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"Check this out." Owen held up a newspaper. "A local school is grouping new students by name."

"What's so unusual about that?" Gwen looked up from her work.

"There's the religious; gods, demons, saints, a couple of Mohameds and a Willow. The traditionals; Marie, Sanjeev, Alexander and the like. The last group is has-been celebrities; including one poor kid lumbered with Callista and nine Britneys, all with different spellings. I pity whoever gets that last class."

"Why, they're just kids?"

"Can you really see Brit'Nee, with a star over the I, having a career as anything but a prostitute?"


tw100challenge #45: demons


23rd Oct, 2007 07:58 (UTC)
I cringe whenever I see an "imaginative" spelling of a name ... as if kids didn't have enough problems with growing up as it is.
23rd Oct, 2007 21:01 (UTC)
I adore strange names, but the stupid spelling just to be unique leaves me cold. I always wonder how many kids change their names when they're older or demand to change them as kids because of it.

While my name isn't spelled particularly weirdly, I changed the spelling when I was twelve because it annoyed me. I changed it legally much later. There's probably more people than you'd expect who do it and it's only the one's who elect to change to something odd you notice, the one's who change to blissful normality slide right past the radar.

One thing I do know is that, while corporations and government departments can be a bit wacky if you do something odd with your name (two word last name, weird apostrophe placement, no last name), they are quite happy about it. You try going through life with the moniker of John Smith and they assume it's a fake name and can get quite difficult.
24th Oct, 2007 18:04 (UTC)
It's true, the *too* normal names can cause plenty of problems. I know a guy who's constantly being harassed because a scumbag little crook living in the same town has the exact same name as him, including middle name. I like my name because it's not so unusual as to get me double takes and snide comments, but not so common that I'm constantly being confused with someone else.

On the other hand, a few years ago someone congratulated me on the new music review column I was doing for a local news magazine. It seems I'm not the only Mark Hunter who writes in Northern Indiana.

Deliberate mispellings always drive me crazy, but one has to be careful with that when it comes to names. After all, it's sometimes hard to tell what the original spelling actually was; I might be complaining about a spelling that's been around for hundreds of years. Still, inserting a Y instead of an I just to be "cute" isn't my idea of intelligent parenting ... and don't get me started on those idiots in Hollywood.