Rose brought home a list of the kids in her kindergarten class to help her address Valentine cards. Isaac points out a very creatively-spelled name on the list.
I say, “Isn’t it a shame when people have to mess with perfectly good traditional names just to make them ‘unique’ and ‘interesting’?”
Dean says, “And then the poor kid has to explain their name to everyone for the rest of their life.”
I say, “Yeah, I wonder what that’s like.* You know the worst creative name spelling ever? It’s spelled ‘L A hyphen A’ and it’s pronounced “Ladasha.”
“It’s true, it’s really been used. I think that one’s grounds for a legal name change.”
“I thought you were about to say it’s grounds for Child Protective Services to intervene.”
I laugh. “No. But maybe so.”
“The Child Protective Services Name Change Division.”
*The “i” in Zina is a long “i,” as in the traditional American pronunciations of “Dinah” or “Carolina,” but often people who’ve only seen it written understandably guess that it rhymes with Tina or Gina. Less understandably, some people will continue to call me Zena long after they’ve been corrected several times.