Contemporary parents, tired of common, pronounceable designations like Emily or Michael, have been gravitating toward more elaborate, esoteric names for several decades. As culture has crested the 21st Century, American parents - who find their individuality subjugated to an overwhelmingly homogenized ex-urban strip-mall ethos - are turning to outlandish child names to compensate.
"Celebrities are already under crushing public pressure to remain unique - otherwise they lose their ability to provide us with vicarious release," explained Inez Q. Hinojosa, spokesperson for the National Department of Nomenclature and Designation. "That explains names like Moxie, Shiloh, and Suri."
While many parents are content with familiar family names honoring a beloved grandparent, others are compelled to name their kids 4real, Paris, or Orenthal James.
Hinojosa added that in the African American community, frustration with the white establishment has long fueled efforts to give their children distinctive names. Even that, however, has degenerated into the absurd. "Lemonjello? Orangejello? There's no cultural reinforcement or appeal to ethnic identity. Malcom and Martin, hell Biggie and Tupac, they're spinning in their graves."
The most egregious offenders, according to Hinojosa, are Gen X parents who once fancied themselves members of the "alternative" subculture. Where they once shopped Salvation Army for used bowling shirts, scraped tips together to make rent, and ironically indulged in Pabst Blue Ribbon, today they live in cozy cul de sacs, drive beige minivans, and download Nora Jones MP3s. "Naming your child after an iconic musician or esoteric pop reference has become the rage. Having Thundar Masics for a son, or Veruca Jello-Shot for a daughter takes some of the sting out of selling out."