The 21st-century 20-something

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What's in a name?

I am not embarrassed to admit that for some reason or another, I have an odd obsession with names.

Any time I have a conversation with someone who is talking about a baby, or referring to 'a friend of a friend' or complaining about their boss -- whatever it is -- I have to ask what the person's name is. For some reason I think it helps me paint that imaginary picture in my mind of what this person looks like as you're telling me a story about them.

I also think names have a lot to do with shaping a person's characteristics, so once I know someone's name I feel I know much more about the type of person they are.
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Crazy? Possibly.

For example, my name is Kali, pronounced Kay-lee. Not only did my parents spell my name like the Hindu Goddess of Death and Destruction, but they apparently had a problem with phonetics as most people throughout my life have pronounced it more like Callie, because that's the way it looks. Usually on first reference I can correct people and they are mindful of it, but there are several times I have to correct people on more than one occasion. I even swear that sometimes my mom says my name weird.

Either way, the point is that me having to correct people or make a joke about the goddess of death thing or the fact that my parents can't spell, has made me a more social person and more able to make light of funny or odd things about myself. So I truly believe my name and it's spelling have helped shape my character.

So I urge anyone that plans on having children to put very careful thought into that kid's name. It could be the best thing you'll ever do for them or you could be setting them up for a life of misery and doom.

I know everyone nowadays wants to be unique and different when naming their kids, which I fully support, but just make sure it's not too crazy and you spell it the way you want it to be pronounced.

Celebrities are notorious for choosing ridiculous over-the-top names for their kids, but that's a whole different ball park. I mean, Apple Martin will be cool no matter what with Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin as her parents, so people won't even both to think of the fact that she's named after a piece of fruit.

But Jason Lee's son, Pilot Inspektor, will either end up in serious therapy or be one tough ass kid after getting relentlessly made fun of for that name. He can just make nice with Jermajesty Jackson who will also have no friends because, really, who wants to have to address their bud with a royal title everyday? Unnecessary friendship hierarchies are awkward.

I'm  a supporter of passing down family names, but I urge you to also be wary of the times. As much as old-school names like Henry and Grace are making a comeback as 'cute' vintage names, it's a lot different than dooming your kids with names like Esther and Balthasar.

As far as I'm concerned inanimate objects, verbs and adjectives are also not really great choices for a name that you'll be attached with for eternity.

I mean, to each their own. Who the hell am I to tell you what to name your kid? Maybe little Billibus Buckeye Tanzanite will have a great life with that name. Just use your judgment and be prepared for the consequences.

What do you think? What's in a name?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny article Cali... I mean Kali!

September 5, 2012 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Mike Jaquays said...

Have you ever seen the Beatles "Help!" movie where the antagonists want to sacrifice Ringo to Kali the Hindu Goddess of Death and Destruction? Suddenly I see you in a whole new light.

October 6, 2012 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger SASHI said...


If you were to search for the number of languages, dialects spoken all around the world, it would only appall and one 'janma' would not suffice!

Pal, you should be proud that your name is pronounced as Callie as she is the most powerful deity ever. Not even Shive, Vishnu, Brahma or any other Lord from nether world could match her ferocity.

Not to offend you, but your phonetics is based upon American and British transcription. For eg. my name is pronounced and even mis-spelt everywhere. I take no umbrage anymore.

October 8, 2012 at 7:33 AM  

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