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Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

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Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:15 am

Should there be a law against parents giving their children ridiculous names? (I wanted to type this whole sentence in the thread subject, but it was too long to fit.)

In the wake of the story about the couple who named their newborn baby daughter 'Hashtag' in honour of Twitter, I got pondering.

I don't think I would support a general law against it because there is a chance that it could be taken too far. Let me be clear, I have great sympathy for children who are given truly ridiculous names such as 'Hashtag'. They will suffer a lot of bullying and humiliation as they grow older and their parents are either too stupid to see it or too selfish to care.

But a general law might go too far and could be used to prohibit people from giving children nice, but different/non-mainstream names. There are nature names that I like - River, Rain, Summer, Willow, etc - even Ocean. While these are certainly unusual and different, I don't think names like that fall into the 'insanely ridiculous' category.

So the problem with such a law is that it could be taken too far and prevent people from giving their children perfectly nice, but non-mainstream, names. And that would be a real shame.

I also do believe that people should be free to choose names for their children. So on reflection, I wouldn't support a law...but when I see stories like the 'Hashtag' one, it gets me thinking.
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby CatNamedRudy » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:44 am

I don't think there should be a law against it but a kid should be able to sue their parents for giving them a stupid name as soon as they are old enough to realize they have a stupid name.
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Forever Jung » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:40 pm

Bee Gees Fan wrote:But a general law might go too far and could be used to prohibit people from giving children nice, but different/non-mainstream names. There are nature names that I like - River, Rain, Summer, Willow, etc - even Ocean. While these are certainly unusual and different, I don't think names like that fall into the 'insanely ridiculous' category.


:twisted: There are those (I wouldn't count myself among them) who would say that those names are ridiculous and invite bullying.

Not to be offensive, but I think there's a bit of a double standard going on when you slam someone for calling their kid Hashtag but pick and choose alternative names that are OK because you like them.

Any alternative/non-mainstram names can be seen as ridiculous, and being so they can encourage the thicker elements in society to bully them for it.

I don't have a problem with the names you mentioned, but i'm certainly no fan of the name Hashtag. :?
But is a law going to far?
Who is to say what is acceptable?
If you were on the board, someone who wanted to call their child River would be allowed to do so, but some would say that you are not doing your job properly and should be fired/sued/shot for lumbering a kid with what they consider a stupid name.

The problem with having kids sue parents for the names they are given is that any kid who has issues with their parents can sue them using the name as an excuse.
"I don't like the name Colin you gave me, i'm going to sue your ass" :?
Again, who's to say what is and is not acceptable and weather the child should be able to sue the parents.

But any name can be used by bullys.
Remember the scene when Niles & Daphne are trying to come up with a name for the school?

How about the name Marvin?
There was a guy who's given name was Marvin.
This chap was a wee bit overweight as a kid.
There was an advert for Levi's jeans on the radio at the time, and the tag line was "Poor fat Marvin can't wear Levi's".
When he was an adult he went to court to have his name changed. The judge asked if he wanted to change his name to excape any creditors or legal responsibilities.
Marvin told the judge his story, and of the ammount of abuse he's suffered because of that advert.
Apparenty these things usually take a few days, but the judge allowed him to change his name to Michael.
Michael Lee Aday.
You probably know him better as Meat Loaf :wink:

There's also the subject of nicknames.
A lot of folks call me Meat, or Meat Loaf. It doesn't bother me, to me it's just a name.
People (especially when they've seen me gig and not seen me for a while) might forget the name "Neil", but nobody forgets the name "Meat" :lol:
But what about people who are given nicknames they don't care for?
Who is responsible for that, and are they libel to court action?

I think that rather than bring in laws telling people what is acceptable when considering calling their children, i'd like to see the actual bullying acted upon.

But of course, putting an end to bullying is about realistic as getting a bunch of lawyers to agree on a law deeming which names are acceptable :wink:
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby woggle » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:18 pm

CatNamedRudy wrote:I don't think there should be a law against it but a kid should be able to sue their parents for giving them a stupid name as soon as they are old enough to realize they have a stupid name.


:lol: absolutly!!!!
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:33 pm

Forever Jung wrote:Any alternative/non-mainstram names can be seen as ridiculous, and being so they can encourage the thicker elements in society to bully them for it.


Yes, I understand - but I do think there is a difference between names that are non-mainstream/a bit unusual and names which are truly, outrageously ridiculous. For example, would most people think the name 'Summer' to be a silly as the name 'Hashtag'? Even if they think 'Summer' is a strange name, I think it's very likely that most people would view 'Hashtag' as the most 'ridiculous' of the two names.

But you are right that it is an individual thing. People will have different ideas on what's acceptable and what's not. It would probably be implement a general law.

Forever Jung wrote:But is a law going to far?


Yes, I would say it is. I don't think there should be a law against it and I wouldn't support such a thing. If parents want to name their child something ridiculous, it's their business and they should be free to do it. But when I see stories about children being named Hashtag, there are often a few people saying, "There should be a law against naming your kids something stupid like this!" And when I think of what the child will likely have to suffer in the future, I can understand why those people think the way they do.

I still disagree with a law, though.

Forever Jung wrote:The problem with having kids sue parents for the names they are given is that any kid who has issues with their parents can sue them using the name as an excuse.
"I don't like the name Colin you gave me, i'm going to sue your ass" :?


Well, I think in such a case the child would only be able to sue their parents if it was proved that the name the parents had given them was so ridiculous that it had resulted in bullying and abuse from others. It might be a hard thing to work out exactly, but if the child has a *really* stupid name and it has led to that child being bullied and suffering emotionally and perhaps also physically, there might be grounds to sue in that case? As it could be said that the parents have some responsibility for what the child has had to go through, even if only indirect.

A name like 'Colin' isn't a stupid, ridiculous or unusual name, so even if the kid himself didn't like it, he would have a hard time trying to sue his parents, as it's not a name that's likely to invite bullying.

As you said, children can use any name for bullying purposes, even "normal" and mainstream names - but in those cases it's not the name itself that's the cause of the bullying, it's the bully reaching around to find anything he can use to pick on someone. Whereas, you could say that with a name like Hashtag, the stupidity of the name is a valid cause of the bullying. It's not a valid reason or excuse for people to bully others, but a name like that could be said to be a valid cause.

Forever Jung wrote:I think that rather than bring in laws telling people what is acceptable when considering calling their children, i'd like to see the actual bullying acted upon.


Yes, so do I. I was thinking earlier on, that the real problem may not really lie with parents giving their children stupid names, but with the plain fact that some people feel the urge to bully others. So as you correctly say, it's the bullying that is the problem.
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Patrick » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:49 pm

Forever Jung wrote:...
There was a guy who's given name was Marvin.
...

That almost sounds like the start of a limerick. :D
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby barnaclelapse » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:42 am

One of the many things I was teased about growing up was my name (Gabriel Ricard). I got things like Gabrielle, Gay, Gay Gabe, Gay Retard (because retard sounds faintly like Ricard), and a number of other extremely clever variations. So I was pretty resentful of my name for a good portion of my life. It wasn't until I became an adult that I got used to it. I actually get a lot of compliments on my name now, which is weird.

I still have to fucking spell it all the time though. That's gotten old after about twenty-four years.

And, yes, I think what the parent is planning to name their child should be the first thing on the "Should You Be Allowed To Fill An Already Overpopulated Planet With Your Genetic Underlings" test.

"What are you planning to name your daughter?"

"Mayflower."

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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Eddie2012 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:38 pm

Maybe parents who pick a non-traditional/mainstream name for their child should be forced to pick a second name from a pool of traditional names. Then 'Hashtag' could insist on being called, I don't know, 'Charlotte' later in life :) .
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Forever Jung » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:57 pm

Patrick wrote:
Forever Jung wrote:...
There was a guy who's given name was Marvin.
...

That almost sounds like the start of a limerick. :D


:twisted: There was a guy who's given name was Marvin
Who wasn't very good at starvin'
He got a bit fat
Recorded an album called Bat
Then spent the next 35 years rockin'

Good enough? :D :lol:


barnaclelapse wrote:One of the many things I was teased about growing up was my name (Gabriel Ricard). I got things like Gabrielle, Gay, Gay Gabe, Gay Retard (because retard sounds faintly like Ricard), and a number of other extremely clever variations. So I was pretty resentful of my name for a good portion of my life. It wasn't until I became an adult that I got used to it. I actually get a lot of compliments on my name now, which is weird.


I think as adults we're more open to diversity, whereas something diverse in a
society of children sets you apart, and apart is a bad thing.

But again, it brings me back to the root cause of bullying.
There something on a base level of instinct for many people during their early development that tells them if you are not picking on someone else then someone else will be picking on you. As long as you are with the pack chasing the fox you are never going to be the one being chased.
You can blame silly names, you can blame race, you can blame shyness, being fat, short, or tall, but it all adds up to the same thing, finding an excuse to stick the fox's tail on someone else before it can be put on you.
The human race, for the main, is a cruel brute that thrives on ganging up on a victim.

As far as i'm concerned, that is something that needs to be addressed far more urgently than the subject of "is this name silly?".

Hell, look at the nazi's? History's original bully boys.
They loved picking on people, loved it, but in the Hitler Youth they learned respect for their fellows. If one of their number fell behind, they wouldn't be taunted or ridiculed, they were taught that if somebody fell behind it was their personal responsibility to help their comrade back up.

I have a hard time believing that we can't teach our young the same values of co operation, mutual respect, and personal responsibility without all the, you know, racism, hatred, and genocide. :?
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Dorset Girl » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:45 pm

I've just skimmed over this thread, I'll read it in detail later. Apologies if anyone's already mentioned this - but I think there are some countries where parents are required to choose from a pool of approved names. I seem to remember there being something in the news about an Italian couple who had named their daughter 'Tuesday' or something similar, but the courts ordered them to change it.

I like that we have complete freedom over the names we choose. Unfortunately there is always the risk of people choosing weird stuff, like Princess Consuela Bananahammock, but for the most part I think it's good. My daughter's name, Keren, is very unusual in this country. My niece's name is unique, I think - it's Trinseca.
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby CatNamedRudy » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:00 pm

I still think a kid should be able to go after their parents when they name them stupid stuff like Hashtag, ESPN (yes, there is a kid in the US named ESPN), MarijuanaPepsiCola or any other insanely ridiculous name. There's a difference between unusual or ethnic names and ridiculous names. Even some of the names celebrities name their kids, while not exactly "normal" aren't ridiculous. (except perhaps the Zappa children).
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Moon-Crane » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:29 pm

I'm happy to let people use whatever names they like. It's easy enough for a person to change their own name if they don't like it. Plenty of people do it even with 'normal' names.

There are many names that sound unusual or clunky to me, but they're not particularly unusual in some countries. (I won't give eamples as you always end up offending somebody!) And many commonly accepted names are bastardisations/derivations of other names/words of the past anyway. Always has been. I can't see how you can give anyone the final word on what makes an acceptable name and what gets disqualified.

So let there be Hashtags, Hulks, Mangosteens and Megatrons :lol:

I like Cat's idea of being able to sue your parents for mental distress if they feel they've been given a dumbass name. :D Not sure how it'd ever work, but it would make for some fun court cases :lol:
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:05 pm

I think there once was a case in a country - it wasn't the US or Britain, but I do think it was an English-speaking country - in which the parents gave their child such a totally outrageous name, that they were actually forced by law to change it.

I'm not an advocate of having laws against names, or legally forcing parents to change their children's names - but I can sympathise with the opposite view.
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Eddie2012 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:13 pm

Moon-Crane wrote:I'm happy to let people use whatever names they like. It's easy enough for a person to change their own name if they don't like it. Plenty of people do it even with 'normal' names.

This may be the case in Britain or the US, but there are countries where this is next to impossible. You would have to have a very good reason, like a sex change, coming from abroad with a - in the new country - unpronounceable name, or suffering severely from your name - but then these countries would probably not allow Hashtag in the first place :D .
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Eddie2012 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:18 pm

Bee Gees Fan wrote:There are nature names that I like - River, Rain, Summer, Willow, etc - even Ocean. While these are certainly unusual and different, I don't think names like that fall into the 'insanely ridiculous' category.

It's funny though that many people would frown upon names like Summer, Willow and River, but be completely fine with Heather, April and Rose :D .
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Forever Jung » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:21 pm

Moon-Crane wrote:let there be Megatrons


:twisted: YES!

The one good thing about the name Hashtag is that it's unisex :D
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:36 pm

CatNamedRudy wrote:MarijuanaPepsiCola


Is that someone's actual name or something you made up to illustrate your point?

I hope, for the hypothetical person's sake, that it's the latter!
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Dorset Girl » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:19 pm

Eddie2012 wrote:
Bee Gees Fan wrote:There are nature names that I like - River, Rain, Summer, Willow, etc - even Ocean. While these are certainly unusual and different, I don't think names like that fall into the 'insanely ridiculous' category.

It's funny though that many people would frown upon names like Summer, Willow and River, but be completely fine with Heather, April and Rose :D .


Summer's quite popular at the moment, I know a few people who have given their kids that name.
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Dorset Girl » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:20 pm

If I have another daughter, by the way, she will be named Ophelia.
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Patrick » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:23 pm

Dorset Girl wrote:
Eddie2012 wrote:
Bee Gees Fan wrote:There are nature names that I like - River, Rain, Summer, Willow, etc - even Ocean. While these are certainly unusual and different, I don't think names like that fall into the 'insanely ridiculous' category.

It's funny though that many people would frown upon names like Summer, Willow and River, but be completely fine with Heather, April and Rose :D .


Summer's quite popular at the moment, I know a few people who have given their kids that name.

What if her mother was named Swallow? You could say then that one Swallow DOES a Summer make. :lol:
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Patrick » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:26 pm

Dorset Girl wrote:If I have another daughter, by the way, she will be named Ophelia.

Be sure to Keep her away from anyone named Hamlet.
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:28 pm

Dorset Girl wrote:If I have another daughter, by the way, she will be named Ophelia.


What about a boy?
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby CatNamedRudy » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:29 pm

Bee Gees Fan wrote:
CatNamedRudy wrote:MarijuanaPepsiCola


Is that someone's actual name or something you made up to illustrate your point?

I hope, for the hypothetical person's sake, that it's the latter!


I've heard it was a real persons name but it might just be an urban myth.

I do however know someone who named their child "Placenta" because they thought it was a pretty name! Not the smartest cookie in the box!
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Patrick » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:33 pm

CatNamedRudy wrote:
Bee Gees Fan wrote:
CatNamedRudy wrote:MarijuanaPepsiCola


Is that someone's actual name or something you made up to illustrate your point?

I hope, for the hypothetical person's sake, that it's the latter!


I've heard it was a real persons name but it might just be an urban myth.

I do however know someone who named their child "Placenta" because they thought it was a pretty name! Not the smartest cookie in the box!

I've heard of people naming their child after a date in the calendar, for instance "fourth of July". :lol:

I guess his friends would call him fourthie. :D
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Re: Law against parents giving children ridiculous names?

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:38 pm

CatNamedRudy wrote:I've heard it was a real persons name but it might just be an urban myth.


Hmmm, I'll look into it.

I think this is the news story I was thinking of before - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/24/talula_ruling/. The kid's name is 'Talula Does the Hula in Hawaii'.
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