Bits & Pieces: guns, books and more
Clearing out the odds and ends rattling around in the back of my mind....
After the last post on the names Gage and Gauge, some of you made the great point that the spelling Gauge could appeal particularly to hunters. (Among its many measurement meanings, "gauge" is the the unit of diameter of a gun barrel.) That suggests that the spelling Gauge tilts the name away from the preppy side and toward the cowboy/ammo style of Colt. It also calls to mind another name that has been respelled away from tradition toward a common word: Gunnar --> Gunner. And Remington's rising fast, too.
Some of you also commented with distaste on the name Renesmee, coined from Renee and Esme by Twilight author Stephenie Meyer. Style aside, this name has a unique status with me. In Namipedia, it's the one page I've given up on maintaining as a name per se; it's become a kind of shrine.
One of the challenges in Namipedia is to separate reality from fiction. Many young users love to enter "siblings" from their favorite books and movies. I'm constantly removing Phoebe from the Holden sib list, and Hermione from the Harry page. Twilight swamps them all. The big adoptive family of undead Cullens threatens to overwhelm pages for names like Jasper and Rosalie. I try to stem the tide, but on Renesmee I've thrown in the towel. Any visitor to that page is thinking vampires anyway, right? So the sibling list ("Belward," "The Lochness-monster") grows as a little museum of teenage obsession.
A selfless plug for a good book: a while back a writer named Sam Apple interviewed me as he and his wife debated names for their baby. Sam was using his own experiences as an expectant father as a launching pad to understand the whole enterprise of modern pregnancy and baby-raising. The resulting book, American Parent, is very, very funny, and a revealing look at the new-parent world. (Who knew that Stalin was at the root of the Lamaze movement?) American Parent was released this week, check it out!
A more self-serving plug for a good book: the revised, expanded 2nd edition of The Baby Name Wizard will be out next month. I'll have more details as the day approaches!