Carol Fancher wrote a letter to the editor of a Dallas newspaper that should be closely heeded regarding setting your progeny up for name taunting. I know every parent wants their children to be unique, different, and to stand out among the herd.
That is understandable, but remember your kid has to live with their name much more than you do! The first day of class for kids with awkward names is onerous and embarrassing for both the the teacher and the student who have to endure multiple attempts at a correct pronunciation.
The name Sergey, pronounced SIR GAY, is certainly a name that would be pounced upon by middle school bullies and there are many others that parents should be careful about. Also if your needs are more important than your child with regard to naming, please at least consider a name like Gwendolyn that can be shortened to the more tolerable and bullet-proof Gwen.
I work in a school that has a very diverse population with students from all over the world. Pronouncing many of their names can be a challenge, but our teachers are very sensitive to this issue. I have seen pronunciations carefully written out next to their names on a seating chart, so that a substitute will not embarrass a student when calling roll.
Unfortunately, we have many American students who have names that are almost impossible to pronounce from the spelling. I’ve even seen names referencing alcohol or natural disasters. Then there are the students whose parents didn’t choose a name at birth, and the birth certificate simply said “infant” or “baby” – which became their legal name. Do you know how embarrassing it is for those students to have their names posted on the wall for testing room assignments?
Parents, please: Save your children embarrassment when choosing a name. Maybe Iceland is onto something – parents must choose names from a list of given names. Something to think about.
Carol Fancher, Dallas/Lake Highlands