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The New York Times ran an article Sunday – What’s in a name? Ask Google – about expecting parents who use Google to vet potential baby names. Apparently only 64% of them do it, which is surprising since most expecting parents aren’t grandparents, and studies consistently show that ‘not being a grandparent’ enjoys a strong positive correlation with ‘knowing about the google’.

The highlight of the article came embedded in this nugget:

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…

But shortly after the couple moved to South Orange, N.J., in 2006, they had a rude awakening. While waiting at an ice cream parlor, they heard a woman shout “Asher!” at a different boy.

“It was two other Jewish lesbian moms with a child of the same name,” Ms. Goldstein said. Google had let her down. “It didn’t tell us it’s a unique name unless you move to a neighborhood outside New York City where other trendy Jews are moving, too.”

So Asher was ruined by 2006. Imagine the couple’s disappointment two years later, when they discovered Levi was the sixth most-unique name in the Palin household alone.

Also, jeans.


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