July 08, 2003

The Social Security Administration's annual update of America's most popular baby names has been compiled and released, and while Peggy Orenstein of the New York Times has already nicely covered the big-picture angle ("Where Have All the Lisas Gone?"), she seems to have ignored one of the most shocking revelations from the survey: namely, the continuing and shocking collapse in popularity of "Kenneth."

This venerable name, which ranked 16th for the entire decades of both the 40's and 50's, 21st for the 60's, 31st for the 70's, and 46th for the 80's, has now actually fallen completely out of the top 100, lagging behind such pretty-boy names as Bryce, Hayden, Devin, Trevor, and — god help us all — Dylan. Seriously, in about 40 years when you need to see a doctor, would you rather put your life in the hands of a Kenneth or a Dylan.

It's almost enough to make me pull my life together both physically and mentally, try to become capable of maintaining an adult relationship, meeting a woman I can share my life with, then fathering a child I can name "Kenneth" just to reverse this trend even a smidgen. And then I can go back to whatever the hell I'm doing now.
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