Unique Baby Names

Although I find the media attention that this topic is creating to be rather silly, I too have fallen into the reverse marketing trap behind Jean M. Twenge’s book, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement.  No doubt it is quite clever to create a buzz of such – stirring the defensive parental nature of the many parents who are choosing “unique” names for their children, but while I completely appreciate the clever marketing technique, I have to say that I find this topic to be quite predatory upon the many innocent babies given a name which does not fit into the confines of peer-group popularity.  And, in defense of the accused parents, how about the research behind the possible spiritual or cultural meaning of the given name?  This just might reveal strong religious beliefs, family values, and other characteristics completely contradictory to the position of the proposed theory.  Finally, lets define “unique”.  What is unique one season is a widespread epidemic the next, as demonstrated in The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.  So, lets not point fingers at well-intended parents or condemn innocent children.  Instead, lets turn to the ever insightful words of William Shakespeare, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” Romeo and Juliet, 2.2.

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