The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Newsroom Noise

May 17, 2012

We're having some fun playing the 'name game' ...



Since we spell names for a living, I never take the spelling of a name for granted. It sometimes means people named “John” look at me a little funny when I confirm the spelling with them. Come on, we all know at least one “Jon.”

As a result, I’ve become a classic name enthusiast. And I was quick happy to see George, Mary and even Theodore on the graduation lists this year.

--- Joy Leiker and all variations: Joi, Joye, Joi’e Liquor, Liker, Like-her.

My rule of thumb: Follow the Kmart test. Don't name your kid something you can't find in a bicycle license plate at Kmart. And if the name needs a nickname or abbreviation or will go by the middle name, cut to the chase and just make that the name to start with ("Did I register for that website as William Smith or by my nickname Bill Smith?")

Trust me, you're doing your kid no favor by choosing a name that's different for different's sake. Forget Jayme or Jamye for Jamie and the use other consonants or wannabe vowels for real vowels.

And, please, don't even think about hyphens or apostrophes or odd capitalization ("SanDeE"), because punctuation either isn't an option for most computer listings or must be precise to find the record in a database.

Going with a "special" name or spelling more than ever in this digital age means your kid's name will be misspelled or misplaced in computer databases and online searches. For life.

And newspaper reporters will be pausing and questioning the spelling of the name from birth through sports boxscores through graduation and on to marriage, parenting and the final obituary. We'll probably get it wrong half the time. Hey, don't blame us.

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Newsroom Noise
  • Media eats up story about union 'victory'

    It was a short story – 241 words. And it was far from the most important story, or most-talked about story, of the past weekend.
    But the story of a union dispute and settlement involving Sharpsville Area Schools AFSCME members has gone viral.

    June 12, 2012

  • mlk memorial.jpg Newsroom noise: Monuments, memorials on the Mall

    When I heard from Jim Masotto that the Sharon VFW and American Legion wanted to send a veteran to Washington to see the monuments and all the other sights, I was instantly on board.

    June 3, 2012 2 Photos

  • The TIF that keeps on giving

    Nothing makes me happier than walking into the newsroom and finding out that there’s a new development in a big story. A few minutes after I reported for work on Memorial Day, there was a big smile on my face.

    May 29, 2012

  • I, the jury

    I’m a civics nerd.
    Well, I’m a nerd in general, but I’ve always been particularly interested in the workings of government, and for as long as I can remember I’ve been jealous of people who get summoned for jury duty.

    May 24, 2012

  • We're having some fun playing the 'name game' ...

    What’s in a name?

    We've been putting together lists of local high school graduates the last week or so in the newsroom and it has prompted discussions about the art of naming children.

    May 17, 2012

  • School lunch story prompts questions

    Under pressure from the feds, local school boards likely will be raising school lunch prices for next year.
    Sharon City School District currently has the lowest paid lunch prices in the state and the nickel and dime hike will make them tied with New Castle.
    The price Sharon’s eyeing is $1.25, which is what lunches cost at Reynolds High School in the mid-1990s.

    May 16, 2012

  • It's all downhill: Soapbox derby Saturday morning in Sharpsville

    The talk is flying as fast and furious as the soapbox derby cars will fly down the hill of Seventh Street in Sharpsville Saturday.
    Sure the event is a fundraiser - drivers paid $30 each for a chance to get behind the wheel of a soapbox derby car - and their money will help pay for a race in June so children with special needs can do the same.
    But the Greater Pennsylvania Super Kids Adult Fundraiser really is a time for adults to act like kids again.

    May 10, 2012