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Maybe we need a law banning unusual names?

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  • Kevin Paglia posted at 1:18 pm on Tue, Mar 5, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    I heard Alec Baldwin is partial to the name Massimo. I thought that was odd, then I looked it up:


  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 12:12 pm on Mon, Mar 4, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    And just how many children are aware of "some very distinctive men over our history" named Caroll? Sure, the addition of one "l" separates the genders, but not the pronunciation. The same is true for the name "Gail" (male spelling as Gayle).

    Of course the point is to simply try and think of our children more than either ourselves or others in the entertainment or even political arenas when determining a good name for them. By saddling them with such gender-confusing or outright stupid names does little good for them.

    Now as far as Quvenzhané Wallis is concerned, her first name is merely the combination of her parents' first names (Qulyndreia and Venjie) and zhané evidently means fairy in Swahili; therefore there is little historical context one could possible assign to it (http://tinyurl.com/cf8zsax). But living in Louisiana might provide her with a little respite from bullies, I would think it won't last long, in spite of her celebrity status which might also not last long either. Regardless, each and every time she is required to provide her name to someone equally required to spell it correctly, the resulting wasted time will certainly consume a large amount of her lifetime.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 7:53 pm on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    I would think most parents wouldn't want their kids taunting a bully just for the sake of it. Well, that's exactly what Cage and his famous friends are doing when saddling their children with such nonsensical names. Bullies are everywhere – even in spite of the recent campaigns to try and eradicate their practices. It’s a learned thing, usually from their fathers who have no self-respect or respect for others.

    As for your theory - no, I really don't think so. These celebrities are so in love with themselves, they're children aren't really individuals - they're extensions of either their parents or things their parents are enamored with. In Nicolas Cage's case, it's no secret that he is practically in love with everything Superman. Kal-El is proof positive that he loves a mythical comic character more than his own child. As for the rest, the same applies.

    I'm not at all impressed with Hollywood or anything or anyone it releases upon us. The majority of those celebrities actually believe that by pretending to be someone they are not that they possess the qualities, intelligence and other characteristics of that character. For instance, Martin Sheen played the President of the United States in a 90's television series. Upon being asked what kind of advice he would give to George W. Bush as the new president, play-president Jed Bartlet (Sheen in character accent and all) told him to be guided by his heart. It revealed such narcissism that I was quite embarrassed for Sheen at the time; it made him look quite stupid.

    As for the balance of your theory, the best way we mortals tried to ensure our children's safety was to give them a secret word to remember in the event anyone tried to approach them; if anyone didn’t know the “word,” they were to start screaming and running away as fast as they could.. I think that makes a whole lot more sense than your “crazy name/home name” idea. I can’t imagine Nicolas Cage calling his son anything but Kal-El while dreaming of Krypton each time he utters his name.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:14 am on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    "I would expect anyone with children would want them to have the best chance at a "normal" life as free of harassment (bullying) and other adverse experiences during their childhoods"

    Sounds awefully close to blaming the victim, not the attacker (bully).

    Let me through this out as an alternatve for why celebs name their kids odd names. Had friends up in Oregon who bought a rescue grey hound. They told me the dogs had "race names" and "real names". Think about all the stalkers and crazy fans out there that do crazy things to get the attention of their targets. I WONDER (this is just a theory) if this trend of naming celeb odd names is a level of protection for their kids. The "home name", the name fans would never know, is the name the kids know. While the crazy name is a warning. This way if a stranger starts talking to Kal-el (Cage's kid) then Kal knows that the person is NOT a friend. Again, just a theory.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 1:06 am on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    I would expect anyone with children would want them to have the best chance at a "normal" life as free of harassment (bullying) and other adverse experiences during their childhoods.

    If they want to be "creative," as some here believe our celebrities may be exercising their own brands of creativity, I would only suggest that they don't use (or abuse?) their own children in the process. It's called being a responsible parent even if one believes themselves to be oh-so-creative.

    I have to wonder why those idiots who named their son "Adolf Hitler" weren't considered as creative as those who named their children other very strange names. Was CPS called in to examine their lives? Don't get me wrong here, I think anyone who would name a child Adolf Hitler to be deranged. But I think as a society we've placed our actors and other entertainers on a plane so much higher than anyone else that they truly can do no wrong - or no harm. When it comes down to it they're no different than anyone else.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 3:02 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    Sharing the same first name with a legendary car designer.

    Just proves my point, a name, glasses, overweight, under weight, poor, too rich, too short, too tall, talks funny, to smart, to slow, whatever the reason, some kids will find whatever to pick on other kids about.

    Caroll has been the name of some very distinctive men over our history, your worker had no reason to be shy becasue of his name.

  • Mark Hillyard posted at 2:13 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    Mark Hillyard Posts: 11

    The most insecure and shy young man I've ever met was named Caroll Lynn. The parents may have thought this was rather quaint but that poor guy had no chance in school. He worked for me for a while in San Mateo, CA.

  • robert maurer posted at 7:35 am on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 483

    Kevin wrote: " kids will be cruel even with normal names." How true. in 1981, I met a pretty young lady named "Michael" at lodi lake. When she introduced herself, I instinctively jumped back about 5 feet and checked her out from head to toe. She just smiled and assured me that she is all woman and got similar reactions occasionally.No problem.Fast forward to today: after living with her given name all her life, she has had to legally change her name. She chose " Michelle'. Why? Because she was getting tons of hate mail and death threats from dimwits who kept mistaking her for the politician named Michael Steele. Check it out for yourself with keywords michael steele,michelle steele, or the bangles.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:11 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    Let's be perfectly honest, kids will be cruel even with normal names. They will find a way to find to push buttons and get an emotional reaction. Growing up it didn't take kids long to replace the "P" in my name with am "F". Went to school with kids with perfectly normal names who were tormented by some creative but cruel kids who still found a way to make fun of them.

    At least with a "less than normal" name the kids will grow up knowing to be proud of who they are regardless of how others treat them. And hopefully learn to treat others with more respect than what is shown on these pages.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:01 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    "Or would these progressive parents actually permit Kal-El, Rocket, Tu Morrow and the rest to change their names simply because they were being picked on or otherwise ostracized because of sheer stupidity or perhaps under the influence of mind-altering substances when filling out their wee ones' birth certificates?"

    Maybe there is a different reason. Maybe, just maybe creative people enjoy being creative and thinking outside the box is how they got where they are in their life. I think this write-up says it well:
    According to name expert Laura Wattenberg, the author of the name guide "The Baby Name Wizard" (Broadway, 2005) and founder of babynamewizard.com, unusual baby names are likely to emerge among populations of creative people.

    "You would expect a community of creative artists to have somewhat more unusual naming patterns than the general public," Wattenberg told Life's Little Mysteries. "They didn't get where they are today by being conventional thinkers."

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 5:52 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    The column doesn't address adults having the "choice" to change their names (for whatever reasons); Guzzardi is writing about those with no power over what others will call them for their first 18 years of life. But even if it were, would any of the children’s names set forth in my previous remarks make sense if these elites were actually protesting what others felt necessary to do a half-century ago? Or are we in agreement that many of those taking residence in Southern California are downright stupid?

    But let's be clear here, those who "chose" to change their names as adults are much different than those youngsters who must travel throughout their childhoods without downright ridiculous names because Hollywood moms and dads thought they were being oh-so-intellectual sounding? Or would these progressive parents actually permit Kal-El, Rocket, Tu Morrow and the rest to change their names simply because they were being picked on or otherwise ostracized because of sheer stupidity or perhaps under the influence of mind-altering substances when filling out their wee ones' birth certificates?

  • Robert Chapman posted at 3:26 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    Bob Chapman Posts: 997

    Parents that try to form a childs name using high value scrabble tiles are setting their children up for teasing and a lifetime of having to spell their name letter by letter for everyone who needs to write it down. Doesn't make sense to me.

  • Robert Chapman posted at 3:08 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    Bob Chapman Posts: 997

    Mr. Shinn, I too advocate for less government interference in our private lives. Mr. Guzzardi's columns automatically draw a negative comments from several liberal posters on this site, regardless of the content. I smile when that happens. Nothing better than making liberals scream foul over nothing. Makes my day.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:56 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    I agree those names are dumb, Mr. Kinderman. But consider that maybe the new Hollywood types are protesting the days when actors were forced to change their names because they were too Jewish sounding, too Italian sounding or whatever the excuse.

    Would people be more likely to go see Milton Berlinger or Milton Berle?
    Borge Rosenbaum or Victor Borge?
    Doris von Kappelhoff or Doris Day?
    Concetta Franconero or Connie Francis?

    The list goes on and on!

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 11:59 am on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    I find it moderately interesting that while there are some here who lament over others unable to get their names correct, they seem equally incapable of getting others not so accurate. I wonder what kind of pathology that might indicate.

  • Jonathan Shinn posted at 10:18 am on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    JRS Posts: 9

    Mr. Chapman...I hardly see how government overreach is going to "rile liberals." I think it's the "government out of my pocket and out of my business" crowd (in which I'd include myself) that stand to be the most frustrated by a proposal such as this.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:03 am on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Of course then there's the wisdom of our celebrities who believe naming their own children "different" names might give them extra powers as they venture through their own lives: Nicolas Cage's Kal-El is one for instance. Perhaps he didn't understand that one's strength doesn't come from a name, but from one's character (not Superman).

    And how about these: Pilot Inspektor, Fifi Trixibelle, Kyd, Sage Moonblood, Memphis Eve, Prince Michael II/Blanket, Rocket Rodriguez, Blue Angel, Audio Science, Moon Unit and Diva Thin Muffin, Moxie Crimefighter, Tu Morrow, Jermajesty. Of course the list just goes on and on. Are these indicative of creative minds or just plain silliness? It's all in the mind of the beholder of course. But as Mr. Guzzardi aptly put it, "I also believe with equal conviction that children should be given every break from the beginning. An unpronounceable, incomprehensible first name is a curse." I agree.

    And to think I always thought "Jerome" was a tad too formal. Oh well.

  • Robert Chapman posted at 4:42 pm on Mon, Feb 25, 2013.

    Bob Chapman Posts: 997

    Mr. Guzzardi, not ALL who read your article picked up on anything you DIDN'T say. You have to consider the source of some posters discontent as there are a few on here who enjoy morphing words to suit their agenda regardless of what was written. To that end, PLEASE continue to offer your pieces, they are a good read. The fact that they rile liberals is an added bonus.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:34 pm on Mon, Feb 25, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    I think we ALL read this column very closely. And NOT "surprisingly."

    The title (which the LNS may have given it) states: "Maybe we need a law banning unusual names?"

    Although you did qualify that you support the First Amendment, you went on to illustrate the problems with the little girl's "unusual name" and then the rest of the column went on to support what seemed to be your contention - given the title of the column.

    I think intimating that your "readers" "not surprisingly" don't "read more closely" doesn't do much for your popularity, either.

  • Joe Guzzardi posted at 10:39 am on Mon, Feb 25, 2013.

    Joe Guzzardi Posts: 5

    IIt's disappointing but not surprising that readers don't read more closely. No where in my column did I advocate for the United States to pass a law to restrict what people name their children. In fact, I stated very clearly that I support the First Amendment.

    What I also wrote was that I found it interesting that eight industrial nations, many of them global powers, have enacted legislation that governs what parents can name their children.

    I assume most readers were unaware of that fact (I know I was) and that they would find it interesting even if they don't agree with it. More details are available on the Internet for anyone who would like to learn more.

    In my opinion, and mine is an opinion column, giving a new-born child a difficult to pronounce and impossible to spell name is the long run no favor to him. Obviously, that doesn't apply to foreign-born U.S. residents.

  • robert maurer posted at 8:33 am on Mon, Feb 25, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 483

    I'm waiting for Ol'Joe to seed another senseless thought such as a law that requires registered conservatives to part their hair on the right and liberals to part their hair on the left. He probably thought of this already, but is in a quandry trying to figure out what to do about bald people. Laws against what we can name our children?! If anything,Quevenzhane will be looked up to by her peers and some adults will probably name their children after her. What's in a name? who cares?

  • Jonathan Shinn posted at 7:53 am on Mon, Feb 25, 2013.

    JRS Posts: 9

    Why does the News-Sentinel continue to give Mr. Guzzardi a platform for this sort of drivel? Aside from the inanity of much of what he espouses (I mean, seriously - government regulation of naming rights?), he moved away from Lodi years ago. Perhaps it's time to cut ties.

  • Ron Werner posted at 2:42 pm on Sun, Feb 24, 2013.

    Ron Werner Posts: 101

    Assuming that Mr Guzzardi is correct when he says "Interestingly, eight industrial nations — possibly more advanced than the United States — have imposed strict laws on what parents can and cannot name their kids: Germany, Japan, China, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand.
    Why do you posters think these countries have done this? Joe Guzzardi cannot have that many relatives?

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:07 am on Sun, Feb 24, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Perhaps you need to hone your comprehension skills, Mr. Kindseth. ALL of the comments have to do with the topic except YOURS.

    It is not enough that Joe Guzzardi wishes to decide who comes or goes in this country, but now he wants to tell people what they can name their children - that is going way too far.

  • John Kindseth posted at 10:01 pm on Sat, Feb 23, 2013.

    John Kindseth Posts: 245

    Joe, I see a lot of comments, but none that deal with your topic.

    I think "whakkie" names have a purpose, but only with your pets, not children.

    Blogging has deteriorated since you left....or maybe not, just the names changed?

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 6:36 pm on Sat, Feb 23, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Johnny Cash : " My name is Sue - How do you do ."

    Everyone has their own purpose in a name.

  • robert maurer posted at 11:04 am on Sat, Feb 23, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 483

    [lol][beam] That was hillarious Joanne. Maybe some people need a course in ebonics. I have to laugh when some omit the first r in my last name,since it is pronounced as it is spelled. However, when my last name is improperly pronounced when spelled correctly, it sounds like someone trying to talk with their mouth full. I just want to burst out laughing when that happens, but sometimes I don't dare.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:40 am on Sat, Feb 23, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    And just for the record, I've spent a lifetime trying to get people to pronounce my first name correctly. It is amazing how many variations of such a plain vanilla name can be created. I've variously been called:

    Joanie, Joan, Jonny, Joansie among just a few. Then there's the ever popular, "how do you say your name?" to which I answer, "exactly the way it's spelled."

    And then the oblivious people who call me "Robin," because they think my last name is my first name, only different.

  • robert maurer posted at 10:25 am on Sat, Feb 23, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 483

    Ol' Joe; he taught english as a second language for 25 years and he never had students with strange names, first or last?! Unbelievable! Maybe he should have worked awhile at PCP cannery,then he would have met many people with strange sounding names that have meanings in their own cultures. I think it is enlightening and fun to meet people of all cultures and discuss the meanings of our names.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:09 am on Sat, Feb 23, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Amazing...agree with Mr. Chaney on this one. Just when will the LNS break the ties with Joe Guzzardi?

    This man spent a decade or more making a living by attempting to teach English to immigrants (he must have come across a whole slew of names he couldn't pronounce just in his classroom alone), but now that Guzzardi is gone and moved East, it's time to say good-bye.

    After all, remember how "horrified" Guzzardi was when he returned to Lodi to check up on his property and openly expressed his disgust with how "run-down" Lodi had gotten due to so many of those nasty immigrants who fueled his pension fund?

    Guzzardi seems to be making quite a good living writing anti-immigrant articles for publications nationally. Surely, he doesn't need LNS's money, too.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:49 am on Sat, Feb 23, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    Took me all of 30 seconds to find the name meaning:

    Nicknames for Quvenzhané: Nazie

    Meanings and history of the name Quvenzhané: Means “fairy” in Swahili.

    Maybe "Joe" should remember in other countries "Joseph" name is just as odd. For the record I am against banning naming kids with family cultural names.


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