September 17, 2010

Naming a Baby

People have commented on my name all my life. Sure, it gets misspelled frequently (I got an insurance letter yesterday with it spelled "Jansenn") and for some reason people who didn't learn to read phonetically often pronounce it "Janice."

But I'm also always the only person with that name around, I never have to use an initial after my name and generally once someone learns my name, they don't forget it.

So there was no question that my children would not be getting names that were in the top ten most popular names.

My criteria was as follows:
  1. Never been in the top 1000 most popular names on the Social Security website
  2. Be easy to pronounce from the spelling
  3. Not have a made-up spelling
  4. Preferably be a last name
Ella's real name fit all those criteria (in fact, a student at one of my elementary schools last year had her name as a last name).

We picked it out four or five years ago and have never grown tired of it. I think I was the one who suggested it and Bart immediately agreed that it was a keeper. Once we found out she was a girl, the naming debate was over, although we did have some discussion about a middle name (we had originally decided to give her my middle name, but then I started having second thoughts. Eventually, we ended up sticking with my middle name for her middle name).

And the reason I don't use her real name on the blog is partially for safety reasons and in larger part because I want to keep her out of the clutches of Google.

When you Google my name, my blog is the first result. That's fine with me since I've written everything on this site. But Ella doesn't have a say (at least not now) in what I write here and I don't want her life to be that easily accessible to anyone who can type a name into a search engine.

If she wants to write about herself someday and use her real name, that's her decision. But it's not a decision I want to make for her.


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