Our rickety playgrounds were once crawling with Davids, Susans, Williams and Sarahs, and these were good, solid names. Names of kids who didn’t care what they were drinking along with the hose water. Names of kids who thought nothing of a few yearly Red Rover-based fatalities amongst their peers.

But these days, our bio-friendly, static-free earth gyms are infested instead with Xanders, Shambrays, Tanners and Lynzis. These are the names of children who are more familiar with the smell of hand sanitizer than the smell of, say, dirt. Or ketchup.

This habit we have of giving our children these awful, made-up names is reprehensible. We’re weakening future generations of children with our need to be creative and different.

And I’m not even talking about the names of my generation. Jason, for instance, is about as ’80s-baby as it gets, but there are plenty of respectable adults out there named Jason. I’m also excited for the day when, 20 years from now, most of the country’s CEOs have names like Amber, Kyle and Brittany. But what about 40 years from now, when the president of the United States could have a name like Kambree? Or, even worse, Bella?

Now, I know that sometimes, creative names can be cute. My wife and I have good friends in Orem, and they have two little girls named Lola and Roxie. Even though their names, when put together, sound a little like a burlesque act, they are adorable little girls, and their names fit them perfectly (I want to stress that they are not, in fact, in a burlesque act).

But they are the exception. So many helpless babies out there are getting names like Bristol and Braedin without ever being consulted. “But I don’t want to be named Nebraska!” it coos indecipherably. “Have you ever been there? It’s just corn!”

And naming a child after a forsaken chunk of middle America isn’t the worst crime a parent can commit. In fact, it’s just one of many naming crimes I will now bring to light (side note: if YOUR name appears here, I’m very sorry, but you can take solace in the fact that this column is now legal evidence in the lawsuit against your parents. If your own child’s name appears here, then everything I’m saying is just a joke, and you shouldn’t stop reading The Signpost because I’m an idiot). Here they are:

  1. Names that want to be French: These include Brielle, Leilla, Croix (I don’t even think the French could pronounce that one), and Jequeaille (the e is silent).
  2. Names with too many consonants: Occurring primarily in Utah, these are names which feel like hedgehogs coming out of your mouth. For example, Braxton. Or Flixtophraxcks (that may be fake). These also include names which unnecessarily begin with X (Xander, Xy or Xach) or use a distracting z (Blaze, Jantz and Branzden).
  3. Names which are also occupations: These include, but are not limited to, Carver, Tanner, Hunter, Plumber, Barista, Computer System Analyst and Kardashian.
  4. Names which are also nouns: Beyond the easy punchline of Apple Paltrow are names like Symphony, Harmony and Chastity (setting high expectations?). But why stop there? Why not Dignity or Justice? How about Argyle or Inversion? Spark Plug, Piety and Beach Ball?
  5. Names which are overly masculine: Usually, these are names with too many r‘s, like Rykerr, but I’ve also seen a Ridge and a Majestic, as well as a Remington, a Colt, a Browning and a Cannon (talk about overcompensation).
  6. Names which are intentionally spelled incorrectly: A name like Crew is already pushing it, but what about Krue? Or Brittni? What about Bostyn? Ugh. That last one made me a little sick.
  7. Names which sound like illnesses: For example (these are all real, folks), Sylys, Dystini, Keetra, Draigan and Tydon. And Sarin, which I’m pretty sure is also a nerve gas.
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