Probably because it’s so nice to talk about something besides COVID-19, the internet had a lot of fun mulling over the name of Elon Musk’s new baby, which is apparently ‘X Æ A-12’.
I wasn’t able to work up much of a sweat over two eccentric celebrities giving their child an eccentric name. Hey, no one seems to have hired a third world surrogate or a CRISPR technician to assist with the production of the child, and there’s no evidence anyone attempted to legally marry a chandelier or anything. The parents are a man and woman who are in a relationship of some kind with each other. This being the year 2020, that’s as wholesome and normal as it gets.
But the name. In general, I’m opposed to giving children names that are not pronounceable, because . . . why? (I’m also against giving children unusual spellings of common names, which strikes me as the worst of both worlds.)
I’m strongly opposed to giving children names that will automatically put them at a disadvantage with most people, because it’s in any way a joke, or designed to shock or offend. Life is hard enough without having to introduce yourself as Ima Hogg or Judas Panzer Boi or something.
What you name your child says something about you; but more importantly, their name says something to the world about them. They are individuals who exist outside their parents’ sphere, and their name should reflect this.
But what about names that are just unusual?