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  • Google Helping With Names

    [caption id="attachment_4890" align="alignleft" width="312" caption="Google Helping With Names"]Names [/caption]

    Take a look at this article from The New York Times, where they discuss Google's role in helping parents decide on names for their children. Seems silly right? Not in a world run by Google. Allen Salkin of The New York Times discusses further:

    No offense to the Kalias of the world, but Lecia and Thor Kaslofsky decided this two years ago, after conducting a Google search of names they were considering for their first child.

    A search for Kalia pulled up several images of scantily clad women. “I didn’t want there to be a Google identity for her to wrestle with,” said Ms. Kaslofsky, a corporate investigator in San Francisco. So the couple, who wanted an uncommon name, came up with a creative spelling that sounds the same as kah-LEE-ah: Kaleya.

    Another Google search didn’t raise any red flags, and thus a name was born. “The Kaleyas online were an illustrator of goth posters and a Spanish metal band,” she said.

    In our still-budding digital world, where public and private spheres cross-pollinate in unpredictable ways, perhaps it’s not surprising that soon-to-be parents now routinely turn to Google to vet baby names. A quick search can help ensure that a child is not saddled with the name of a serial killer, pornography star or sex offender.

    But what’s new is the level of complexity that Google and other search engines have brought to the name game. Some parents want names that are unique so their child will rise to the top of future search results. Others want names that are uncommon enough to bestow uniqueness, but not so exotic that they would be considered weird on the playground. A rare few want their child’s name to get lost in a virtual crowd.

    While there are no reliable statistics on the matter, a small survey on LilSugar, a parenting and pop culture site, found that 64 percent of respondents had Googled their baby’s name before settling on it.

    Uniqueness seems to be a primary motive and has spurred an unspoken competition among parents to find the most original names, said Laura Wattenberg, author of “The Baby Name Wizard,” a guide for selecting a name. “Parents thinking of a baby name will type it in and say: ‘Oh, no, it’s taken. There are already three others with that name.’ ”

    But too little research can backfire, too. Deborah Goldstein, 43, and her partner, Gabriella Di Maggio, thought they had chosen unique names for their boys: Levi and Asher. To be sure, they checked the Social Security Administration’s list of most popular baby names. Neither was in the top 100.

    Read more at The New York Times

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