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Recently in Theodore Joseph Linden

July 12, 2007 | Tate Linden
I'll be the first to admit that naming your kid takes a lot of effort, thought, and in most cases comprimise. I would even go so far as to talk with someone - perhaps a historian or psychologist - about whether or not the name has any negative connotations. You could even open up any one of hundreds of naming books that tell you what every name means - or one of dozens of websites that allow you to search for names by their meaning.

One should also take the thirty seconds necessary to ensure you're not creating a catastrophe down the road when little Albert Sammy Smith is asked for his initials.

For me, naming was an intensely personal thing when it involved my own son. The question of who we wanted to honor (a great grandfather and both of his grandpas), how we wanted him to have options as to what he would use (Ted, Teddy, Theo, Theodore, TJ, etc...) to express his own personality...

Now that you know my views - read this article.

Yes. People really do that for a living.

Once you close your mouth (or stop laughing - if you're a corporate namer) I'd love to know what you think. Is there a place for people who offer a baby naming service where the names "Liz" and "Doug" are seen as first and foremost pertaining to fat kids? (Our new intern, Liz, would prove an exception to this rule, by the way.) Sure, almost every name is going to have connections for people - but if you know a Doug from decades ago who was the brightest and skinniest kid in your 3rd grade class aren't you going to have different thoughts about the name?

For me, I'm hoping that little Teddy doesn't select Theo as his preferred name. People in generations before and after mine don't understand why. But ask a Gen-Xer and you'll get the same answer every time: "Oh yeah - that's way too Cosby." If you only know one person with a name, then that name will be inextricably linked to that person in your mind. I only know one Theo - and though I did think he was pretty cool in the eighties - I don't really want that in my mind when I think of my son.

I'll make my question more clear. Is there a reason to pay $350 to get someone else's prejudices and experiences applied to your own flesh and blood?

Whaddaya say? Are you going to hire self-named "Nameologist" Maryanna Kowitts?
June 15, 2007 | Tate Linden
Here's a quick aside - since I'm still getting back into the swing of things after spending time with Theodore (more on the story of his name another time.)

The night before Teddy was born we went to see Garrison Keillor's Prarie Home Companion. It was a great experience and Wolf Trap is an exceptional environment to take in a show. We sat on the lawn near the front and listed to beautiful music, heard Garrison talk, and basically enjoyed ourselved on what we had been planning as our last pre-kiddo outing. ...though we had no clue how literal that was.

The show ended and we walked about a mile to our car. And then sat.

And the weirdest thing happened... This group of people who had a pleasant evening together turned into the rudest bunch of drivers I'd ever seen. As we attempted to get out of the parking lot we spent about ten minutes trying to catch the eye of drivers so they would let us into the exit lane. This didn't work at all since no one would look at our car. We followed this with about five more minutes of frantic waving - which we should've known wouldn't work since (as noted previously) no one was looking at us.

Next step - I asked my lovely wife to ask a driver if we might cut in (since the cars were coming from the passenger side.) Sure - it took a few cars before anyone would even admit that they could hear her. (And for the record, it is remotely believable that someone might not have seen our frantic waving and yet was still allowed to drive a car - but for someone not to hear my wife say "excuse me" when both windows are rolled down and to also ignore the polite wave - that's just... yeah... rude.)

But the rudeness got worse. We finally made eye contact and were able to get an acknowledgement to our greeting (probably after 20 minutes total of trying) and we asked "May we cut in?"

The driver of a Lexus SUV smiled at us and said...

"No. Sorry."

Well... at least she apologized immediately for being rude.

The next car again was with the "I can't see nor hear you" crowd. The one after that saw the whole thing and actually was very pleasant - its occupants saying "it's not like anyone will get out of here much faster by squeezing you out."

A special thanks go to these kind anonymous people.

However - to the folks that didn't let us in - particularly that last two... I have this lesson in naming:
If you are going to be rude to other drivers while driving your own car and sitting in traffic that doesn't move - perhaps you should get license plates less memorable than "RN I HOT" and "TWITTY"
Should you see them on the road please give them an appropriate "hello" from me. Wave with as many (or as few) fingers as you please.

I suppose this actually does have something to do with naming for business. If you're going to put out a product that angers your customers you probably want to avoid a memorable name. This is one reason why we didn't take the "herbal Viagra" contract that came up last year. I didn't want to be the guy that named the product that caused semi-virile men to storm the gates of a product manufacturer. And I'm not a big fan of naming for obscurity.

And in fairness to the ladies in both offending vehicles - perhaps they were in a hurry to get out of there because they had a woman going into labor in their car.

Oh... wait... that was me.
May 28, 2007
May 26th, 2007 at 8.30 pm Theodore Joseph Linden was born. Weighing in at 6 lbs 10 oz. Congratulations Sarah & Tate!

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