Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dear Diary: A Douche By Any Other Name

Dear Diary,

I've noticed something about people's names. Any dude who has a hoity-toity sounding name is someone I instantly judge. I'm talking about guy whose name makes them sound like the antagonist of an 80's teen comedy. Hunter Chillingsworth. Brooks Haverford. Bryce Harper. Preston Michael Ellsworth. When I hear a name like that, my brain instantly thinks, "Ugh. Really?" As though it's that guy's fault for picking a name that makes him sound like a prep school asshole. It's dumb. It's his parents' fault. I should be thinking, "Ugh. Your parents make poor decisions."

Image result for 80s teen movie villain
Stan Gable shortened his name from Stanley Gable
in an attempt to correct his parents' poor decision.
It's the whole name that creates the effect. Preston, Bradford, and Ellis on their own do not ooze Pretentious Douchebag. The last name tips the scale. Add Du Pont, Montgomery, or Wattsley after those names and you've got yourself a lacrosse loving, ascot wearing punk. For example, Ellis Jackson sounds like a dude I would want to hang out with. Ellis Du Pont sounds like a seventeen-year-old with strong opinions on unions.

I believe that parents have a responsibility to their children to scrutinize any potential name choice. Adopt the mentality of cruel school children and run that name through the ringer. Game out all potentials insults that could derive from it. Are you a heavy-set person considering naming your son Matthew? He might be called Fat Matt. Thinking of the name Ronald? Your son will be accused of being a fast food clown from the ages of 8 to 16. You can still use these names, but you need to be aware of what's coming down the pike and raise a mentally strong child. And definitely don't hang your kid out to dry by making their name sound like a joke to begin with. If you're last name is Candle, then you shouldn't be naming your son Randall. If your last name is Finger, then the name Amanda is not an option. Kids will always go for the low-hanging fruit. Don't hand it to them.

Which brings us back to names that belong to people who are 27th in line for the British crown. These people's parents either didn't realize that putting a ritzy sounding first name with a ritzy sounding last name would make them sound like stuffy assholes or their parents didn't care. But for some reason my instinct is to be wary of Rutherford Farthington and not his parents. It's not his fault. Maybe that instinct comes from the idea that people are shaped by their names. I don't know how true that is, but would-be insightful internet listicles certainly claim that it's true. I do agree that anyone with a unique name is more likely to have a sarcastic sense of humor due to years of hearing people try and be clever about butchering their name. But are people with pretentious sounding names more likely to be pretentious assbags? Maybe. But we still need to resist the urge to judge the name holder. They didn't make the choice. Their only recourse is shortening the name to something better or trying to force a nickname, which as we all know rarely works.

The real moral is, if you name your son Ambrose he's either going to be in an art rock band or really into investment banking.



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