weird baby names, some banned

cowboy making hand gesturesIn America, you’re free to name your baby whatever you want.  For the most part, freedom is good; we don’t want tyranny.  But some countries’ governments feel it is their duty to protect people from stupidity.  A debate on whether that is good or not is beyond the scope of this article.

I started thinking about this because New Zealand just banned a number of baby names, including 18 that have been used in the U.S. (and some are popular).  Some of them make sense for other countries, like King, Princess, Duke, Baron, Majesty, etc.  Some are to prevent religious confusion or controversy, like Christ and Lucifer.  Someone cross-referenced their list with the U.S. Social Security Administration’s database and found that 46 boys in the U.S. are named Christ, and 8 are named Lucifer.  I just don’t know why someone would choose to name their child Lucifer.  Seems kind of forboding toward evil…  (That’s like naming your child “Important Evil Genius“, except even worse.)

Sweden has similar bans, although they extend it to names such as Superman and Metallica.  U.S. celebrities are becoming known for giving their children weird names.  A few examples:

Moxie CrimeFighter — child of Penn Jillette
Kal-El — son of Nicolas Cage
Pilot Inspektor — son of Jason Lee
Moon Unit, Diva Thin Muffin, and Dweezil — children of Frank Zappa
Pirate — child of Jonathan and Deven Davis
Tabooger — child of Dan Cortese
Tu Morrow — child of Rob Morrow

Having named a child now, part of the process process for us was trying to pick a name that people won’t make fun of too much.  Obviously you can’t stop all teasing and bullying, but some of those above are just asking for it.  Tabooger?  Guess what his childhood nickname will be…  And Tu Morrow?  Imagine the awkwardness when everyone he/she meets has a short pause upon learning the name, realizing it’s supposed to be funny but it’s not and then you don’t know how to respond to that.

On a related note, you can go to the Social Security website to see how popular your name has been in America the past few decades.

celebrity voices for car navigation systems

This isn’t a new thing, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it.  One company is now offering celebrity voices as an add-on to your in-car navigation system.  The first ones chosen were Mr. T, Burt Reynolds, and Dennis Hopper.  They didn’t get a great review in this article, so perhaps the company didn’t do enough with them.  I could think of some really cool uses for their voices, but, as “real life” tends to interfere with what would be cool, some people would get offended and want to sue, so they probably have to limit what can be done.  Maybe they should offer some different rudeness settings, from “Bring It!” to “Please be gentle because I’m a wuss”.  Then again, my idea of settings to be politically correct wouldn’t be politically correct.  *sigh*

This second article explains why having your navigation system joke with you and use unusual accents is bad.  This is obviously overreacting, as long as the celebrity voices are optional.  People can use them if they can handle it.  If it doesn’t work for them, use the standard boring voice.  I tell ya, some people are just looking to get offended, even on others’ behalf.  *sigh*

In the latter article on being offended, someone said:

Even though we all realize that a car’s navigation system is a computer, our brain still responds to anything speaking to us as if it were a person.

Really?!?  Are you sure?  I think that’s stupid.  Because my wife’s vehicle has a navigation system in it, and I never confuse it with a person.  Nor do I treat it as a person.  Actually, I usually either ignore it or turn it all the way down, because I’m a man and don’t need directions!  🙂  But if it sounded like Mr. T, I would listen to it for the humor effect.

I don’t know who these people are that confuse a computer with a real person.  If this actually happens, there shouldn’t even be verbal directions, because they might think someone is in the car with them, and so they might panic and run off the road.  I know, that sounds silly, but so does their premise of confusing the voices.  And if you’re going to account for the possibility of human stupidity, then there’s a LOT of scenarios to consider.