Putting Shame in Your Name


Hurricane Charley?

most ridiculous first names:
1. black people
2. children of celebrities
3. chinese people
4. dangerous weather systems

Let me explain number three.

Many Chinese people have English first names that sound ridiculous paired with a Chinese surname. For example, Sarah's father, Conway Chan.

I have a late-thirtysomething cousin who's a computer engineer in Taiwan. He needed an English name for work. What did he select? Pluto. Like the planet. Pluto Chen.

My mother has a childhood girl friend who named herself Chaska.

Then there are the unfortunate American-born children of Chinese immigrants.

Chinese parents usually come up with thoughtful Chinese first names for their children. My Chinese first name means "rises from the east" which, of course, refers to the sun or "son." Get it?

English counterparts are more arbitrary. Olivia, for example, was named after Olivia Newton John.

I've had Chinese friends and classmates with names like: Chanson, Chester, Cliff, Elvin, Emeline, Fandy, Geraint and Phyllis.

Freshman year of high school, I had to pick a Spanish first name for Spanish II. I didn't want to be Pedro "I have a donkey's name" Yu again. Scanning the list of suggested names, I saw "Hugo" and thought of Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame and its author Victor Hugo and impulsively picked it as my name. Not only was it a metrosexual choice in retrospect, but I also forgot that in Spanish, Hs are silent, so all year long, Señora McElaney (those Irish love to speak Spanish) referred to me as "ooh-go," or "juice" in Spanish.

From the LA Weekly:
—No Republican has claimed the presidency without winning Ohio.

Well, that settles it. Bush and Kerry should just run for president of Ohio. Let Ohioans endure all the campaigning and commercials and news coverage.

Bruce Springsteen and friends are wasting their time touring swing states.

Good to know that the fate of our country lies in the hands of Ohio.

P.S. Fuck aphids.