Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Baby Named Chlamydia

"What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." In a literal sense, considering a rose, it would be difficult to debate Juliet's point. (It was Juliet's line in Shakespeare's epic Romeo and Juliet.) How would calling a rose, say, a pemscrote,  in any way change its scent?  A rose's scent, in addition to its physical beauty, is the essence of the rose. Furthermore, despite the penchant of some for talking to their plants on a regular basis, there's no significant evidence that a rose grows any differently because of the way any human feels about it.  As far as we know, roses bloom and fade in spite of anything any one of us thinks, does, or says about the rose as long as we do nothing physically to impact the rose.

Humans,  or even dogs, on the other hand, are more impressionable than are roses.  If a person is perceived differently because of his or her name,  others could treat that person differently than the person would otherwise be treated. This is particularly true in formative years. What cause me to think of this is a story I heard recently from my aunt. According to my aunt's nurse friend, who heard it from another nurse who was supposedly present when the exchange took place (I'm always just a smidgen skeptical when the story comes from a friend of a friend, versus a person actually known to the  teller of the story and from whom the person relating it to me heard the story, which still doesn't guarantee its veracity, but at least improves the chances that it's not one of snopes.com's latest debunked rumors), a new mother, when asked by the hospital birth registrar what she chose to name  her newborn baby, answered, "Chlamydia."

The register responded, somewhat incredulously, "You know that's a sexually transmitted disease, right?"

The new mother sighed. "Yes, I know, but I don't think that very many other people know that, and it's such a pretty name." As the story goes, the infant girl was given the name "Chlamydia."   Despite anyone;s feelings about personal freedoms and the governmental interference  into our rights as outlined by the Declaration of Independence, dictated by the Constitution of the United States, and clarified and expanded by the amendments to the U. S. Constitution, there really should be a law against such an atrocity. No child should have to go through childhood (and the rest of her life if she lacks the financial means to have the name legally changed once she reaches adulthood) with a sexually transmitted disease as a name because her mother wanted to be different. If her mother really wants so greatly to be different, perhaps she should get a unique tattoo or even change her own name, but leave the poor baby out of the mother's identity crisis. The child is handicapped enough as it is simply by having either a profoundly stupid mother or one who is bat-shit crazy, or perhaps both. At least give the poor baby a name like  Emily or Jessica as her chance at a decent start in life.

I've previously expounded my theory about requiring  parents who wish to give their children highly unusual names having to appear before multi-faceted panels and listen what the individuals have to say about the off-the wall names being proposed for the unfortunate infants, so I will not recount my proposal in its entirety at this time. I will, however, bring up something my dad said. He mentioned some Scandinavian country -- perhaps Norway, but I'm not certain -- that has a list of one thousand names for each gender that are considered acceptable. If a woman has a baby in that country, she may choose any one of the thousand (my dad thinks it's one thousand, but it may be two thousand) names for the child.  It would seem that even with one thousand names from which to choose, if  parents chose carefully, a child would not run the risk of having four children in his or her class every year with the same name as he or she.   A thousand options per gender allows for considerable variety.

This Scandinavian nation that uses the name-limited system, whatever it is, most likely is more efficient than is The U. S. Can you just imagine the politicization involved in even gaining a membership on to the name selection committee, much less what might happen once the committee started selecting names. Committee members would collude and broker deals with one another to have bizarre names included that their respective relatives wanted to use. The list would end up with so many winners such as Gilmore, Halo, Vinique,  Samanda, Zorro, Exodus, Turbo, Vice, and Zaniel that there wouldn't be room for some of the standards such as Kristin, Elizabeth, Julie, Catherine, David, Michael, Joseph, and Paul.  A committee is not the answer, at least not here in the U. S.

I would propose that if we absolutely had to have some sort of a name-selection panel, it could be made up of presidents and their wives, present and past, with the caveat that the presidents and/or their wives be living and that the position not be something that could be passed on like some sort of a legacy to a descendant of a president. (God only knows what names Amy Carter could come up with  on a really creative day.)  Looking at the names of presidential children, the Carters named their offspring John, James, Jeff, and Amy. President Reagan's children,with his two wives, were Maureen, Michael, Patricia, and Ronald. President Bush #1 and his wife named their kids George, John, Pauline, Marvin,  Neil, and Dorothy. While some of those names may now be considered a bit dated, nothing about them would have been considered odd at the time they were given. The Clintons' only child is Chelsea, which was modern but very top-twenty for its time. President Bush and his wife named their daughters Jenna and Barbara --both perfectly respectable names. The Obama children are named Malia and Natasha, who is called Sasha. While the name Malia is perhaps even ethnically influenced (I really don't know), neither name is out of the mainstream. Modern presidents have done well in naming their children. If we have to have a name-selection panel, somehow force them to comprise it. Tie it to their pensions, maybe.

A name does influence the person a child will become. Not every child needs to be named Sophia or Aiden. Having a name that it is too popular carries its own baggage. Still, can't a happy medium  be achieved?   Isn't there some territory midway between the extremes of  the likes of Liam and Olivia and something that has to be so very different that parents must resort to consulting a list of sexually transmitted diseases in order to find a name sufficiently unique to suit  their tastes and to attract the attention they so obviously crave?

If she's for real, God bless Chlamydia, because she's going to need all the help she can get.


  1. Chlamydia and her big sister Gona Rea. Celebrities are a case in point. As if their kids haven't got enough to deal with. Zowie Bowie changed his name to David Jones and who can blame him. Dweezil and Moon Unit (Frank Zappa). Fifi Trixie Belle, Pixie, Peaches and Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily (Bob Geldof). Harper Seven (Beckhams) It reminds me of that character from Star Trek 'Seven of Nine'. And the brother's name is Brookyln. Could start a trend. "Hello, I'm Haarlem O'Toole." Manhattan McMurphy.
    That post says 3am. Do you ever sleep?

  2. I think you're thinking of Iceland. It was recently in the news for denying a young woman the right to use her name because it was considered masculine (Iceland was also in the news for wanting to ban all porn). The young woman finally got approval, though, and can now be known by something other than the Icelandic word for girl.

    Iceland isn't the only country that dictates names. Germany and Denmark also limit parents in what they can name their kids. http://news.yahoo.com/icelandic-girl-wins-her-given-name-112518070.html;_ylt=A2KJ3CbQDC1Rd2YAZ._QtDMD

    I was given probably the most popular girl's name of 1972... I've always hated it.

    I have heard the Chlamydia as a girl's name story before. It could be an urban legend.

  3. I wonder if celebrities either know or care how much they're screwing over both their own children and our society as a whole by giving their children such dumb-ass non-names. i also fault anyone stupid enough to copy them. Zuma Nesta Rossdlae? What controled sustance influenced that choice? A few- s\Sandra Bullock, Reece Witherspoon, the Afflecks --although the way the Affleck kids look when they're taken out in public would effect a CPS referral for neglect around here -- managed to choose names that weren't created by space aliens
    I haven't googled anything, but I'm guessing Knotty's name would ether begin with J and end with r, or begin with L and with a. Let me kow if i was close.end

    1. My name is Jenny... officially Jennifer. So you guessed right. ;-)

  4. My mom said the names Jennifer and Christopher both rose dramatically in popularity after (could have been cause/effect or could have been simply timing and that the advertisers picked names they knew were on the rise) one of the original disposable diaper company's (the kind that didn't work worth shit, supposedly, and you would have done just as well wrapping your baby's bottom with a double thickness of paper towels as using those bogus disposable diapers) commercials were made and televised with a sweet song sung to the same tune despite which gendered baby was being featured. My mom said the girl version was "Jenny Rebecca" and the boy version was "Christopher Michael." It was something like, "Jenny Rebecca, one year old. How do you like your world so far? You'll have toys to be climbing on; swings to be swung on."

    My mom thinks the song originally came from the movie, "The Young Americans," which was a cheesy docudrama about the grinning American young singers. In a park the girls in the group came across a baby girl. One of the girls said, "She looks just like 'Jenny Rebecca,' " and they all began singing the song to her as though everyone in the world should have known who Jenny Rebecca was. Then the commercial came.

    My mom thinks the "Christopher Michael" version [he was either two days old or four days old] was made so that the parents of boys wouldn't go sexist on the manufacturer of the crappy non-diapers and refuse to buy them because they were "girls' diapers."

    My mom, as the youngest of seven, was an aunt at an early age. She remembers her nieces and nephews using those (she can't recall the brand name) and leaking through them onto every outfit they wore over them. She said they were pointless. She also said there was another brand of disposable diapers about the same time called "Flush-a-Byes." Flush-a-Byes also had a sweet song: "What a bright time for a baby! What a bright time for a ba-a-by! Wi-ith soft, new Flush-a-Byes, what a time to be born!" As the name would imply, Flush-a-Byes not only were disposable, they could be flushed down a toilet! It was absolutely true that they could be flushed as long as the owner of whatever toilet they were flushed down did not have any objection to making his or her plumber extremely wealthy. They, too, were about as effect in terms of absorbing a baby's body fluids and solids as a couple of layers of tissue paper might have been.

    My mom said she's enjoying this trip down memory lane. She'd forgotten all about those disposable diapers that didn't work. By the time my brother and I were born, disposable diapers were state-of-the-art. We may be putting them into landfills at the rate that future generations are going to be walking on them as though they're sidewalks and using them in place of lawns and to line their swimming pools and tile their roofs, or maybe shipping them to Antarctica and letting the penguins deal with them or to outer space since there's nowhere else to dispose of them, but they at least do the job they were intended to do.

    The name "Jenny" always makes me think of that song with the telephone number 867-5309. My dad said two Tommy Tutone band members wrote the song, Jim (or James) Keller and Alex Call. Depending upon what band member one chose to believe, Tommy Heath, Keller, and Call had different stories about the song's origin. Keller and Call may have been more afraid of being sued than Heath was, since they wrote the song) there really was a Jenny and that was her actual number, or it was totally made-up out of thin air. Many people had to change their phone numbers because of the song.

    The name "Jenny" always makes me think of that song.

  5. Believe me, the song "Jenny" was a big part of my youth. It was popular when I was about ten years old.

    Oddly enough, one of my sisters is named Rebecca. She goes by Becky. We're pretty big on nicknames in my family. I think Becky was named after my great grandmother. I don't know why my mom named me Jennifer. I hate it when people call me that because the name doesn't suit me. It's way too formal and it makes me cringe. On the other hand, I hate it when I go to a doctor's office or a dentist and they call me by my first name, because they invariably get it wrong and call me Jennifer, which sends a chill down my spine. I also think it's presumptuous. I don't actually mind being called by my first name, but I don't like it when people assume that I don't mind.

    Hmmm... might have to rant about that today.

  6. Feast your eyes on these:


  7. My favorite was Dixmacker X McIroncock

  8. Sounds like a Scottish wrestler.

    Yolanda Squatpump really needs a stage name. There's half a dozen Yolanda Squatpumps on Facebook. One has a friend called Robin Crackinbanger. I've sent a friend request.

  9. 'm not yet at an age where office employees assume they should call me anything but my first name, but I get what you're saying.It's presumptuous of office assistants or even doctors themselves to call a patient by a first name without knowing that it is acceptable to the patient. And, like you, I wouldn't be bothered by being called by my first name as by the idea that someone thought they should call me that without first asking if it was OK.

  10. The existence of people name Chlamydia may or may not be a myth. The incidence, though, of babies being called Veruca is certain following the film treatment of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Don't do it. Veruca salt was a particularly unpleasant little girl so Dahl, the author, gave her a particularly unpleasant name.
    A verruca is a difficult to lose, infectious, but benign tumour affecting the soles of the feet. They are otherwise called plantar warts. Very nasty.

    1. I learned about the dreaded verruca in my undergrad medical terminology class. I assume the name "Veruca Salt" was in reference to the condition.

      i, too, am at least a bit skeptical of all the "orangeloos" "lemonjelessos" "females," and Obgyns" supposedly named in this nation, not to mention the "Chlamydias."