Names (was Re: Help wanted: arthurian novels)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Mon Sep 22 11:30:19 EDT 2003


On Mon, 22 Sep 2003 03:21:26 -0400, Ding, Kylie (KAM.RIC) wrote:

>I don't know where my name ranks in popularity for 1971, but it was around then that Kylie started to get popular.  I only know of two Kylies from around that time that are older than me, and one is Minogue (not that I actually _know_ her) and the other one used to sit next to me in class, which confused the teachers.  
>
>It's been a bit of a pain having a name that is not only popular in my generation, but very Australian.  

Melissa isn't very popular any more, but it was common enough that my name
tags in elementary school always had my last initial as well.  In high
school there were at least three of us in my grade, and we were all in the
same math class for two years in a row.  Even now it seems that wherever I
live, no matter how restricted my social circle, there will be at least one
other Melissa, and I will invariably be the one called Michelle or Melanie
by mistake.  I think I was cosmically supposed to be something else, like
Petunia.

>If I ever get around to having kids I will be trying to go for the unusual but not outlandish.  Maybe using DWJ as an inspiration.  Tanaqui is a rather nice name...

I found that being literate is a big help in this department.  Most people,
in trying to make their kids' names distinctive, go for the bizarre and
unnatural (mis)spellings that a) are unpronounceable and b) look ugly.  But
in drawing from actual books, we came up with names that were not only
unusual, but actually sounded like names people might use and not an
accident with a typesetter's tray.  (We do have to teach people how to
pronounce them, but in general that doesn't take long.  Except that here in
Utah a lot of people use short 'i' in place of short 'e', so Teleri becomes
Tillery.  At least they spell it right....)

Melissa Proffitt

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