MERCER COUNTY —
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.