What’s in a name? For Juliet she is not concerned her paramour is a member of the rival family. At least twice she encourages Romeo to renounce his Montague surname and his family heritage. This week’s edition of #CurrentEventFriday may have a child soon being encouraged to change her name and her parent’s naming conventions.
In case you may have missed it this week, a Southwest Airlines employee landed in hot water for mocking a child’s name and doing so not just with coworkers but posting the child’s unconventional name on social media which led to much more ridicule about the name.
I’m sure many would be on the side of the mother who was angered her child was laughed at for an unconventional name. Normally, reading only a clickbait headline I’d be on the mom’s side too. However, this mother gave the name ‘Abcde’ to her daughter. Abcde (pronounced ab-city) apparently hasn’t experienced mocking or amazement in her young life, thankfully since she is only five-years old.
Now, I get that kids are always surprised when their peers or others notice something about their name, personality, or body shape and are mocked for it. Any adult over the age of eighteen who is a parent should expect that anything can and will be mocked by other children and sometimes adults. This mother’s shock and outrage that someone mocked her child’s name that is basically the first five letters of the alphabet concerns me. What sane adult couldn’t predict someone, somewhere, some time was going to mock that child?
I get it, mom chose to name both me and my brother short but memorable names that weren’t exactly common when we were born. Apparently, many other mothers had the same idea about the name ‘Ryan’ that my mother had too. I’ve probably met a dozen or so Ryans in my life that are about my age and even several celebrities with that name. ‘Ross’ still remains uncommon and I know my brother laments never being able to find any of the personalized name objects at museum and zoo gift shops with his name. Hopefully, he’s preparing his boys for the same childhood experiences. Blaize, Storm, and the new baby all have fairly uncommon names, but thankfully as I pointed out to my sister-in-law they are not ‘Abcde’ or ‘Vwxyz’ or other such nonsense. (Watch, someone named Vwxyz who pronounces it Vicks is going to get mad at me for this post.)
I’ve seen several unconventional names as I’ve subbed for a decade and I’m amazed at the creativity or pretension of parents with what name they have created or how to spell it. I’ve always said that if I have children, I refuse to be too creative for my own good. I’d like to have a son follow the naming convention established in our family for sons. I’m named Ryan and bear my father’s given name as my middle name and his middle name is his father’s first name. So, I’d like my son to be named Nolan Ryan Stroud, because I’m a baseball fan and it also keeps the First Name-Father’s First Name-Surname pattern as well. Of course, much of this conversation is dependent on finding a wife to become my children’s mother and we’ll see where that may be in the near future. Of course, if my significant other already has a kid I might not have as much say, and that’s perfectly okay.
Would name your child ‘Abcde’ knowing that others might have fun with the unconventional name? Was the Southwest employee wrong?