Bridgeman on SFNS

Shelley Bridgeman writes about Silly First name Syndrome:

It’s official. A study has discovered that the name you bestow on your newborn can affect its future. Who would have thought? You mean to say twins called Benson and Hedges might stand out from their peers – and not in a good way? So inventing names, mangling spellings and inserting random apostrophes are inadvisable? Gosh, we learn something new every day.

Most new parents appear to fall into one of two camps. There are the traditionalists who want a nice, normal name that no one will bat an eyelid at. Hello Sarah, Elizabeth, William and Jack. Then there are the people determined to be original and stand out from the crowd. Like television characters Kath and Kim, they consider “unusual” to be a desirable attribute.

“Oh, yes, that’s noice, different, unusual,” they say about Sativa-Rochee, KleeShay and Qba (names I encountered on Trade Me’s Parenting message-board).

I must belong to the first group because the simplicity of a regular name appeals to me. I’m not inclined to inflict a child with a lifelong need to clarify the spelling – or worse, the pronunciation – of their name. Don’t think I’m deriding cultural names or prized family names here; it’s the creation of one-of-a-kind, plucked-out-of-thin-air names to which I am drawing attention.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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