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Michael Medved

The downside of odd, original names

A Tennessee judge exceeded her authority by blocking a mother's desire to name her baby boy, "Messiah." But it's easy to sympathize with a general discomfort with the current mania for odd, attention-getting, non-traditional names. Led by Hollywood celebrities who have imposed monikers like—yes—"Moxie Crimefighter," "Pilot Inspektor," "Audio Science," and "Blue Ivy" many new parents seem to embrace the trend for coming up with names no one has heard before.

This ignores difficulties associated with unusual names and reflects a willingness to treat kids like cherished pets or fashion accessories. It also kills the chance to connect with family history or cultural tradition by selecting a name with ties to the past. It's safe to assume that Prince William and Princess Kate never considered "Pilot Inspektor" or "Messiah" as the name for their royal baby boy.

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