About Names

Note to parents: avoid giving your kids weird names. Please.

My parents gave me an unusual name so I feel qualified to offer this advice.

It’s happening all over world. Unusual names in Sweden have gotten so out of hand that there’s a law to curb naming people with especially odd names. It sounds a little complicated in Sweden but it comes in part as a reaction to so many people with similar names.

Even our little town in Mexico, conservative parents and neo-hippy parents seem to delight in assigning their kids hard to pronounce difficult first names. I’ll pass on giving you examples, but take my word for it.┬áIn Mexico I changed my name to Nico; I like it and it’s easier for everybody.

This past weekend I was introduced to a few people as Stocker and was reminded how much I don’t like having an unusual name. More than 95% of the time, people are confused about my name when we first meet. It’s not their fault, I’d have the same questions and confused interpretations. Especially in the last ten years or so with the publicity given to celebrity stalkers. Most people will say something like “Your name is Stalker?”

That’s not all, there’s more. My last name, Cary, is more often a first name and my first name, Stocker, is normally a last name, both of which cause another problem. Most times when I need a file retrieved, at say the DMV for example, it’s not found until I suggest they look under Cary Stocker and it’ll be there. Not their fault, but it’s inconvenient for the filer and me.

But, there’re some advantages to having an unusual name. One is most people seem to remember my name once they get it. And another advantage is that I had no problem buying the name for this site.