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September 13, 2007

Opinion: I’m Sick of All These Chads and Ambers

By Dr. Martin Dalloway, Professor of Communication
American University, Washington, D.C.

You know, I’ve been teaching for nearly thirty years, and I’ve always appreciated the rich diversity in student names. From Seamus to Shaniqua to that Charles Running Bear kid I had back in ’98, each name says something unique and special about its bearer.

But in recent years, all these friggin’ Baby Boomers keep giving their kids cutesy bourgeois monikers, and goddamn it, I’m sick of all these Chads and Ambers.

In any given mass communications course, I only have about 35 students. This semester I have four Ambers in one section. Fucking four! That means at 10 a.m., twice a week, I have to remember which Amber is a disgusting fat-body, which Amber has the nose ring, which Amber would rather fall on a sword than speak in class, and which Amber has tits the size of cantaloupes.

Whatever happened to Bernadette, and Gertrude, and Miranda? Sure, they’re a bit literary, but it’s a damn shame that the only place you can find such graceful nomenclature is in the slow-shuffled halls of a retirement home. Riley, Madison, Hailey—shit, why not just put a sign on your kid’s back saying “I was born in 1989 and care more about my hair than doing homework”?

And don’t get me started on these teenage guys. Jesus Tapdancing Christ. There’s Bret with one T, Brett with two Ts, all manner of Chads and Coopers and Ethans and Logans. I could puke last night’s halibut until my fucking balls retracted.

Here’s the bottom line: surely parents don’t want their child to be the gazillionth Billy or Liz in this world, but have some discretion. Stop thinking these Barnes & Noble name books will help you unearth some hallowed prenomen never before bestowed upon a child. Why not look into your family’s ancestry and pick a name with some actual significance?

Because honestly, if I have another class roster full of Calebs and Brittaneys, heads will fucking roll.

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