Okay, now that I’ve cooled down a bit, I can write something. It may be pitifully brief and non-sensical, but I’m gonna emote anyway.
Yesterday, I wrote about my new “friend” Jordan on RfM. I haven’t been hanging out there as much recently, mainly because I no longer really care that much about the Mormons… or frankly, my husband’s ex and her brood. I think it helps that younger stepdaughter is no longer so mean to Bill. Also, a lot of my favorite posters have moved on, so the site doesn’t interest me as much as it used to.
However, I’ve been experiencing a touch of writer’s block lately, so I’ve stopped in a few times to see if anything piques my interest. I ran into Jordan yesterday on the thread about Chelsea Handler. Today, I ran into him again. Someone asked for votes for their “incoming” baby daughter (is she going to be born in a foxhole?). They asked RfMers to pick which name they liked better— Bentley or Petula. People sure are becoming more creative with first names these days. I mean, yeah, I’ve heard of Petula Clark. Bentley reminds me of Mr. Bentley on The Jeffersons. Of course, Bentley is also the name of an expensive car.
Jordan initially piped up with the following comment:
One is the name of a make of car and the other sounds like “petulant”. Neither gets my vote!
Thanks for your input, Jordan. In a way, I can kind of see Jordan’s point. Kids can be cruel. I think parents should take into account the teasing a child might have to endure due to an unfortunately chosen name. For instance, people used to call me “genitalia” because of my maiden name. Even if they hadn’t called me that, I would have loved it if my mom hadn’t chosen the most popular girls’ name of 1972. There were way too many Jennifers, Jennys, and Jens in my classes.
More people weighed in. One person offered a name that wasn’t a choice, which Jordan said he liked. The supportive among us offered which one we liked better. But Jordan wasn’t having just offering his opinion and moving on like a normal person. Nope. He added this comment:
A child called Bentley is going to have car jokes all their life.
Bentley also contains the element “bent” which has all kinds of meanings which aren’t usually positive.
Alright. Point taken. Moving on… But no, the overbearing one was back with this comment, as well as definitions from the dictionary of “bent” and “petulant”:
Bent from MW
a : different from the normal or usual
… she was so bent that she’s probably a woman who ought to be locked up somewhere …
— Robert Redford
b chiefly British : DISHONEST, CORRUPT
a bent cop
c chiefly US : INTOXICATED, DRUNK
Like to get bent? This hangover beater will help you get back on track.
bent out of shape
: extremely upset or angry
slang —used as an angry or contemptuous way of dismissing someone’s statement, suggestion, etc.
I try to call him the next morning to apologize, but he tells me to get bent.
— Chuck Klosterman
pet·u·lant | \ ˈpe-chə-lənt \
Definition of petulant
1 : insolent or rude in speech or behavior
2 : characterized by temporary or capricious ill humor : PEEVISH
You have to be very careful what you name children. Even if it is well meaning. I was at school with a very nice girl called “Gay” – the amount of abuse she had to put up with because of it. (Gay wasn’t actually gay AFAIK either). Children aren’t pc.
There was also a guy called Denholm who was always getting called Denim, and ended up being nicknamed Levis.
This advice, coming from the person who is so very sure Chelsea Handler is about to fly a light plane while rip roaring drunk. Okay, I know that’s not really what he said, but he’s awfully sure he’s right about things, isn’t he? I would imagine it might be difficult to spend a lot of time in his company.
Well… maybe the person who is taking this poll is now regretting the decision to ask people on RfM. I think it’s a very personal decision, what to name one’s child. You could choose your child’s name with a lot of love and care, and then they grow up and change it. My mother-in-law legally changed her name when she was about 60. When we mailed out wedding invitations, Bill’s dad, who has been divorced from his mother since the late 60s, called him up and asked who the hell “Parker” was. Parker is my MIL’s name. She didn’t like the more pedestrian name, Mary Beth, so she changed it. And, of course, all three of ex’s three oldest kids have changed at least one part of their names. Her eldest child– son from the first marriage– has had three different names. But then, his mother has had about five different last names. So, I guess, for some people, names are a transient thing.
Anyway, besides being an expert on alcoholism and the “alcoholic look”, Jordan the opinionated is also an authority on baby naming. Good to know.