What's in a name (which begins in 'C')?
Casey, Crystal, Callum and Connor, watch out. Your names, along with Chelsea, Courtney and Chardonnay, are on the list of those most suspected of bad behaviour by English teachers in a survey of three thousand, conducted by a childcare website with some kind of strange bent against the letter C. In fact, the only name to break into the top three names for misbehavers which didn’t begin with C was Jack, which, coincidentally, was also revealed as the most popular baby name for boys today for the 15th time in a row.
This is a matter of some trepidation for someone who was named Jack a decade before it hit the top spot, back when it was still underground. Now, whenever I’m introduced to a child bearing this simple, informal version of John, with its Middle English roots as ‘Janken’, I’ll shudder to think of the socio-political implications of all of these little hell-raisers running around, sullying my good name with their miscreant antics.
But why, in this strange and unique instance, have popularity and infamy gone hand in hand? My guess is that ubiquity has ruined it, so that, just as a few too may strokes of a writer’s pen can turn poetry into cliche, so a lack of originality can result in a formerly great name becoming more common than Tom, Dick or Harry and similarly worn-out. Everyone knows unimaginative people are bad people – and unimaginative parents, it follows, are bad parents.
There’s also the theory that the current crop of celebrity Jacks just aren’t up to the task as role models as their namesakes of days-gone-by (I’m looking at you, Tweed), but I’ll discuss that in brief in tomorrow’s paper. For now, it’s time to come to terms with the fact that not only is there all the furore with Jack – as today’s results indicate, Riley is on the way up too.
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