Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1001 Ways To Tune Up The World, Number Thirty-Seven.

37. Spell your kids' names the right way.

Although this seems bossy, it's actually a compromise. I'm opposed to both weird names and weirdly-spelled names, but I am going to compromise and let people make up dumb names if they spell them the right way.

Having my name spelled with the Extraneous E on the end of it makes me an expert in this kind of thing, and it's an easy way to make the world a less stupid place and make your kids' lives easier. I've spent my whole life with people mispronouncing my name and asking me how it's spelled and having to correct it on my emails and otherwise adding, in a miniscule but still present way, to the troubles we all face. Maybe it's a small thing to have to tell a court reporter, as I once did, that "Yes, I'm sure my name is spelled that way." but why go through it at all?

Now, I'm not a fan of made-up fake names like Apple or Sparrow or whatever it is the next celebrity kid will be named (my money is on third-world country names: Tanzania Clooney has a nice ring, doesn't it?) but, as I said, I've decided to compromise, so if you want to name your kid something that's clearly not a name, something that's (as they said in Pretty In Pink) "a major appliance" or worse, then I'll be okay with that, so long as you spell it right. That's the rule I propose: Whatever you name your kid, spell it right. If you call your kid Tanzania, it's got to be spelled that way, not Taanzoneeyah.

And if you do the right thing and just use a traditional name, like Brian or Daniel or Tom, spell that the right way, too, not dAnYul or Tomm.

You can always get the weird name you want by having it be your kid's nickname after all. What's wrong with "We named her Lily, but we call her Apple." Nothing, that's what.

Prior entries:

13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.


lisapepin said...

"Maybe it's a small thing to have to tell a court reporter, as I once did, that "Yes, I'm sure my name is spelled that way.""

This made me laugh out loud because I pictured the exact look on your face when you said it. I could hear the tone of your voice, too. Mildly sarcastic, but not overt enough to be sited for contempt of court and with enough humor that even the court reporter let it go. Priceless!

Petri Dish said...

Shows how observant I am, I never noticed the -e in your name. How do you mispronounce Briane? Bree-anne? Bri-an-knee? Bri-ayn?
I like unusual names. When I squirt out some mini-mes, but not too mini since I'm already so damn short, they'll probably have cool futuristic(in a 1930s sifi comic futuric way) names. Partly because futuric names kick ass and partly because I'll probably have some when we have hover crafts and frequent attacks by 50ft women. Zbork, Gog, Knutrt(-k not silent).
Hmm, I might be thinking more along the lines of futuristic monster names than HU-mons. Oh well, I've got above 991 ears to decide.

Briane P said...

Petri Dish: It's usually mispronounced as "Bree-Ann," although sometimes people go with the more exotic "Bree Ain," long "A".

My truce with you, and the world, is that so long as you spell Knurt right, I won't object.

Lisa: You got the tone just about right. "Mildly sarcastic, but not overt enough to be cited for contempt of court" is largely how I deal with every legal situation.