Tonight I am preparing for our school's graduation in the morning. I am the Voice - I call out the names of all the graduates as they receive their diplomas. I take this job very seriously because I know how important it is for their family to hear their student's name called, loud, clear and properly.
I don't pretend to know all of the students. I am lucky if I know half of them. A couple days ago - at the rehearsal- I asked the students to write their names phonetically beneath the printed label if they had a strange spelling or pronunciation.
As I review the note cards, I am reminded of all the unusual names I have come across. I am not talking about names in foreign languages. No, I am talking about taking the names of products or just plain making up names. In years past, I have called out names of students named after hotel chains, luxury cars, and even alcoholic drinks. Even celebrities are getting in on the act. One couple naming their daughter after a fruit or was it the maker of iPods.
What happened to naming children after relatives or biblical names? In biblical times, a name meant something. We read about significant events marked by God giving someone a new name (Abraham and later Paul). A name stood for something. It had meaning. What do the names of today say about our society, about us? The only answer I can come up with is that we are obsessed with individuality and consumerism. It's reflected in the names.