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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by daisy451 View Post
    @shvibziks I don't think there's anything pretentious about naming your child after a book that you LOVE- really, truly love. But how is it possible that so many people's favorite characters or favorite books are TKAM and Catcher in the Rye? With the entirety of literature, THOSE are the two everyone on earth seems to love. And I think there's a big difference between Atticus/Holden/Keats and Lee/Ray/Juliet (As in Harper, Bradbury, and Romeo &.) With the latter, the names pay homage to the books/authors, but they're common enough that they aren't exclusively associated with those authors.
    First of all, I don't really understand why it's surprising that certain books are the favourite of many people. TKAM is one of the most celebrated books in the history of American literature - of course it's popular.

    Second, although I personally would rather choose a name that wasn't strongly tied to one famous person, whether an author, historical figure, celebrity or literary character, if I read you correctly you're basically saying that it's only ok to choose names that don't have a very strong association with any character or person unless that person or character is extremely important to you. I don't agree with that. As others have said, once you start categorizing reasons behind the choice of name as ok or 'too pretentious' or 'too' anything else, well, it's akin to saying that only certain reasons for choosing a name are acceptable or beyond reproach, and that's problematic. I think many people see the names they choose as a reflection of their taste and social status, but there's no rule that says the names you choose have to have some deep personal meaning for you. Sometimes it's the aesthetics and practical considerations that make people choose one name among many they like, and if there is an association with an admired literary character, author or historical figure then they consider that a bonus.

    I understand what you're talking about, truly - I think some people are trying so hard to be different or counter-culture or retro or literary-sounding that they possibly lose sight of whether or not they really like a name based on its own merits. A name like Salinger would strike me as a bit silly, I admit. But at this point, names like Beckett, Harper and Atticus are out there in circulation, and the literary associations may or may not be among the top reasons why a particular parent decides to use one of them.

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