Monday, May 7, 2012

The Spelling Problem

I have noticed a  trend of spelling average/dated names differently( I won't use "wrong" because the social construct of "wrong" and "right" in spelling changes with the times, and I accept that) . on For Real Baby Names, I find that this trend is very prevalent in America. Here is a list of a few names within this trend used in the past posts from American baby name announcements. For reference, I'll put what I assume is the variant.
Haddie Florance (Hattie Florence)
Kelcie Lou (Kelsey Lou)
Kra Lanaye ( Kyra Lanai)
Lenox Jane (Lennox Jane)
Shyle Addison (Shylie Addison? That, or it's supposed to sound like Kyle)
Izaak Jazz (Issac Jazz)
Justyce Storm (Justice Storm)
Paisli Taya( Paisley Taya)
Amaree Kalima (Amarie Kalima)
Cherri Yazmin( Cherry Yazmin)
Clarisa Piper(Clarissa Piper)
Evelyne Ngozi( Evelyn Ngozi)
Preston Lyfe( Preston Life)

Listen, I'm not the world's best speller, but I would be damned if I don't look up how a name is spelled before I give someone a name. By the amount of names I've found with these variant spellings, it cannot be said that it's just a one-time thing. This is consistent. Now, the saying" this name will ruin your child's life" has been thrown around, but these names , I think, might actually have a negative effect on the child.1. They will have to spell their names constantly to the well-meaning people who think their name is spelled the traditional way.
2. People will assume the parent, maybe even the child, doesn't know how to spell.
3. The perception of "right" and "wrong" spelling will be a contentious issue. If Emily can be Emhli, who's to say bright can't be spelled brit?

I just can't get behind this trend. It sort of screams " I am trying to give my child a special name" and fails. Also, it shows a lack of value in intelligence. The parents probably, in a lot of cases, know that the name is spelled a certain way, but eschew logic for their independent tastes. That sort of philosophy has been a detriment to American politics to this day. I just...can't.Use the trendiest name ever, name your child Aidan, but at least spell it A-I-D-A-N.


 image source

1 comment:

  1. I don't mind variant spellings, as long as I can still recognise and pronounce the name easily. Lenox and Izaak seem perfectly fine to me, and these names have had these variant spellings for centuries.

    The trouble with Justyce is, should I say it jus-TEECE? Is Clarisa klah-REE-suh? And so forth. Not sure how you can even recognise Haddie as Hattie, it must be an accent thing. I'd assume it was short for Hadley or something.

    It's part of this idea that everyone must have a "unique" name, and the idea of sharing names with friends or relatives has become taboo (rather stupidly, in my opinion).

    So if you love the name Amelia, but your sister used it first, you call your daughter Ameelyah, and apparently everyone is happy. I know, it makes NO sense, but seriously that's how it works!!!!

    I know this sounds terribly snobbish, but I do find that people with brain-crushing variant spellings don't tend to come from the most academically-gifted parents.