Friday, November 04, 2005

What’s With These Names?

I’ve noticed there are a lot of “celebrities” in the news that I never heard of – names like Heather and Todd and Jen. There seems to be a lot of “Jens” divorcing, having babies and getting engaged. Are they different women or just one very busy young woman?

There are also too many people named “Paris” for me to keep up with and I have yet to figure out just what it is that all those “Paris” people actually do. I also wonder if, in four or five years, kindergartens will be overwhelmed with little boys and girls named “Paris.” Will teachers have to resort to the two-name identification like “Paris Jen, please sit down” and “Paris Brad, you may be excused”?

I’ve heard of Mary Kate and Ashley – over and over. Everyone in the entire world has heard of them. I just don’t know which one is which and really don’t care. With that much money, if they want me to know, they can send me an autographed brochure with information on how to identify one from the other. I still won’t care, but I can put the brochure on eBay.

I also have no clue about the names of some of the musical groups. I don’t even understand their names and it’s hard for me to appreciate their “music” when I am cringing at the sound of the few words I do understand. I wonder how some of this new stuff would “rate” on the old Bandstand. “Uh, yeah, Dick, it’s really loud with lots of profanity and you can jump up and down to it. I’ll give it an eight.”

Oh, and have you noticed that some celebs are giving their innocent little babies the kinds of names that will torture those kids the rest of their lives? I hope those moms and dads also enroll “Apple” and “Kal-el” and “Phinnaeus” in Karate classes as soon as the kids can walk. Speaking of unusual names, what ever became of “Moon Unit?”

Names seem to run in cycles. If you want to find out what was the most popular name last year check out the Popular Baby Names from 1880 to 2004 on the Social Security Online site at .

The thing that has me puzzled is why baby names are on the Social Security Web page! Even more puzzling is why is it important for our government to keep track of and publish this information. I seem to recall seeing a little booklet of baby names, along side of the astrological day-by-day forecasts, at the checkout counter at the pharmacy.

In case you were wondering, the most popular baby names from 1880 to 1923 were John and Mary. Now that is a whole bunch of “Johns” and “Marys.” Maybe that’s why a zillion young parents named their kids Jacob and Emily last year.

But there is one good thing about everyone having a name. Can you imagine the confusion if we didn’t have names? Then the most popular un-name would be “Uh-er-you-there” and “Heyu.” Well, I’m glad we settled that.