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Kaitlyn Furge Kaitlyn Furge
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Why North' is a celebrity baby name gone south

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Thursday night, the name of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's baby was revealed. North, once before just a direction on a compass, now graces the newborn. To boot, her last name is West, releasing an onslaught of jokes. 

I find unusual names intriguing, but North fell flat with me. The fact that it was a noun did not bother me; it was something else. Noun names always sound odd when they are first introduced. Take Brooke and Willow for example. I thought they were far-fetched when I heard them, monikers only given by nature freaks. As time went on, however, I accepted them for what they were: phonetically pleasing names that evoked pleasant images.

Along with nouns, society has accepted other words as names. Verbs like Dash and Chase have been on the rise for the past decade. Violet and Scarlet are both colors that also work nicely as names. 

The newest trend, however, seems to be picking names from a map. You don't need to be a name nerd to figure out that London, Austin, Orlando and Savannah are all cities as well as names. People have gone bonkers with this new concept, including Kim and Kanye. Instead of picking a city dear to their heart, however, they have chosen a direction. For a number of reasons, it just doesn't work. 

Unlike other noun names, North is not phonetically pleasing. If they had narrowed it down to a compass name, why did North win? Certainly not for the imagery. When people think of North, they think of cold winds, bulky parkas and harsh temperatures, which are not exactly things you want to associate with a child. Are they subconsciously telling her to be a cold person? What was wrong with South? Or East? Sure, if she had been a Christmas baby, she could have pulled off North with a cheesy Santa Claus smile, but she was born in June for goodness sake. 

I think the underlying reason the name is distasteful, however, is because it is a joke, a mere flare shot off for attention. It's a headline grabber, and a good one at that. But it points out that this baby is an accessory. It seems as though names are picked not because the parents like them, but to gain attention and feed the fire of fame.  

Maybe we're wrong. Perhaps Kim and Kanye have some deep sentimental ties to the North. It could be they think it is the most beautiful name they have ever heard. 

Whatever the case, when North is grown, and comes to her parents asking where her name came from, the response better not be, 'Well, we thought it was funny.'


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