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August 17th, 2013 02:36 PM #1
January nn Jani - Stigma Control?
Recently I've really liked the sound of the name January (nn Jani/Janni). The thing is I first heard the name/nickname combination when watching a special about a girl called this who was diagnosed with childhood-onset schizophrenia at age 6. The Schofield's have been very diligent on getting their daughter's story into the media as much as they can to raise awareness (They've been on Oprah, Dr. Phil, 20/20, multiple TLC specials, have a book out, and run a foundation in Jani's name). I personally have no issues with this - I'm a psychology writer, and have my own personal experiences with mental illness. I try the best I can to work against stigma, especially when it comes to psychosis at an early age.
The issue is, I just don't see how I could use this name in my writing or, eventually, in my life. Because of the subject matter of the things I am good at writing and that I enjoy writing, I feel like having a mentally ill character share the same name would be too obvious - I now that if I read a work of fiction that used the same name I'd point it out immediately. And I don't feel comfortable using it as a possible name for children that will come along one day because what am I supposed to say when asked, by friends, family members, or the child herself, where the idea of the name came from? "Why did your parents name you January?" "They were inspired by the story of a schizophrenic girl with the name."
Okay, that doesn't sound too awful. ANYWAY I'm infamous for over-thinking things way too much, so I'd really like your opinions on this.Named Nadia, called Sunny. A teenage writer who's obsessed with names.
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August 17th, 2013 02:42 PM #3
As soon as I read the title I thought of January Schofield. If I met a little girl called Janurary with the nickname Jani I would wonder if they named their daughter after January Schofield. I personally wouldn't use it as a first name for one of my children but I do think it would make a nice middle name. As for using it in a story I don't see that as a problem.Flynn Alexander Rory Violet Ada Florence
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August 17th, 2013 02:45 PM #5Senior Member
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I kind of see this as two separate issues. If you're looking for a name to use in your writing, I probably would not use January/Jani, because the parallel is obvious to me. Then again, I'm a psych dork and I love watching Discovery health (I'm watching it right now!), reading case studies, and work in the field. Context is everything.
If you're looking for a name for your child, however, I don't immediately think of January/Jani, the schizophrenic child... I think it's a pretty name. I wonder if the child was born in winter. I wonder if you're a fan of January Jones. Jani is like five or six thoughts down the line. The fact that your first heard the name while watching a special about Jani is just a fact-- it doesn't have to color your view of the name unless you let it.
August 17th, 2013 02:47 PM #7
I completely understand your story and feelings but January is a name that has multiple connotations. It has been carried by other women. January Jones of Mad Men fame (Joan Holloway) is a stunning Aphrodite-like goddess and was my first introduction to the appellation! I really like it and think it could be a great baby name after an (admittedly very important) piece of current events has transpired. However, I could see how it could be "more obvious" if it was for a fiction character name on a related topic.
Last edited by baconandmeggs; August 17th, 2013 at 02:50 PM.
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August 17th, 2013 02:49 PM #9Senior Member
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