August 20, 2008

"ESPN2! Come in for your snack!"

Readers looking for mind-bending data should turn to the Oregon Public Health Division's Center for Health Statistics.

In sharing data on the approximately 50,000 births in Oregon last year, it divulges that among the least common names for girls was "God" and "ESPN."

Of course, the parental units have failed to be the real originals they fancy themselves. Think of the millions of people who watch ESPN! A much less obvious choice would have been ESPN2.

It was undoubtedly a man who named li'l ESPN, and he's a throwback to an earlier, less enlightened age. Up until the mid-20th century, men had much more influence over choosing names for their kids, and the results were not good. Sure, mothers were often responsible for dismal choices like Oswald, Lucretia, and Hazel, but you can count on more men than women to give out “funny” names.

For example, how many dads have wanted to have a son whose middle name was “Danger”? Answer: More than you think.

But here’s the problem. Studies show that people with odd and ugly names do more poorly in school and are both less popular and more likely to have emotional problems. (Hey, don’t look at me. I’m doing fine. Just fine.)

In fact, I’m doing WAY better than the American kids from the past named Helen Troy, Goblin Fester, Cheese Caeser (sic), and Garage Empty. (Goblin Fester? I actually sort of like that!) Historians who have gone through census records have also found that people have named their babies Ogre, Wrath, Lucifer, Medusa, and Ghoul.

But ESPN? What is the next most likely cable channel or media outlet to provide some unlucky kid with a namesake?

1 comment:

Gonzalez Gonzalez said...

Nice to know that "Bart King lives." I was thinking that one of many, domestic or foreign secret organization had disappeared him for writing books that aggravate Attention Deficit Syndromes. I did check and found none of his books have been translated into Russian, and that was reasuring. But after all here he is: alive and well and writing the Great American Blog! And I am glad he didn't start it with the tittle "What's in a name." And yet, there is something more revelious in his first blogarious step. It can be considered controversial since, most cultures seem encased in metalic hard habits when it comes to naming childred. Count if you can the II's, III's etc. that you have had to type to send a bill to some people ,or the rage that you can generate for mispelling some people's names (In Texas you may not outlive writting the
"Gonzalez"-> "Gonzales" and you may not leave NY, NY alive when writting
"Goldston"-> "Goldstein". And it is just as hard to give a new name to a pure breed bull. Thanks a stroke of plagiarism my wife thought of "Juvenal" for our latest Pale Faced Hertford, and our cat was renamed "Edsel" for tearing-up some curtains. Bart, your blog has been passed to our foreman to help naming calves. thanks for being there again!