I was speaking today to a high school teacher in an urban district far away from Black Water Farm, and she was discussing the problem Certain Ethnic parents have in naming their children. Apparently, it never occurs to these people that a name is something you carry around for life, that it has great bearing upon your future success, and that it requires more thought than naming a pet. This trend was referenced in John Ross’ Unintended Consequences, only there it was a cruel game played by white OB/GYN interns to encourage poor women to give their children names like Anus Brown, or the BATF agent G.G. Jackson (nee Gonorrhea Gaily). Apparently, mothers come up with these names all by themselves.
The more benign form seems to be oriented towards increasing self-esteem… name like Holy Kidd, or Precious. “My classes are filled with royalty : Princes, Princessess, Kings, Queens,” she said. Then there are the wacky, Zappaesque names, like the sisters “LehMONjelo” and “OrANjelo” (named after popular boxed desserts). Or the possibly ignorant, like “NoNAHmee” (or, as spelled on the birth certificate, “no name”)
But the worst case came when she was subbing in a class, calling roll. “I don’t know how to pronounce this name.” “It’s ShiTHAYD.” Yes, somebody had actually named their son Shithead. Yeah, there’s one for the boardroom. What’s the matter with you people!?
UPDATE: The Hillboyz talk about this in Cleveland:
“What’s her name?”.
“How do you say that?”
“Kuh-neen-eee-ya”, the woman behind the counter overemphasized, with the DUH! unspoken.
Of course, that’s how you pronounce a name that has both a hyphen and the number nine in it.
No wonder the kids at that school can’t read. Their own names make no sense, and have nines in them. How are they supposed to read “cat” and “dog” when they are looking for the numbers mixed with letters and hyphens?