I was going to respond to a whole bunch of posts but decided that would make mine WAY too long.
I am one of those people who love the boards but don't ever visit the name descriptions on NB except if prompted to by a particular comment. This is mostly because I wasn't getting the depth of information I was looking for and I found some of the opinions disrespectful. However, I fully recognized that they were personal opinions, and part of me enjoyed knowing they were there. A section that says "Linda feels this name is.... Pam thinks...." could be a great way to incorporate those opinions and really give fans some insight into the different preference of feelings of each. This would be particularly cool if they didn't fully agree. Maybe Linda finds Ashley on a boy very handsome and Pam think's it's gone too much to the girls to be used. But how cool would it be to be able to look that up. FYI: babynames.com and some other sites have names split into pink, blue and green (unisex) which might be a cool option with the increasing number of gender-neutral names being discussed.
I think it's important for NB fans to be able to point out entries that need updating. As Linda pointed out multiple times there are 50,000 names listed on this website. It's a bit hard to keep track of 50,000 of anything. If they were constantly reviewing entries they'd never get around to adding new ones.
Phew. I'm mostly checking in to keep up with the discussion here. Zippy, I very much appreciate your post. The heart of our work, what made is so revolutionary when it was first published in 1988 and what makes our books and Nameberry different from anything that exists now or is likely to exist in the future because of the changing rights landscape, is the qualitative analysis based on decades of research and experience. Just in case anyone's confused on this point, we abhor homophobia and misogyny and racism. We've updated entries that "rub people the wrong way" and will continue to update constantly.
But our opinions will remain and what's more, the voice and attitude of this site are what attract this vibrant community of educated and passionate name lovers with well-informed and sophisticated opinions of their own. We not only invite but LOVE hearing your opinions and ideas on names and expect the same high regard in return.
Lexiem, really fun idea to point up the times when Linda and I disagree, though I'm afraid it would be a very short section....could be a great idea for a blog. One of the many things that's supported our long and happy partnership is that we are in agreement on most names (but not Henrietta. I'll save that for the blog).
One of the changes we have on board for Nameberry in the near future is a page inviting your commentary on every name which will widen the opportunity for individual commentary. Our wish is that this will open the way to a wider range of opinions beyond our own on many names, which will help parents make better-informed decisions on names for their babies.
It's called feedback. Something that any reputable brand appreciates.
Originally Posted by zippy
There's nothing wrong in pointing out things that rub users the wrong way, with the intentions and hopes of it being remedied.
Did we pose an ultimatum? No. We're not forcing anything. We simply posted our issues, and left it up to Pam and Linda to choose what to do.
Also, just because Barack Obama's mother's name is Stanley doesn't mean we have to like it, or think it's suitable on a female.
If you don't see the joy, that's your own issue. I'm plenty happy on this forum, thank you very much. :)
I'm a touch puzzled on this point, if this is true, then why were homophobic words/slurs used at all, ever, in the entries for names?
Originally Posted by pam
I wouldn't put something like "Ming-Lee; your friendly neighbourhood nail tech." (which is pretty much along the same lines as the old entry for Antoine) in a name database and then say I can't stand racism.
I think it's all about how your interpret their comments. Why do you interpret Antoine being a hairdresser as a negative statement? Do you look down on male hairdressers? A lot of them are very successful. Look at Paul Mitchell! Pam and Linda's opinions are based on their experiences. Maybe they have run across a lot of Antoines in the beauty shop business. I personally know one! Also, why is being limp-wristed associated with being gay? There are plenty of straight men who are feminine. Why is it okay for women to be coined as "tom-boys," but as soon as a man is called feminine everyone gets offended? As you can see, everything is open to interpretation and these discussions can go on forever.
Originally Posted by east93
Yes, I agree that Pam and Linda's descriptions generalize, and I think all generalizations inherently contain a level of ignorance. And this is the case with every single name description on nameberry. If Pam and Linda start changing their descriptions based on feedback they get from their fans, then they might as well shut this whole thing down because then it's no longer their opinion, but the opinion of someone else. With that said, creating a section below their descriptions to incorporate the opinions of others may not be a bad idea.
I for one don't view it as negative at all. But the sentence wasn't phrased as "Oh how lovely the name is!" it was phrased more negatively than that.
Originally Posted by bellababy
They can share their opinion with out being offensive. Such as "Often seen on male hairdressers in our experiences." or something. Not "Your friendly neighbourhood hairdresser." they have no CLUE who my neighbourhood hair dresser is, it's a snarky comment and that's negative.
And that's not their worst comment anyways, it's one that I immediately remembered.
One definition on limp-wristed: literally means homosexual, as in you make your wrist limp when you talk and you say "OMG NO WAY" alot.
Yeah, how is that not offensive to homosexuals.
I don't understand why it's viewed as wrong to state opinions without being offensive, I really don't.
I don't see anything wrong with some of them. Some are kind of rude, though. I don't picture a flamboyantly gay man when I hear the name Lance.
LoungeLemon, if you feel that the owners of a community should post only facts about a name, there are TONS of other sites. Behindthename is one of the most accurate, I believe. Strictly the facts.
What makes nameberry special IS the commentary. Its like a chance to feel the pulse of what's going on name-wise at any given moment. Is this name generally considered dated, hip, boring, trashy? Those are cool things to know. Not everyone is always going to agree and that's ok too. Doesn't mean there shouldnt be opinions at all. Rather then getting up in arms because someone insulted a name you like, you can instead consider it enlightening. "Huh. I find Agatha so elegant. I didn't realize that it makes others think of hags." I bet most people choose a name are more concerned with the general feel and opinions towards the name they choose rather then the straight up history of it.
If you dont like that about nameberry, cool. Check out somewhere else instead, because it is something that sets nameberry apart from other name databases.
One problem is that with any fashionable thing, it can change quickly, and could be difficult to keep up with. Maybe a couple months ago Doris was the very definition of frump, but now it might be the next up-and-coming hipster choice. That's why Pam and Linda need our opinions too.
That said, I'm American, and I've never heard of this Melita as a coffee filter thing. I think you are safe to use it. ;)
Let me preface by saying, I love the community here. I know what I'm going to say might annoy Pam and Linda.
Persephnoe's description bothers me. A while back I mentioned that I had asked them to change certain Greek names and they do for a while then they get changed back. This is a perfectly good example. I asked them to change it so that it was actually correct, factual information and not the weird mix or Roman and Greek names with inaccurate meanings and titles, and they did. Now it's exactly like it used to be so I'll try again.
Persephone says -- Persephone is the esoteric name of the Greek mythological daughter of Zeus by Demeter, the queen of the harvest. After she was kidnapped by Pluto to be Queen of the Underworld, it was decreed by Jupiter that she would spend six months of the year with her mother, allowing crops to grow, and six in mourning, thus accounting for the seasons.
Despite the mixed message of her mythological past, Persephone has a light and lyrical aura, and pleasant associations with springtime and the harvest — she was also goddess of Spring. Persephone was seen in the Matrix movies, played by Monica Bellucci, and could make an interesting replacement for the overused Stephanie.
This is completely wrong in that the names are wrong, Persephone isn't the goddess of the Spring, nor does her name mean "bringing death".
Point one -- She was kidnapped by Hades (Pluto is the Roman name). It was decreed by Zeus (Jupiter is the Roman name and they just used Zeus further up so I don't see the confusion here for them).
Point 2 -- She is not the goddess of Spring. The goddess of Springtime is Eirene. Persephone is the goddess of Spring growth.
Point 3 -- The meaning of Persephone is unknown. the -phone ending suggests a connection with sound and speaking and the Perse part means "dark blue". It has nothing to do with "bringing death" so I'd appreciate it if the meaning could at least say "unknown" or "Greek mythological name" like all the other god/goddess names on here.
This bothers me because it was changed to be correct at one point, and now it's back again like this. This is my religion and it makes me feel very upset to see it twisted and changed and to feel like no one cares whether my religious information is correct or not.
I'm sorry I sound so angry, I hope you're not terribly offended. I just want the same respect and correctness for my religious names as you show to the Christian names.
These don't necessarily bother me, but since this thread is getting more attention than the "What names have we missed" I thought I stick them here.
Ariadne -- I'd love if her pronunciation were added. air-ee-add-nee.
Artemis -- The description says "Artemis is the ancient goddess of the moon and the hunt, equivalent to the Roman Diana, but a fresher and more distinctive, if offbeat, choice. Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo, one of the twelve deities who lived on Mount Olympus. She is also the goddess of children and all weak things..."
It should say she's the goddess of Virgin goddess of the hunt, wilderness, animals, young girls, childbirth and plague. In later times she became associated with the moon.
Demeter -- She isn't just the goddess of agriculture. She's goddess of grain, agriculture and the harvest, growth and nourishment.
Gaia -- you have it listed as gay-uh or guy-uh. The first is wrong. It's only guy-uh
Hestia -- She is actually the goddess of the hearth, home and chastity.
Psyche -- in her description, you say "loved by Cupid". This is Greek, not Roman, so it should say "loved by Eros". She also became the goddess of the soul.
Xanthe -- this is one I've asked to be fixed repeatedly. It is pronounced ZAN-thee. Not either of the ways you have it listed.
Apollo -- you have him listed as medicine, music, and poetry. He's really God of light, music, arts, knowledge, healing, plague and darkness, prophecy, poetry, purity, athletism, manly beauty, and enlightenment.
Atlas -- he carries the sky on his shoulders, not the world.
Eros -- god of love AND Sexual Intercourse
Dionysius -- This is just wrong. It's Dionysus (you've added an I that shouldn't be there)
Hermes -- he's not just a messenger. He's the God of boundaries, travel, communication, trade, thievery, trickery, language, writing, diplomacy, athletics, and animal husbandry.
Pan -- He's the god of shepherds, pastures, and fertility. It would be nice to see it. Pan also means "all" not feather and it's where the word Panic comes from.
Zeus -- He's not just the supreme god. He's also god of the sky, weather, thunder, lightning, law, order, and fate.
I know I'm being picky, but like I said, this is my religion and I would love it if it could get the same respect and attention the Christian names on here do. I don't want to feel like the site is a bit insensitive towards people who are not Christian or Jewish. I love this site and I love the work Pam and Linda put into it, but I just think it would be nice to see the full, factual information added when it's pointed out please. Thank you and I appreciate you guys.