2.18.2010

Naming Your Conventions

I saw this reference to an old This American Life episode today. I'll forget most of the actual episode by tomorrow, but Evan Harris and her messianic take on the powers of The Quit will still be there, showing off with her boy-turn-girl's name, proving once again that my parents gave all 3 of their sons girl's names of the future. It might have been impressive if they were foreseeing the current onomastic sortie into appropriating male names, but they continue to maintain that they were looking to choose securely masculine names for each of us. I'm still not sure how to take that given the resulting Taylor, Evan, & Whitney. 

It's a classic lose-lose-lose situation too; for every 3 names the girls get, we get zero back in return. G1 crossovers like Ashley, Leslie, Hillary, & Whitney are already gone. G2s like Blake, Jordan, Kelly, & Taylor aren't coming back. And G3s like Alex, Jack, Drew, Kennedy, Elliot, Cory, & every other boys name ever are on their way. It's a oneway boulevard of taken names. 

I learned to stop worrying and love my name a long time ago, but that doesn't mean I've forgiven Cissy Houston. I'd like to think that we could have an interesting conversation about her impressive musical career when we meet, but we'd have to avoid how she single-handedly turned my uncommon male name into a run-of-the-mill girl's name. 

Topics we could discuss: her time spent performing under her maiden name Drinkard, the ups & downs of Newark, who she likes more—Whitney or Dionne, Bobby.



3 comments:

DarcyM said...

I would appreciate it if you could dig through the archives of telnet and find the emails between you and the audiologist. That would make my year. already.

DB/OW said...

There was a time when each of the said names, Whitney, Evan, Taylor, were impressively unique and "handsome" names (someone's quote, but don't ask for the reference). Whitney Young's parents never could have imagined a female chanteuse taking his name. The Welsh continue to shudder in their historic foundations that USians have deemed Evan an acceptable female name, and, most aghastedly, we now have Taylor's friend from childhood naming his recent daughter Taylor! Ah well...whoever said names have to connote gender anyway? Perhaps it is a strike against sexism. But, then, why don't we name some guys Deborah?

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