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HelpThePoorBabies.com

Thinly-masked cruelty to innocents = Fun, profit.
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Out here there's been a minor rash of tragic baby misnamings recently -- people getting together, having a child, and then giving it a painfully silly name. I suggest that there should be an organisation (and this is the innovation which changes this from a stupid, tedious rant into a stupid, tedious, marginally relevant rant) which will operate a web site to deal with this situation (thus cleverly taking advantage of the power web sites have to solve all problems) on which people will suggest stupid or offensive first names and then pledge money towards the first infant so christened. When a parent proves that they have given their infant one of the handles on the list (without adding a more serviceable middle name, which would be cheating), the money which has accrued to that name goes into a trust fund to help finance therapy for the child later in life, or for them to blow on drugs, or to do whatever they feel might help. Because of the system of pledges, the worst names would bring the greatest compensation -- "Thehulk" or "Zymurga" might get a few hundred dollars, "Corpsebreath" several thousand, and so on.

That's it, but the especially keenly interested can read on into the Appendix -- I have taken the time to enumerate certain of the benefits of this scheme:

1) The parents themselves won't directly profit and the kids will have some compensation for being called "Petal" or "Kansas"; parents may still choose silly names in order to fund their kid's education, but this is fine because: a) since poorer parents will have a much stronger incentive to do so, children may have a chance for a university education who would not have otherwise; b) on a larger scale -- since wealthier people are more likely to contribute money to a cause this frivolous, it effects a redistribution of wealth without any new taxes or revolutionary bloodbaths.

2) There will be more people with silly names in years to come, so that: a) being introduced to people will become more interesting and you will have to pay attention at parties instead of just calling everyone 'Dave'. b) people with silly names will feel less alone, and everyone may relax about the whole silly names issue.

3) The thing will feed on itself as the shock-quotient of today's stupid names declines so that there is continuous progress in this area. (Today's "Bonham" and "Tobin" become tomorrow's "Scrotus" and "Zinzinzilla".) Moreover, the pool of "normal" names will become diluted, so that "Jennifer" and "Longjohn" begin to seem equally valid and no names seem dull.

Monkfish, Dec 07 2000

Name Your Baby IUMA contest, 10 winners http://www.iuma.com/Baby/
Sponsored by the Internet Underground Music Archive. Maybe the market for this is larger and more legal in advertising than that in thinly masked cruelty. [jutta, Dec 07 2000]

"Iuma" for $5,000. (2000) http://abcnews.go.c...s/wolffiles125.html
[jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

"Turok" for $10,000 (2002) http://www.allforum...ory/topic802-1.html
[jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

But far more people do it without getting paid. http://www.worldmag...5-03/cultural_1.asp
Okay, I kind of get "Celica" or "Denim", but "ESPN"??? [jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Meanwhile, Frank Zappa's daughter "Moon-Unit" http://www.bubbaboo...mes.asp?n=Moon-unit
...made it into the dictionary complete with blue and pink and unsatisfactorily bland explanation. [jutta]

Any takers for K-8, NaLa'DeLuhRay or Turquoise Nova (friend of mine drives one of those). http://www.wesclark.com/ubn/ [jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Any takers for K-8, NaLa'DeLuhRay or Turquoise Nova (friend of mine drives one of those). http://www.wesclark.com/ubn/
[angel, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       Hm. I think you've caught me being an anglophone chauvinist. Well, proof of residency in an English-speaking country could be required (people could move, but most wouldn't bother since most anglophones are monolingual); otherwise, I think that the spread of bizarre names will survive anyway (BDH3 would surely remain unusual in other languages, just not offensive).   

       The bigger problem is name-changes. Just don't release the money until age eighteen, I suppose, and don't release it at all if the original name has been legally changed.
Monkfish, Dec 07 2000
  

       What if I just named it Paul, and bound its head? --Offers?
reensure, Dec 07 2000
  

       Wow, Jutta. I thought this idea odd (not to say offensively bad) enough that It didn't even occur to me to check. If only I had patented the business plan.
Monkfish, Dec 08 2000
  

       Neat idea, Dave!
PotatoStew, Dec 08 2000
  

       You are SO right! My very own niece almost named her baby daughter Patricia, to be called Patty. We were able to talk sense into her, however, and save the child from a lifetime of misery.
DragonMother, Dec 18 2000
  

       I knew a guy once who changed his name to Tobias. He used to be called Alan. It taught me an important lesson: my name could be a lot worse.
harderthanjesus, Jun 24 2004
  

       I both like and dislike this idea for different reasons.   

       I think it's nasty to give your kid a name like Apple, Chastity or ESPN. Sometimes I think that celebrities are required to have unpublicised lobotomies.   

       On the other hand I also feel sorry (to a lesser extent) for those with really common names. It's nice to be able to associate a particular name with one specific person in your mind. I know far too many people called Andrew, Alex, Elizabeth etc. I especially disagree with people who name a child after themselves!   

       The difficulty is a matter of separating the two. I've seriously considered the name Orion for a potential son (many years down the track), some people like it and others think it's mean. It all depends on your perspective.   

       (After consideration I gave you a croissant)
madradish, Jun 24 2004
  

       I am aware of a girl in UK called 2la (pronounced "Toola") and of twin girls called Porsche Frontera and Mercedes Jenny. (I also know their surname, but it would be invasive to add it; suffice to say that it is also the name of a brand of car.)
angel, Jun 24 2004
  

       Of course the oddness of names is rather subjective. [angel]- Mercedes is a pretty common female name in Spanish speaking areas. I know a handful of women named as such. And Porsche sounds enough like "Portia" to be tolerable. It coult be worse... one of them could be named "Volvo". Or "Ford Prefect" : )
evilmathgenius, Jun 24 2004
  

       I know about Mercedes and Portia, but given that Frontera is a Vauxhall SUV...
angel, Jun 24 2004
  

       Not wanting this to degenerate into a list but.. there is a guy at one of the other offices of my boyfriends company who is called Randy Conception. Now that would really suck.
madradish, Jun 24 2004
  

       [madradish], if you name your son Orion, can you imagine the conversations as he attempts to convince people over the phone that his name is *not* Ryan or O'Brian. My last name is "Fury", and once I get people to understand that it is not Terry, Drury, Perry, Sherry or any other such nonsense, and convince them to spell it f-u-r-y, then they will persist in pronouncing it as "furry". So I think you should go ahead and name the kid Orion O'Brian and let the fun begin!
submitinkmonkey, Mar 31 2005
  
      
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