Thursday, December 6, 2012

Oh, What's in a Name?

Frankly, quite a lot.

For those of you who don't know, I write software for a living. Every day I hope to create amazing programs to help people do their jobs better and easier.

Something I've always struggled with, though, is naming my programs.

A name and a logo really help to create an identity for a program, and have quite an impact on the acceptance of it. Even the best program can fail if it isn't appealing to those who need it.

Sometimes, a name just comes out of nowhere and is a perfect fit.

More often than not, we just end up naming the program something and over time it just kinda sticks.

But when it comes to naming our baby, I'm just not okay with that approach.

There's a lot of pressure giving your child a name that will fit him or her for their entire life. What if the name doesn't match what they look like or their personality? What if the name makes it easy for kids to pick on your kid at school? What if the name is a good fit for a baby or child, but isn't really appropriate for an adult?

Yep, that's a real onesie from a real store. Go here to buy one!

Jennifer and I have made the naming process even more difficult on ourselves in a few different ways. First, we aren't finding out the gender, so we have to come up with girl names and boy names that we both like and approve of. Second, we don't want a name that can be shortened. Third, the first name needs to multisyllabic since our last name in monosyllabic.

(That last one comes from me. Don't get me wrong -- I love my name -- but Matt Cook is just too harsh to say; Matthew Cook flows so much better.)

We also don't want a name that's too popular or too unique ("Hashtag" anyone?).

Are we over-thinking this? I don't think so. This isn't just some program I'm writing that might not even be used in a few years. This is a person, who will hopefully become an adult someday and might even grow up to do something amazing.

He or she deserves to have a name they can be proud of.

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