A while ago I put up a tab at the top called Helpful naming tips and info — it’s a collection of posts and comments from here and elsewhere that I think are particularly helpful. I’ve been gradually adding to it as I come across things (comments, posts, articles) that I think are particular helpful regarding a particular naming issue.
I’m just about to add Abby’s post from today: Spelling Counts: 9 Rules for Spelling Baby Names. Such a great post! A few really valuable nuggets:
- “If you’re not sure how to spell your child’s name, choose the dominant spelling … Notice I didn’t say correct spelling.”
- “I borrowed the phrase “phonetic transparency” from NameLab years ago, and it’s still one of my favorite finds. The corporate naming group explains it this way:A phonetically transparent name is spoken-as-spelled and easily pronounced from alphabetic notation … Creative spellings work when they stay within the bounds of phonetic transparency. Which means they work best when the changes are relatively minor. I know how to pronounce Jaymee and Lauryn, even if I expect to see Jamie and Lauren … Change too much, though, and you sacrifice phonetic transparency”
- “If there’s one hard and fast thou-shalt-not on this list, it has to this one: avoid novelty spellings … Kneena for Nina. Kviiilyn for Kaitlyn. Airwrecka for Erica”
- “But here’s an important rule of thumb: the more creative the spelling, the less sophisticated the name appears”
As with all of Abby’s name writing, I love how she imparts hard naming truths (“the more creative the spelling, the less sophisticated the name appears”) without coming across as offensive to anyone.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on name spellings! Do you, as a rule, like or loathe creative spellings? Are there any exceptions to your own rules (i.e., if you dislike like kr8tyv-type spellings in general, are there any that you actually think are kind of clever or attractive)?
UPDATE: I just remembered I wrote this for CatholicMom ages ago: A Name by Any Other Spelling