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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    284
    Quote Originally Posted by celianne View Post
    hehehe. Gotta love those eighth grade reading lists...

    Well, you have to remember, this is your first introduction to REAL literature. As a young person, you hit a certain age, a certain reading level, a certain maturity, and you are exposed to something more than Magic Tree House. Something deeper and more striking. The first introduction to anything is going to have that kind of an impact, too; an initial wonder, a beginner's love. Atticus is your first true unsung hero, Bradbury your gateway into the mysteries of sci-fi. Darcy is the first character you ever underestimated, and Austen is the first author you had to read three times to pick up all of her subtle little jokes and social ploys.

    Everyone has some attachment to it. There's a reason these books are so popular; it's because they're good. Everyone's read them because everyone should, and they have an impact on everyone because they are impacting. They aren't trying to be pretentious or look cultured; they're trying to reflect a certain standard, a certain love. Just like people name their children after movie stars and musicians, it's because of how they perceive that person more than how they want their child to be perceived, or themselves to be perceived.
    ALL of this! I am guilty of liking many, many things that many people would call pretentious or -gasp- even snobby. I have always shrugged it off. I've been a voracious reader and enthusiastic learner since I was four, so I'm naturally drawn to things that I've learned about. I love names that have some great story behind them, either from history or literature. Atticus is a particularly wonderful name because it has a pleasurable sound, literary AND ancient connections. How wonderful not only to set a good example for your child but also to be able to sit down with him or her some day and be able to explain the stories to them. The names are more meaningful when there's a story behind them, at least to me. I know not everyone sees it that way and wants a more down to earth name, but I'm not that way, so why would I want my kids' names to be? I just shrug at it.
    - current loves -
    Genevieve - Aurelia - Penelope - Clementine - Matilda - Wilhelmina - Josephine - Cordelia
    Max - Frederick - Elliot - Gus - Atticus - Felix - Theodore - Beckett - Calvin

  2. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Slytherin Common Room
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    4,892
    I completely feel the same. It's very pretentious and eye-roll worthy to me. Atticus is the one that grinds my gears like none other, that and Holden.

  3. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    647
    I'm of mixed feelings; I know people (3 separate couples) who have all named a daughter Scout without having read To Kill a Mockingbird. And I roll my eyes HARD at them all, because it seems so pretentious to me to be like "Her name is Scout, like To Kill a Mockingbird," when you don't even understand who Scout is or why she's the type of character you want your daughter to admire. I know people who consider famous book/author names simply to make themselves look more intellectual; an example of this is my cousin, who would genuinely name a child something like Tennyson or Salinger, but who hasn't voluntarily picked up a book in over a decade.

    On the other hand, there are many people who truly love the literature and characters and authors they have encountered. I consider myself one of these people. I was that kid in elementary school who got in trouble for reading at recess instead of playing. I was bullied throughout Junior High and High School and can honestly say that there were times when my books were my only friends. Reading was my first true love, it's my escape, my favorite pastime. I also have an intense love of collecting books and have about 6 bookshelves' worth of books scattered throughout my house.

    My future kids won't have any choice about whether they become book lovers; even the kids I nanny for have become voracious readers.

    To Kill a Mockingbird is the one being discussed more here, and I think it is because we all read it so young and it stuck with us. I know, for myself, Atticus and Scout were my favorite characters. When it comes down to it, my kids probably won't have a literary first name, but i love the idea of giving them middle names from books that touched my life.

    I think, perhaps, the reason people tend to gravitate towards the same literary names (like Atticus) is because those books are so familiar and loved; they're like the comfort food of literature. There does seem to be a bit of trying to seem intellectual in these names, I think, because there are a lot more Scouts than Hermiones.

    This has been long and rambling, but my general point is that i like literary names but i do think it can be pretentious. As long as you don't name your kids with the intent of making yourself look better/smarter/more cultured, I think it's fine.
    I hope to be a mom one day. For now I enjoy being a name lover.

    My apologies for any typos; i post from my mobile phone.

  4. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    869
    Quote Originally Posted by alphabetdem View Post
    ALL of this! I am guilty of liking many, many things that many people would call pretentious or -gasp- even snobby. I have always shrugged it off. I've been a voracious reader and enthusiastic learner since I was four, so I'm naturally drawn to things that I've learned about. I love names that have some great story behind them, either from history or literature. Atticus is a particularly wonderful name because it has a pleasurable sound, literary AND ancient connections. How wonderful not only to set a good example for your child but also to be able to sit down with him or her some day and be able to explain the stories to them. The names are more meaningful when there's a story behind them, at least to me. I know not everyone sees it that way and wants a more down to earth name, but I'm not that way, so why would I want my kids' names to be? I just shrug at it.
    Exactly! I'd love to have name with a literary connect, at least a better one than my name's stereotype (Cecilia=rich, prissy, spoiled brat). The rest of my name has a correlation, but I wasn't named FOR it, so it's meaningless on that front. I'd want a much better story for my kids, personally, and why not a real STORY?

    The literature clearly had an impact on the parents, and by saying it's pretentious you're saying that you don't appreciate the meaning behind that. Or that you're assuming they don't, which is just silly.

    There's a lot of names I'm considering JUST because of their literary or cultural connections:

    Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird)
    Paul (Dune, Frank Herbert)
    Gerard (Lead singer of My Chemical Romance, my favorite band)
    Walt (Disney)
    Calvin (& Hobbes)
    Hugo (Les Miserables author)

    Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird)
    Valentine (Ender's Game)
    Liesl (The Sound of Music)
    Helena (A work of my own; Helena Bonham Carter)
    Matilda (Both the movie and the book)
    Coraline (The book)

    I have absolutely sound and legitimate reasoning behind all of these for precisely WHY I would choose to name a child after them. Am I being pretentious because I love something and want to reflect that with my children? How is this so different from choosing nature names because you love nature? Or family names because you're close to your family? How is that any different from using a name because it has a good definition? A lot of names mean things like 'gift from god' or 'light' or 'beautiful' or 'strong' or 'warrior,' how is that not an expectation, how is that not pretentious?

    Using names from To Kill a Mockingbird doesn't make you a pretentious prick. It makes you a literature nerd; To Kill a Mockingbird not only has a LOT of good, moral messages (ASIDE from racism, like acceptance and curiosity and integrity), it is a beautifully written book. There were times when I was reading it that I stopped and reread a sentence, because I wanted to feel the joy of reading something so perfect again. I can quote it all I want, but nothing makes a statement like bringing another person into this world and telling them that I love them as much as I love my work, my passion.

    Yeah, okay, if they haven't read it and say that it's the REASON they used it for their child, that's kind of pretentious. But why should that be the assumption? Why jump to the conclusion that they just did it for appearances? Why not think, 'Wow, they must have really loved that book' instead of 'Oh, they're pretentious try-hards?'

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    5,340
    Quote Originally Posted by poppy528 View Post
    Yes yes yes. It is incredibly pretentious. Harper is the frigging worst IMO. It just makes you look like a completely bourgeois, pseudointellectual @sshat. Unless, perhaps, you actually are a lit scholar or something. But in that case, I bet you can come up with something better than Harper!
    Oh yes. That's what bugs me I think. But I am contradicting myself, I've got literary names on my list. But they're not that obvious I think. Besides, I am sick of meeting Atticus's and Holden's that are named for those characters (who wants to name their son after Holden anyway? Unless you're sixteen...). If you name your kid Atticus after Titus Pomponius Atticus I'd be much happier. But this might also be because I don't like To Kill a Mocking Bird, it's not that great (it might indeed be the most hyped book ever) and neither is the leading man (as was pointed out above). And the surname thing... Yes I find Salinger to be a very pretentious name. And I am saying this as a huge Salinger fan, Franny & Zooey is one of my favourites. If you choose the surname of such a famous writer it is because you want people to make that association immediately.
    My darling Marian Illyria Aphrodite, March 2013 & Little Bunny (a girl!) due 9th of February 2014

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