Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Naming rights require naming right

Many years ago I was taught that there is no improper way to spell a proper noun.


My first name is a perfect English analog to the original Hebrew version.  Anyone who spells it “Micheal” deserves an "F" in spelling. Anyone who spells it “Mykul” is being innovative and denying history but not making a spelling error. At least there’s no doubt about how it’s pronounced. My first name is certainly not pronounced like the letters M-I-C-H-A-E-L seem to indicate. I’ll allow Mykl, Mykul and Mikal to exist, but not MiQuale, M’quil, Miquail, Mykell or Mykale.

I find it ironic that the first name of Mikhail Poopy-Head Gorbachev, last leader of the officially atheist USSR, is pronounced so closely to the original Hebrew Biblical mee-cha-ayl, which means “who is like God.” I wonder if he knows or cares. (I’m talking about the real Russian pronunciation, not the lame Americanized “mee-kale.”)

The first name of basketballer Isaiah Thomas (up at the top/left) should not be spelled "Isiah." His parents fucked up. Condoleezza could shed an "e" and a "z" and not lose anything important.

Parents can create kids, but don't have to create new names or new spelling. Parents should not give kids gender-neutral names like Morgan, Pat or Randy until someone decides that ALL names should be gender-neutral.

If the parents of a new girl like the name Michael, name the kid Michelle or Michaela -- not Michael (as in Michael Learned, up above/right).

My sister Meryl (a little older than Meryl Streep) and our Aunt Fanchon were cursed with weird names. Meryl has a granddaughter named Jacy. At first I thought the name was weird (and I kept thinking about JC Penney), but I've gotten used to it. It's short, easy to spell, and there is little doubt about its pronunciation. Those are very important nomenclature requirements.

(Jacy and brother Dylan decided to name their FEMALE dog "Leroy."  When Aunt Fanchon was a kid she had an invisible friend named "Sanny Boy." I'll allow kids more freedom in naming than I'll allow parents.)

First grade is tough enough without having to explain that "D'gixx73PPP" is pronounced "Billy" or "Sally" or that "DW" doesn't stand for anything.

Hear Johnny Cash sing about A Boy Named Sue. (Not the only version)


Gorby photo from http://www.thetimes.co.uk. Thanks.

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