What's in a Name

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Names have always played a significant impact on one’s life. It is a representation of one’s culture and identity. When one hears the name of “Barack Obama”, they think the president or perhaps when they are “Michael Jackson” they establish the name of the famous pop singer. Just as important as a personal name, surnames also contributes one’s identity as well and interestingly enough, one’s heritage.

Bonnie Wach’s article, “What’s in a Name” explores the impact of how names can affect a person. Wach clarifies that there is nothing unique when a person has the same name as another thus many parents decide to be uncommon by naming their child something peculiar. As some may know, many parents try individualizing a child by separating those in common using a name extremely bizarre such as “Fuzzy, Whisper, Pitbull, Demon, Nausea, and Mischief”. The author warns the readers about naming a child. She explains that children must tolerate the consequences of mockery and bullying due to the fact that the parents decided to choose an unusual name to become “unique”. However, Bach notes that at least one of the researchers she explored believed that an unusual name can be beneficial and advantageous in the long run because they will receive more acknowledgment for it, especially if they become successful one day. Overall, whether a name could be damaging or beneficial, Wach emphasizes that parents should be careful and choose considerately when naming a child. Our names identify and distinguish who we are as individual and it’s important to act unselfishly.
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