Confession: I watch the Olympics mostly because #namespotting.
(Though I had a fun conversation about what you would compete in if you ABSOLUTELY HAD TO CHOOSE AN EVENT RIGHT NOW. Mine: floor exercise. Would it be absolutely, excruciatingly embarrassing to somersault a few times across the mat then stand up and wave my arms awkwardly? Sure. But I’m not going near a high dive/horse/epee, so there it is.)
Anyway here’s something that the Olympics often prompts me to consider. Things that run contrary to my expectations aren’t necessarily wrong. On this great big planet of well over seven billion human beings, a great many things will simply be different.
And different is actually completely, totally, utterly fine. It’s often exciting.
Angelina pronounced with hard G? That’s fine. Iosefo instead of Joseph? Again, new to me. So different. Not in any way wrong.
Wrong assumes a correct standard, doesn’t it? For a handful of matters, I am comfortable with absolutes. But it’s a tiny, tiny number. Names – and pretty much everything else that falls into the wide category of style and personal preference – don’t rise to that level.
We learn things when we’re open to the different. And so I’m going to go back downstairs and watch some incredibly talented athletes from all over the globe commit feats of daring and strength … but mostly marvel at their names.
Speaking of the Olympics, Laura points out that we’re not naming our children after star athletes these days. And, of course, we used to do this with gusto. Nadia, Katarina, Apolo, Bode. I tend to agree with her conclusion: a fragmented media culture makes it tough for any single athlete’s name to capture parents’ attention. Then again, I also agree with the first comment: Sunisa might be the name that proves Olympic triumphs can still move the needle on our children’s names.
On another related note, Never Have I Ever actor Maitreyi Ramakrishnan taught us to pronounce her name … and asks us to put in the effort. So important!
Roland, Arlo, Edith Marjorie and more amazing finds from the most recent edition of the British Baby Names birth announcements. Olympic namespotting is great every few years, but BBN provides a steady dose pretty much every weekend.
This LONG list of anagram names from Nancy has me thinking. Pairs like Tate and Etta are so subtle I found myself double-checking the letters.
Fascinated by this list of doll names from Linda at Nameberry. Since my daughter went through a series American Girl doll phase, I especially loved that part of the list.
That’s all for this week. As always, thinking of you – and have a great week!
My favourite Olympic name find so far is the Russian pole vaulter Anzhelikah Sidorova. As the Russian/Ukrainian form of Angelica it definitely fits the different but not wrong category.
OH yes, that’s SUCH a good example!