Friday, May 9, 2008

What's in a name?

"The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers." -Marshall McLuhan

While you may think this post has something to do with my new name, it does not. I am very pleased with my new name and have embraced it fully, although it sometimes takes me a minute on the phone to give the right name.

Rather, this post has to do with the names that parents choose to give to their children. I am constantly amazed at the seemingly thoughtless act of naming a child. This is their name for crying out loud, what they will be known as for the rest of their life! In Utah, the pattern seemed to be to come up with a "unique" spelling or creating a "new" name. (Now, some of you may be thinking that I, of all people should not discuss the spelling of names. But--I did not choose the spelling of my own name and I was also born 20 or so years before this craze came about.)
Now that I have worked in children's hospitals in 3 different states, it's evident that this problem stretches far outside of Utah. I currently work in the PACU (recovery room) and so we have an operating room schedule with every patients name on it. Typically we scan the schedule for names we may find entertaining. Today was no different but the amount of names was absurd. Here is a sampling.
This is not a joke. These are some of the names on the schedule today. All in one day. Jackpot. (that's not one of the names.)


Seriously? Drusilla? Seriously? Now, this is not an attempt to offend anyone who may know a child with these names or maybe even named their child one of these names. It is just my own little brain trying to grasp what drives a parent to name their sweet little baby Drusilla or Zayben. Maybe you can help me understand. Please, anyone....

"People's fates are simplified by their names." -Elias Canetti