Tuesday, November 15, 2005

¿Cómo se llama?
[a]ccording to the latest government data, [Justin and Ashley] are the two most common names given to children of Hispanic parents in NY last year. For Asian parents the story is different: name number one is Emily.
Fine names all, even if the first two suffer a bit from their popularity and new ubiquity. Paul Fussell in Class (search the blog or use the Amazon link to the right) observed this phenom over 20 years ago writing about middle-class white Americans, who were and are keen on traditional English names out of a romance novel.

But as great as English culture is, it’s a little disturbing to see Hispanics use Protestant-sounding names. One can only hope that Ashley is getting a saint’s name as a middle name. By the way, as Fr Andrew Phillips has written, many traditional names in English that seem Protestant aren’t. Jennifer is really Geneviève for example and Al(l)ison really Alexandra.

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