Inspirations: No more little sun kings
Baby names-are they 4real?
Popular baby names
Behind the Name
History and hidden meanings of Britain's brilliant place names from Ordnance Survey
Names are a common feature of the human experience and have been with us for millennia. People have been named after products, geographic features, and just about everything else imaginable. The practice of naming children has been the subject of thousands of books, hundreds of weblogs, and informal conversations between soon-to-be mothers and fathers. This week, electoral officials in Venezuela introduced a bill that would effectively allow parents to select their baby's name from a list of a mere 100 approved by the central government. The stated purpose of the bill is "to preserve the equilibrium and integral development of the child." Interestingly enough, another intent of the bill is to prevent names that "generate doubts" about the gender of the child. Certain groups would receive exemptions, including Indians and foreigners, but there are still many who find this proposed measure quite offensive. One new mother in Venezuela remarked, "It's a question of taste", after she told a reporter that her daughter's name was Mariangela, which effectively combined Maria and Angela.
The first link leads to a fine news article by Simon Romero on this proposal which appeared in this Wednesday's New York Times. The second link will take visitors to another piece on the subject offered by The Sydney Morning Herald. Moving on, the third link leads to an important piece from the Irish Independent which explores the influence of pop culture on baby names. The fourth link leads to the Social Security Administration's very fun and engaging site on popular baby names, past and present. The fifth link will take users to the "Behind the Name" site, which takes visitors through the etymology of thousands of names. The last link explores the world of British place names, courtesy of the Ordnance Survey. Important facts are revealed through this exploration of toponymy, including the history of Welsh place names such as Caerdydd, Tresaith, and Maesbanadlog.