Feature

Saving 'Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii'

Has the pressure to find the perfect baby name gotten out of hand?

It might seem like a court that renames a child is trampling on parent rights, said Russ Brown in the Faculty Blog of the University of Alberta’s law school. But you might see it differently if you were a 9-year-old New Zealand girl named Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii. Sometimes moms and dads burden their offspring with names so weird and harmful that “civil society” has to step in.

It’s not always an easy call, said Eugene Volokh in the Philadelphia Daily News. The judge took custody of Talula long enough for her to get a “proper name.” Other judges have prevented a man from renaming himself 1069. But the Utah Supreme Court said yes to Santa Claus, while an Ohio court said no in a similar case.

Any mom or dad who has struggled to come up with the perfect baby name knows how hard it can be, said Misty Harris in the Edmonton Journal. Choosing a name that is “unique but not precious, stylish but not trendy,” and that won’t result in monstrous therapy bills down the line is now the first test of parenting “prowess.”

Many working parents worry about the fact that a child's name can affect job prospects later on, said John J. Edwards III in The Wall Street Journal’s The Juggle blog. Some go a bit far—using Google and even “baby-naming consultants." But Talula's "apparently quite silly parents" show that, even in this high-pressure world, others could stand to take "a little longer thinking it through."

Recommended

Bowing to Beijing
Tom Cruise.
Briefing

Bowing to Beijing

America's revealing indifference to Cuba
Fidel Castro.
Samuel Goldman

America's revealing indifference to Cuba

Is China going to fry the global climate?
Xi Jinping.
Picture of Ryan CooperRyan Cooper

Is China going to fry the global climate?

Volunteers are writing and illustrating free books to help South African kids with reading
South African children read their books from Book Dash.
reading is fundamental

Volunteers are writing and illustrating free books to help South African kids with reading

Most Popular

Tom Brady's 'gentle' roast of Trump at Biden's White House: 'Deeply vicious'?
Tom Brady, Joe Biden
Quotables

Tom Brady's 'gentle' roast of Trump at Biden's White House: 'Deeply vicious'?

Former Michigan Sen. Carl Levin dies at 87
Former Sen. Carl Levin.
rest in peace

Former Michigan Sen. Carl Levin dies at 87

Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee arrested at voter rights protest
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is arrested on Thursday at a voter rights protest.
good trouble

Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee arrested at voter rights protest