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  1. #1

    Baby name book pet peeves

    I've always enjoyed a stroll to the 925 section of the library's nonfiction books--that's Dewey Decimal System for names. They're typically made for soon-to-be parents rather than name nerds, which I don't mind--that is, until these problems arise. Is anyone else bugged by these?

    1. Altering or fancifying meanings to sound more appealing - Though not the biggest issue for most people, yes, a bad or nonexistent meaning can put people off a name. But how will a kid feel when the meaning his parents told him is actually false? And I thought nonfiction books weren't supposed to lie! Also, some complain of false meanings being insensitive to some cultures. I've never thought that, but it's something to consider. My main issue is that it's false advertisement--in this case, for a baby name. Seriously, what's the worst thing that could happen if you told your readers the truth? Is this a specific name you want to become popular?

    2. Trying to increase the name count by having bizarre names that no one would choose - Plenty of name books separately list multiple spellings of names that are already unusual themselves(!). They include outlandish ancient names, too, that not even the edgiest of parents would consider, along with freshly invented (by the authors) names. I've even read one book where CLEARLY single-sex names were listed as unisex--no, not just Rory or James. Beyond that: Alexander, William, Elizabeth, Zoe, Megan, Jessica, Jennifer...what the heck? (At least it went both ways.) All of these are done to up the book's number of names, therefore attracting more buyers. Won't buy you the fanship of name enthusiasts, though. Quality, not quantity.

    I apologize if this was a rant.

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    I understand completely. A majority of the baby name books I've come across focus on quantity and not quality. Some of the "alternative" spellings are outright ridiculous and are obviously there for the sole purpose of boosting the book's name count. I also get frustrated with the lack of research put into baby name books.

    Another pet peeve? Rude commentary instead of factual information on a name. If I'm going to buy a name book, I want the book to include information on the history and etymology of each name inside. Give me that I can form an opinion of a name on my own, thanks.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    I agree with you guys, when I pick up a book like that I feel like I could have written it.
    There is really no purpose for me to go to a book for research if I don't learn anything new.
    I'd love to load up my bookshelf with name books but I just find the internet easier to deal with <shrug>.
    Little Lorelei - May 2016
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