Complaining about ephemeral fashions in baby names is an old pasttime. So if you're going to do it, you might as well do it well. Luckily, Paul Schmidtberger delivers. The last straw for him came when opening a birth announcement for a "Madicyn." As he describes in the New York Times, he's sick of these "makeshift names." Case in point: "Brittney, Brittny, Brittneigh, Brit'nee, Brittani and Bryttney." Says Schmidtberger: "If you absolutely have to name your child after a rugged French peninsula, then get out a dictionary and look it up. It’s Brittany."
Here's the problem, he explains: "All across America, parents are mangling names in a misguided mission to trumpet their kid’s individuality. Take the wildly popular name Chase, which is actually not a name at all, but something a dog does to its tail."
In case any would-be parents reading haven't gotten the message by this point, he lays it out very clearly:
Misspelling a child's name won’t make Junior special, creative or unique. Y's and I's are not interchangeable, and apostrophes are not some sort of newfangled confetti to be sprinkled liberally throughout groups of letters. Parents shouldn’t impose cryptic, incoherent or foolish spellings on their own children, nor on society as a whole. And they shouldn't condemn their children to a lifetime of bleakly repeating that, no, the name in question is spelled "Shaiyahne," not "Cheyenne." (And while I'm at it, don’t name your child Cheyenne, either.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.