Okay, I'm bound to upset some people with this one, but here goes...I think that most people are pretty dumb when it comes to naming their children.
Now, I often joke to my wife that if we ever have a son, we should name him "Fabio Francisco Lando Johnson." Go ahead, say it out loud. Kinda rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? Okay, yeah - it's silly. But is it any worse than some of the names that people usually go for?
Of course, I could go on and on about celebrities who name their kids "Apple" or "Rutabega" or whatever. That's too easy. However, I would like to point out that nothing says, "I'm a douche" more than naming your son "Miller Lyte." Apparently, that's what some usually shirtless celebrity's brother named his son. Holy crap. I guess he wanted to let people know that he has shitty taste in both beer and baby names in one fell swoop - oh, and that he's illiterate too. Mission accomplished. To be fair, his parents named him "Rooster." How much hope did he have? What will Rooster's grandson be named? Applebee's? New Coke? Dog shit?
Kirsti and I might have to do some baby naming soon, so don't think that we haven't been discussing this sort of thing. We have a few names in mind, the leading contenders being "MP3", "Spock", and "Taco". Just kidding. The trick is to come up with a name that sounds different, but not so different that people go: "What?" Now, we might wind up with a baby who already has a name - and part of us thinks that we shouldn't rename her - as she should have something from her birth parents that she keeps forever. We might change our minds if her name is something like "AC Adapter" though.
According to the Social Security Administration, the top ten baby girl names are: Emily, Isabella, Emma, Ava, Madison, Sophia, Olivia, Abigail, Hannah, and Elizabeth. Many of those are wonderful, lovely names, but as far as I'm concerned, they are all off the table. See, to me, the whole reason why you'd look at a list of popular baby names is so you know which ones to avoid. Why would you want to call your kid a name that a lot of other people have?
I'm pretty grateful that my parents went for "Lance". It's different, but it's not weird. All throughout school, I was always the only Lance in class. (Except for one year in college, where it was a huge class and there were TWO other people with my name!) Apparently, my mother wanted to call me "Lancelot," which my dad shot down, if I remember the story correctly. I believe that there were some other, more Germanic names floating around as well like "Sven," "Wotan" and "Siegfried and Roy".
Take it from me - I'm a teacher. It gets confusing when there are three Caitlins in the class (but trust me, Caitlin is a lovely name) and it doesn't matter that one spells it "Kaitlin", another spells it "Katelyn", and the third spells it "Gahetluhynx". It also doesn't help that all three of them go by "Katie" for short. Why would you want to do that to your child?
And let's not forget that if I have a son and name him "Lance Christian Johnson, Jr." that I deserve to be bitch-slapped until doomsday. Also, if he winds up having a son named "Lance Christian Johnson, III" then he deserves to be put in the iron maiden. Yeah, I'm saying it - calling your son your name is basically your way of saying, "Not only am I totally full of my own self-importance, but I'm too fucking lazy to think of anything." Look, unless you're the king of a nation, you look like an ass when you do that.
Naming a baby is hard - granted. It's tough to strike that balance between normality and uniqueness. But dammit, at least give it a little effort.