I am of the opinion that Shakespeare got it all wrong when he said “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I’m guessing his idealism got the better of him. I, for one, am certain that names do matter. A lot. Chances are, Romeo and Juliet would probably not be the classic that it is if it were called Romeo and Julio (read Hoo-lyo). Snigger, snigger.
I’ve been putting off the whole name selection process for 5 months now, and I think it’s time. I mean, it’s the kind of huge decision that sticks with them for life, and I really don’t want to muck it up. Plus, it doesn’t help that their last name will be, wait for it… KAO. Cool last names like Smith or Williams can go with practically anything, but with Kao, that’s a different story. It’s a delicate balance between being unique and keeping it cool.
Take for example, a lovely name like Abarne. Pair it with most names and it works, but if I were to name my daughter that, her name in itself would be a knock-knock joke.
Knock-knock. Who’s there?
Abarne. Abarne who?
As a rule of thumb, literary devices also don’t work in a name. Rhymes (Julia Gulia), alliterations (Peter Piper) and onomatopoeias (Ling Ling) are a no-go. If you haven’t already noticed, kids are brutal when it comes to name-calling and a badly chosen name would be like sending her bleeding and blind into the pack of wolves.
After mulling over it for a couple of days, the list was narrowed down to Ava, Emma and Kirsten. Emma Kao got voted off first, because it sounded too much like “I’m a Kao”. Ava, I really liked, but of all the things in the world, it had to mean birdlike. And I hate birds. (There’s a story here which involves a crow getting lodged in a woman’s frontal skull, but I’ll save it for another time.)
So we’ve decided on Kirsten Kao. Yes, I know it breaks the alliteration rule, but if you say it enough times, there’s a rather nice ring to it.