a group of us entertained with their list of potential names for a soon to be expected bundle of joy.
What people would think of the name, potential nicknames and other couples who’d “baggsed the name” were all key considerations.
But curiously, how that preferred name was spelled did not come into the equation at all.
Naming conventions have definitely become something of an abstract art in Australia, ditto correct spelling. There’s an increasing use of “y” and “c” where there used to be a whole lot of a’s, i’s and e’s.
Creativity is one thing but the biggest problem with being too far fetched with spellings and names is the grief it causes other people who deserve a chance of actually being able to say it.
It strikes me that we could learn something from the well-mannered and tidy citizens of Sweden, who are currently fighting a law that requires a family to register their name for approval.
Established in 1982, Sweden’s Name Law, was put in place to prevent common folk giving their children noble names. Tsk, tsk. And also, to protect the children from ridicule when they grow up.
Strangely enough, their beef is not with the law itself. According to a recent edition of Oyster magazine, the Swedes are rejecting the idea that there are only 170 names on the uni-sex list. A fact that definitely seems at odds with their World Economic Forum status, as the most gender-equal country in the world.
The first part of the Name Law clearly has no place here in Australia. Quite aside from the fact that it’s a repression of the right to choose for yourself, it’d be cruel to take away what is clearly some of the most exciting tasks for expectant parents.
But I can’t help feeling that it has some value in the idea that it could protect children from ridicule and protect spelling conventions enough that other people can actually pronounce it.
Follow me on Twitter: @lucyjk
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